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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

BIOME: Essence (2021)

Updated: Mar 20, 2021

An excellent album of ambient music having something to tell that this Essence of Biome is

1 Occulus 12:58

2 Agartha Awakens 7:22

3 Naturale Waves 5:52

4 Walk Among the Crystal Tides 10:07

5 Return to the Source 11:19

6 Shangri-la Nexus 9:42

(DDL/CD-r 57:22) (V.F.)

(Ambient, Pacific School)

It's been a while since I haven't listened to Alpha Wave Movement. Or if you prefer, the music of Gregory Kyryluk! Biome is a project dating of 2018 with the release of The Shores of Temenos. And contrary to the acoustic vision of this album, ESSENCE is an album well in phase with a cosmic essence which emerges from it all around its 57 minutes. An album closer to the borders of AWM, ESSENCE is resolutely ambient with analog rhythms sculpted in such a way like to give these effortless impulses so pleasant that we have the impression of literally floating with the different movements of an album that knows how to disperse its jewels in order to maintain our interest until the very end.

Occulus extends its musicality with wave vapors, imitating those cigarette fumes that appear and evaporate like mirages without background inks. Very ambient, the music revolves around silky synth pads drifting after having stolen our dreams. Cosmic elements are momentarily grafted and adorn this paradisiacal reflection which finds an echo in the gongs, the ringing of bells and these saucy lines which jump in its decoration. The arrangements transport our faint-hearted state in this very good ambient movement which flirts with this vision of celestial music that Gregory Kyryluk has been able to transpose beyond the limits of Alpha Wave Movement. A sequence slightly excites our abulic senses, sculpting a phantom rhythm that embellishes our visions more than our neurons. Biome knows the limits of AWM and knows how to adjust them, with just a slight hint of emotionality that spreads its dark shadow with the increasing effect of a bassline stimulating the vibrational effect of the pads and their dramatic arrangement. Occulus presents a perfect setting with the sibylline vision of its sense which struggles like a prey of the shadows in an ambient music inheriting a mixture of influences between the universes of Steve Roach and that of Michael Stearns. Then comes Agartha Awakens who spreads a wavy layer where breathe the slow beat of a bass slowly caressed by a bow. Sparkles erupt from everywhere, simulating a shower of percussive elements which explode while falling on this heavy layer waddling with innocence. An ambient rhythm has cleared its way to join this drifting sheet and accosts it with the firm intention of staying there. Nourished by percussive sequences and riffs, which form a tandem with gyrating impulses, it receives the support of orchestral arrangements by the presence of a violin sculptor of staccatos. From ambient, the rhythm becomes certainty in a seraphic climate which makes one think of the best moments of Patrick O'Hearn.

A splendid lullaby, combining the song of shooting stars with those of our crested kinglets, is tying to the passage of Naturale Waves. We are at the heart of the charms of this album with the very good Walk Among the Crystal Tides which follows the innocent beauty of Naturale Waves. Pensive keyboard chords emerge from between ocean waves to dance and frolic with a bassline. Their airy choreography links with the prismatic chants of the synths, imitating those siren voices that we are forbidden to see. A soft movement is extricated in an ascending vision recognized and authorized by resonating percussions. We are in mode rhythm for the neurons with two very distinct phases which face up against an astral gravity which ends up turning Walk Among the Crystal Tides on its way back. A great title on this album which could cast a shadow over Return to the Source of which luminous synth waves are floating peacefully. These layers have a shadow of voices which, at high volume, play with these threads of the soul that provide shivers of sorrow. A figure of rhythm emerges with milky beats which exhilarate more tribal beats, sculpting a metaphorical dance under the fire gushing from synth waves. An elastic rhythm on a bed of fire, it marries with a slight delay the intensity of the ambiences until its last beats, a little after the 6th minute. The issshhh and the woosshh do not die! They propel the last ashes of Return to the Source which is reborn like a phoenix with faster beats into a dimension that transcends the peaceful structures of ESSENCE. The water filters between our toes to welcome the dark waves of a synth whose other end of the spectrum makes bells ring and vibrate voices. There comes a point where these hums of absent voices mingle with the synth layers whose union forges an intensity from which is born a splendid ethereal movement of the sequencer. Arpeggios slip through this astral rhythm. Uneven shimmers with sharp tones that sparkle on a musical mass carried by good orchestral movements, guiding Shangri-la Nexus towards those caverns where water oozed, cavernous breezes sang and small bells of the new Eden tinkled.

An excellent album of ambient music having something to tell that this ESSENCE of Biome and especially of Gregory Kyryluk. I didn't find any weak moments, just a few where my ears had to adjust little by little, even adapt to phase changes. Sign of a well thought out and above all a well worked album. And Biome will never have sounded more than Alpha Wave Movement than on ESSENCE. To hear, to discover and to tame from start to finish!

Sylvain Lupari (March 20th, 2021) ****½*

Available at Biome Music's Bandcamp

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