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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Alpha Wave Movement Tranquility Space (2018)

Updated: Nov 3, 2022

A great CD which mixes the sweet tones of floating moods to some exquisite hypnotic Berlin School patterns...and more

1 Tranquility Space 3:52

2 The Tender Sea of Space 8:26

3 Slow Voyage 7:16

4 Centauri Memories 2:31

5 Purge 6:01

6 Sailing Orion 10:42

7 Movement IV 10:18

8 A Place of Peace 7:11

9 Theta Space 5:18

10 Umbra 11:05

(CD-r/DDL 72:45) (V.F.)

(Ambient, Berlin-School, Tribal, Drone)

A new album from Alpha Wave Movement is not something common! Album after album, and no matter the jacket, Gregory Kyryluk excels in the art of surprising and finally of charming. Like many of his works, TRANQUILITY SPACE needs some listening before the musicality of his tuning fork joins his filaments that connect to our emotions, to our imagination. Not that it's complex! No, I would rather say that this last opus is made in a good diversity of styles where the film genre flirts with a very good Berlin School or even the reverberating waves of the drone plains caress a very dreamlike approach. Between its phases of ambient rhythms, its panoramas of interstellar ambiances and its contrasts, TRANQUILITY SPACE leaves sooner or later its undeniable mark on our emotions, like the great works of AWM which counts more than a good half a dozen in a discography that looks like a huge box of sonic chocolate where everything is good in its artistic form.

Buzzing and azure winds open the tonal sanctuary of Tranquility Space. Sounds flee the skies and fall drop by drop to form a sonic cloud where are pearling these drops frozen in an oasis of serenity. The Tender Sea of Space proudly wears its seal with an opening filled of chimerical violins stretching their laments. Scarlet, the tones of the violins mutate into soft musical caresses where always tinkling these sounds fixed in crystal and which shimmer like pearls on a harp. The movement is slow and swaps its calm ambiances for more intense moments with a melancholic approach which is very Vangelis. A slight movement of rhythm makes oscillate the carpet of this sonic Eden with a horde of docile jolts unique to the ambient rhythms of the Berlin School. And always these synth layers scented of Vangelis' apocalyptic visions ... Nice, cinematographic and very intense in terms of emotions! We can say the same thing about Slow Voyage, without the imprint of Vangelis. The oneiric music and ambiences respond with skill to the meaning of its title. Here too, a rhythm shakes a little more the ambiences which take an oriental tint to very cosmic Kitaro. The finale is a bit abrupt. Here and in this beautiful lunar lullaby which is Centauri Memories with its very nice song of chimes.

Purge borrows a bit the organic tribal ambient style of Steve Roach. The plurality of tones remains very contagious here. Sailing Orion is the jewel here. Its slow introduction is woven into a sonic delight with layers of voices humming on a sound bed swinging and waltzing of its tonal imprints. Dreamlike, these moments guide us towards a splendid hypnotic rhythmic structure whose serial beats sculpt a very good Berlin School. Activated around the fourth minute, this pulsating rhythm embellishes its ornaments with a level of emotivism in the layers of voices and other interstellar layers that give a poignant aspect to this music knotted of its seraphic breezes and celestial orchestrations. A pure jewel in this musical asterism that is this last album of Alpha Wave Movement. Long reverberant effects, like drone clouds, sculpt the panorama of Movement IV which is a long title of atmospheres as much realistic as a sunset in the Everglades. After this vast expanse of sound space, A Place of Peace comes to us with a spaceship effect docking the Earth. We must not rely on this omnipresence of ambient space, since the music embraces a loop of Groove fed by a monstrous bass line. And quietly, A Place of Peace becomes a place of Groove with a very organic song whose tones of amphibians on a joint are murmuring in the silky layers of voices and under this very suggestive line of bass. The richness of this title is that it's as unexpected as deliciously catchy, like its synth solos that perfume the second part. I cracked on the first listen at this very cosmic Groove. After a Theta Space as quiet as Movement IV, Umbra ends the last 11 minutes of TRANQUILITY SPACE with a symphony for shooting stars fixed in the blades of a huge xylophone. These chords weakened in crystal unfold, after the dark waves of the introduction, in a sound mixture that reminds a bit of the masterpieces of Michael Stearns, Chronos and M'Ocean. The notes get twist and roll like strobe spindles between isolated arpeggios, creating a delirious cannon effect where each note amplifies its astral choreography. Musical and dreamlike, Umbra joins the vast expanse of TRANQUILITY SPACE and puts an end to another great musical adventure of Alpha Wave Movement who succeeds in this difficult challenge to constantly seduce while destabilizing with approaches always in search of the zenith sonic. Very good in all its senses!

Sylvain Lupari (September 28th, 2018) *****

Available at Harmonic Resonance Recordings Bandcamp

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