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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Divine Matrix Celestial Phenomena (2021)

Updated: Nov 21, 2023

The album is musical, beautiful, good and always pleasant to discover

1 The Stars Come Out 7:54

2 Under the Milky Way 6:52

3 Blood Moon 6:50

4 Jupiter at Opposition 6:52

5 Syzygy 7:12

6 Moonbow 8:18

7 Hale – Bobb 7:22

8 Perseids 8:46

9 Aurora Polaris 7:03

(DDL/CD-R 67:09) (V.F.)

(Melodic, New Age, Berlin School)

Delicate stars land on a bed of humming noises, equivalent to the sounds of space shuttle engines in motion, as the adventure of The Stars Come Out begins. Everything moves in slow motion, like a never-ending drama. Some of these buzzes vibrate like the sound of a drum with pulsating arrhythmic beats, creating a structure that rides in harmony these streams of water that we hear flowing here and there through the 8 minutes of this introductory track. A piano reluctant to share its richness scatters its nostalgic musings sparingly before weaving melodious links to make melt a little of our soul. This pattern is sequenced to structure this melody as ambivalent as its colors. And like it is often the case in Divine Matrix' soundscapes, the finale hands us a Kleenex with orchestrations that bring a little moisture under our eyelids. Steve Barnes offers us the 3rd part of his Soundscapes series with an album in half-tone which is victim of its first 2 titles and especially of the excellent Beachcombing (Soundscapes Vol. 2). In a Suzanne Ciani opening, Under the Milky Way spreads a texture of sonic eddies rolling in loops with layers of heavenly voices. An even slower track to reveal its secrets, it clings to these waves of sound that bring to the surface reminiscences of Michael Stearns' splendid M'Ocean album. The orchestrations arouse the intensity of this track by blowing moving moments as well as a beautiful ambient melody that the piano enhances at the level of the shivers to the soul with a brief appearance noticed towards the final. CELESTIAL PHENOMENA is built around 9 tracks with an average length of 7:40 minutes. The minimalist music pattern prevails in this album where the tracks flirt with too many similarities not to notice. Each track offers slow developments, some more so, that Steve Barnes fills with harmonious sequences, orchestrations and sound effects. These elements are like particles that stick to the walls of the vortexes created by the different synth layers. The first two tracks are little gems that overshadow Blood Moon and Jupiter at Opposition.

Blood Moon follows a little the same idea with synth murmurs rolling on a texture which gives more in a dark ambient style. We can hear an industrial universe and its metallic rattles hidden behind a subdued veil, just to keep a nebulous touch to this track which becomes more convincing in the second part by orchestrations in the tone. Title with a more science-fiction or futuristic flavor, Jupiter at Opposition drags its bundle of sounds on a texture of machinery rumblings which will flow with a waterfall effect when a guitar blows it a more bohemian vision. Syzygy lets loose a resonant layer of which the brightness awakens a kind of heavenly harp. Her chords scroll on a pattern known by the lovers of romance on the metallic blue resonances of its oblong organ layer. A dreamy moment that becomes even more intense when a bass wave awakens light and shadow. The structure seems to us more intriguing, and its threatening texture moves towards orchestrations cut in staccato effects. These curt violins awaken sleeping arpeggios in a wicker basket. The fight is flamboyant with the intensity of the shadows versus that of the arpeggios which flicker and flicker while describing stormy circles. A very good track that Syzygy! Then comes Moonbow which is a beautiful night lullaby heard on a lake under the full moon. A pure delight! The sequences turn in the same direction and with more velocity in Hale - Bobb, a static track that rolls slowly like a musical cyclone sucking our emotions to spit them out in music. The track begins soberly with piano chords evolving like a sober procession. The sound envelope is sewn in the reverberations of these notes as well as the yet to be identified rattlings, not to mention an acrylic synth pad and a lazily humming bass line. In addition to the disparate sound effects, there are strands of distortion coming from the gradual intensity that takes hold of these elements to create this tornado that screws our ears to our headphones. Perseids is a very good magnetizing track that belongs behind a track like Hale - Bobb. The keyboard riffs paired with the guitar riffs in Perseids and Hale - Bobb, come back to feed the last spiral structure of CELESTIAL PHENOMENA. Nourished also by riffs and chords of violin and by percussions, Aurora Polaris also let shine these arpeggios gleaming like stars in a last title always so pleasant to hear, even if sometimes it smells the reheated-up. It's musical, beautiful, good and always pleasant to discover, to listen to as the great majority of the tracks that compose this brand-new album/download of Divine Matrix on the AD Music label.

Sylvain Lupari (October 18th, 2021) ***¾**

Available at AD Music

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