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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Fusion of Elements Journey to the Outness Beyond (2023)

Creativity, audacity, sonic strangeness and convoluted rhythms! This is a solid album of progressive Berlin School

1 There are more Things in Life 6:31

2 Signals from the Deeper Edge 10:15

3 Who are we (dedicated to Carl Sagan †1996) 17:52

4 Passageway In-between Supermassive Black Holes 10:18

5 The Outness Beyond 16:31

6 Pullback to Unknown Space and Time 11:27

(CD-R/DDL 72:57) (V.F.)

(Berlin School, Psybient)

A comfortingly warm synth wave opens the highly atmospheric There are more Things in Life. The synth waves drift with a delicate texture of celestial voices, undulating their long membranes in a cosmic ballet that flirts with a vision of dark ambient music more cosmic than gothic. The call to discover this second volume of the Fusion of Elements duo is heard, except that it would be a mistake to think that JOURNEY TO THE OUTNESS BEYOND will have the meditative presence of its first title. On the contrary! Continuing on the great lines of creativity heard in the excellent Sessions in the Quantum Field, Danny Budts and Joost Egelie propose a big 73 minutes of progressive electronic (ME) music where the Berlin School style is allied to the visions of Dark Ambient and a highly creative Psybient in another very nice album just released on the German label SynGate. Except for this introductory track, the other 5 chapters of this new album offer evolving rhythmic structures with multi-line sequences and multiple rhythmic effects in panoramas that bring together the sometimes very antinomic visions of Syndromeda and Sensory++. But always, our ears are bathed in an enchanting universe whose exponential dimensions are full of earworm-creating moments.

Voice samples and radio waves bip-bip, in the form of sonic suction cups, precede a long, guttural, organic drone that cements our ears to our headphones in the introduction to Signals from the Deeper Edge. Synth arcs sounding like Vangelis' apocalyptic visions intertwine in a fateful ballet of waves with cataclysmic reverberations of a Dark Ambient-oriented opening with a very cinematic catastrophic vision. The first beats of the album come at the end of the 3 minutes of Signals from the Deeper Edge. The rhythm is bouncy with bass sequences that have some of that organic tone of the initial drones. Following a Berlin School ascending structure, this rhythm gallops, while giving the impression of constantly stumbling, into interstellar plains under dense layers of wiisshh and lunar orchestrations as well as those reverb arches that give a dark ambient texture to the track. Cadenced tinklings add to the charm of the track towards its finale. Who are we (dedicated to Carl Sagan †1996) also offers an opening with voice samplings, over a text by Carl Sagan, before leading into another of those ingenious rhythm structures that this time is designed on cadenced pulses of which the suctions resonate over an organic texture that is crossed with wood. Surrounded by layers of chthonian voices and evil mist, this convoluted rhythm lives through multiple sequencer textures in a seductive evolutionary complexity. Its metamorphoses occur as much in the pace as in its colors. A recurring creative phenomenon in the album by the way! From zigzagging, it becomes more linear to adopt a minimalist form. A second line emerges around the 9th minute. Clearer and faster, it traces an anarchic pattern with a dribbling effect in the sequences. Another phenomenon, as well as this haze filled with chthonian voices and conceived in metallic veins, which is also recurrent in this album offered both in CD-(r) HQ format and in 24Bits download. The 2 movements intertwine their differences in a rhythmic chassé-croisé, I can even hear Edgar Froese's influences here, that goes in a complex structure filled with a lot of sound effects that do justice to the many possibilities and complexities of the synthesizers. This track is as powerful as Through the Electron Clouds in the first album of the Belgian duo.

Intergalactic background noises and vivid circadian pulses, Passageway In-between Supermassive Black Holes lets loose a good sequencer movement that makes gambol its rhythmic chords with a virginal nonchalance. These two structures jump around in an asymmetrical vision until a 3rd rhythm line emerges a few seconds into the 4th minute. This new line parallels the second one more, creating a seductive symbiosis that unfolds in an atmospheric veil comparable to JOURNEY TO THE OUTNESS BEYOND's previous 3 tracks. The Outness Beyond presents a long atmospheric intro with sound effects usual to the genre. The track develops into a galloping rhythm structure with a dribbling effect of the jumping keys while the dense moonscape orchestration layers give it a slow-motion effect, as does that slinky rhythmic bass line sequence with grumbling vibrations in its tone. The guitar riffs complete this setting while the percussions will add more muscle and velocity to a structure that then becomes a good cosmic and progressive electronic rock. Pullback to Unknown Space and Time ends this second album of the Belgian duo's sonic creativity with a slow evolution driven by a rhythmic structure built in phases. The opening is similar to the other 5 chapters in a minimalist Berlin School structure. The movement is delicately jerky and its back and forth is encircled by a synth whose high-pitched chants counterbalance the stealthy beats of a secretly evolving rhythm structure. And since nothing is designed in simplicity around the 6 axes of this album, a fascinating adjacent structure inserts itself and its convoluted tone, sounding like an avian language, glides in the background, reminiscent of Robert Schroeder's sonic spells at the height of his creativity. The dramatic effect comes with the surprise appearance of a piano after the 5th minute. A short moment of confusion before Pullback to Unknown Space and Time comes alive again in a second half even more complex than its first.

Creativity, audacity, sonic strangeness and convoluted rhythms, JOURNEY TO THE OUTNESS BEYOND displays a solid 73 minutes of EM designed to please those ears eager to caress a universe of sounds and rhythms that can be enjoyed with blissed ears. Fusion of Elements transcends the structures of progressive Berlin School in this album that is as solid and seductive as Sessions in the Quantum Field! To get it without hesitation.

Sylvain Lupari (January 28th, 2023) ****½*

Available at SynGate Bandcamp

(NB: The texts in blue are links you can click on)

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