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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

CYBERNAUM: Electronic Dimension (2019)

Updated: Jul 15, 2020

Great sequencing and Berlin School rhythms led by splendid synth lines and solos, this is a superb album. Period

1 Beginning 3:13

2 Apollo 8:42

3 Volt 10:34

4 Pulse 9:21

5 Morning Lights 10:55

6 Metamorphosis 7:17

7 Blue 7:22

(CD/DDL 63:33) (V.F.)

(Berlin School, Cosmic & E-Rock)

How about hearing an abundance of melodic lines from a synth dropping some very good solos, whose hybrid tones are in those of Pyramid Peak, on Tangerine Dream sequences, Poland year? Add to that a decor, as rhythmic as ambient, the one as rich as that of MoonSatellite, and you have the musical recipe of Cybernaum. Who is Cybernaum? He’s a Finnish artist from Tampere, Tero Liedes, who has been doing EM for about 5 or 6 years. His style, visibly inspired by Tangerine Dream and Jean-Michel Jarre, consists of mixing several genres, including Techno and Berlin School, without forgetting the ambient and the rich cosmic environment. In April 20, he posted a clip on Synth&Sequences' Facebook page which has piqued my curiosity by pretty chance. I received his album which I forgot in my big pile of albums to review. I started listening to ELECTRONIC DIMENSION in early July. Titles instantly grabbed attention, of which the very solid Volt. And I must admit it's been a long time since I had such an ear-catching thing to my ears. The last in line was probably Kurtz Mindfields

Shortest title of ELECTRONIC DIMENSION, Beginning starts our journey into electronic dimensions with an iridescent breath that causes sonic dust in a slow ambient ascent. Already, we notice the richness of the music with this sound shadow which extends its hold and which raises a multitude of particles of disaggregated rhythm, while increasing its sound intensity. Carillon tinkles stirred by a shaman's arm enrich this drifting mass which needs a good pair of headphones in order to store each sonic filament that melts into the overture of Apollo. The introductory processes of the album correspond to the structures of cosmic rock like we are used to, as well as the finals of each track which follows without any interruption. A sibylline wave invades our ears from its first seconds. The ascent is rich in emotion, up to the point of 75 seconds. A first line of low sequences timidly announces the rhythmic overflow of Apollo. The movement rises and falls with fluidity in a mass of elements of ambiences which accompanies this cosmic decoration adorned of interstellar chants. Tap dancing jinglings draws our attention whereas the decor becomes resolutely cosmic for this fluid and catchy rhythm for the neurons. The arch of the wide oscillations drops a pulsation which subtly increases a cadence imitated now by this mass of shimmers which gets activate as much as the rhythm for a brief instant before embracing a slow finale leading us to Volt. As far as I'm concerned, this is where ELECTRONIC DIMENSION really takes off. Complex, the rhythm structure slowly emerges from the cosmic fog after 60 seconds. It starts with wooden clickers tones that take more and more confidence when a bass pulsation takes hold of its shyness. The marriage is bizarre with these sequences which frolic in forming circles and this bass line which now responds blow for blow. Percussions are coming to complete this three-phase rhythmic approach. Independent of one another, each element brings its nuance and its differences in a vision that literally screwed me to my chair. We arrive in the middle of the title and the feeling of being in a Tangerine Dream's panorama gets accentuate with these tens of rhythmic balls escaping on a conveyor and its spasmodic dysfunction. And the solos are coming. Shy up to now, the synth develops a harmonic vision evaporating in superb solos which marvellously complement this rhythm with three sources which melt too quickly, around the 8 minutes, to bind into the cosmic environment of Pulse.

Between Pink Floyd and MoonSatellite, the ambiences flirt with a sibylline vision due to its large reverberating impulses which try to frighten the linear impulses of the electronic bipbips. The sequencer weaves a Berlin School panorama with an ascending structure where is grafted another line illuminated by scintillating resonances. Percussions and a line of bass pulsations enhance this rhythmic flight, while another line of the sequencer activates the spasmodic conveyor mode. So far, the synth is responsible for the decor before it throws its harmonic thin lines and solos that twist around this rhythmic mass, dropping even twigs which accentuate the rhythmic range of Pulse. If you tell me that Airsculpture has a little influence on synth solos here, I will say that you are probably right! Morning Lights comes to throw a little 11 minutes of serenity on this attractive album with a sound and subtle sound effects that infiltrate us beneath the skin. Its opening is filled by multiline and by multiple filaments which float in their contiguous corridors, with an emotional impulse and seraphic tinkles which make think of the Michael Stearns' universe. Musical and melodious, Morning Lights floats to the gates of Dark Ambient, with its large layers of dark organ, which leaves the synth free to whistle piercing solos while these tingles which follow our ears since the beginning of ELECTRONIC DIMENSION weave a haunting harmonic vision.

This is how we slide towards Metamorphosis! This other good electronic rock begins with a fluty chant flirting with the stars and a lunar choir, a little chthonian even, which covers it with nostalgia. The music borrows a harmonious touch from Tangerine Dream's Tangram. The synth and its attributes take the shape of the circular rhythm of which the sequencer relies on the melodious portion, weaver of ear worm, while the percussions plow a more lively rhythm, more rock than ambient. Apart from the melodious line, the synth here still weaves pretty good solos which wind around the harmonious loop of Metamorphosis. The flute harmony brings us to the ambient opening of Blue and its swarm of dragonflies that flutter back and forth in a stationary mass. These dragonflies turn into radioactive sequenced elements on a structure skilfully directed towards a cosmic Techno by sober percussions, while the synth releases harmony and sumptuous solos in a final which arrives too quickly. Downloading this excellent Cybernaum album, which is also available on a CD manufactured by CD Baby, gives us access to a bonus track.

Composed in 2016, Above Limits clings to our lobe like an electronic rock drifting between two spheres. Little by little, the rhythm comes out of its fluffy membrane with stroboscopic filaments which jump to take inspiration from the synthesized melody which propels Above Limits beyond the borders of ELECTRONIC DIMENSION with an orchestral and cinematographic vision guided by superb solos. It's a big electronic rock energized by this synth which always finds its harmonic vein while distributing imposing solos even on this title which has nothing to do with this album, but which clearly demonstrates that ELECTRONIC DIMENSION is more than a stroke of luck.

A splendid album, period!

Sylvain Lupari (July14th, 2020) ****½*

Available at Cybernaum Bandcamp

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