COLIN RAYMENT: Igneous (2020)
“The main strength of this Igneous is to have its own sound texture that gave us chills all the way its 60 minutes”
1 Traversing the Change 10:12
2 Formation of Obsidian 21:13
3 Crystalline 5:45
4 Rapparee Cove 12:06
5 Skimming Time 10:21
(CD-R/DDL 59:40) (V.F.)
A track progressing with infinite tenderness, Traversing the Change wastes no time! After an ambient opening dodged in a snap of the fingers, the rhythm imposes a frail and nervous presence with an agitation of sequences and percussions as light as tap dancing. A bass line picks up these rhythmic assets to make them disappear in a fluid movement as stormy as chaotic. Blowing the hot and the cold, Colin Rayment warms up his elements well. Percussive gas effects are a seductive proof, as Traversing the Change undertakes its 3rd turn for an always heavy electronic rock. A floating New Berlin School but more catchy, both for the fingers tapping our thighs and our ears attached to these percussive effects which have become the backbone of Traversing the Change. Apart from a few chloroform layers, the synth grafts its harmonies late with a timid presence which also develops after the 3rd mutation. Following the oblong curve of the rhythm, it extends its whines like this superb cosmic melody around the 6th minute. Subdividing its presence, the synth blows very beautiful ambient solos like it shapes harmonic phases that lead us to crack on the spot when this opening title to IGNEOUS undertakes its 4th mutation a little before the 8th minute when Traversing the Change will throne in master in our ears. WoW!!! Quite a start! I missed my date with Colin's music last year with the excellent Transitional States! There was no way I would miss this one which presents a slightly more complex EM and certainly still just as captivating. It was during a family trip to Jurassic Beach in Devonshire County, in UK, that Colin and his daughters were stunned by the igneous rocks. These metamorphic rocks with a thousand designs and so many visual interpretations are the heart of IGNEOUS. Well installed with headphones, the effect is not the same without it, we hear, as one can imagine, the musical forms melt into filaments to infiltrate other forms and thus subtly modify the course of Colin's last opus. At this level, Formation of Obsidian joins the effects of seizure when a rock feels invaded by the fluids of another rock substance. The opening-track too! But the title which corresponds image for image to the concept of this album is Rapparee Cove. By far, the most beautiful EM hymn I have heard in 2020!
Formation of Obsidian is a long evolving title which begins with chimes ringing in a mythical sound fauna. Its luminous strands are replaced by voices of lonely goddesses where the listener is constantly torn by the mystical side of the ambiences, like the darker ones that guides us towards a good electronic rock. The rhythm is heavy and structured on a mesh of pulsations and sequences, of which the nervous textures are intertwined, and percussions which are the main guides. A first melodious portion is assumed by an ethereal acoustic guitar which is replaced by streaks of spectral voices. We arrive at a bridge around the 9th minute. The arpeggios sparkle there while the sequenced pulsations fade away. Voices, that sound familiars to me, and electronic effects are nestling in this area where our ears are on the lookout for possible sound manifestations. Effects and voices are the main elements here. But it's a calm, casts by a silent synth shadow where nervous pulsations start to gather. The rhythm is reborn with harmonic loops which are pierced by newborn arpeggios scintillating of delicacy. The structure in place is like a rhythmic lasso that a giant spins, seeking a grip to hang on. And a few seconds before the 13th minute, guitar riffs give the percussion a go to structure a deliciously unbalanced rhythm which is the lair of a guitar and its solos moaning among these intergalactic mermaids' chants. The synth also adds its solos to it at the same time as a new rhythmic element, shamanic this time, puts the pendulums in suspensions so that solos and suave voices are bewitching us a little more in a finale a little that Colin stretches a bit too long.
Crystalline seems to offer us the remnants of Formation of Obsidian with a piano that collects those strange sighs of seraphic voices which, finally, make me think of A Soapbox Opera by Supertramp. There are times when they give chills, like here. Divided into two segments, Crystalline plunges into a sweet madness a little after the 2 minutes. A shamanic voice remains linked to its rhythmic evolution which drinks of the first part, solos not included, of this long title that I would have cut down by a good 3 minutes. But in the end Crystalline is the ideal title to bring us to Rapparee Cove which is a superb title offering an unexpected balance between everything that surrounds it. Its overture is imprinted with romantic and dramatic essences of France's cosmic music style. There are fragrances of Thierry Fervant that are filling this introduction sewn in an intensity that will go amplifying. Listening to its progression makes us hear superb percussive and spectral effects with the moans of a synth which has stolen the Martenot waves for a rhythmic ride tied around this texture sequences/bass-pulsations. These moans take possession of the voices to give us goosebumps for long seconds. In fact, everything is designed in Rapparee Cove to stamp us chills throughout its course that literally sawed my legs in its final stretch. Title for title, it’s one of the best that I’ve heard this year. A big fan of Tangerine Dream' Schmoelling years, Colin Rayment succeeded in bringing his influences into IGNEOUS without them appearing… Except for Skimming Time which comes out of the nest with fragrances of Logos Part 2 all around it. Its slow progression is fed by these zigzagging chords in mysticism before clinging to this fascinating texture of stationary rhythm which only lacks percussions.
The main strength of this IGNEOUS is to have its own sound texture. We forget the too obvious parallelism in the opening of Skimming Time to focus on the other 55 minutes of this album filled with vocal filaments, representing those organic fluids that invade a hard body, and which are sources of chills and emotions when paired to constantly moving rhythms. An excellent album that will captivate you for I don't know how long, but for a long way!
Sylvain Lupari (December 11th, 2020) ****½*
Available at SynGate Bandcamp