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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

CODE INDIGO: MELTdown (2013)

Updated: Jul 12, 2020

Without being hard-hitting, MELTdown is another small wonder from Code Indigo that speaks to us, sings to us and enchants us

1 Welcome to the Asylum 5:01

2 Meltdown 4:48

3 City of Fools 2:00

4 Costing the Earth 3:28

5 Eco-Nomic 4:31

6 Information Cascade 6:15

7 Keep Taking the Pills 8:26

8 Black Gold 2:03

9 ID Code 9:00

10 Carbon 2:55

11 In the Dark 5:30

12 The Men who Crashed the World 7:33

13 Bail Out 3:53

14 Bankers in Wonderland 3:55

15 Greed in the Bubble 3:21

16 Bonus Culture 3:23

(CD/DDL 76:04) (V.F.)

(Progressive EM, E-Rock, Synth-Pop)

After an absence of more than 7 years, Code Indigo makes a strong comeback with a solid album which allies ethereal progressive rock to melodic EM. MELTdown is a delicious concept album which denounces white collar bandits and their economic crimes. There are lots of noises and background ambiences in this finely polished album, indeed, the atmospherics remind us of Pink Floyd with voices and brief commentaries of current events weaving within rhythms and ambience. The music, and its musical themes, bewitches us, both by a delicate harmonious approach and the constant progression of its rhythms splendidly content. Code Indigo forges a musical story that conjures up an image of the failure of society and the financial sharks in suits. Beyond its story, MELTdown is the result of a strong musical consortium where David Wright, Dave Massey, Neil Fellowes, Nigel Turner-Heffer and Dave Bareford charm as much as they amaze with an album which seems as timeless as the talent of its authors.

Winds, squeakings of blue metal, rustles and jerky ringings scrolling with hesitation, herald the opening Welcome to the Asylum which widens its five minutes in an asylum where the noises and spectral winds feed constantly a climate of paranoia. We are easily hearing the lost arpeggios which ring in an ill-assorted harmony, where tears of synths kiss the emptiness. They evaporate to make room the chords of a piano with a vague melody that hangs onto the elytrons of cymbals in order to merge into the soft rhythm of the title-track. Arched on a bass line, from which the chords are cooing in a soft undulatory shape, on sober percussions and synth lines with crisscrossed tremolos, Meltdown seizes our ears with a superb guitar which draws a haunting and melodious riff. The rhythm is fluid. Not aggressive, it sits astride a sonic valley, being escorted by azure winds hiding suspicious lamentations, by eroded floating hoops as well as by lines of guitars and synth with moods torn between soft, progressive and ethereal e-rock. Then it buries itself in the lost ambiences of City of Fools and of voices tinted with scorn which curse to the black winds and the spectral lamentations of floating guitars before being reborn out of its ambiences with Costing the Earth. The track evolves into Eco-Nomic and the rhythm softens into sequences which flicker in a static sphere where guitars and synth are exchanging harmonies through some suave morphic solos. The rhythm takes back its vigour to put down its last chords in the organic intro of Information Cascade. The big wealth of this album is its sound depth! There is no weak spot over the 76 minutes which fill this latest magical opus from Code Indigo. And this intro of Information Cascade is a perfect example. With the gurgling, cascading noises that fills the veils of ether and then the tears of violins waltzing beneath a thick cloud of pulsations of which the beatings forge a pounding rhythm, Information Cascades pulls us between its dynamic rhythms and the tetanizing moods to conclude the MELTdown' first part.

Even if the rhythm is pulsating, Keep Taking the Pills reveals its soft harmonic veil with a melancholic piano whose relaxing notes fly through the breath of a lunar saxophone. A duel takes shape between the guitar and the piano where the music witnesses an ambience of morphic jazz on a rebellious rhythmic structure that is kept harmoniously well tamed. With sparkling arpeggios which cavort with innocence to join the chords of a guitar weaving through an embryonic rhythm, Black Gold surfs on a line of blue vapor, establishing the link between the atmospheres of Keep Taking the Pills and the incisive rhythm of ID Code. Strong percussions and sequence lines are crisscrossed and flutter to shape the structure of an edgy rhythm where the guitars treat our ears to solos sculptured in harmonious rock. Angels with crystal breaths and synth with seraphic strata take this rhythm into an ethereal universe, giving the final part of ID Code with its more hammered rhythm and chords under anvil tones of solos and melodic synths spread out their vampiric veils in the edgy harmonies and solos of guitars, sculpturing MELTdown's 2nd musical part.

The further forward we move into MELTdown the more it wraps us in its aura of melodious and ethereal splendour. On the soft harmonious tones of a keyboard and its keys of gentle glass tone, Carbon hints at some leftover rhythms under the cover of its mislaid voices which come back to denounce constantly the power of the economic world. The mood becomes dark and we fall in the airs of In the Dark and its lugubrious synth line which groans over an organ like fine rain. Guttural rustlings threaten this fragile balance between despair and its antagonist when angelic voices rise and chase away the agonies. Leaning on a line of a slightly humming bass, a soft guitar joins these oracles of silvered voices and morphing solos which cry out in the tranquility of a track which frees itself in the cosmic waves of a seraphic finale. And then The Men who Crashed the World falls on our ears like a cosmic blues. Drinking in all the sonic elements which fill the mixed ambiences of MELTdown, this guitar navigates on a deep and increasing rhythm to be swallowed by a synth and its mystic solos. There follows a harmonious duel where the two main musical entities of MELTdown are trading their moods and harmonies in a superb morphic blues. Bail Out follows with a nervous rhythm where the pulsations and the metallic ringings forge a tempo which bubbles without ever bursting. And this melody, embroidered in a fusion of guitars and synths, forges the last part of MELTdown which crosses the increasing rhythms of Bankers in Wonderland and Greed in the Bubble to end in the soft atmospheres of Bonus Culture, where footsteps fade out behind a door which slams violently.

In spite of an absence of more than 7 years and a new line-up with only David Wright remaining from the original band, Code Indigo has not decayed. Without being hard-hitting or aggressive, MELTdown possesses the harmonious colours of its composers. It's an album which transports us constantly over the course of its soft rhythms and bewitching melodies to a musical universe embroidered with imagination that respects the vast musical experiences of the members of this mythical English EM band. It's not just well done; it's extremely well done. And it speaks to us, it sings to us and it enchants us.

Sylvain Lupari (March 29th, 2013) *****

Available at AD Music

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