ARCANE: Landers (2015) E.P.
“This is yet another great sonic voyage through the analog equipments of Paul Lawler”
1 Viking-1 6:12 2 Lunar-9 5:30 3 Pathfinder 5:14 4 Venera-7 3:45 5 Philae 8:32 Paul Lawler Music
(DDL 29:15) (V.F.) (E-rock, Prog EM)
Viking 1 starts this new Arcane sonic adventure with a series of harmonious loops which roll on the jingles of the percussions adorn of crotale effects. Breezes of synth with a soft Hispanic lunar perfume (I hear Vangelis here) coo like electronic nightingales, revealing melancholic solos which make counterweight to the cheerful approach of the minimalist loops. From ambient and floating, the start switches for a beautiful electronic ballad with a suite of whistled solos which wave such as the harmonies of an ethereal waltz. Paul Lawler exploits completely the six minutes of Viking 1 by binding his music with percussions of which the slow flow draws the lines of a good lunar down-tempo where stroboscopic sequences hiccup in parallel and a suite of lost chords arise from the limbos while the synth always manages to whistle its ghost harmonies. Ah.... The beautiful sonic universe and musical (I insist on this point) of Paul Lawler. All in contrasts and yet always so homogeneous. Even if his music is strongly inspired by the 80's era of Tangerine Dream, the prolific English musician/synthesist is before all a real precursor who likes experimenting his new equipments with an approach which is always so magnetizing. Composed after the last jets of Perihelion, LANDERS offers around thirty of EM which is nevertheless all its opposite.
Lunar-9 plunges us into a cosmic film environment with the movement of a metronome which weaves a minimalist ambient beat. Sound effects, synth lushes a bit fluty and very relaxing as well as fragments of vampiric solos knit an atmosphere of loneliness and decorate an interstellar landscape where the time seems to be short of seconds. It's very ambiospherical. It's also very wrapping. Pathfinder inhales a few these ambiences while being very near the repertoire of Tangerine Dream at the level of sequencing pattern. The sequenced keys skip in a shape of a spherical ballet with wide loops finely hatched where the synths spread tearful harmonies and layers as dreamy as melancholic. The percussions which fall weigh down the step and remodel the status of Pathfinder for a good slow dance-tempo hypnotic as we like them. Venera-7 exploits also a series of melodies which coo in loops over a cascade of chords of which the tone resounds as that of an ancient harpsichord. Ambient and relaxing, the melody oscillates between our ears such as the wavelets which bicker on the surface of a lake filled by a crystal-clear water. What strikes the most is this duality between the darkness and the brightness and of which the resultant offers a splendid ambient electronic ballad with a stylized approach which is reminiscent of the atmospheres of the Phantom of the Opera. This is a great track! And as very often, Paul Lawler keeps the best for the end by amassing all the principles of his first 20 minutes to condense them in a track which is going to nail us in our armchair. Philae begins with a lively rotary movement of the sequenced keys which encircle a wall of electronic tones of any kinds (I adore these effects of gas of spatial machineries). Little by little, these keys form a pattern of rhythm which challenges the parameters until then imposed here by accelerating the pace. A very good bass line makes a first appearance here, propelling the rhythm towards a strong up-tempo of which the effects of contracted jerks weave a stroboscopic approach. This long onset of rhythm turns into a good and a more livened up phase which is adorned by these solos so ethereal which paint all the corners of LANDERS. And quietly, Philae will join this delicate metronomic structure of Lunar-9, concluding so another chapter of Arcane which will never stop seducing us as amazing us.
Sylvain Lupari (August 27th, 2015) *****
Available at Paul Lawler Music Bandcamp