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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ASURA: Radio-Universe (2014)

Updated: Apr 26, 2020

Here is another gorgeous psybient opus from the magical lands of Ultimae Records

1 Overture 9:56

2 Interlude Sky 7:17

3 Oblivion Gravity 11:57

4 Gaea (Transit) 1:08

5 Ascension in Blue 7:58

6 Farscape 7 7:20

7 Lonely Star 8:30

8 Illuminations 8:51

9 Back to Earth 4:02

10 Everlasting (Album Edit) 9:56

(CD/DDL 77:00) (V.F.)

(Psybient and psychill)

I don't know for you, but I always wait for the new releases of Ultimae Records with an impatience and an auditive curiosity which are rewarded at each time. And like each time, I am sceptical in front of this sound fauna where quietly the atmospheres are outlined, the rhythms take shape and the melodies weave some very attractive musical itches. The magic operates and the charms bewitch me. I know that I am far from my hobbyhorse, sequencer-based or ambient Berlin School, but the craftsmen who nest on this label have the gift to create sound mosaics, covered with parasitic noises and by atmospheres more than supernatural, of which the dissonance always ends to harmonize in a matchless harmonious crescendo. One calls that psybient or psychill. And there is of everything! Like these notes of Kyoto which pearl in hollow winds and in the secret quavering. Notes of a pensive piano are also roaming in a silvered drizzle under the eye of a sonic revolving light which covers the ambiences of Overture of its circular sonic beams. A countdown may blow the almost parasitic vibes of this opening of the last Asura's album that they remain passive. And this, even with these gas explosions a la Blade Runner which adorn the decoration of Overture of a texture of science-fiction. An enveloping wave, full of sizzling light, sweeps the horizons with several mass arrivals, flooding our ears of a seraphic choir and with a song of spectre hummed by Martenot waves. Rich in sound textures and in white noises, the last work to come from the Ultimae Records studios remains faithful to its impeccable catalog. With its lunar rhythms, its ambiences which mix stellar and terrestrial life and its luxuriant ambiosonic fauna, RADIO-UNIVERSE is an audacious and attractive odyssey in the universe of sounds and far beyond.

Shapeless synth hoops, interstellar harmonies of synth chants and lost pulsations; the introduction of Interlude Sky catches our ears with a superb seraphic choir which sings on the bed of a timeless sonic rivulet. The ambiences rebel themselves and a sketch of rhythm makes gesticulate its oscillatory keys which wave restlessly while a stroboscopic line crosses a nervous structure of rhythm which will always remain implosive. The sonic adventure continues with the weary bass pulsations of Oblivion Gravity which pounds randomly in a strong ambiosonic current. We enter a universe rich in sounds and vibes with this long soporific ballad where some silvery lines snore in the secret gravitational harmonies of a bass line which will never give birth to rhythm. Except that Oblivion Gravity explodes like a huge volcano in its gravitational universe, bringing the dreamers that we are on the wings of beautiful floating orchestrations. After the brief breezes of Gaea (Transit), the introduction of Ascension in Blue gets in our ears with a scent of Blade Runner. Explosions and tears teem among synth lines which remind me of Jean-Michel Jarre in Ethnicolor. A keyboard shells its pensive chords here while the background let floating a threatening crescendo. It's very touching. Almost poetic with a melancholic approach where we can imagine songs of stellar whales wandering in a sonic cloth filled of prisms. Evolving in a kind of ambiospherical crescendo which follows the curve of the rhythms, RADIO-UNIVERSE reveals its core with a movement of sound swing which introduces its rhythmic phase. Farscape 7 floods our ears with pads of white noises which go and come in movements of percussions a bit military-cosmic. The very ethereal voice of Ayten is simply surrounding. Her orgasmic songs pave the way to a wonderful lunar melody which makes sing its prisms and stars. The debit is fragile. Sometimes interrupted, it restarts with an ambient rhythm a little heavier. The percussions beat it with good strikings while the pads of cracklings sparkle even more in our ears and while the songs of Ayten is coupling to a seraphic choir. This is a very good passage which leads us towards the splendid Lonely Star and of its pensive piano which is losing its thoughtful notes in futuristic visions. A pulsatory line spits its sonic poison while the melody hangs on to its nostalgia. The percussions weigh down its movement of mid-tempo while the notes forget their tears deep into some beautiful orchestrations which waltz in a brilliant movement of sequences and whose static keys sparkle in a wide bench of sizzling waves. Synth solos are crying while the sequences blink in an intense and heavy movement which hesitates between its gravity and its evasive melancholy, making thus of Lonely Star a very beautiful psychedelic melody where the disorder goes eventually harmonized in a vaporous finale and where the notes of piano get melt in the breezes of interferences. It's catchy and very beautiful. Jerky movements of drums and Middle East tribal percussions, Illuminations oscillates between a briskly rhythm, stoned to death by good percussions, and its ambient short phases which perk up a rhythm fattening its fury with an incredible heaviness. It's a weighty psybient and rather lively which evaporates in the oasis tranquillity in Back to Earth and of its impressive avian fauna. I hear Kitaro (Silk Road era) in an intense envelope of sonic eccentricities. Most of Ultimae Records albums always end with an assassin track. A kind of track which explodes the slow crescendo approaches of psybient or cosmic chill music and which made the fame of this label. And Everlasting doesn't make exception. It's a delicious torrid down-tempo where every pulsation, each beating is piercing our heart and where the enveloping synth waves cover us of gloom. There is a small tinkled melody which tears a hole in this sonic density, and which brings us to another level. But always, these wrapping synth waves, and their so seraphic singings, floods us in a sound immensity which is so powerful that we have difficulty in seizing all of its dimension. Our ears overflow and our heart bleeds. And it's heavy, it's poignant and it's especially the signal that another very beautiful album which comes to decorate the luxuriant discography of the Lyon based label.

Sylvain Lupari (October 16th, 2014) *****

Available at Ultimae Records Bandcamp

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