DAVID WRIGHT: The Spirit of Light (2011)
Updated: Aug 14, 2020
“It's a nice melancholic and dreamy album where poignant and emotive synth layers are teeming among soft melodies and Berlin School beats”
1 A Night in September 4:39
2 Forbidden City 6:12
3 Lazy Heaven 25:40
4 Romance’89 5:44
5 Ocean Watch 7:12
6 Crystal Rain 3:44
7 Illusions 25:46
(CD/DDL 79:10) (V.F.)
(England & Berlin Schools, Melodious, E-Rock)
The idea to make a companion to his first compilation, Returning Tides 1991-2004, grew in David Wright's head for already quite a while, when one suggested him to make a New Age album. He took the opportunity then to dive into his old musical souvenirs to see if there was enough potential and material to make this New Age album from old recordings or unpublished works. New Age? Don't run away that fast! Because if you know the romantic, as sometimes very aggressive and electronic, David Wright's musical universe, you would find nothing very pejorative in the genre of New Age coming from the English synthesist. THE SPIRIT OF LIGHT isn't what we can call a real incursion of David Wright in New Age musical kind and this even if it's a very soft album. We find on it a mixture of delicate rhythms resting on sober sequences and percussions which give soft rhythms to long paradisiacal tracks and all the same rather spatial which demonstrate that the founder of AD Music possesses quite a whole musical inheritance.
Fine arpeggios sparkle with hesitation on a bed of stars and sink into a rhythm which spins slightly. Written during the 2007 American tour and part of Sines of Live Vol. 2, A Night in September hatches out with a new tone here with a softer and warmer rhythm which leans on delicate percussions and a structure of bass with chords skipping slightly, while a delicious solo of organ comes to embellish the finale of a track all indicated to open an album of a more serene EM. Forbidden City is a reworked passage of the long track China that we also find on Sines of Live Vol. 2. David Wright deprived it of its jerky rhythm to shape an obscure melancholy with a nice violin which caresses its lamentations in a dark and romantic world. Fine piano notes roam among sorrows of a violin filled of Chinese fragrances and strata of a synth suspended in a meditative blackness. That's a nice track which quietly deviates towards the very long Lazy Heaven. Written with Neil Fellowes, it possesses all the musical ingredients to please fans of Vangelis and his futuristic vision in Blade Runner, with its sax tones synth which stroll among twinkling arpeggios of a lonely piano which throw its notes on twilight of ethereal voices and celestial synth waves beneath Mellotron waves. The movement is of an astral tranquility with its feminine vocalizes darted by sensual emotion which become entangled with the lamentations of a saxophone forgotten in the crossroads of lonesome souls. A delicate pulsation is outline under heavy strata mellotronnées and Lazy Heaven embraces literally stars under a fine pulsating rhythm where more cheerful piano notes compete against the gloom the saxophone gentle winds, while guitar notes paint even more the very beautiful musicality of the music which continues to pulse under violins, guitars and other instruments of romantic nature. It's a beautiful track which evolves quietly and with serenity, encircled by all beauties of electronic instruments. Romance'89 is a re-recording of a track which comes from David's first CD, Reflections in 1989. A little as in the same lineage the A Night in September it offers a delicate rhythm which beats on delicate arpeggios, a heavenly choral and an oneiric scrolling of a whimsical harp. But the beauty of Romance '89 is its punctual crescendo which shows up here and there with beautiful dark choirs and notes of an acoustic guitar which create a whole emotion.
With its pulsating sequences and its synth layers floating with a spectral influence, Ocean Watch is the most dark and electronic track on THE SPIRIT OF LIGHT. With a little of imagination, we feel the sea shimmering with subtle choirs which fade in very beautiful breaths of fluty synth and sparkling arpeggios which glitter such as brightness of sun on the surface of the ocean. Ocean Watch is another very nice track a profound musicality which demonstrates David Wright's skill to juxtapose an amalgam of tones melting in an approach as melodious as tenebrous. Crystal Rain is a brief melody where the melancholy flirts with the meditative poetry of a nice and warm piano of which notes circulate as innocent romantic ritornello. Pulled from 92's Between Realities album, which is out of printed since a very long time but still available in download format, Illusions does again in new tones here. It's a long and very enchanting track where the serenity and idleness of synth layers serenade on a slow and fine hypnotic sequential movement. Those who like the shivers of emotion on hairs of their souls will be delighted a lot by this slow morphic movement with captivating synth waves which float on fine sequences to delicate hesitating pulsations. Layers which become entangled to curious violin strata and fine fluty breezes on a long and delicate movement embracing the waves of a mythical ocean. Incredibly beautiful, it's the kind of track that we hear and which brings to reverie.
Those who know and like David Wright will be enchanted with the delicate musicality of this 23rd opus which unfolds as a long mesmerizing musical ode of 80 minutes. THE SPIRIT OF LIGHT is before everything a present that David offers to his fans who like a little more his romantic and melodious side than its electronic approach, two styles that the synthesist marvellously merges on each of his albums. As for me, and to have heard enough New Age in my life, this is much more an album with soft cosmic atmospheres which transcend a bit the spatial universe with a more harmonious, celestial and romantic approach. It's a nice melancholic, sad and dreamy album where poignant and emotive synth layers teem among wonderful melodies which go out of EM England or Berlin School frames. That's an album which will please to fans of David Wright, Vangelis and New Age so much it's particularly melodious. It's also goes to those who want to redo the story of their life through David's reveries.
Sylvain Lupari (August 30th, 2011) ***½**
Available at AD Music