DIGITAL HORIZONS: Extraordinary Path (2021)
Updated: May 2
“Everything is magically linked in a long musical tale very British”
1 Extraordinary Path 60:41
a Cold Parade 15:04
2. Extraordinary Path (Part One) 15:04 - 24:57
3. Extraordinary Path (Part Two) 24:57 - 36:54
4. A New Room 36:54 - 41:10
5. A Day at The Races 41:10 - 52:50
6. Elegant Accident 52:50 - 60:41
(DDL 60:41) (V.F.)
(Melodious England School)
What a great success that this last effort of Digital Horizons. Justin Ludford offers a long track of 60 minutes that he divides into 6 segments. And no, there are no, or very few towards the end, lengths! Everything is magically linked in a long musical tale very British with seasonings of Tangerine Dream, years 81-83, on a structure conceived as a long tonal coitus whose final justifies these long harmonious embraces which sneak through rhythms more soft than crazy. And more harmonious than discordant. We are in the lands of the affordable EM with good surprises at the level of the sequencer in this musical river-novel where Justin Ludford doesn't need orchestrations to surprise us like Andy Condon did it in his extraordinary I Remain from The Glimmer Room. A majestic work, in another sound envelope!
This long musical tale of EXTRAORDINARY PATH begins with the progression of a nasal vocal layer that spreads its wings over a rhythmic structure that quietly emerges from the shadows. The movement is circular with 6 chords running awkwardly under this layer between two riffs that fall with the regularity of a metronome. Another layer widens its misty grip while slowly Cold Parade lets us hear sound elements that use this first rhythm structure to justify a fair return of the balance. A first bridge must be crossed around the 7th minute. Whitish layers undulate under chords of all kinds. And 60 seconds later, the rhythm of Cold Parade comes back with the same shape, but just a bit more powerful. The sequencer and hand percussions feed the elements a bit more between the two metronomic riffs, just enough time to hear the structure lose its landmarks. Extraordinary Path (Part One) starts a little after the 15-minute mark. Two minutes of haze later and the rhythm returns this time with one undisciplined structure and another running and gamboling in another direction. This rhythmic incoherence is tasty with a good play of the sequencer which increases its vitality with a more acute precision using its echo effects in order to tighten its texture which receives vaporous jets of a synth which aims at installing perfumes of the East in this long evolving title. We have reached the 25th minute and Extraordinary Path (Part Two). The keyboard riffs falling on a floating layer have that Tangerine Dream imprint. The first two minutes are soaked of it. It's with loops repeating in a horizontal vision that life takes its melodic shape. Percussive effects surround these synth-guitar chords, scribbling a vision of future warfare with giant Rroarrr of big beasts, air attacks and their missile explosions. Then percussions and a powerful bass line pour lead into a stationary structure that becomes more musical again with these sequenced arpeggio loops rolling with a melodic survival instinct.
Magnetized, we let ourselves float on this layer of mist which brings us to A New Room. A pulsating and melodious rhythm starts to make vibrate the columns of the ambiences with more velocity than heaviness. Charming, this rhythm reminds me of the Native American war hymns as depicted in comics on the screen. A Day at The Races arrives after the 41st minute. Its flow is curt, almost an Electronica style which is encircled by a wonderful circular movement of the sequencer. The percussion clatters like gaseous blowpipes while the harmonic rhythm of the sequencer scares us with its circular movement still possessing that melodic vision. We come to a bridge where the sequencer's keys explode, vibrate and take a spasmodic allure, reversing roles with fluttering arpeggios to adhere to the movement of the sequencer. A short bridge and the elements coordinate to become an imposing mid-tempo where the sequencer and its Berlin School mode is still the dominant one in A Day at The Races. I must admit that there is a length in the last minutes of this segment. Elegant Accident comes to us around the 53rd minute of EXTRAORDINARY PATH with tinkling arpeggios rolling over the ghostly skeleton of A Day at The Races. The vocal layers manage to give us goosebumps in front of a finale that we guess is attached with this recurrent melodic link of this Digital Horizons' new EP. And indeed, it is with a superb down-tempo screwed to its vision of lunar ballad that Elegant Accident irradiates our ears and ignites this desire to hear again the whole of EXTRAORDINARY PATH, an album more than successful by Digital Horizons.
Sylvain Lupari (April 26th, 2021) ****¾*
Available at Digital Horizons Bandcamp