“This is a splendid album where the progressive style still remains quite accessible”
1 Evolving Forms 11:47
2 Slow Unfolding of a Hydrometeor 21:12
3 Dance of the Nimbus 11:44
4 Three Movements of a Restless Cumulus 10:53
(CD-R/DDL 55:36) (V.F.)
(Prog EM, TD Jive Years, Berlin School)
Who hasn't watched the clouds transform themselves little by little before their eyes? Rabbits, angels and sometimes even faces! We even find familiar shapes when we observe the slow mutations of these balls or these banks of oxygenated cotton wool. It's these clouds that inspired Colin Rayment's new album. And like in his previous works, the London synthesist offers a very beautiful electronic music album with rhythms changing forms and audacity as the One who draws these wadded forms. And these changing structures demand our attention to all these details that mark the almost 55 minutes of EVOLVING FORMS. Beautiful, muscular, meditative and lyrical, the music proposed in this last album of Colin Rayment is rendered with the influences of Tangerine Dream, the Jive years, where the progressive style still remains quite accessible. Providing even those shivers that make us vibrate by a melodious vision that assails us without warning.
The pulse of a bass falling on a seraphic breeze modifies the behavior of the title-track, at least from its opening a little before the first minute. A veil of reverberations becomes its base where pads, like riffs, of voices are falling in an ambience true to Colin Rayment's influences. A line of arpeggios sways in the torment of circular breezes. It gallops in suspension under waves of woosshh and wiisshh. The synth traces an ambivalent melody that accompanies the circular movement of the sequenced arpeggios towards an ambient rock structured by percussions. These melodies become good solos with a slight nasal tinge as crashing chords add drama to Evolving Forms. Intense and powerful, the beat dissipates into a heavy cloud of reverb some 30 seconds before the 6-minute mark. It's like if we're passing through a huge fog bank into the sound of the void. Percussive elements are waving and tap-dancing on the ground shaking with reverberations. We are around the 9th minute and the keyboard also wakes up to let go of chords oscillating like waves in a finale where without making waves, the rhythm reinstalls again its stationary hold. A sequencer movement emerges from the whistling winds 60 seconds after Slow Unfolding of a Hydrometeor has emerged from silence. A good movement zigzags fluidly under a thin veil of reverberations. Another line is injected, creating a race for amblyopic over a large area. The bass layer supports this rhythm which enters a dark zone almost 4 minutes later. The mellotron chooses this space to let a nebulous melody float. It hides another momentum of the sequencer which meanders under obscure pads and others with a voice effect that reminds us of the Le Parc period. Over the course of a good 10 minutes, this new direction of the rhythm is convoluted. It runs making imperfect circles in a seraphic panorama, signed by the mellotron, with beautiful suave voices and tender arrangements. If we don't dance, our fingers run easily tapping on the arms of our chair as the percussions get in to give more depth to the sequencer that now dribbles its keys. The synth changes tones a few times, extending caresses as warm as luminous whose orchestrations and these chants from heavens pull the hair of our arms to our eyebrows. A very good moment that diminishes its ardor under the fluty tunes of the mellotron. We enter an austere zone around the 16th minute. The mellotron continues to make us dream with tender layers filled with flutes, weaving a web of meditative vibes that percussions support without rhythmic desire, except for a smooth downtempo. A great title which uses its almost 22 minutes without escaping the least second.
Reverberations and high-pitched synth chants open the beautiful Dance of the Nimbus. These chants are like those of a seraphic choir dominated by candid, virginal voices that stretch for 100 seconds before empty and semi-empty bottle tinkling activates a spasmodic rhythm, still under the suave seraphic voices. This cheerless rhythm jiggles with series of spasms under poignant arrangements. Colin Rayment has become a master of our emotions since Slow Unfolding of a Hydrometeor. He is a master in the art of making his music very touching. Masking his ever-progressing rhythms with dramatic arrangements, the English musician-synthesist multiplies his knowledge by always adding an emotional touch getting with crescendo with the evolution of his tracks. Guitar chords trap our ears while the keyboard is in ostinato mode. As soon as the rhythm section becomes more playful, the synth launches melodic lines to make an oceanic rock cry. Three Movements of a Restless Cumulus starts off with guitar notes galloping on its neck and under dense layers of fog more than 2 minutes after its opening. The bass line takes us into a first whirlwind where the rhythm is catchy. The surrounding elements try to slow it down with an ever-increasing haze. The sequencer embarks on top of the uplifting percussions, creating a hyper furious electronic rock that will lack energy after the 5th minute. Our ears wander into a radioactive cosmic vision with sizzling and falling keyboard chords always with that imprint of melodic passages that mark the journey of EVOLVING FORMS. The sequencer structures an ambulant rhythm that undulates between these chords. And, a few seconds later, these elements make symbiosis in a very good choreography where the multiple tinklings of the sequenced arpeggios dance under the misty hhiiisshhh and on a bass line which solidifies another musical dream where the dimensions belong to our visions, to our imagination. Bravo Colin Rayment for this splendid album!
Sylvain Lupari (November 21st, 2021) ****¼*
Available at Colin Rayment Bandcamp