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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Divine Matrix Atmospheric Variations (2012)

Updated: Nov 21, 2023

Divine Matrix' Atmospheric Variations is one of the good surprises to get out of the AD Music label

1 1000 Light Years 8:09  2 Jigokudani Springs 6:15 3 Magentic Disturbances 4:07 4 Marine Forecast 6:56 5 Strato Volcano 7:20 6 Weather Satellite 7:16 7 After the Storm 7:11 8 Atmospheric Variations 7:46 9 Aurora Borealis 5:54 10 Birth of a Cyclone 8:37 11 Cloud Formations 6:22 AD Music AD105CD

(CD/DDL 75:53) (V.F.)

(Cosmic, New Age, EM)

Divine Matrix saw the electronic day with Invisible Landscapes. Its designer, Steve Barnes, exchanged his clothes of esoteric bard from New Day to question his modern electronic equipments of an approach that was much interested in a more complex EM. Then came the interesting Invisible Landscapes and now this more than interesting ATMOSPHERIC VARIATIONS. Laid on 11 titles of an average length of 7 minutes, this last opus of Divine Matrix is an electronic journey in the heart of the links that unite the atmospheres of Earth and of Cosmos. Each title evolves in its atmospheric bubble where static sound effects encircle ambiences as much electronic as esoteric and rhythms as much heavy as static are sit on surprising sequencing patterns which are weavers of melodies.

1000 Light Years begins the odyssey with a delicate and thin synth line which undulates with its reflections of ethereal voices, awakening groaning musical tears which flow with the grace of the strings of violins falling in carpets of mist. Sequences resonate. Like keys launched into the void, they float and respond to the echo of this cosmic corridor, drawing fine linear movements with finely stroboscopic contours. Another line with more limpid and melodious sequences emerges. Its chords whirl in the meditative wake of the floating keys, tracing a nice morphic melody with a soft and captivating rhythm which will be the cradle of this duality between ambiences and rhythms which inhabit the divided vibes of this album. Playing constantly between the cosmic and terrestrial elements, Steve Barnes weaves the lines of a surprising album where fine melodies are born from atmospheric dust. Jigokudani Springs is a soft contemplative ode where the notes of a dreamy piano flow in the middle of a static stream. Innocent in appearance, the melody veils from an Asian approach with a slight rhythm which rebels in the breaths of a synth with circular waves and the voices of a cosmic siren. We also find this kind of structure on Weather Satellite and its chords in ballerina steps which magnetize hearing and meander a long river covered with ghostly breaths. Magentic Disturbances spreads out its oblong layers of synth that cover the rattling of an off-the-wall clock. There is a bit of Tomita in this slow enveloping movement with its layers of orchestral synth that float like winds of ether.

Marine Forecast is a little wonder based on fine sequences with the movements of a spiral ballet. A superb melody, sung by a delicate piano whose notes are trapped in the synthesized sighs, hovers over this musical pearl which captivates, both by its tranquility and its very ethereal approach. It's splendid and you can't help but love it, like the beautiful Cloud Formations and its superb morphic melody of which good sequenced carousels, Orion mists and the delicate absent rhythm are as attractive as they are enchanting. Strato Volcano is another good track fed by Software influences. If its first part makes us relax with a fine sequenced spiral which swirls in a dense veil of orchestral mist, the second wakes us up with a spasmodic rhythm filled with sequences with abrupt circular kicks. After a title-track molded in the hesitant keys of 1000 Light Years and whose rhythm adopts a latent progressive crescendo, Aurora Borealis offers a good melodious approach pounded by a nice sequential movement. Charming, the synth whistles above this spiral rhythm that hooks us at the first listen. Following an intro imbued with sibylline vibes, Birth of a Cyclone offers a very beautiful sequential movement which delicately winds the notes of a bass line. At the beginning fragile and slow, the rhythm gets heavier with a cloud of sequences which dance and revolve under a rain of chords which drags us rather close to Tangerine Dream tracks of the Underwater Sunlight era and fine solos hovering like lassos over a herd of unruly sequences. The contrasts, both in rhythm and in melody, are effective. Atmospheric variations with a rich sonic fauna encircling subtle and fine electronic melodies that haunt hearing among absent, fleeting, nascent and dying rhythms; this is the menu offered by Divine Matrix in this ATMOSPHERIC VARIATIONS.

Sylvain Lupari (June 25th, 2012) ***½**

Available at AD Music

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