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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ELLIS & GROETSCH: The Interior Rhythms (2021)

Updated: Oct 21, 2021

A pure marvel to devour with a set of headphones

1 The Interior Rhythms 1 20:01

2 The Interior Rhythms 2 20:01

3 The Interior Rhythms 3 20:01

4 The Interior Rhythms 4 20:01

(DDL 80:04) (V.F.)

(Progressive EM, PsyScapes)

Sometimes, I say that you have to be patient, to know how to persist to be bewitched by an electronic music a little more experimental. But not with this new album from a new duo to come out of the Cyclical Dreams' matrixes. THE INTERIOR RHYTHMS is a reflection about creation of an impressionist soundscape from a hike of those 2 musicians through a tropical forest. The environment is that of a natural and organic world with the most subtle gradations of sounds and colors. So far so good! Except that the inner rhythms are created by the subtraction of sounds during the mixing. Which is to say that the duo Paul Ellis, who needs no introduction, and Daryl Groetsch, a very similar artist that is behind Pulse Emitter, have created rhythms by subtracting sounds, when technically, it's just the opposite. And on THE INTERIOR RHYTHMS we'll hear this creative process that is easier to tame than his creative process implies.

The Interior Rhythms 1 hides behind the streams, where we hear drops of water in the form of pearls, tinkling between different winds and other elements from the flora of a nature painted in sounds. Drones and analog electronic noises fly over these giant trees where woodpeckers are pecking on. Slow oscillations try to form a first soundscape of this psychedelic fauna and of its strange inhabitants' rattlings. Instead, the idea is absorbed by cold synth pads that remind me of Stomy Yamasta's electronic portion in Go Too. The cymbals start to fizz around the 6-minute mark. The rhythm still absent, The Interior Rhythms 1 continues its tonal odyssey under these drones flying over the ambiences intermittently while synth effects remind us of the slow blossoming of Tangent, second track of Tangerine Dream's mythical album Poland. In fact, expect to hear different musical flavors of the Dream all along THE INTERIOR RHYTHMS. An ambient rhythm built around atmospheric elements, restrained impulses and various knocks takes root. This rhythm is in the background where one can discreetly hear its sucking effects. A strange iconoclastic mooing occurs a few seconds (4) before the 8th minute. It is from this moment that the rhythm of The Interior Rhythms 1 starts to work. Saccadic and molded into a rubbery trance-like form, these rhythm riffs increase the pressure on these vaporous chords sounding like in Go Too. The circular echo effect gives it a shamanic form, until it loses a chord to become more sustained in this mass of sounds that amplifies its tone, more musical and organic than rhythmic. So is The Interior Rhythms 1, and so are the other 3 structures and finally the whole album.

Winds, waves and shadows make up the dense ambient landscape of The Interior Rhythms 2. More ominously, this mass of sound and reverberation effects prunes these drones so the mass of sounds comeback with a texture that roars from within. This pulsating membrane shakes its spasms in clouds of clatter and organic moans, structuring a rhythm without percussions or percussive sequences which convulses under a dense collection of atmospheric elements. This fascinating rhythm stretches for 6 minutes before the track becomes nothing more than a collection of sound panoramas that we listen to with an interested ear, a bit as looking snapshots of photos. The Interior Rhythms 3 proposes straight away its rhythmic structure that relies on knocking and their echoes under a sky darted with long and misshapen incandescent synthesized filaments. The echo leads the way, while all around the tonal fauna conspires to attenuate its presence. Except that a line of bass-pulses invites itself to stretch our pleasure to make a parallel between here and the ambiences of Force Majeure. Pleasure that we also find on The Interior Rhythms 4 which proposes a structure of back and forth, of chachacha caught by nervous movements of jerks on a structure which imitates the rhythm of a train. A train sometimes static and/or pushed by arm oil until it clutches around the 9th minute, hence the similarities with Force Majeure in the percussive effects. Rolling in opposite direction of the other 3 structures of the album, The Interior Rhythms 4 slows down its pace to enter in this impregnable jungle and its collection of organic elements that melt into the distillery of electronic effects worthy of a pure marvel to devour with headphones.

Not necessarily easy, but very good, THE INTERIOR RHYTHMS is an album that shatters the myth that progressive and slightly experimental electronic music requires a lot of love. Based on the perception that we are walking through a psychedelic boreal forest, the music is rich and creative in terms of sonic phenomenon and rhythmic textures that, if not catchy, are simply worthy of the expectations we can now have of Cyclical Dreams and Paul Ellis who is in great shape, along with his exploration buddy Daryl Groetsch, on THE INTERIOR RHYTHMS.

Sylvain Lupari (October 21st, 2021) ****¼*

Available at Cyclical Dreams Bandcamp

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