Faber Dark Sun (2015)
Updated: Jan 11
“Dark Sun is a stunning album with very intelligent structures of rhythms which pound and beat in a splendid eerie sonic tapestry”
1 Dark Sun Theme 2:02 2 Dream X 6:18 3 Lost in Space 6:04 4 Ghost Trains 4:50 5 Snow Cold 5:23 6 Alien Chants 10:16 7 Atomic Particles 5:18 8 Thunder in my Heart 6:41 9 Cathedral 4:34 10 Voices from Outer Space 6:54 11 Canadian Woods 6:26 12 Dark Sun Reprise 1:53 MellowJet Records | cdr-fa1501 (DDL/CD-r 66:41) (V.F.) (Sci-fi and horror pictured mind EM)
A shade with dark resonances snore between our ears, releasing a thin strip of sibylline lines where roam sinister rustles. Our ears get fill then of a disturbing mist filled with the perfumes of darkness as well as of electronic tones which bring us back to this wonderful time of Schmoelling, Froese and Franke. So goes Dark Sun Theme, so will go DARK SUN! The only album that I had heard from Faber was his last year's Stories. I had found that well, just like many others tracks than I heard and that you will find on YouTube, thanks to videos splendidly created by Rob Hartemink who is second to none to make us discover beautiful electronic ballads. It was an honest album with beautiful melodies and not too much complicated rhythms. Then you imagine my head after the first 10 minutes of DARK SUN! From the first lines of Dark Sun Theme, we enter into a mesmerizing universe, that I compare to that of Tangerine Dream's Near Dark, with a superb diversity in the programming of the percussions and in rich sound effects where our senses are divided between hearing sonic horror scenes, abstruse moods and sometimes cosmic ambiences, which quarrel the borders between the darkness and the brightness.
A sonic door opens on Dream X, letting pass a bouquet of sibylline waves which sneak between the links of the sound chains. Discreet singings and noises coming from these corridors which divide our parallel universes are coming from all sides. A signature which will be present everywhere around the multiple sinister shadows of DARK SUN. Percussions fall and their bounces draw a soft rhythm which limps in dense ochred vapors where the murmurs and the resonant shadows can be confused easily in our ears. The rhythm is soft, as most of the rhythms in this last album from Faber. It's a kind of down-tempo, which is not totally one, that the ambiences are walking with the quintessence of their sound effects. A voice rises and recite the famous words of I Have a Dream while the percussions mislead a little the stability of the rhythm, giving to Dream X the necessary elements to seduce even more. Lost in Space follows with an intro as much disturbing where the synth lines float weakly in a sonic horizon painted of intriguing whispers. The rhythm which runs away is slower. Like a slow spiral, it swirls with a mixture of lines to the colors of Mars of which the old analog tones and others more contemporary are intertwining to amplify its rotary axis. Percussions click here and there, always amazing the ear by the correctness of their insertions, while subtly Lost in Space breathes of an intensity renewed in our ears. This is a great ambient beat, like in the wonderful Voices from Outer Space and its choir which gets lost in harmonies of synth filled by airs of Latin trumpets. Ghost Trains carries admirably well its naming with a lively rhythm, knotted in good electronic percussions and fluid sequences which sharply flicker. Sound effects accentuate the race of a train while others bring us back to the Exit period from Tangerine Dream. This is a great fast pace track. A solid heavy and powerful e-rock which is also tempered by the spectral approach of a feminine voice with oriental flavor while being amply fed by a rich sound tapestry and by guitar effects. Snow Cold is troubling melody, a kind of Halloween one, which makes its effect. A dense coat of synth perfumed of ochred colors and of dissolved voices encircle the swarm of the crystal clear sequences which weave this melody forging of earworm. We just can't resist here...
Like in every track in DARK SUN the ambiences are developing delicately in order to give a more intense and sometimes a little more livened up sound pallet. Take Atomic Particles for instance which offers another introduction rich in sound effects. Pulsations, which hiccup like in a sort of Amerindian tribal percussions, pound with shadows of resonances whereas synth lines release perfumes of ether. The eerie melody which haunts the spiral corridors of Alien Chants is as much attractive as in Snow Cold. The structure gets rid of its ambient introduction to offer a good chaotic down-tempo where cavort intersidereal whales and synth solos perfumed in the harmonies of a nasal six-strings. That reminds me enormously the music of Software. Thunder in my Heart is another very livened up track where the thunders spit a surprising structure of rhythm fed by a meshing of bass pulsations and sequenced percussions which are in search of a rhythmic skeleton. And it comes in the shape of a sort of dark Hip-Hop very well fed by this frame of sequences and percussions where a synth weaves this kind of melody which catches immediately the attention. It's very well crafted and the play of percussions, pulsations and sequences, and their shadows which trample in last echo of the previous one, is a monument of pleasure. Cathedral is a vampiric ode a la Phantom of the Opera. It's captivating and its presence here is as this unexpected thing which brings us towards the sublime Voices from Outer Space. The pinnacle of DARK SUN! And I would have concluded this album with this track because Canadian Woods, which stays a little in the same roots of the soft rhythms, dismantles a little this ball of feelings forged by Voices from Outer Space. Except that its last minutes, more aggressive, make us regret this first impression. And the synths! Their harmonies so much spectral, their singings so much sibylline and their divine ambiences too dark to be celestial which feed these last minutes, as well as Dark Sun Reprise, return us constantly to the charms of DARK SUN which is quite a whole treasure. A brilliant move by Faber who mixes here his always very melodious approach and his electronic rhythms always covered of an intelligent game of sequences and percussions in dark atmospheres which call out those of Tangerine Dream in Near Dark. A very beautiful album Mister Ronald Schmidt!
Sylvain Lupari (October 5th, 2015) *****
Available at MellowJet Records