COLIN RAYMENT: FBR (2019)
Updated: Aug 9, 2019
“FBR proposes a lot, maybe too many, of evolving phases in an album a bit more complex and that isn't the best one from Colin if one wants to tame his univers”
1 Drifting 9:10 2 Echoes from The Past 7:16 3 Future Journey 9:22 4 Interstellar Voices 3:41 5 Interplanetary Train 13:47 6 Orbital Manoeuvre 6:56
7 Twilight Thaw 9:32
Inspired by the fascinating Fast Radio Bursts, FBR is another sound excursion in the boundaries of the knowledge's secret of other universes than ours. Although expectations get increase from album to album, Colin Rayment will not disappoint his public with an album which combines his cosmic ambiances to some ephemeral rhythms that are constantly changing. If the charm effect for the first 3 titles is constant, we get lost a little in the long Interplanetary Train. Focusing on an approach where his rhythms are fragmented in panoramas of atmospheres which get embellish at the touch of known electronic effects but especially at tones of a synth from which it arias are tickling the fibers of our emotions, the English synthesist offers with this new album some evolutionary approaches which flirt with a more complex vision. The sound signature is sharper, more accurate with headphones than with speakers, facilitating so the learning of evolutions inside titles where are hiding very good moments of EM. Synth lava are transforming in the oblivion, bringing distant tones to create an intergalactic atmosphere where sinister ululations melt into synth layers crowned of the tones from a sinister organ. These slowly propel the music that drifts with an astral intensity, woven by the multiplicity of these layers, towards a first oasis of serenity. The winds are out of steam and the tonal mass loses its vitality. The synth weaves there then a delicate morphic melody moaning with its approach blown in the glass and which clings to the pulsating race of the sequencer. Drifting puts its weight on this movement on which get graft some good percussive effects and slamming percussions, like a Jean-Michel Jarre technoïd vision, on a background of mists and electronic effects. This solid electronic rock would not have as many charms without this melody that gives chills with its air always a little higher whistled by a synth in melancholy mode. If this melody haunts us, it's nothing compared to the one that nests on Echoes from The Past! Woven in the breaths of a synth in mode Drifting and in a string of arpeggios shimmering in the glare of a burning sun, it mystifies the listening to take off on a rhythm that flows lazily. The rhythm is less lively than in the previous title and oblique towards a long ambio-cosmic phase which deviates at its turn towards a cinematographic approach. Its evolution between these different spheres and the transitional impetus of the melody are going always with a fluidity that mystifies the listening. There is still room to be charmed again with Future Journey which is a little in the same mold with an ambient opening where riffs and chords (keyboards/guitars?) are fluttering slowly. The sequencer has hidden a movement behind this veil of sound that hops in limping into a static tonal mass rich in effects and in heterogeneous tones. This phase of rhythm dies quite quickly in a buffer zone filled of whoosh and of copious winds full of dust. A rhythm element breathes alone but evaporates just as quickly. It's a little after the 4th minutes that the rhythm takes again a new form which is more violent with sequences that vibrate nervously on the spot and percussions, in avalanche mode for rock, which are running under songs of synth with tones and harmonies always so penetrable inward the soul. This rather special tone of the synthesizer reveals all its potential in the very ambient Interstellar Voices. Interplanetary Train can unstitches the envy of some curious by proposing too many mutations of phases of ambiences and rhythms inside a structure that struggles to reach its 14 minutes. Sighs and elongated riffs of a Tangerine Dream genre adorn the introduction that shakes its moods with the repeated blows of percussive elements. I heard murmurs, but did I dream? A fascinating industrial pulsation gurgles in this panorama filled of dark waves and of voices absent. This mesh of percussive elements and of pulsations forges a fascinating static approach which deviates towards an ambient phase whose dreamlike aspect is drawn from a mini concerto for seraphic and cosmic waves. A slow tempo emerges around the 5 minutes. Embellished by cymbal noises and Berber voices, the rhythm begins with a slow takeoff to drift in an ocean of rattlings and of synth lines weavers of seraphic chants. Guitar chords get scatter on this bed of elusive melody while that gently, Interplanetary Train changes of skin again, flirting between psybient and tribal ambient while preserving this melodious seal which goes and returns without ever binding its thread, nor of its emotional sentence which lost itself in these too many changes. Orbital Maneuver is well in the tone. The introduction proposes a series of jerky sequences and percussive rattlings, I hear riffs of Silvers Scale, which drifts gently in a large zigzagging movement. Riffs of keyboards throw a very Tangerine Dream melodic aura in this sustained structure that will offer us some good synth solos in its finale. A good title in FBR. Twilight Thaw takes its rhythmic flight after an introduction full of electronic effects and of synth chords without structure. The effect molds these illusions of sound hoops that crumble in contact of each other. A line of sequencer makes bounce its keys which rise in intensity, as the moods gradually turn into a rhythmic gallop charmed by acoustic guitar chords and a layer of nymphet voices. A little passage of ambiant elements, and the rhythm shakes its delicate cascades in a more muffled approach, concluding FBR in the vision, and rhythmic and melodic, of Colin Rayment. I have sort of mixed feelings with this new album from Colin Rayment. If its melodious signature gives us the thrill here and there, the many mutations inside each title, except for 2, throw a little black ink on the bluish writing of the English musician/synthesist. But nothing is lost because there is a big 40 minutes of very good EM in this album where the strokes of genius, without being numerous, are present, just like those moments that whistle chills in the soul!
Sylvain Lupari (April 10th, 2019) *****
Available at SynGate's Bandcamp