David Wright The Lost Colony (2021)
Updated: Sep 25
“The most beautiful landscape of the English EM flows through this album”
1 0.5AU 9:36
2 Crystal Windsong 7:02
3 Subconscious Matter & Other Indigenous Lifeforms 5:04
4 Alpha 5:38
5 Desert Theme 6:26
6 Memories of Homeworld 9:00
7 The Lost Colony (Parts I-V) 24:14
(CD/DDL 68:24) (V.F.)
(England School, Melodious, E-Rock)
Classic albums! David Wright has composed more than one, the last one being The Reflecting Sky with Stephan Whitlan. Matt Howard is an American author well known in the ME world for writing columns and conducting interviews between 2001 and 2015. He sent David Wright his graphic novel The Lost Colony in 2012, pointing out that it would be interesting for David to one day compose the music that would fit his literary work. It is since that time that the English musician is invested in this project without wanting to delay his own, nor those of his label AD Music. He was also torn to know if such or such composition would serve better for one of his albums than for this soundtrack. Pandemic obliged, he finally found the time and mostly gave himself guides in order not to be too literal in his interpretation of this novel. Instead, he wanted to create musical panoramas to better exploit a sense of identity and narrative. Thus, THE LOST COLONY is explored! A methodical melodist, David Wright takes care to lay out his musical canvas with careful attention to his vision, which is still of the highest level. Divided into 2 long musical acts, the album offers a solid overview of the values of England School style of EM. An electronic rock inspired by his own values, as well as those of Andy Pickford and Ian Boddy. Giving a wonderful album where we really believe in the main lines of Matt Howard's story.
An electronic effect, like a serpentine coming out of an allegorical box, welcomes our ears for the opening of 0.5AU. The atmospheres chosen by David Wright are more cosmic and futuristic. An elasticized rhythmic element stirs before the 2-minute mark. A dissonant echo responds to this invitation as the dramatic and cinematic rise of the apocalyptic synth layers challenges our senses. The sequencer starts the flickering undulating movement, waiting for the coming of the percussions that structure the rhythm between a delicious mix of England School and of EDM. A keyboard sculpts this melody that will be heard in various forms and sources throughout THE LOST COLONY, while in the distance sings a sibylline voice. Sailing between its stationary phase and its electronic dance anthem, 0.5AU relies on a solid play of electronic percussions during the rhythmic flights. Crystal Windsong is born from the dying rhythm of 0.5AU to skirt the corridors of the Cosmos, spreading its chloroformed breezes and webs along a starry road. I can see those stars from here and even those sleepy webs clinging to them, so much lyrical and realistic is this. David Wright steps out of his comfort zone with a track like Subconscious Matter & Other Indigenous Lifeforms, adding a zest of psybient to this delightful procession that our feet follow with its nonchalant flow. The keyboard becomes an accomplice of this indecisive slow tempo by playing this invading melody whose slow timbre invites the prisms to sparkle. A very good title which finds a little more its nobility in beautiful orchestrations where our ideas waltz with those of the English musician. It is in the murmurs and reverberations of cosmic waves that Alpha reveals its cinematographic vision where suspense and drama confront each other in an ambient dimension that brings back the buried perfumes of Eddie Jobson on Spheres of Influences from the album Theme of Secrets. The track evolves with waves of electronic sound waves and threads of fluty vocals to reach a more electronic zenith, justifying its transition towards the thunderous Desert Theme with Andy Lobban on guitar.
As you probably know, every new David Wright album brings a catchy title. And no, it wasn't Subconscious Matter & Other Indigenous! Cinematic opening, Persian guitar, boom-boom rhythm and synth pouring its weeping melody with an Arabian tune, Desert Theme is the Beyond Paradise of THE LOST COLONY. Period! Memories of Homeworld starts with this guitar, touching with its nostalgic notes in the breezes of a synth with two-headed visions. The writing of this track gives shivers by accentuating the low chords that extend a prismatic aura very well recovered by good orchestrations. A great track with a giver chills finale, ending the first chapter of THE LOST COLONY. At 24 minutes long, The Lost Colony (Parts I-V) is nothing less than a resurrection of Code Indigo, as seen by David Wright! From an opening torn between the sordid reverberations of shadowy whispers and the rose water orchestrations, a first movement of the sequencer sculpts an undulating wave under symphonic textures of a black synth. It's from the chords of a false sitar that a first melody comes out. Nervous bass-pulses and percussive clapping hands welcome it in a Sino Arabic ambience. A melodious six-string serves as the first bridge to propel the first part on a lively and catchy music that drags us on a dance floor. Furious guitar solos flog these pagan dance vibes while on the other hand, synth caresses act as the invader of this electronic progressive rock loaded of Code Indigo essences. The spreading of the minutes of this long title allows to hear fragments of its first part, notably 0.5AU, allowing it to sail without hitch through Parts I-V. Following this precept, The Lost Colony (Parts I-V) flits between these phases with ambient intermissions serving like a bridge between the stationary rhythmic structures and the rock and dance phases well watered by a synth and its philharmonic harmonies. The piano passages are as illuminated as these oriental flutes one's that confirm David Wright's clear dexterity on this track with its catching melody and structure. And little by little, in a finale that won't die, this long track dissolves its rhythmic structure and keeps its harmonic reflections within reach of the ears that steal them, piece by piece up until musical and tonal exhaustion.
Available in manufactured CD and download format, THE LOST COLONY is sold with the book in PDF format and comes with 3 bonus tracks if you take the download version. These are the radio versions of 0.5AU, Desert Theme and The Lost Colony. The 3 have an average length of 4 minutes. In the end, this album is a success on all the line! Although the book anchors its story to the music, I found myself drifting into passages of Dune, especially in the first 43 minutes of the album. Intense, vivid, poetic and moving THE LOST COLONY is the cradle of David Wright's career. From Reflections to The Reflecting Sky. From Andy Pickford to Ian Boddy. The most beautiful landscape of the English EM flows through the writings of Matt Howard. *****
Sylvain Lupari (May 5th, 2021)
Available at AD Music