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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ARC: Rise (2010)

Updated: Mar 30, 2022

It's a brilliantly improvised contextual album which inspires the phases of a cloudiness agitated by the musical precepts of the duo Boddy/Shreeve

1 Creep 16:52

2 Rise 20:51

3 Fade 19:49

(DDL 57:32) (V.F.)

(Dark Ambient, Berlin School)

Following a concert presented as part of The Gatherings Concert Series at St. Mary's Church in Philadelphia, Arc presented an intimate concert in the heart of the Sunday night on November 15, 2009 on WXPN radio for the nights electronic and ambient from the Star's End Radio Show. Completely improvised and played between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m., Ian Boddy and Mark Shreeve explored the tortuous meanders of insomnia on 3 long tracks in which dream, and anxiety are intimately linked. And unlike Church, this second concert in North America is only available for download in high sound quality on the Bandcamp page of DiN. A very nice initiative for the fan of Arc's works who never has enough EM from the creative English duo.

Creep is a long morphic breath where the senses are kept alert with a dark lifeless structure eaten away by corrosive and metallic tones. It's a slow nocturnal procession which begins with a linear phase in which are added corrosive laments which spawn among chimeric gongs, heterogeneous pulsations and a soft fluty mellotron which is the companion of a late sleep to come. Insomnia persists and fumes of metal on metal perfume this long agony of absent sleep with a strange funeral march which converges towards an abyssal universe. The breaths of oneiric flutes and mystical choirs intertwine in a mystical erosion which hesitates between the vagaries of night birds' schizophrenia or dark poetry where the cries of creatures in this last night on earth are lost in the intro de Rise. There the rhythm awakens as if by magic on a movement of the sequencer which begins as innocently as a leaf begins its long fall from a tree. Subsequently, Rise takes on a minimalist oscillating cadence in a furious dance of doubles and of shadows of the jumping double-keys of the sequencer. Sequences on sequences, with directions as unexpected as its fractured tempo, Rise accentuates the pace on the echo of its strikes from jumping keys, while felted and slamming percussions permute its rhythmic dimension. A superb movement which is reminiscent of the rhythmic approaches of Free System Projekt in Impulse. The more Rise progresses, the more it develops a multidirectional approach from the sequencer which is accompanied by a synth that lets out good solos and a mellotron with heavy layers of tight-fitting vapors. A superb track of pure avant-gardist Berlin School with all the fury that Arc has accustomed us over the years. I'm thinking in particular of Corrosion from Blaze and Friction that we find on Fracture. Fade ends this sleepless hour with a ghostly approach where a large organ broods a breath filled of prisms which goes astray in the depths of a night already disturbed by the infernal Rise. A heterogeneous sound universe pushes the limits of Fade in the spheres of a snoring schizophrenia, while the wavering movement progresses under immense metallic layers. Slowly, Fade rebuffs from its spectral intro to embrace a tender mellotron which sings at night, which chants night owl pacifism. A peaceful and soothing ending with slight jolts, a bit like when you embrace a sleep that is slow to show up.

RISE is the least violent of Arc's works. It's a brilliantly improvised contextual album which inspires the phases of a cloudiness agitated by the musical precepts of the duo Boddy/Shreeve. Dark music conceived for a stage of a sleepless night and whose mephistophelic reflections burst from a beautiful fury of the sequencer to return to wander in the limbo and nocturnal meanders that a neurotic tries to tame to finally fall asleep. An Arc moderated whose title-track is worth the full price of its download.

Sylvain Lupari (November 5th, 2010) ***½**

Available at DiN Bandcamp

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