ANANTAKARA: There Is Something (2022)
“This is a perfect album where each song is a journey in your inner mind”
1 Orpheus Walk 6:24
2 You are not Alone 6:40
3 Magnitudes 6:57
4 That Inner Voice 8:20
5 Temptation of Melancholy 6:24
6 Toward Clarity 6:51
7 There is Something 5:13
8 A Grateful Soul 6:15
9 Strange Feeling of Grace 5:04
10 A Sense of Freedom 3:24
(DDL 61:34) (V.F.)
(Ambient cinematic textures)
To feel being carried away by a strong inner emotion, such is the basic idea behind THERE IS SOMETHING by the Brussels musician Philippe Wauman. This latest album-download from Anantakara on the San-Francisco-based label Aural Films is nothing less than a wonderful soundtrack to those moments in our lives when we felt that angel on our shoulder bringing us to a state of grace. Divided with elegance between its astral atmospheres and its semi-driving rhythms, its electronic side and the acoustic one, THERE IS SOMETHING is the most beautiful musical fable that I ever heard from the Belgian artist. A splendid album where the sensitivity and the mysticism exchange silent stanzas in an incomparable atmosphere of serenity with a magnificent musician who becomes, for our next 60 minutes, master of our emotions and of this thread which guides them towards our inner interior.
It is with lapping of water that begins this new album-download of Anantakara. Shadows of sound become grey clouds, surrounding Orpheus Walk with one of its many sibylline veils. A sly rhythm makes its pulsations heard, whose aura of resonance meets these layers of seraphic voices which are part of the charms of THERE IS SOMETHING. Philippe Wauman adds threatening drone effects, drawing the listener into the surreal, while a tasty bass structures a wave of elastic rhythm. The beats dance with hoops that evaporate, along with the bass, into a world of esoteric atmospheres. This evanescent rhythm structure will come back with a more secret but also more accentuated form to shake the elven ambiences of You are not Alone, a track that mixes the acoustic and electronic parts of the album. With plucked string chords, Magnitudes takes us to a torrent of desynchronized and sequenced beats, whose violins' bites and synthesized winds' caresses take us to an astral level. A stunning seraphic voice drawn from the 8dio Forgotten Voices hums an interstellar hymn as That Inner Voice opens. Curtly plucked strings structure an ambient rhythm that echoes and switches into electronic chirps under the ominous shadows of the orchestrations, mostly oboes, giving a fantasy film texture to this track whose evolution takes us through a whole range of perceptions. Intense and dramatic! And especially very magnetizing with this artificial voice which succeeds the improbable bet to seduce and to soften us. Especially in a more acoustic finale. There are several passages where our emotions make the hairs on our arms dance in this THERE IS SOMETHING. And the sublime dance of the piano scattered in the pulsating and Mephistophelian ambiences of Temptation of Melancholy is part of these beautiful moments which blow in our ears without warning.
Tenebrous ambiences are the source of the black breezes that blow the opening of Toward Clarity. Isolated percussive chords add a clarity that is far from obvious to grasp in the squalls and chthonian electronic waves that blanket this track until a seductive set of hand percussions change its direction a few seconds into its 4th minute. The rhythm obsesses the senses with well-felt strikes that synth layers cover with a veil of organ and the keyboard scatters an equally haunting procession. A vampiric ghost chant initiates the title track whose elastic bass line structures an equally sibylline procession under a bed of agitated percussions. Abandoning this rather bewitching rhythmic framework after the 4th minute, There is Something evolves in its universe of astral travels on the indolent movement of its bass line which has become the central element of the different sketches of this very beautiful album of Philippe Wauman. The surreal ambiences are next to the mysticism all along THERE IS SOMETHING and the slow piano/voice procession in the opening of A Grateful Soul does not escape to this rule. Nor from that of those rhythms that activate the neurons and the bone line of the back, without giving life to our feet, that make the second segment of this track dance that ends with the ambiences of its opening. Brilliant is this melody struck on glass in Strange Feeling of Grace, another of those tracks whose evolution remains in close connection with a form of circular procession. It is with a beautiful enchanted flute, singing on a structure animated by a piano, that A Sense of Freedom ends this last album of Anantakara which is undoubtedly the most beautiful that I heard from the Belgian musician.
Sylvain Lupari (April 9th, 2022) *****
Available at Aural Films Bandcamp