top of page
  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Carbon Based Lifeforms Interloper (2010)

Updated: Dec 20, 2022

Interloper is a little masterpiece which makes the bridge between Electronica and EM...

1 Interloper 6:00 2 Right Where It Ends 6:49 3 Central Plain 7:12 4 Supersede 8:00 5 Init 7:27 6 Euphotic 7:18 7 Frog 7:20 8 M :28 9 20 Minutes 7:26 10 Polyrytmi 8:44

(CD/DDL 71:44) (V.F.)

(Psybient, Electronica, EM)

There are albums that mark time and revive delicious souvenirs of a misty youth, INTERLOPER is one of those. It's been a while that I heard about Carbon Based Lifeforms. In the circle of alternative EM, one praises this rich ambient music where mesmerizing and lascivious beats are pointing in a somber spectral atmosphere with a rich sound fauna stuffed of inviting paradoxes. And it's true! Carbon Based Lifeforms' INTERLOPER had a bomb effect, in the same way as Free System Project's Impluse, on me. It's a truly masterpiece that has passed unnoticed in the spheres of EM, but not in the shady world of Electronica. And nevertheless, the music of Johannes Hedberg and Daniel Segerstad navigates with ease between both styles, dropping out at passages some superb melodies and ambiances as angelic as devilish that are wrapped by a strange radioactive aura.

Stood firm on an enchanting rotating structure, Interloper plunges us into the authentic atmospheres of the Swedish duet 3rd opus. Fine arpeggios dance there. Such as Elfish dragonflies they flutter and flit around and their wings colliding on a syncopated sequential lines and iridescent spectral streaks to form a dark psychotic musical carousel which zigzag around hesitating riffs. Percussions fall and their curt strikes, allied to the muffled pulsations of a bass line, are feeding a suave down-tempo which bends the spine beneath superb glaucous and attractive musical effects. Between a sedentary rhythm and a nomad atmosphere, Interloper is flooded by a fine mixture of unreal vocals and metallic streaks. These are sound elements that are at the doors of a paranormal delirium and which are legions on this album. Here on the title-track they crisscross themselves in this lascivious temporal dance where iridescent laments and evanescent harmonies float between the cerebral and the sensual. Right Where It Ends moves on immediately and skips on the quite fresh rhythmic imprints of INTERLOPER. The tempo is much heavier here. It is hammered by more massive and compact percussions while the bass throws chords which gallop in rotary circles, forming a heavy down-tempo of which wide oscillatory loops step over radioactive clouds of some electric tones. The parallel universe of Right Where It Ends floods our ears of an impressive sound cocktail where metallic hoops and streaked reverberations collide and merge around veiled whispers reciting forbidden psalms. Central Plain throws a musical canvas mounted over a sequential bed of which the rhythmic balls are free of any synchronism and wave with a furious apocalyptic fervour. The rhythm being overall not totally formed, arpeggios follow each other in a strange frenzied pattern. They team up with bottle-pills effects and solid percussions that lead the music towards a lively wavy-like rhythm, divided up by a jerky approach where lies a voice and its ethereal laments. If its intro is rather ambient, with sinuous and mysterious reverberations, Supersede offers a wonderful melody that is outlined insidiously within its astral waves. A melody forged in a wonderful synthesized refrain that takes root shyly and that releases itself from the weight of its percussions to come freely into its second sight. This is a catchy track whose monotonous chant haunts constantly and even much later after having savoured all of its hidden recesses. Init plunges us into Carbon Based Lifeforms' ambient spheres. The intro stuffs oneself of white noises and uranium cracklings, whereas an innocent fluty voice is piercing its reverb waves. This is a slow title filled with hesitating glass arpeggios which modulate fragments of a melody refusing to shout out its life. Slowly the tempo takes a vague ambient shape under the implosions of a bass line which builds its ramifications around oscillations of a synth with sinuous black winds. The percussions may fall; they only move ashes and souvenirs of a formerly fertile universe. They shape a slow rhythm and wake an outfit of sound effects that frighten these some fragments of melodies, roaming such as poltergeists on a dry earth where sadness and dusts of lives are cementing machines of spectres. It's as much beautiful as it can be tenebrous! And it's immensely beautiful.

Euphotic follows the ochred winds of Init. Muffled oscillations emerge from this nothingness of lead tones and forge a mesmerizing lascivious movement which rushes into the celestial breaths of an astral nymph voice. INTERLOPER then becomes dark and ambient, looking for its melodies and rhythms among its iodized breaths, what allows Frog and its tones of xylophone to sparkle and to create a melody suspended between rhythm and lifelessness, between pleasure and agony. An unfinished melody where the iridescent strata tear up the atmospheres and spin in a strange crystal ballet, like a rhythm deprived of concrete form but adorned by a superb fusion of voices and silvered laments that spark such as diamonds in the lyrical dusts of its intro. Sublime, M pushes us even more into the dark atmospheres and rhythms of INTERLOPER. If the intro floats in an acoustic oblivion, the tempo wakes up and rebels from its lifelessness with strikings of percussions which resound and shake this temple of ambient anarchy, pushing M towards a powerful dramatic crescendo. And Carbon Based Lifeforms doesn't stop to amaze. While we thought that we reach the zenith, 20 minutes puts into our ears a superb meditative approach. Out of its cosmic intro, we feel a melodious line forming. She pierces the dense cerebral breezes and waves pleasantly, freeing fragmented chords which converge quietly and bursts on a heavy and slow tempo, filled of harmonious winds and breaths as well as melodious notes. It's a great title that will accompany me for several sleeps and beyond. Polyrytmi concludes this amazing musical odyssey with a livelier track. It's a cheerful title where the synth breaths are put into verse with the fluty melodies of mythical centaurs as the rhythm prostrates itself behind a beautiful polyrhythmic approach which recalls the thoughtful sequences of Steve Roach's universe. This last title of INTERLOPER progresses with a wonderful crescendo where percussions and synths converge on a slow and heavy rhythm which is knocked down by gigantic synth billows.

I was knocked out by Carbon Based Lifeforms' INTERLOPER. It's a great CD that makes the bridge between Electronica and EM such as fans of Berlin School and of progressive ambient. It's a powerful album where the vibes are torrid and sometimes dramatic, where the range of sound effects exceed the most creative imaginations and where the suave down-tempo draws exotic landscapes on the backgrounds of a land abandoned and ravaged by nuclear winds. To date, it's my perfect match between psybient and EM that I'm used to listen.

Sylvain Lupari (November 15th, 2011) ****½*

Available on Carbon Based Lifeforms' Bandcamp

623 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page