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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Christian Fiesel A Life in a Dream (2021)

Updated: Jan 19, 2023

A realm of EM for curious ears that are intimately linked to a brain with imagination

1 To Hail a Distant Master 6:25

2 Replacement 7:47

3 Played Like a Puppet 4:09

4 A Cure Against a Cure 7:09

5 Delayed Return 4:23

6 Man in the Ice Desert 5:18

7 Why Give the People to the Fire? 1:10

8 Absolute Isolation 4:54

9 In Circles (The Other Me) 3:03

10 The Planet of Improbabilities 6:20

11 Acoustic Trap 13:07

(DDL 63:50) (V.F.)

(Dark Ambient Movie Themes EM)

Christian Fiesel is another artist who had an interesting 2021 year. Follow Me South was the perfect type of album to tame his world of film music to never have been made. The Trittau musician ends the year strong with an album on Cyclical Dreams and this one on the independent label Aura Films. A LIFE IN A DREAM is a collection of 11 tracks that are influenced by short stories by old guard science fiction and horror writers. From Isaac Asimov to Ray Bradbury, and of course James Blish (The Box). Available only as a download, this new album by Christian remains in the realm of music for curious ears that are intimately linked to a brain with film reels, or dreams, well anchored in the imagination. For we are here at the limits of everything is possible!

Percussive effects and a stationary slalom of the synth pads are at the origin of To Hail a Distant Master. The structure remains suspended, even with the dark orchestrations playing violins and cellos in an ambience that flirts with a cosmic evidence. I love the slow staccatos that sculpt these slow-motion runs through the dark corridors of our dreams. Arpeggios appear around the 2nd minute and their hesitant musicality transforms the ambiences of To Hail a Distant Master from start to finish, which become a bit disordered when a shadow of bass invades the music. After a period of lull, where everything becomes serene for a few moments, the track falls back into its universe of latent madness. These are arrhythmic tinklings that initiate the structure of Replacement. Other tinklings having the appearance of keys spinning in circles infiltrate the introductory ambiences which in the end will become the main structure of the title. The tones of the keys, as well as of what sound like bells, are as varied as those that dance without rhythmic direction on a mass of buzzing drones. Floating pads like drying vapors wander through this fascinating universe whose guide seems to be a bass and its chords with a sinister harmonic vision. Played Like a Puppet offers a bouncing structure of its bass pulsations whose desire to guide a rhythm is done by hesitation in a gloomy atmosphere that is woven by sighs of philharmonic string instruments. Delayed Return offers a similar style, but more rhythmic, with intense orchestrations that float like altocumulus about to evaporate. Filled with haze and undulating sound waves, A Cure Against a Cure is like an exploration into an electricity-free realm where the colors of ectoplasms cast acetate shadows throughout its evolution. A black and white track with a gloomy tint.

Like many movies we shoot in our heads, sometimes our imagination deviates towards the improbable. In this case, a music like the one that guides Man in the Ice Desert is the best to dress up these inane scenarios. Diphonic music with a touch of artistic freedom😊. Why Give the People to the Fire? is a short track lying on aggressive organ pads whose jerks form a continuous rhythm gliding by jolts. Absolute Isolation is a more accessible track. It's a kind of floating ballad where the emotion transpires behind each chord that melts in the birth of the following. Ambient, poignant and poetic! No matter what album we discover, we always find one or two tracks that screw our interest to our headphones. In Circles (The Other Me) is one of them. Apart from the vibrant tinklings of its opening, the music follows the beat of its heart which palpitates irregularly under a veil of orchestrations zig-zagging in a sky where tinkle harmoniously glass arpeggios. Let's just say that this track and Absolute Isolation open another door in the universe of A LIFE IN A DREAM. Even with its slow pulsations, The Planet of Improbabilities remains a rather difficult track to tame. Its tonal texture certainly deviates towards the improbable with a series of arrhythmic beats that lie on top of the more circadian ones of its main backbone. The orchestrations feed the tortuous path of the ambiences of this track that required me a few listens. Acoustic Trap is a long ambient track that shares its moaning layers over another texture filled with harmonic tinkles. Its last third is simply magical with a seraphic voice that comes out of nowhere and defines quite well the visions of another album that is not afraid of its audacity. Intriguing, disturbing and certainly lyrical! A really good album from Christian Fiesel.

Sylvain Lupari (December 16th, 2021) ***½**

Available at Aura Films Bandcamp

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