top of page
  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Alpha Wave Movement Phase Intervals (2023)

An astonishing album in terms of the diversity of its rhythmic timbres and sequences

1 Ethos 11:59

2 Metamorphosis Part 1 & 2 15:09

3 Anima Mundis 7:18

4 Phase Interval 8:10

(DDL 42:36) (V.F.)

(Electronic Cosmic Rock Berlin School)

Keyboard-synth chords flit and leap, creating a form of cadenced language in the opening of Ethos. This brief moment of musical indecision attracts the sequencer, which sharply alternates its leaping keys in a static rhythmic choreography. The union of these rhythmic chords merges into a stationary vortex from which a zigzagging rhythm line emerges. In form, it's reminiscent of Edgar Froese's Stuntman. In tone, it's quite different! Arpeggios swirl over this jerky rhythm structure, testifying to the rich tonal blossoming that surrounds Ethos. And by ricochet, the whole of PHASE INTERVALS. The rhythm is now knotted with electronic staccato effects that speed by under a shimmering sky of sonic stars that sparkle in abstract melodic form. A bass line adds musicality and warmth from the 4th minute onwards. Pulsating, percussion-like basses thump and throb with force, blending an essence of groove with good Teutonic electronic rock. Arpeggios, as tinkling as shards of glass swirling in a narrow tube, still accompany the rhythmic mutations of Ethos, which reaches a more fluid velocity towards its finale. As a first track, we're still pretty surprised! Alpha Wave Movement had accustomed us to quieter, more meditative works in recent years, apart from a side project, Subtle Shift and the album Somber Frequencies. In fact, you have to go down the corridor of time to 2017, with the excellent Echoes in the Vacuum, to remember that Gregory T. Kyryluk is as much at home in rhythmic structures as he is in his phases of transcendental meditation. So, it was a pleasant surprise to discover PHASE INTERVALS! AWM's latest album revisits the frontiers of the late 90's, when processors were incorporated into synthesizers, fusing analog and digital to create an immeasurable variety of new tonalities and timbres. PHASE INTERVALS is the result of improvised sessions within a framework of ambient music and Teutonic rhythms. The music is performed entirely on Access Virus-A and Roland SH-01A synths, with no external sequencers, no drum machines, no samplings, and a minimum of overdubs. We're as surprised as we are seduced by an album rich in sounds, sequence structures with parallel flights and evolving rhythms. And the dimensions of Ethos are also the dimensions of the other 30 minutes of this new AWM album.

At 15 minutes long, Metamorphosis Part 1 & 2 is the heart of this new experiment by the American musician-synthesist. Its opening is modeled on Ethos, with cadenced tones and shimmering prisms that reverberating waves draw into their snoring axes. The rhythm is defined by the lively movement of the sequencer and the percussions that emerge from the static swirls of the bass layer. Adding orchestrations give a touch of cosmic dance music that twirls above the hardwood resonating percussions. The rhythm takes on several tangents that remain trapped in these waltzing orchestrations. The percussions hit relentlessly, swapping roles and prominence with sequenced rhythm loops that whistle strident harmonies, along with the bass's lively undulations. We're in a cosmic mobile disco with a rock essence that's strongly anchored by the percussions and sequencer duo. These elements temper their insistence between the 8th and 9th minute, when Metamorphosis Part 1 & 2 migrates into a more meditative, cosmic second half. We stay in the cosmos with the opening of Anima Mundis. Arpeggios flicker brightly, tracing an invisible rhythmic line that is supported by a hesitant movement of the sequencer. It's the bass-sequence line that structures the rhythm. Supported by electronic clicks and percussive effects, it trembles as it describes ascending axes to which other, more melodious sequences get grafted. Creatively sculpted, there's nothing Teutonic about the rhythm. It's a repetitive pattern, more in the Berlin School mode, where sequences of contrasting tonalities accumulate at times, but more often shimmering. They twirl and hop with lively alternating movements, shimmering and tracing the patterns of a train struggling to climb a mountain. Slowed down by the bass layer and orchestrations, adorned with mechanical chirps and rattles, and propelled by further percussions, these sequences trace random rhythmic patterns that are cushioned by dense, lunar orchestrations. And even as the tempo quickens, the rhythm continues to carry out these intersecting impulses at a crossroads where everything begins again. At times, it's as if we're in a parallel universe to Software. Less lively, but with a range of sequences, tonalities and percussive elements as diverse as Anima Mundis, the title track opens with a form of cybernetic language. A variegated opening, like all the others, which gradually reaches the dimensions of coherence. Loops coo in hazy orchestrations, while strange percussions resonate in rubbery wood tones. Synth filaments whistle above our ears, stigmatizing the idea that we're flirting with the Cosmos, while the rhythm increasingly resembles a dense tribal from a planet not far from us. Somewhere between Steve Roach and Software, in a more meditative phase than the other 3 PHASE INTERVALS structures. An astonishing album, with a diversity of rhythmic timbres and sequences that structure polyrhythmic forms in constant motion.

Sylvain Lupari (September 17th, 2023) *****

Available at HRR Bandcamp

(NB: Texts in blue are links you can click on)

551 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page