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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ANANTAKARA: Serenity Despite The Storm (2020)

Serenity Despite The Storm is the most realistic album I've heard about emotions versus global containment

1 Manyfold Quiet Trances (remix) 11:41

2 Alluvium 4:32

3 Serenity Despite The Storm 9:48

4 The Wise And The Reflecting Lake 9:55

5 Walking Again 5:57

6 Link To Mountain 3:57

(DDL 45:52) (V.F.)

(Tribal ambient, Berlin School)

The voice is soft. Humming on the remains of the bells from the opening of Manyfold Quiet Trances (remix), she captivates us with her murmurs from woods' nymphs that an acoustic guitar tries to capture on the fly. The heyheyhey, rustles and whispers dispossess the acoustic instruments and the Gamelan percussions of their musical auras, trapping the ambiences in an intense moment of bewitchment that one hardly notices the canvas of intensity which is created all around this sibylline choir. Obsessed by this voice, we forget that the initial non-rhythm is subtly transformed into an acoustic rock where the auditory treasures of pagan percussions ignite a catchy bass line. The more I discover the music of Anantakara, the more the power of seduction that Philippe Wauman weaves inside his instruments finds takers near my emotions. SERENITY DESPITE THE STORM is another album inspired by the latest events on Earth. The grip of confinement seen through Anantakara's emotions is more tangible when rendered by acoustic instruments. And it's with a skilful acoustic / electronic mixture that fear versus calm and sadness opposed to joy finds its bearings. Hence the title, SERENITY DESPITE THE STORM.

If Manyfold Quiet Trances is a remix of a title composed in 2011, it's by pure coincidence that it blends perfectly to the moods of Alluvium. This title without rhythm is guided by tinkles and murmurs creeping from a bass. The envelope is acoustic, except for arrangements which develop in timid morphic staccato. The title-track draws its wealth with this mixture of percussions and acoustic guitar chords which vibrate in the quiet eddies of a bass crawling anonymously, while the elements amplify its mystery. Keyboard chords sculpt a harmonic refrain around the 3 minutes. They become like drops of circular rain where one cloud refuses to make drip its darkness in a phase whose intensity arises from orchestrations which little by little also release here ambient and wonderful staccatos. They are the witnesses of this repressed frustration which spits more and more his emotions in a tumultuous passage filled with rustles of steps walking in a dash of impotence. There is something poignant in this title that Anantakara imagined in a nice video clip.

The more we advance in SERENITY DESPITE THE STORM, the more the electric and electronic side of music is felt. The bass stretches its strings with melancholy in the opening of The Wise And The Reflecting Lake. The guitar weaves an enchanting universe by tugging its chords with the hums of a stoic bass. This slow movement like an ignored waltz is a minimalist canvas in which slow lines of rhythms and ephemeral melodies succeed one another woven in the limpidity of hope. It's a very beautiful title that I imagine around the campfire while the incandescent embers explode before spinning like a false dance of fireflies or of will-o'-the-wisps. Simply magical! Walking Again surprises with its tremolo which sculpts an improbable Berlin School smeared by its resonant footprints. Ambient, this static rhythm receives the support of a weaving of percussive rattles which remind us that the repertoire of Philippe Wauman breathes of his acoustic visions. And the latter makes us jump with the introduction of Link To Mountain, whose moods and the effect of heaviness' effort and the cymbals which sound like big gasps describe quite well the idea behind the title.

SERENITY DESPITE THE STORM is the most realistic album I've heard about emotions versus global containment. I believe that its acoustic side has something to do with it, thus creating a sensation of promiscuity as tangible as that which ties us in from the first breaths of Manyfold Quiet Trances. No matter how much I dig, but I can't find a dead moment there. A great album that I highly recommend, even if we are quite far from the Berlin School. Except that fans of Pink Floyd's Ummagumma era will be delighted by this Anantakara album.

Sylvain Lupari (June 28th, 2020) *****

Available at Anantakara Bandcamp

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