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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

CONNECTING SILENCE: Message of Stillness (2019)

Here's an album that has as much audacity as charms


1 Inside the Willow Circle 5:02

2 Horizon Passage 9:24

3 Inside the Fear Factory 8:23

4 Mother, Are You There? 7:12

5 Air Pockets of Sky 9:52

6 Oxygen Loss 9:49

7 Tumbling Delights 7:31


8 Drifting in the Haze 6:30

9 Ding Dong 7:17

10 Throat Paintings 5:47

11 Overnight Trip 13:52

12 The Crossing 8:10

13 Returning Home 5:50

14 Purple Spirit 7:47

(2CD 113:01) (V.F.)

(Experimental electronic, Soundscapes)

It's with chirpings of sparrows, brightening up a sunny morning, that MESSAGES OF STILLNESS walks along my walls. The tone is bleak, contrasting with this possible sun that makes birds sing. The falling piano notes are like those rocks that burst our eyes out while tumbling from my soul. The air is heavy, despite this dew. The saxophone releases the nostalgic cheeks of Johan Van Den Abeele, who has already played with Symbian, while the moods of a street becoming active are heard in the background of Inside the Willow Circle. The birds continue to sing, while the duel between the piano and the saxophone is like a drama which is played each on its own. Everyone with their perspective. Here's an album that has as much audacity as charm! Fresh out of the Belgian label Wool-E-Disc, this collaboration between Joost Carpentier, synths-keyboards, and Johan Van Den Abeele on saxophones has all the aspects of a meeting between Vangelis and Kenny G in taciturnity and melancholy that flirted behind the drama of Blade Runner. It's in a sumptuous digipack set containing a photo-booklet of 14 paintings that the artist Bernadette Mergaerts has carefully selected so that each of the tables corresponds to the atmospheres of each title that is nesting the very nice music from Connecting Silence. A more ambient EM, and conducive to sleep, than catchy and conducive to dance. Let's say that this is a top-nickel production which is however marred by fade-outs that are a bit missed. Especially on the first CD. Apart from this detail which always annoys my ears a little, the music is incredibly beautiful, sad at times and intense at other times.

Horizon Passage is part of this list of titles where the electronic approach overshadows the acoustic vision of the Belgian duo. Here, vapors of reverberations disturb the wake of melancholy poured by the harmonies in loops of the saxophonist who multiplies his breezes tinged with nostalgia in a decor that is his own. Inside the Fear Factory offers a piano and a saxophone duel in an industrial environment, while Mother, Are You There? bursts of metallic bubbles in a concerto of stridulating. Unsurprisingly, the music bends with these black thrillers which come to us from the Scandinavian lands. Here, as in Air Pockets of Sky where Joost Carpentier extends his floating shadows so that his strummed pearls challenge a beautiful melody tenderly covered by a distant saxophone. Oxygen Loss respects the dramatic soundscapes which mark out the first phase of MESSAGES OF STILLNESS where muted explosions add this dimension of end of everything which filters through the poems on notes afflicted from the two musicians. Catchy and creative, Tumbling Delights ends the first CD with lightly embroidered up-beat in a discreetly evolving structure.

The second CD continues where Tumbling Delights struck our sleepy ears. The music begins with tinkles that blend with the loop effects of the synth, more dominant in the second part, awaiting a dance rhythm of the 90's. The piano bursts dominate the ambiences, as much as this mesh between synth and saxophone that brings us in a more exploded dimension around the resonant percussive pulsations. That must be the dance music of the future! Like The Crossing, Ding Dong brings us back to the somber moods of the first CD with a hyper-sensitive saxophone and a piano almost forgotten in these torrents of tears. This piano, as dreamy as that of Jackson Berkey and as intuitive as George Winston, manages to compete of tenderness with a saxophone a bit fluty. Chain crackles, sordid reverb effects and synth lines filled with sleeping gas; the introduction of Throat Paintings responds somewhat to the vision that can be made behind the misty windows of the title. We are in a kind of suspense tinged with horror here. Overnight Trip exploits a long structure with a fascinating progression between non-existential and Asian atmospheres with the presence of a sitar, or a harp, imitated by the richness of the synth. We hear crumplings behind the groans of the saxophone which gradually become fascinating glaucous pulsations falling with the precision of a dysfunctional metronome. This meshing transforms into superb improbable lounge music, and later into acoustic Electronica. A big headline on MESSAGES OF STILLNESS! This second CD ends in pure melancholy with the quiet Returning Home and Purple Spirit, even with these loops and echo effects which are more in the electronic territory than music to lie your head without mist. Bearing the weight of its audacity, MESSAGES OF STILLNESS should have no difficulty in selling its 300 copies. The presentation is equal to the quality of the music and honors the leaders of this Belgian label for whom nothing is more expensive than art and the way of expressing it. An album to discover which is ideal for a Sunday morning or for an evening with friends at the edge of a dim light.

Sylvain Lupari (14/12/19) ***¾**

Available at Wool-E-Disc Bandcamp

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