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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Alpha Wave Movement Horizons (2014)

Updated: Nov 3, 2022

Another strong opus where AWM offers the best cosmic e-rock without ever denying his roots

1 Horizon 5:15

2 Traveller 9:51

3 Impressions 4:18

4 Starbound 10:10

5 Shanti 3:05

6 Remnant 6:04

(CD-r/DDL 38:46) (V.F.)

(Cosmic Rock)

What strikes the most as soon as we hear the first measures of this last Alpha Wave Movement album is this rich and very textural musical envelope which wraps an electronic cosmic rock whose fragrances and interstellar sound effects bring it to another level. The ethereal, almost esoteric signature, which characterizes Gregory T. Kyryluk's EM remains very present. Except that HORIZONS is distancing itself in his discography with an architectural envelope which is veneered of heaviness. There is a very melancholic, sometimes somber, presence which comes from his synths and of their airs a bit jazzy which float on rhythms in constant movements. Heavier and lively than Archaic Frontiers, HORIZONS reveals 5 energetic compositions, Shanti being very meditative, with a massive use of electronic percussions which hammer some lively rhythms or which are timing the hypnotic tic-tac of metronomes of which the fusion heaviness/slowness is charmingly taken away by clouds of Mellotron with violin harmonies.

And it begins with Horizon and its trembling manual percussions which tickle the caresses of the romantic violins. And the rhythm takes off. He is heavy and ambient, like a big symphonic e-rock. Pulled by good percussions and lit by sequences which sparkle such as bright wings of butterfly, it crawls slyly beneath vampiric synth waves. Waves to two tones which reveal superb orchestrations, while Horizon gathers like a bee brief moments of ambiences, among which a beautiful reverie on piano. And at each time this rhythm, which sleeps shortly and snores of impatience, bursts with more and more dense philharmonic envelopes and a delicate technoïd approach which collapses under the heaviness of its structure. Navigating through its slow rhythms, always well hammered by good percussions, and its ethereal ambiences, Traveller finally sails between a cosmic electronic universe and an approach little bit funky with synth solos to the fragrances a tiny bit jazzy. Its intro is filled up by cosmic tones and violin strata which float in an intersidereal Eden, while the harmonies are rocking on delicate tablas kind of percussions, which are very present in these first moments of the album. The cosmic effects a la Jean-Michel Jarre abound, we even hear these percussions which click as some metallic wood, on this track which mixes pleasantly rhythms and moods with an approach as cosmic than very human. Always covered of dense cosmico-orchestral embraces, Impressions offers a delicate melody which hums of its charming airs on a slightly hopping rhythm. Catchy, the track evolves with a subtle crescendo, both in the tone and in its outcome, and with a small touch of complexity which takes out the sweet ethereal approach of its comfortable cosmic bed. A little as Traveller, Starbound offers a structure in movement but with a clearly more voracious rhythm. A soft ghostly melody hums on a tempo puts on the beat right away by a hypnotic metronome and which is excited by percussions making noise with hyperactive sequences. Sequences which bubble in a static, sometimes stroboscopic, magma and which drag the rhythm at a more agitated level, while that very electronic solos, as lyrical as twisted, overhang a rhythm whose swiftness hangs onto a flight of very lively percussions. A brief ambient passage, very colored, cuts the legs to this rhythm which takes back its life under superb solos of a multidimensional synth. This is very good. I imagine that it is what Jean Michel Jarre would have made before falling in his metamorphosis phase. Oh... that is beautiful and restful this Shanti. I hear here these airs of forsaken trumpets and saxophone forgotten in the rain of Blade Runner. And Alpha Wave Movement can't avoid the comparisons with Steve Roach or nor of the Californian Desert School, because Remnant plunges us there downright. The rhythm forges a spheroidal kind of walking where we constantly have the impression to climb the staircases in spirals of a mountain without top. This is visibly inspired by these ambient ballads of the Californian deserts with sequences, a bit organic, which quaver in stroboscopic hiccups, splitting an attractive approach as much hypnotic than ethereal and whose fragility rests on a sound decoration painted by synths to the harmonies and atmospheres divinatory.

From album to album, Alpha Wave Movement never disappoints. Gregory Kyryluk masters the art of renewed himself without denying his roots. HORIZONS explodes of an unsuspected vigour. A sound dynamism where the rhythms set ablaze these completely unusual avenues to the Alpha Wave Movement's repertoire, who manages all the same to preserve a meditative cachet which stands out even more in this album which will seduce, both by the tone of the synths than the diversity of its rhythms. Guaranteed!

Sylvain Lupari (September 9th, 2014) ****½*

Available at Harmonic Resonance Recordings Bandcamp

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