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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ANDY PICKFORD: Harmonics in the Silence (2016)

Updated: Jul 30, 2019

“Over its 3 hours long and inside its minimalist structures filled of changeable rhythms Harmonics in the Silence hides some very valuable treasures that will satisfy the ears”

1 Section One (Pieces 1-5) 1:04:17 2 Section Two (Pieces 6-10) 1:04:07 3 Section Three (Pieces 11-15) 1:09:26 Andy Pickford Music

(DDL 197:50) (V.F.) (Minimalist, ambiospherical and slow beats)

As much Andy Pickford has been silent, on 2 occasions in the 2000's for a total of 12 years, as much he became prolific again, and even more, since 2010. Just in 2016, AP realized not less than 2 albums and 5 EP. And did he still have some juice? Did he still have creativity and things to put in music in this incredible epic and protean journey of more than 3 hours which found our ears at the end of 2016? We have to think so! Honestly, who can afford 3 consecutive listening hours on the same artist? On the same kind of musical structures? That's why it's rather difficult to chronicle such a sonic monument because our ideas on the 1st section get melt on the 2nd and then on the last one, even that sometimes a section leads us to forget about the other one. It's over and above the fact that 3 long titles built around a minimalist structure can engender lengths. Unless being magnetizing as these structures that Mister Pickford develops with a lot of imagination and biting arrogance which dominated the beautiful years of Binar. Every section is divided into multiple parts, making of HARMONICS IN THE SILENCE a thing which is necessary to hear attentively, because an absent-minded listening will give to the listener an effect of redundancy. Although both approaches always remain so delicious! It's in a vision of much diversified rhythms that Section One (Pieces 1-5) begins this Andy Pickford's fascinating sound odyssey. A nice sonic tumult, caused by riffs which gallop in a sound painting soaked of scarlet layers, nibbles at our lobe of ear where voices and multicolored effects of synths can't resist the attack of the percussions which are in mode Techno for wanderings. Cosmic effects and songs of shooting stars' furrows liven up this musical firmament of which more aggressive percussions emphasis the pace around the 7th minute. Layers of voices, cosmic effects sculptured in a sequencer in mode jump-on-the-same-beat wrap the vigor of the percussions until some more nebulous ambiences gulp down the last vestige of a sequencer and riffs of a six-strings around the 12th minute. A passage of glaucous ambiences where the void is depicted with the correctness of a Steve Roach which lasts hardly 5 minutes before a heavy and lively structure bring us back on a beat of cerebral dance. Sequences ooze in suspension around this rhythm which beats between the caresses of a good down-tempo and these lugubrious moods which torture constantly the music of AP, to say the least since I have tamed the first Binar. And there, things accelerate! Another ambient phase of void, where always roam these layers of mute voices, suffocates the rhythmic threat around the 25th minutes. Cosmic effects, as well as bites of void, sweep the shadows of rhythms which get up under the shape of stroboscopic circles or of pale percussions which give a nice attractive trait to this passage of ambiences which is constantly attacked by diverse forms of embryonic rhythms. If sometimes one is getting up, it's for a short moment because Section One (Pieces 1-5) right to the very end is in protean mode where bubble and suffocate many attempts of rhythm. Section Two (Pieces 6-10) is built on the same principle, except that the battle between the ambiences, more cosmic and more floodlit here, and the forms of rhythms always so variable is fairer here. There is nothing explosive and every is relatively calm. A beautiful mosaic which flirts between Electronica, a little of rock and many more seraphic moods with harmonies which scatter when the rhythms get born. Section Three (Pieces 11-15) is the most homogeneous title in this HARMONICS IN THE SILENCE. Andy Pickford deploys quite a whole harmonious work on a minimalist structure which serves as anchoring between good exchanges between ambient passages and rhythms always a little more accentuated. The introduction is sculptured in a symphony of hollow wind which makes very Steve Roach. These winds stumble over a wall and get transform into cosmic breeze with effects of rhythm and of stroboscopic oscillations which introduce a very weakened down-tempo around the 18 minutes. The rhythm is slow and the moods remain fed by percussive and stroboscopic effects, giving to this 2nd section a delicious effect of weightlessness. An effect of morphic circular down-tempo which magnetizes us for the next 7 minutes. Another phase of spatial ambiences arrives then, where voices of the NASA and effects of the genre float in good cosmic orchestrations. The rhythm which ensues from it is a good down-tempo of the Solar Fields genre with beautiful layers of voices as well as effects, both at the level of the rhythm and of the ambiences. It's one of very good moments on HARMONICS IN THE SILENCE. A very Trance Techno rhythm shakes violently the short passage of atmospheres which silenced this beautiful down-tempo. It's very lively, even violent, and that lasts a good 6 minutes of breathlessness before that another passage of atmospheres, always quite colored, serves as a bridge to the most beautiful moment of HARMONICS IN THE SILENCE which floods our ears, and which blows to the same ears « we play it again? ». It ends so with a very delicious down-tempo decorated with a great melody. A splendid finale for an epic work which enchants but which also asks a lot of time. The simultaneous listening is a whole battle against time, we speak all the same at about 3 hours of music here, except that remains the best way of savoring this long sonic river of Andy Pickford which, like in a long expedition hides some very beautiful treasures to be discovered. Sylvain Lupari (April 8th, 2017) ***½**

Available on AP Bandcamp

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