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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Dave Bessell Black Horses of the Sun (2015)

Updated: Sep 20, 2022

“Dave Bessell signs here a solid solo album which will suffer from none complex vis-a-vis his two parallel projects; either Node and Parallel Worlds”

1 From here to There 5:52 2 Theme One 7:00 3 Lament 5:46 4 Paradise Lost 9:10 5 Wasteland 6:02 6 Skyrim 7:14 7 Sleepwalker 9:13 8 Mirror's Edge 6:00 9 Fall from Grace 6:11 DiN47 (CD 62:45) (V.F.) (Dark Ambient England School)

WoW! I don't know what our creators in electronic art have ate recently, but there is some great EM going on recently. The last Olivier Briand, Bernd Kistenmacher, Frank Ayers and now this last Dave Bessell's adventure. The name is familiar to you? Normal, it's a member of Node and it's also the music journeyman of the very dark Bakis Sirros, the man behind Parallel Worlds, with whom he co wrote the disturbing Morphogenic in 2012 an album produced by Ian Boddy and which was released on the DiN label. Node Parallel Worlds, Ian Boddy and DiN. You see the rundown? Although the most justifiable of our wishes would be that BLACK HORSES OF THE SUN caresses these universes, hearing the opposite would be also very disappointing. And not, we shall not be disappointed! Navigating cheerfully on the paradigms of Node and surfing without hesitations on the somber nectars of Parallel Worlds, Dave Bessell signs here a solo album which will suffer from none complex vis-a-vis his two parallel projects.

The first breaths, the first chords of From here to There are so much near the ear that we turn the head to see where hides Dave Bessell. The lamentations of guitars float on lost chords whereas quite slowly the heavy veil of ambiences to thousand mysteries of BLACK HORSES OF THE SUN digs its tunnel to join the safe of the theories of our hearing. The rhythm is ambient. It drags its majestic heaviness in the electric fogs of the reverberations which chew the slow impulses of a bass line of which the lazy curvatures float among the absent riffs of a six-strings and in the mists of a synth and of its Mellotron fragrances. The guitar of Bessell is coupling with grace at the groans of a synth whose vampiric waves inhale the ambient dramas of Martenot, pushing the final of From here to There towards a structure of rhythm where stifling riffs, hammered percussions and a penetrating Mellotron invites us to a mixture of Node and Redshift. Written with Liam Boyle, Theme One is a superb ode with a deep vampiric flavor. A hymn to blackness with a structure of ambient rhythm which quavers of fear in its alloy of sequences and riffs. The 7 minutes are interchanging the phases of rhythms and ambiences by adding layer upon layer, getting the track denser within time. The arrangements of Boyle here are splendid and bring a very Beatles touch to this seizing claustrophobic universe. Lamant stars Ian Boddy. Its intro charms with its kind Mephistophelian bed song which makes ring its virginal arpeggios. Ian Boddy's Serge Modular is as frightening as invading, encircling a penetrating veil of discomfort to ambiences which extricate themselves from the gaps in order to make dance some furtive rhythms. But still there, we are in the cave of anti- rhythm, of anti-music such as we perceive it where the rhythms are implosive bombs and where the moods are spreading their Gothic charms. We are in the field of dark breaths, of Mephistophelian moods with noises and static cracklings where the improbable blackness wraps each of our breaths. At this level, Wasteland is rather disturbing. Composed with Lyonel Bauchet, Paradise Lost can alone reveal any paranoiac who slumbers in us. Its intro is built upon huge pulsations which seem to whisper us the blackness of the stars to the translucent prisms in the ear. Chirpings, deformed chants, lost steps and a crowd of heterogeneous sonic objects feed an intro which swallows every second greedily before the rhythm rushes towards us with its heavy pulsations which spit its static resonances. The riffs are intrusive and chew the hollow of our ears. As long as we shall notice much later this fine melody which dances with its shadow in a superb allegorical ballet where the light tries to swallow its darkness. Its fury will engender the opposite while the ambient elements will seize this rhythmic threat, pulling Paradise Lost in a finale which makes its introduction to sound as its weak link.

Skyrim is another track fed by taciturn ambiences and gnawed by the lamentations of a six-strings which has steal the spirit of Robert Fripp. The pattern could serve as a soundtrack for a fear movie with long drones which gnaw the inside of the listening and of which the penetrating bangs disturb our cardiac palpitations. A delicate melody goes out of the dark to make toll its arpeggios with mocking tones of glass, like a devilish bed song which flees the bites of a starving guitar. Notice these delicate breezes of flute which brings the music to another level. And these veils of Mellotron...Hum, we would say Redshift at agony. Very intense! We always stay in the field of ghost-like with the disturbing Sleepwalker among which the ambiences, the soft rhythm and these breaths of guitar which suit the slow walking of the bass line depict marvelously the walking of the sleeper. A true black morphic down-tempo, almost a blues for sleepless, Sleepwalker evolves with more heaviness, more firmness in the pace, respecting this feeling of duality, of tearing which slumbers in every sleepwalker. Mirror's Edge is a great dark electronic rock. The rhythm is structured on a rivulet of dark sequences which flicker violently and whose wings oscillate in a zone of fog filled by dusts of riffs and the continual spectral lamentations of a guitar which tries to stuff us the fear. The riffs are heavy, and the percussions are in the tone. The lively sequences and the bass bite the lobe of our ears in order to well dig a path to a structure of rhythm which blows constantly in our neck. And as if it would be possible, Fall from Grace gets to be the dark face of Mirror's Edge. Less rhythmical, because transported by the wings of a very black Mellotron synth, the rhythm makes its tick-tock beating between our ears with all this ventricular strength that tears down the structures of this album.

Weak moments? Not at all! Playing brilliantly between his rhythms, which are as much heavy as they can be violent, and his ambiences which are constantly in accordance with an intrusive madness, Dave Bessell signs here an album which suffers from no complex in this musical register where the door of indifference always remains half-opened. The sound envelope of BLACK HORSES OF THE SUN is very impressive. Every second is well thought, is well fed by vampiric moods where the synths and guitars unite their possibilities in these nine sonic stories which could furnish any horror movies. Fans of Node, ['ramp], Redshift, Parallel Worlds and even Arc will have enough to delighted here. Great!

Sylvain Lupari (February 3rd, 2015) ****½*

Available at DiN Bandcamp

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