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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Alpha Wave Movement Somnus (2018)

Updated: Nov 3, 2022

Somnus is an album made in the spirit of the american analog ambient music at the dawn of the 80's

1 Sonoran Silence 13:26 2 Be Here Now 9:48 3 Bioelectric Traces 7:36 4 Transient Molecules 4:42 5 Ting-Sha 10:23 6 Patterns of Fragility 8:01 HRR182012 (DDL 54:01) (Ambient Music) (V.F.)

SOMNUS is the god of sleep in the Roman mythology. This is also the last album of Alpha Wave Movement! And one guesses right away where Gregory Kyryluk wants to bring us when he mentions that this album is based on the sound aesthetics of the early 80's, whereas that EM inductive to meditation was in full expansion, especially in the south of the United States with the emergence of artists such as Steve Roach, Michael Stearns, Robert Rich, Emerald Web and so many others. Musicians who indeed brought the genre to less austere and more harmonious heavens. Sonoran Silence begins with an iridescent breeze which makes rippling its sibylline colors. Strands of voices draw a distant choir whose humming reaches breathlessness our ears. But the tone is right, and the voices throw a feminine ink that floats like a perfume of ecstasy. A long movement without rhythm, but not stripped of passion, makes its way between our ears. The threads of voices recall these vague idyllic chants of Michael Stearns, I think among others to M'Ocean, while the oblong tonal caresses seem to have some fragrances of Chronos. The essences of Stearns abound here, especially after the point of 6 minutes where a delicate melody sculpted by stealth arpeggios guide our senses elsewhere. Even in its cloth of meditative moods, the music of Alpha Wave Movement is constantly moving. The second part of Sonoran Silence favors a waltz of sonic drones whose resonances taint this delightful melodious approach between these both antipodes. But this mix sculpts a very good moment that has seduced us so much in Structures from Silence by Steve Roach. Be Here Now offers an introduction blown into a flute of glass whose incandescent harmonies frolic like a troupe of harmonic sequences which skip innocently in a lush setting, such as waterfalls on an island without land. The music lives through these fragrances of sibylline harmonies which spread like astral flows rising to the heavens. A beautiful music that joins exquisitely the highlights of the genre in the 70's-80's. Passion and rhythm, Bioelectric Traces is the most intense title of SOMNUS. The sequences sparkle by drawing circular arches which come and go in a paradise setting. The choir is nourished with a perfect mix while the woosh and waash from the synth envelop the music of impulses of passion, giving so a very intense dimension to this title which is actually at the crossroads of the ambiences of this album. The short Transient Molecules is like this documentary music that explains the mysteries of the cosmos. Like martlets on a glass anvil, the crystalline arpeggios of Ting-Sha lead us to the secrets of Oriental meditation. These tears of music blend into the shadows of the breezes, scattering here and there resistant silk threads and bringing all the necessary nuances to this drone concerto and of its resonances. Patterns of Fragility ends SOMNUS like Sonoran Silence had started it. Either with fine luminous arpeggios sparkling in a sonic tale after a path of dark and enveloping breezes. And these arpeggios bring all the harmonious intensity needed by Gregory Kyryluk in order to reach his wish by making an album of ambient music which is in the spirit of the great works of the genre from the early 80's by American artists and using analog synths. And it's very well done!

Sylvain Lupari (January 20th, 2019) *****

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