BOUVETOYA: The Fiction Makers (2020)
“The joy of capturing a level of spontaneity without being obsessed with perfection keeps the music more organic (M.J.)”
1 Moog Zero Two 19:19
2 Constellations and Oscillations 7:12
3 It's All Done With Mirrors 4:48
4 Late Night Resonance 8:22
5 Fallout (Nice Weather for Synths) 5:31
6 The LFO Where Your Heart Should Be 7:45
7 In Modular we Trust 16:07
(CD-R/DDL 60:03) (V.F.)
(Experimentale vintage EM)
What a strange vision to approach an album in times of confinement! Michael Jones lived the pandemic like everyone else, becoming even more active in the concept of creativity by also taming new equipment purchased recently. He thus took advantage of long periods of captive creativity that he transmits to us via THE FICTION MAKERS. The concept is as follows; the joy of capturing a level of spontaneity without being obsessed with perfection, this keeps the music more organic and less clinical. In Modular We Trust! Quite a whole quote that sheds light on the 7 structures of this latest Bouvetøya album. Each title has been conceived on the basis of improvised sessions, recorded by adding overdubs here and there. That's the way to do it you will tell me? Yes, but the heart of each title remains untouchable. Thus, giving quite astonishing results ...
It's a race of bass oscillations that introduces us to THE FICTION MAKERS and to Moog Zero Two. The flow is fluid with some variations, especially at the beginning, in the fluctuations of this bass line whose tireless back and forth rolls in a lunar mist. Austere chords infiltrate this oscillatory rhythm with a presence that rocks between drama or suspense. Everything changes at the point of 3 minutes! The rhythm becomes more devious, beating strongly under this mass of mist and under the big reverberations of the grave chords. The course of the oscillations reaches a base of electronic progressive rock which changes of route under the hums of a chthonic choir. The rhythm becomes a fountains of stubborn pulsations for a short time, paving the way for a more theatrical structure mounted to let short solos flow in an instrumental din that disintegrates into fine dust of atmospheres. Stuck in an invisible mass and creating a sinuous wave which drifts further than one would like, this dust winds a corridor which is created as the seconds remain in order to swallow its final. Here's a big and heavy Berlin School that we expected more in the universe of Bouvetøya, although the links which unite THE FICTION MAKERS to Geometrium become more tangible as we enter this long sphere of atmospheres which follows the ferocity of Moog Zero Two. Constellations and Oscillations begins this journey towards the sounds of yesteryear with a cosmic panorama filled with bleak wooshh and wiishh zigzagging and twisting in the interstellar void. Fans of Klaus Schulze's cosmic derivations will be delighted by this enormous sound boa winding the plains of Cosmos with sound twists that have matured well in the art of modular. Tones eaten away by white noises infiltrate our ears a little before the organ odes for lonely souls. In a good sound duality between today and yesterday, It's All Done With Mirrors continues to exploit the old electronic sound with breezes of a vintage synth which undulate like the slow movements of Klaus Schulze's Farfisa. A particularly good title with just a little cosmic erosion so as not to break the charm of the modulations and impulses of the vintage years. Late Night Resonance is another ambient title that projects a more sinister vision with sound effects that are quite close to hoarse whispers and other distorted voice effects, not to say flirting with an ambient exorcism. It's quite special, and we listen to other things right after if we are in the middle of the night… with a full moon 😉. Fallout (Nice Weather for Synths) offers a very discreet rhythmic structure that supports the creative madness of the synth and its solos with psychedelic tones of the golden years of EM. And it continues with The LFO Where Your Heart Should Be which features another retro structure with rubbery pulsations as the basis of rhythm, while Farfisa tones are like blurred shadows describing large imperfect oscillating circles that hover and drift in Ashra Temple's vapors. Oh yes, Michael has smoked some excellent grass during the lockdown! In Modular we Trust puts the ambiences upside down. It ends the album like Moog Zero Two started it. But the rhythm needs almost 4 minutes of electronic oxygen before taking a timid take-off with a curt flow, imitating the train of Berlin School whose rolling is embellished of discreet percussive effects. The buzzing streaks give a corrosive appearance by taking on a viciously gnawed respiratory form, like Covid-19 can attack our respiratory system. The rhythm and its reverberating pulsating effect brazenly eat this sinusoidal line which chattering as if it had eaten a sick woodpecker for lunch, while the music pours into a psychedelic phase of the 70's. The always jerky flow offers a beautiful retrospective on the Krautrock the same years when the organ was the centerpiece with a synth whose possibilities we did not yet know but which we explored with a creative eye. The sequencer lacks breath and concedes its rhythm which becomes single-phase. A stoic and sterile rhythm line that disappears in the scented mists of Mellotron, chthonic voices and gothic haze where we hear a sort of bagpipe crumbled his soul in a too long final versus his rhythm for an album mainly ambient intended for lovers of vintage sounds.
As for me, I stayed on my appetite! Mainly because since Machines for Collective Living in 2017, I have the impression that Bouvetøya has taken a road, that I have already taken, without turning on new lights or digging up other avenues. Beautiful and good, but not for me anymore!
Sylvain Lupari (10/01/20) *****
Available at SynGate Bandcamp