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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

CHRIS RUSSELL: Labyrinth (2017)

“This is quiet music drived by soft and slow moving synth washes”

1 The Beginnings 7:49 2 Life's Journey 7:52 3 Dream Fragments 6:22 4 In the Maze 6:25 5 Lunation 9:26 6 The Vision 8:48 Spotted Peccary | SPM-3501

(DDL 46:42) (V.F.) (Deep ambient music)

Spotted Peccary widens its horizons with albums, a little more complex like the one of concrete music from Mystified (Morning City) or this very ambient album from Chris Russell, LABYRINTH, offer only in a downloadable format on SP Bandcamp. This is the very first album from the American musician, who does in the deep relaxation albums, on the American label. I have already heard the music of Chris Russell, who has a dozen albums of made, with Phillip Wilkerson on the very ambient album Vague Traces, also released on Spotted Peccary in 2014. And the least that we can say, Chris Russell is more than comfortable with long winged structures which move in slow motion in a musical universe centered on the quest of oneself. It's moreover in these terms that he qualifies his music; a soundtrack to circling our inner mind!

A slow layer arises from the void in order to float over our head. Between perfumes of serenity and those a little more deeply touching from the calm drones, The Beginnings undertakes this journey inside our labyrinth of emotions. Two to three synth lines extend like ink clouds over a blotting paper, releasing the beginnings of an opposition, of a contrast, between blue and black and whose fusion depicts the depth of our feelings. Sometimes sibylline, sometimes dreamy and sometimes moving, the music of The Beginnings acts as a front door towards a session of Meta meditation, provided that we accept Chris Russell's invitation. Because here the ambient music is very Zen. If layers of a darker, of a deeper nature, like those with scents of organ in Life's Journey, or more occult, like in the long Lunation, are springing here and there, the music of LABYRINTH inhales a peace of mind which would have made the delights of the lovers of the New Age in the 80' and 90's. Especially when we add to it the crackling of a paradisiac fire, Dream Fragments, which dances under our eyes and sparkles in our ears on an unaccompanied evening on the edge of a lake. With a little of imagination, and a wish to feel it, we can even inhale the smell of the water. In the Maze is an ode to serenity with these layers built around translucent tints which espouse a course of clouds under azure winds. If there are essences of Steve Roach's desert atmospheres all over this album it's in titles such as In the Maze and very quiet The Vision whom they are the most noticeable.

Not really my genre, I let myself embrace the void with the music of LABYRINTH. If I was never capable of embracing it, I, on the other hand, have discovered an artist as seducing as Steve Roach when he carries me near the doors to the sleep. It's in my iPod, section night music!

Sylvain Lupari (April 20th, 2017) *****

Available at Spotted Peccary

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