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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

AWENSON: Within (2019)

“As what could have be a second disc to Hope, Awenson’s Whitin is targeting a more psychedelic cosmic vision always in an analog setting”

1 Beyond the Flash 10:46

2 Sentimental Journey 5:36

3 Monolith 2:35

4 A Saucerful of Mysteries 5:07

5 Spheric Passage 10:04

6 One of These Nights 10:56

7 Suspended Flood 9:22

8 Lovewind 9:39

9 Nymphea 13:5

(CD 78:04) (V.F.)

(Schulze's Berlin School)

It's from one ear to the other, well wrapped in a good set of headphones, that the hopping rhythm of Beyond the Flash begins this second visit of my friend Joël in my musical sphere of 2019. This waddling increases strength and velocity to enter a passage where the layers of mist and winds of ether replace those where the voices seemed so indistinct. The sound imprint is obvious! We are in the Berlin School in what is more retro! An imbalance in the order of the sequencer makes sure that the beat gets sustained and above all to make it catchier. Beyond the Flash becomes a cosmic rock in its lunar scenery and the psychotronic effects of synths, while Joel Bernard's guitar takes the leads with a rock-like approach that is divided between its distorted lines of riffs and its cold harmonies lying in form of solos. Beyond the Flash sets the tone for another energetic Awenson album that this time targets the psychedelic cosmic rock of the 70's and more ambient structures laden with chloroform clouds as a second album in 2019. And Sentimental Journey confirms it with its astral tom-toms and its Klaus Schulze fragrances of the Totem years. The synth throws very sharp solos that make spirals and elegiac flights in an atmosphere of the vintage years very well portrayed by Awenson. After the short and dark Monolith, we are in Dark Ambient territory here, A Saucerful of Mysteries offers another facet of ambient rhythm with a bass, played by Joël Bernard, which reveals its weariness in mysterious mist banks thrown on the pavement by a Farfisa. Spheric Passage respects the origins of its title with a spheroidal movement of the sequencer and its cadence that goes up and down with some nuances, thus defeating a possible effect of a distracted listening. The step is heavy, with prism radiances, and serves as anchor to very good synth solos.

One of These Nights offers an ambient structure that is not for relaxation. The movement is initiated by a series of two chords of a bass line where clouds of ether float with a tone vaguely reminiscent of a bagpipe. The beat of the bass sequences is amplified by the addition of what seems to be a percussive mass, of which the flow may be reminiscent of the furious march of a stubborn person who wants to brave the sound elements whose torsade effects envelop One of These Nights of a mystical fog. A psychedelic approach with voice effects disturbs the middle of this march of our obstinate character that is infiltrated by nice paradisiacal solos. The more you listen, the more you fall under the charms of this fascinating structure embalmed by perfumes of the early 70's of the Farfisa. Solos are more audible in the more musical and artistic procession of Suspended Flood. Lovewind is very close to Body Love's territories, but without rhythm. An astral poem scrolls in a decoration charged by an exodus of wooshh and waashh. The language is coded and revolves around interstellar beeps that are still rather melodious. In the background, a synth blows these dreamy solos that Klaus Schulze lost in his illusions of Astral Mass, while thin implosions of a bass line, charmed by this lunar scenery, releases these muted impulses that give a whole relief to this superb Lovewind. Nymphea ends WITHIN between its desire to bite into an ambient rhythm à la Sentimental Journey and the ambient elements lay down by Awenson. Electronic tweets and skeletal chants are like clouds of suspended dust and drift under the influence of a heavy gyratory line and its threatening timbre. A timbre that, alas, relays in the background all this delicacy that is the beauty of this title.

Year 2019 is quite a comeback one for Joël Bernard! WITHIN could have been Hope's second album ... if Hope had been a double album, so much the artistic vision of both albums is meeting on a horizontal line. This is the kind of album that earns its points as we listen and find something that we had missed in previous plays. Sign of an album rich of its design. Hat to you Joël and keeps Awenson's guides still tight!

Sylvain Lupari (October 9th, 2019) *****

Available on Groove

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