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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

COLIN RAYMENT: Abstract Dimensions (2015)

Updated: Dec 11, 2020

“With a remarkable sound structure, Abstract Dimensions is a very intense musical journey into minds set to challenge the ideas behind each name of the track”

1 Skyward Euphoria 8:21 2 Mortal Angels Descend in Erebos 12:18 3 Monterosa in the Clouds 7:34 4 Nautical Almanac 8:45 5 Dreaming of the Empirical Journey 8:46 6 Navigation of a Helix 16:26 7 The Sadness of Tales 6:46 SynGate Records ‎| CD-R CR01

(CD-r/DDL 68:56) (V.F.) (New Berlin School, cinematographic soundscapes)

When Ron Boots talks loud and clear about the quality of an album, we inevitably have to be alert. After all the Big boss de Groove has an excellent ear to sense the potential of an album or an artist. His laudatory comments on the music of Skoulaman and of the Baltes/Erbe duo lead me to be interested in the Dreaming of the Future Reflecting the Past (there are a lot of similarities between both artist's sounds)  and the S-thetic² albums. His positive comments towards ABSTRACT DIMENSIONS thus have me intrigue even more, considering the quality of the EM produced by the SynGate label. Sounds! Sculpting sounds to make a symphony based on perceptions. It's the basis of ABSTRACT DIMENSIONS, the latest opus, and the very first on the German label, of Colin Rayment; a sound sculptor and synth wizard from England. Him who has already 5 albums to his credit proposes an audacious project which asks for a inmost interaction between his music and the imagination of the listener. And every impression, even if guided by the choice of the titles, stays very personal. Both for Colin Rayment and for the one who tries to cajole those soundscapes which are endowed with a very stylized sound aestheticism. As long as I needed some listening to get acquainted with a sound universe which has quietly unstitched the pieces of my uncertainty. And I owe assure you that the discovery of this ABSTRACT DIMENSIONS was stimulated by sound elements and structures which became more and more attractive, of title titular, from minute to minute. The journey begins with Skyward Euphoria. To guide well the listener inside his visions, Colin Rayment explains that the music piece reflects his visions from a footage of a journey made in a car in the North of France. The music follows the evolution of the journey, its passages under bridges and viaducts where the firmament is in perpetual movement. And I have to admit you that with a little of imagination, we are inside the car. The structure of rhythm is pulsating. It gets rid of synth lines in the azure colors of the introduction in order to sculpt a rhythm which skips on the spot. The debit is fluid and structures these forms of ambient rhythms where the head dances more than feet. Clouds of mists add an aura of mysticism and the synth whistles draw lines which swirl as inverted spirals, trying more to float than to fall. The rhythm unties other sequenced keys which skip in the back of others, polishing up a line of rhythm subdivided by an evanescent flow which is faster than the leading line. The sound esthetics is more than enchanter. The synth, very present, multiplies its assets with dark breezes which sing on a field of sequences of which the keys stir like wheat on the influence of the winds. But that can be as well the opposite. Sequences can also create this illusion to see clouds scrolled under viaducts according to the speed of the vehicle. But no matter, Skyward Euphoria makes a damned of a good impression when we begin the adventure of ABSTRACT DIMENSIONS. I say that because Mortal Angels Descend in Erebos is clearly more asking for our creativity. Even if the tandem of the lines of sequences loaded of contrary jumps are still very present. Very nostalgic chords, voices pads, dark and dramatic pulsations as well as a very pensive piano lead us where wants Colin Rayment. This piano, clouded with melancholic dreams, is walking in corridors of mortuary atmospheres, drawing a circular melody which resists to the assaults of the more and more insistent sequences. If the rhythm bangs constantly near to the dreams of Mortal Angels Descend in Erebos, it stays resolutely so ambient like the spirit behind the title. An intense track which offers beautiful variations in its structures where the rhythm waves softly in the sibylline singings of the synths. The electronic percussions which arrive are fast smothered by the very astral synth waves, preserving thus the rights of Mortal Angels Descend in Erebos for its more ambiospherical structure, even if these last moments swarm with a structure a bit more nervous. The duel between these oniric ambiences and this passive structure of rhythm which insists just enough to be desired is of a fascinating attraction in the course of the listening. There are movements of sequences which quaver and which quiver constantly inside this pattern of quiet rhythm which in the end is very mesmerizing. I insist on the sound esthetics of Colin Rayment. Here he manipulates the atmospheres with beautiful dramatic effects, with twists of synth which refuse to take forms and with mists which hum and which have only of coldness its silvery colors. This is a track which is difficult to encircle but which makes quietly the path between our ears. Loud and clear in your room and this is heaven! You know my romantic side? With its fragile chords which seem to be falling like angels' tears from the clouds, Monterosa in the Clouds has hit my soul like a ton of bricks. On the first listening! It's a wonderful ballad with a semi-fast rhythm which is forged in the quavering of sequences always guardians of ambient rhythms. Bass pulsations guide the dance while the melodic aspect is assured by chords which borrow clothes of guitar and piano. These chords, like the mists and slender scarlet lines, are swirling and spinning in a sonic mass which becomes more and more dense and intense, as well as in this pattern of quavering sequences of which the panting weaves a weft of passion. It's a great track. I had a crush for it right away. Here, as with the beautiful ballad which is The Sadness of Tales where my memories brought me back at these days of Tangerine Dream's Le Parc and Underwater Sunlight. Each of the introductions of ABSTRACT DIMENSIONS are weaved in very dreamlike cinematographic backgrounds. The most beautiful one goes doubtless to Nautical Almanac which gets rid of sonic clouds with a lively and galloping rhythm. A nervous rhythm which is pecked by sequences and juicy pulsations. The flow remains fragile. And if the sequences reach good swiftness peaks, the structure of rhythm zigzags melodiously as in the beautiful years of Edgar Froese in order to homogenize its debit with the iridescent singings of the synths and the solitary harmonies of the keyboard. It's good and rather catchy. Dreaming of the Empirical Journey presents a more intense approach with beautiful implosions from lines of bass sequences which rage in the clinking brightness of some very timid arpeggios. After a slow intro painted of mysticism, the sequences make the swell and stamp like a herd of keys in madness which tries to avoid the bites of keyboard riffs. After this brief rhythmic incursion, Dreaming of the Empirical Journey is hiding in an ambient finale where voices caress the abstruse phases fed by these implosions of bass sequences. A finale which finds its echoes in the introduction of Navigation of a Helix where resonant synth waves, like the fires of Orion, and ethereal voices with surrealist timbres decorate its opening. Onsets of evanescent rhythm eventually end by bloom in a homogeneous structure which will remain all the same rather passive. The tears of synth and the warmth of the sequences curve, always full of nuances, are in the heart of the charms of this long ambiospherical track which bickers constantly against starts of cosmic rhythms which get more and more threatening. The sound effects and the beautiful arrangements divert a possible intrusion of an effect of length. Let's say that it's the kind of track which needs more than one listening, I needed 2 or 3, before being charmed by its evolution. Just like the rest of this album, except for one or two tracks, which is a real gold mine for the ears. ABSTRACT DIMENSIONS is a very intense musical journey into minds set to challenge the ideas behind each name of the track. But if you are reluctant to such an exercise, just keep in mind that the music is simply great. We are not really far from the Berlin School style without being there really. We are in Colin Rayment's mind! Sylvain Lupari (September 14th, 2015) ****½*

Available at SynGate's Bandcamp

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