EXTRAWORLD: Singularity Beneath (2021)
Updated: Oct 11, 2021
“Extraworld continues on the stride of Starless by proposing an album divided in two parts”
1 Thermal Horizon 6:50
2 Dormant Vision 6:06
3 Contact Fissure 6:22
4 Extant Source 8:30
5 Gravity Runner 6:12
6 Stellar Origin 8:06
7 Singularity Beneath 8:28
8 Conscious Core 5:32
(DDL 56:06) (V.F.)
Master of the ambient rhythms sculpted in the versatility of excessive numbers, Extraworld continues on the momentum of Starless, it is the goal aimed by the way, by proposing an album divided in two parts. A first part more ambient and a second half animated by a sequencer which adjusts its tonalities a little more. It is no longer a universe as limpid as Starless. No, the sequencer plays as much on the color of its rhythms, ambient as catchy, giving a more spectral context to another album which is discovered and listened pleasantly.
The opening of Thermal Horizon is bathed in mystery with an opaque and dense synth layer propelled by the vibrations of a bass' breeze. The colors are dark with reddish filaments worthy of a sinister vibe which nevertheless lets float the outline of a ghostly melody. We hear the sequencer unravel an ambient rhythm line after a big 80 seconds. I hear the tune of Head over Heels from Tears for Fear on the delicate alternating movement of the sequencer that switches two jumping balls with a harmonic fluidity under a cloud of layers with protean colors. A pulsating bass line makes the rhythmic ground vibrate, sounding like Wavelength or Firestarter, two soundtracks of Tangerine Dream in the early 80's. As I said before, quiet the rhythm melts its balls which disappear in the sibylline ambiences of this first track of SINGULARITY BENEATH. The music of Dormant Vision is like its title with trumpet tunes on a structure as docile as the opening track, but with a dark intensity in the deployment of the synth layers. Slightly more complex, Contact Fissure is darker. More ambient too with evanescent rhythm lines that lose their pulse to find it again in an almost similar form in avalanches of dark winds. Extant Source proposes a slow rhythm installed on the swing of a metronome that bass-pulses adjust in order to give it a semblance of life. The ambiences are more of the dark, even tenebrous order, with a haze pushed by implosive effects.
We reached the half of the album that Gravity Runner brings it a new dimension. Without being an electronic rock of a first level, its static rhythm respects the spirit of a jogger running against various elements without slowing it down completely. A good track driven by a sequencer that injects two rhythm lines and a sequenced melody line. Stellar Origin deploys mixed tones that jump around in the opening. These sequences leap with a cold tonal effect that a bass-pulse line recovers of a warmer ray. The track lives off of these strange beats and their vibration that spreads a mellow floor, allowing the jumping keys to develop a very ear-pleasing arrhythmic strategy. The track continues with these beats ending with crumpling cells in an ambience that has suddenly become more sibylline. The title-track displays these moods in a playful introduction with a sequencer movement as cinematic as in Thermal Horizon. Except that here, the rhythm has the first role, relegating the ambiences in a more electronic rock proportion. It is definitely more catchy with keyboard riffs that are as Tangerine Dream as the marbles sitting on a line that gambols and the other one that jumps on the spot. Pure electronic rhythm with that duel of colors and sequencer vibrations versus ambiences with a thin line between a futuristic vision and a dark scary movie feel. The last three tracks give a little more color, even changing our perception of SINGULARITY BENEATH, while Conscious Core brings us back to those ambient processional odes. These structures develop a rhythm with spheroidal sequences and bass-pulses that complement a melody ripped from a sober keyboard. But in the end, I clearly like the universe of Extraworld!
Sylvain Lupari (October10th, 2021) ***½**
Available at Exosphere Bandcamp