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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

AMONGST MYSELVES: The Past Is Another Country (2014)

This album of dark ambient is deliciously filled by a subtle spirit of electronic folk music”

1 The Past is Another Country 6:03 2 Dark Places, Winter Shadows 11:19 3 He Who Bathes in the Black Sun 8:18 4 Cave of the Swimmers 6:43 5 The Day the Crickets Listened 7:39 6 Campfires of the Night Sky 6:19 7 In My Depths, All Treasures Dwell 12:49 SG17 (CD 59:40) (V.F.)

(Dark ambient music)

Long and slender synth lines, to the colors of melancholy, are floating and caressing waves which, sometimes, let hear a subtle sibylline singing. Profoundly meditative, THE PAST IS ANOTHER COUNTRY transcends the borders of the dark ambient music with a very esoteric approach tinted by some fine dramatic nuances which isolates the listener in his thoughts. There are airs of Michael Stearns and Juta Takahashi on this title-track where the brightness illuminates the shadows with a delicate meshing of idle lines which seem to suffer as much that they seem to sing in an intense contemplative shroud. An envelope where the white is nibbled at its purity by fangs all black and which encircles our somber feelings up until the singings of discreet birds, meaning frankly that the past is actually another country. Amongst Myselves is an interesting musical project of Steve Robert who is undoubtedly going to please those who love black and meditative ambient music, well for this one in any case. With 7 albums to his credit, albums a little bit closer of the celestial airs, the Australian synthesist takes another step by abandoning his usual style, which flirted with a more New Age kind, to switch for a more Dark Ambient music. And THE PAST IS ANOTHER COUNTRY reaches this height of a dark music where Amongst Myselves doesn't deny entirely his rustic roots by flooding his structures of elements of an Australian nature which floods our ears of an absolute charm. Moreover this very last album presents the bound of this transition by mixing darker and serene vibes, even rather black, with sound effects where the sweetness of the nature crosses the sourness of the insanity. The chirping of birds may cheer up our ears that Dark place, Winter Shadows plunges, in spite of the soft caresses of a nature always charming, into gaps blacks. The surrounding noises establish a climate of worry, even of fright, with dark winds which hoot the distress. It's a little as when that Frodon Sacquet, and his good friend Sam, left the prosperous countered to enter into the lands of Mordor. There are growls which speak and reign over a fauna to thousand whispers. It's very enveloping as it's enigmatic but also very fascinating, like on the moods a little more musical over The Day the Crickets Listened where a timid guitar sings the romance to some very twisted reverberations. As darker as Dark place, Winter Shadows, He Who Bathes in the Black Sun is clearly less threatening. Except for brief period, toward the end, with a mass of translucent lines from which we distinguish vaguely the singings of breezes. Cave of the Swimmers leads us to another level of intensity with synth lines to the colors of silver shouts which squeak over an indefinable nature. We perceive some unclear riffs of guitar and resonant chords trying a rhythmic breakthrough but the absolute void is swallowing Cave of the Swimmers into an ambiospherical and ambiosonic pattern which depicts quite well this tortuous glaucous universe of THE PAST IS ANOTHER COUNTRY. Campfires of the Night Sky is undoubtedly the softest moment on this rather dark album with beautiful synth lines, to the colors of the romantic dreams, which float in an approach as poetic as ethereal. It's a good moment which catches up the lyrical bases of the title-track, while the very somber and penetrating In My Depths, All Treasures Dwell reveals a captivating symphony of hollow winds of which the somber atmospheres, fed by a thick cloud of sound drones, are titillated by scattered ringings of bells. These winds, at times tinted of refulgence, flood the ambiences of an album which sounds with fascination like some purely electronic ambient folk. Very immersive! And the fans of black ambiences will be extremely charmed. Sylvain Lupari (September 15th, 2014) *****

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