BEYOND OUR GALAXY: Triptych Phase (2021)
“A great collection of tracks set to start with EM on the right foot”
1 Chronosphere 3:45
2 Jovian Airships 5:03
3 The Rubicon Moment 3:57
4 Moonbase Alpha 3:07
5 The Summit 3:38
6 Freefall in Black 3:24
7 Monoliths of Beta Proctoris 11:42
8 Omega Structures 7:34
9 Futureworld 1973 2:25
10 Terminal Shock 5:11
11 The Ascendant Light 4:54
12 Revelations 3:43
13 Spindrift Reflections 4:15
14 As the Sun Slowly Sets 3:45
15 Twilight Horizon 2:20
(DDL 68:51) (V.F.)
(E-Rock, Movie music)
I discovered Beyond Our Galaxy's energetic style with the short EP Circular Logic, released at the very end of 2020 on Cyclical Dreams Music. I told you in this review about Roger Taylor's impressive journey since 2010 with 3 albums where synth-pop flirted with the boundaries of E-rock. TRIPTYCH PHASE is a compilation of tracks that belonged to this era, from 2010 to 2018. The style is similar with big energetic rock that finds a way to change skin thanks to a very good transition game between the sequencer and the electronic percussions, very clever here. BOG leaves a good place to the melodies, which are always inspired by Tangerine Dream, and to its cinematographic visions which always nourished its creativity.
Chronosphere begins the album by telling us that there won't be many ambient moments on TRIPTYCH PHASE. Its rhythm is heavy of its hungry sound charges and driving with its thirsty tssiitt- tssiitt in its up-tempo envelope masked with Funk power. Barry Blaze lends his bass here and gives it the latitude to get the beat of this explosive track off the ground. The hybrid sequences that shimmer around its circular axis and the synth pads that take over the melody portion are elements that energize an excellent track to open a compilation of this magnitude. It gives you a very good idea of what Beyond Our Galaxy can do on the short tracks of its new album. Jovian Airships offers a kind of chill over a languidly pulsating bass line. A saxophone sings under various layers of wind before a keyboard adds its chords. Percussion arrives before the 2nd minute, structuring a bouncy rhythm in a relaxing atmosphere where distant percussion clatters. And it's after 90 seconds that Jovian Airships drops its Chill envelope for an up-tempo still as languid in its new style. The Rubicon Moment is an E-rock belted by a stroboscopic effect. Its rhythm is nervous, supported by good electronic percussions, but it is rather the synthesized melody that we retain the most with beautiful arpeggios in layers of hazy fog, TD style of The Atomic Season. We always stay in the creative rhythms, always set with nice melodious visions, with a rock nimble with apocalyptic trumpets of Moonbase Alpha. It may be short, but it remains melodious and very catchy. The Summit is the kind of track on which you put the name after having composed the music, so much it is very revealing. An ambient melody proposed in two steps which gives chills while sticking wonderfully to the meaning of the title. A good moment for those who like it softer once in a while! Navigating between two times, the role of Freefall in Black remains to be defined in this electronic mosaic which exploits all the styles. A little less ambient than The Summit, but not really in the rhythm with harmonies floating in a prismatic zone.
Monoliths of Beta Proctoris is the longest track here, and its opening is titanic with an attraction for cinematic music. After the 100-second introduction, the rhythm swirls on two parallel lines that intermittently cross each other. A synth-pop-like melody is heard with its sibylline chant grafted onto a rhythm that is supported by acoustic percussion. The intensity of Monoliths of Beta Proctoris melts a bit before the 5th minute for a big 120 seconds to come back with a spasmodic electronic rhythm. The sequencer vibrates its jumping marbles as the percussion attaches this new rhythm in a dance mode before melodious strings, inspired by Tangerine Dream of the 80-81, complete the seduction maneuver. Shorter by 4 minutes, Omega Structures justifies its minutes by a progressive structure that takes off with slow wing strokes of an ethereal synth. The layers are unctuous with an orchestral core hiding raucous exhalations. A tornado of tinkling clings to these wings. This core structures a stationary rhythm which rises more and more with the coming of other sequences and later of electronic percussions which nervously hit this rhythm without motion, if only to listen to a progression in rhythmic elements on synth layers always airy compared to the violence of the percussions. Futureworld 1973 goes like a hymn to the deliverance by a futuristic squadron. Very cheerful, it is an ideal music for a sci-fi movie. Terminal Shock's waves let out a distress signal that unleashes a rhythmic fury as melodic as nervously animated. The keyboard carves out a sequenced melody that swirls over a cycle of percussions and some pretty voracious bass-sequences. There are some good synth solos on this track. We reach the calmest point of TRIPTYCH PHASE with The Ascendant Light which, with Twilight Horizon, are the only tracks where the winds have chased the sequencer and the percussions out of their cosmic webs. The two tracks sound very similar, while Revelations offers a cosmic rock in the style of Jean-Michel Jarre. There are some good percussions battling in for such a short track. Spindrift Reflections is not really far from the genre, except that its muffled structure adds a touch of esotericism, which explodes violently after the 2nd minute. A good track for those who like to hear the evolution of a sequencer versus the electronic percussions that is one of the highlights of this album. As the Sun Slowly Sets is a nice slow-tempo track that features the poignant guitar of Roddy Robinson.
A great collection of tracks that exploit the basics of E-rock in evolving formulas, TRIPTYCH PHASE is the album to get started with EM. Catchy rhythms and melodies with an aim for TV shows, the music flows without this feeling of being written on a range of 18 years. There is a good job of mastering here. Sequencer and electronic percussion fans, you're in the right place with this brand-new album from Beyond Our Galaxy.
Sylvain Lupari (August 30th 2021) ***½**
Available at Cyclical Dreams Bandcamp