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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ALPHA LYRA & OLIVIER BRIAND: SpaceFish Live Inexxa (2010)

Updated: Jun 4, 2020

This is a good DVD of a diversified EM which goes from meditative ambient to progressive Berlin School that is caught on superb images

DVD 1 (Alpha Lyra) 75:00

1 From Earth to the Deep Sea 13:00

2 Space Fish 13:45

3 Tropical Naoned 33:00

4 Gymnopédie Cosmique No 1 14:45

DVD 2 (Olivier Briand) 90:00

1 Little Planet in the Sun 19:20

2 Big Planets I 14:30

3 Big Planets II 13:35

4 Outside System 7:45

5 Big Nebula 3:45

6 Dans le Parc Astronomique 14:05

7 Strange Galaxies 9:45

8 Death Star 10:10

(2 DVD/2 CD 165:00) (V.F.)

(Ambiant, Berlin School)

Here is a very strange musical cocktail; the poetic and melodious Alpha Lyra coupled to the very articulated and unpredictable Olivier Briand for the time of a musical evening under lasers and film screens of a cosmic and aquatic world. Christian Piednoir (Alpha Lyra) and Olivier Briand are 2 French synthesists whom are part of a musical and art association intended to promote the electronic and progressive music made in France; Patch Work Music. On this evening of August 21st, 2010 both accomplices gave each a solo performance in Nantes. Intimate concerts where spectators were invited to a fusion of aquatic and cosmic worlds with the very ethereal and spatial music of Alpha Lyra and the one, a little more dynamic and progressive, of Olivier Briand. Two different concerts where the beauty and the beast dumbfounded spectators stunned by so many colors, lasers and music without borders.

Christian Piednoir is used to write music about sea depths. In 2006 he composed the music of Aquarius on the fringes of the writing from Marie-Paule Piednoir's book Aquarius…sous le signe des poissons. He is a brilliant synthesist of which the sensibility is not without recalling the oneiric and poetic sweetness of Michel Huygen and Neuronium. Strangely cosmic, From Earth to the Deep Sea opens with heavy pads which sound like the mechanics of spatial vessels. Cosmic electronic tones peep under powerful of a corrosive synth and pave the way with fine sequenced arpeggios which dance under movements of more celestial synth. A good track where images of seabed are in symbiosis with a music which varies between the ambient and rhythm always nuanced and balanced of Alpha Lyra who likes to draw his poetic vision of heavy and captivating synth strata. Morphic, Space Fish intro is immersed by soft synth layers which waltz à la Neuronium in spatial corals where the duality of ambiences splits in a slow cosmic dance gradually deviating towards an aquatic fauna. Here, like everywhere on this double DVD, the shots are great, and the images are in net symbiosis with a very captivating music, although that rocks quite well with Olivier Briand. At once clear and granular, they give this strange impression to be constantly between two worlds, two modes. While choirs float in the variety of the aquatic images, Space Fish shows its interstellar and global hybridity between soft synth layers that are floating between two spheres. In Tropical Naoned we certainly hear the most beautiful piece of music that Christian Piednoir composed. It's a long track which is beautiful to listen and to look at, of around thirty minutes where synth layers are entangling lazily in a languishing musical maelstrom with chords which dance and unfold in spiral under a thick cloud of astral choirs. The whole thing begins with a synth fed by choirs with angelic breaths are flying over a rain forest of which images are of a magnificent beauty. Like in a musical stairway, fine arpeggios twirl in spiral to embrace a livelier movement with chords which fidget such of shoals of fish wanting to avoid predators. Alpha Lyra multiplies sequences and ambiences with a sustained poetic, as a strange and slow procession which turns in perpetual spiral and implodes of a violence smothered by mermaid's chants and heavy strata of a poignant synth. And Tropical Naoned continues its ascent towards a more melodious finale where notes of piano embrace its furtive sequenced blows which haunt our ears and fill our memory of a hypnotism musical charisma. With Gymnopédie Cosmique No 1, Christian Piednoir is faithful to his soft ethereal reveries where soft pads wrapped with a celestial choral undulate in a cosmos in perdition. Alpha Lyra is making his synths sing hypnotic odes which cross musical storms where hatched chords scroll in loops, as submarine waves which surround and make vacillating mermaids with the strength of their movements minimalism, ending this aquatic musical tale with the same oniric sweetness of its opening.

Olivier Briand's musical world is sharply more complex and divided than Alpha Lyra's. It’s a progressive EM where crisscrossed and unpredictable rhythms live together with ambiences immensely spatial and electronic. It's doubtless one of the most cosmic music that I listened since the great years of Software. Little Planet in the Sun opens with synth waves which are intertwining with sonorities as spatial as symphonic where reminiscences of Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream are subtly felt. Static the intro floats in a sound universe at once corrosive and metallic with sardonic synth breezes and pulsating streaks which are interlacing under strikes of cymbals and electronic noises. It's a thick cosmic broth in constant boiling with a rich galactic environment from where escapes weak sequenced stammering. Little after the 8th minute, Little Planet in the Sun becomes warmer with a wave-like sequential movement which encircles a soft harmonious synth among which solos that emerging are lyrical and musical. On the other hand, this second portion of Little Planet in the Sun offers a concise rhythmic because stubborn up with the duality of harmonies from a world divided between the abstract and the musicality which pulls on this Olivier Briand's first title. Playing in a long continuous track, Olivier Briand's section is made of rhythms that are constantly divided and abruptly deviated towards other more balanced or even more dislocated tangents. Lasers and screen images are in accordance with this fragmented and hybrid sound world with a nervous editing and a nice fusion between screens and the French synthesist staging. Rhythms are sometimes anarchy as in Big Planets I and II or magnificently fluid like in Outside System and the short and ghostly Big Nebula with its sequences sounding as a kind of xylophones, but they always have unforeseen forms as Dans le Parc Astronomique which is a wonderful merger with the eclectic and metallurgical universe of [´ramp]. Difficult to tame, Olivier Briand is certainly is. But his music is of a good harmonious fluidity splits by dramas drawn in the creative cortex of the French synthesist. We can't stay of marble behind the melodious approach of Big Planets II and the jazzy approaches of Strange Galaxies, although more delicate, and of the enormous Death Star. Although undisciplined and very unpredictable, the sudden rhythmic structures of Olivier Briand are immersed by a very electronic sonic world where solos of tortuous synth cross eclectic mooing which tears the cosmos of long musical complaints sometimes ethereal but often corrosive.

SPACEFISH LIVE INEXXA DE NANTES is a good DVD of a diversified EM which is stuck on superb images. The portion of Alpha Lyra is as beautiful as his music; while the one's from Olivier Briand commands a bigger open-mindedness, so much he can be unpredictable and indomitable. Except that the listening makes discover music with fragrances of a more audacious Jean-Michel Jarre. It’s a nice invitation that we have here to dive into the universe which seems to me very swarming of talented artists that the one of Patch Work Music is.

Sylvain Lupari (January 26th, 2011) ***½**

Available on Patch Work Music

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