Chronotope Project Gnosis (2021)
Updated: Oct 19
“And so, develops this particular story of our emotions connecting to the music of Gnosis”
1 Higgs Field, Cauldron of Being 7:20
2 Lethe, the River of Forgetfulness 8:53
3 Eidos, Realm of the Forms 10:22
4 The Still Small Voice 6:20
5 Entelechy, Emergent Order 7:47
6 Myth of the Cave 11:36
(CD/DDL 52:17) (V.F.)
(Ambient Berlin School)
A pastel-colored shadow belonging to Erik Wollo's universe crisscrosses an ambient landscape where the lapping of the water belongs to the multiple fairy-tale visions decoded by our neurons. And when the wave drops a sharp sigh, a delicate movement of the sequencer makes the rhythm swing like agile hands imitating the waves on the water. The firmament of Higgs Field, Cauldron of Being is filled with these lines that pile up and intertwine in a sonic magma that goes against the grain of a rhythm that flirts with the German model. The Berlin School! Cymbals that are rubbed with energy bring a rhythmic illusion after the 4 minutes' gate. Agilely dancing drumsticks excite the vigor of this first soundscape of GNOSIS, that a bass line of a cello and percussions lure into a more rock mode. Higgs Field, Cauldron of Being is the first track I've heard from Chronotope Project since Lotus Rising in 2018. It's been almost 3 years since Jeffrey Ericson Allen (JEA) turned off the tap on his musical project that he created in 2012. This is a 10th album for the Oregon musician and a 5th on the American label Spotted Peccary. This new album by JEA is considered a dive into the heart of knowledge and is inspired by the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle, as well as the cosmology of contemporary physics. A strange compartmental synopsis that makes an EM fan like me feel very small in front of so much knowledge. On the other hand, I enjoyed an album with a nice rhythmic versatility of a sequencer that is a partner to various manual percussions. I also liked the great versatility of an album homogeneous by its musical signature, but not in its polyrhythmic choice. I also strongly appreciated the diversity of the Haken Continuum Fingerboard (HCF) synth blasts. And above all I loved this Berlin School influence, in the sequencer as in the simply majestic synth solos. In short, a very nice album where you don't have to be that clever to appreciate. As long as you like the music! 😊
In Lethe, the River of Forgetfulness, Chronotope Project has forgotten a part of its style by flirting with a vision carried by the cello towards the acoustic Jazz. The rhythm rises and falls on the magic of supple fingers torturing it with fine caresses. Hiccups in the minimalist vitality of the rhythm draw this arrhythmic path, structuring the perfect nest to be able to elaborate the romantic breaths of the HCF that carve these fluty winds. Arpeggios dance around, creating a melodious illusion that flirts with the current of the cello. Running through its almost 9 minutes, the rhythm develops a feeling of astral sensuality in a universe of progressive music where the stars open up like musical balls. These magical breaths become sonic arabesques that unravel to form contemplative lines, crisscrossing each other like the graceful movements of atypical dancers on the electronic rhythm of Eidos, Realm of the Forms. Here, the forms belong to the dexterity of Chronotope Project's fingers on the synth to create solos and prismatic tunes on a surprising rhythmic canvas stirred by the sequencer and hand percussions as well as this bass line rendered by the cello. This very good track in GNOSIS follows a rhythmic bend that accentuates the dominance of tribal percussions, while the synth solos invade our ears already overwhelmed by a musical aesthetic proper to Spotted Peccary. If The Still Small Voice doesn't give shivers down your spine, you're already dead...or you're on the wrong site! Over a slow movement of a film music woven from orchestral layers, the Haken Continuum Fingerboard draws the kind of melody of the dead that could compete with the famous Amazin Grace. JAE blows hot and cold texturing a sobering sonic background as the memorial laments become tunes of a sadness to make a nail cry! Great...with a Kleenex in hand.
We haven't heard many drones as a leader of soundscapes so far in GNOSIS. They make a timid appearance in Entelechy, Emergent Order which also features a rhythmic structure delicately drummed by a sequencer and animated by the pulsations of the cello. Limpid chords, sounding like a harp, weave an evasive melody into a sky painted of drones. These drones stick to orchestrations full of absent voices, feeding a soundscape whose initial softness meets a second part clearly more passionate, although still ambient by its contemplative tone. Myth of the Cave is an atonal track with a Tibetan and monasterial ambience where the buzzing winds make bells vibrate. A frightening effect of the piano and of some acoustic chords are there to give a more black and white tone to the ambiences of this track that calmly makes undulate its metallic tonal color of which the reflections bleed the walls of a cellar of its neutralizing powers. So enchanting to flirt with the bottom of its cave, Myth of the Cave reverses its roles by giving a more angelic vitality to drones whose intensity eats up the seconds on its counter in order to cling to this piano and these orchestrations in a cinematographic finale made to give you shivers.
You don't have to like ambient music to enjoy the 6 chapters of GNOSIS. Chronotope Project offers enough diversity that one can get hooked on a track at the first listening, while a second track has already thrown its links of charms. And so, develops this particular story of the connection of our emotions to the music of this album. We just have to hope not to hear another 3 years before we have a Jeffrey Ericson Allen story to put between our ears.
Sylvain Lupari (August 20th, 2021) *****
Available at Spotted Peccary Bandcamp