BODDY & REUTERS: Derwish (2009)
Updated: Dec 3, 2019
“Dervish is a staggering work, both by its aggressiveness and by its ambient structures which crosses sound storms à la King Crimson”
1 Dervish 6:05 2 Stealth 6:23 3 Tableaux 6:31 4 Joker 6:05 5 The Watcher of Loneliness 7:18 6 Angst 7:45 7 Spiral Manœuvre 11:42
(CD 51:52) (V.F.)
(Prog EM, ambient)
DiN Records produces some of the fine contemporary EM music. And DERVISH is a good example we can point out. It's an album with a rich sonic pallet where the crystalline tones are eroded by analog ambient noises which sizzle on random rhythms, or ambient moods, and on simply divine orchestrations made possible by a nice string quartet hide in the synths. Honestly, the music is a pearl to the ears of lovers of avant-gardist music who enjoy the cold electronic pattern as well as the warm rhythms of analog electronic progressive rock.
And this rendezvous for the audacious begins with a curt, nervous and jerky beat. Sat on a roaring bass line, incisive percussions and edgy guitar riffs, the title-track explodes on a structure that starts and stops abruptly. We enter in the universe of King Crimson, Red and Larks Tongue in Aspic eras, with Markus Reuter's electric six-strings serpentines which roar and float on a spasmodic beat and where the discreet violins amplify this impression to penetrate into the tortuous world of Robert Fripp. The percussions are in the tone. They are sharp, nervous and bang with the surgical precision that Pat Mastelotto, drummer of King Crimson by the way, unstitch with fierceness. This is an inspired introduction which amazes, coming from two accomplices who, in my mind, seem to favour a more ambient style. The ambient portion remains not less present with a synth and its veil of strata which are at both invisible but captivating. Rich in heterogeneous tone, Dervish is just like the rest of the cd with a load of samplings and the lazy languishing orchestrations which bury a hyper nervous pace, like on the finale of Dervish and the opening of Stealth and its pace which progresses with hesitation among the scattered chords of a guitar and of its evasive harmonies, even ghostly. Less corrosive and more intriguing, Stealth flows into an austere mood with a soft melancholic guitar from which comes lugubrious lamentations. These strangely attractive tones are scraping the ambiences beneath some heavy pulsations with rough contours and a synth with floating strata. Slow but not deprived of rhythms, Stealth is a logical suite to opening track with a twisted atmosphere where the rhythm breathes at small dose, bending the back and refusing the caresses of this fusion of synth/guitar which tries constantly to retain its flight. Soft e-percussions open Tableaux, like some kind of hampered tom-toms covered of a dense synth veil. Here the movement is like the one of a clock from which the irregular tick-tock tries to protect its time while it feels trapped in a metallic trap to the embraces of corrosive metal which wave into resounding lamentations. And like everywhere in DERVISH, the atmospheres are fed by contiguous tones which have nothing to do with the structure of the track, but which roam in a soft creative madness and surround Tableaux of a sonic structure soaked into glass and steel.
After a Joker as much incisive and rhythmic as the title-track, The Watcher of Loneliness opens with chords which drag in a ghostly ambience where a lot of white tones decorates a spectral universe surrounded by strata as cold as metal can bite. This is a purely atonal movement disguised by a crowd of sound samplings which climb such as some ivy in an ectoplasmic ambience streaked by lamentations from the outer grave. Angst illuminates itself with soft percussions which flitter in a dark ambience tinted by the scattered notes of a discreet guitar. The movement undulates with deaf pulsatory hammerings before crossing a monstrous orchestration which swallows the piece under an avalanche of unbridled percussions. It’s a piece of music as strange as the world of contemporary music can digest, but with an undeniable attraction for the sound purity. Spiral Manœuvre ends this album with an ambient static movement where tones of glass push the piece towards floating horizons with a pleasant mellotron synth which draws a dreamy structure that strata of guitars marry at the middle point, pursuing this contemplative sound bubbling towards an infinite tranquillity.
DERVISH is a staggering work, both by its aggressiveness and by its ambient structures which crosses sound storms à la King Crimson. It's an opus with a surprising sound resource which collide the sense of hearing without detour in a crystal clear sonic world so precise that we would believe to be installed in a glass bubble which reflects the sound with a complexity which remains the privilege of the musical world of Ian Boddy and of his label DiN Records.
Sylvain Lupari (September 16th, 2009) *****
Available at DiN Bandcamp