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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Gustavo Jobim Dangerous Nights (2023)

Good rhythms and cinema moods in an album full of fascinating surprises

1 March of the Elementals 3:49

2 Dangerous Nights 4:47

3 Downtown Midnight 4:25

4 1.00 am Deckard zapping tv channels 5:48

5 Jack the Ripper 5:39

6 The Vampire Lurks 3:54

7 The Shores of Fate 4:49

8 At the Occult Library 2:30

9 The Passage of Time 5:31

10 Dusk in the Forest 3:50

(CD-r/DDL 45:06) (V.F.)

(EDM, Industrial E-Rock)

DANGEROUS NIGHTS is a suite of this collection of tracks that Gustavo Jobim offered in his first album on Cyclical Dreams, Deep Blue. Except that here, the musician-synthesist from Brazil proposes rather a livelier electronic music (EM) animated by a panoply of rhythms, except for 2 tracks, which flirt between EDM and industrial Krautrock in cinematographic ambiances inspired by anguish films, if not horror. And like in Deep Blue, the music proposed on DANGEROUS NIGHTS is pulls from short films, videos that the musician proposes on his YouTube channel. The rhythms are all catchy, some less than others, with this organic and elastic texture that gives a slight rubbery suction effect in the bouncy structures of the sequencer that is very well supported by the bass and the electronic percussions. The synth has a spectral touch with a grainy envelope that projects gloomy and dark glares in ambiences rather industrial. In short, a dynamic album with a collection of assorted rhythms that are ideal for a rave party in a disused factory where the guests are dressed as zombies.

March of the Elementals opens the 10 cinematic chapters of this DANGEROUS NIGHTS in a mood of greyness. The percussions hammer out a slow rhythm with metronomic precision. A shadow of a bass blows muffled pulses while the keyboard throws in layers of sinister harmonies that have that radioactive drone texture. The drive and the rhythm, muted as well as darkened, remind me a lot of Gary Numan's Down in the Park. The title track has a very interesting rhythmic evolution. Dangerous Nights begins with an undulating backbone of pulsating rhythm with elastic grumbling effects. The synth weaves a spectral atmosphere with sibylline tunes that float with a fine touch of ghostly melody. The first mutation presents itself with a twirling line of arpeggios, like a thin stream of sonic light swirled to excite a cat. A sequenced bass line, galloping and gamboling, and percussions, with a noisy and grainy metallic effect, propel Dangerous Nights into EDM territory with an industrial psychedelic vision. A buzzing tone ends the track and also introduces the lively electronic rock of Downtown Midnight. Its rhythm is lifted by a driving percussion set and a bass line as all-consuming to the senses as in the title track. The synth texture and harmonies are also inspired by the last track. The tonal envelope is coated with a layer of sizzling, crunchy noise that gives a gothic-industrial depth to this headbanging rhythm. With a similar title, we imagine that 1.00 am Deckard zapping tv channels is inspired by the ambiences of Blade Runner! On a jazzy downtempo style, again here the pulsations have this industrial resonance aspect, the ambient and floating harmonies of a synth played by a melancholic spirit are in the tone of Vangelis. It's a good track enjoyable to listen to!

The synth in Jack the Ripper takes on a more musical tone, Tangerine Dream influences are clearly present, over a rhythm structure halfway between downtempo and IDM. I didn't know that the notorious Whitechapel serial killer had a taste for partying 😊! The Vampire Lurks' slow yet driving structure does in gothic rock that reminds me of The Cure's depressive and dark days. The rhythm gains in velocity as the seconds evaporate. The Shores of Fate is the first quieter, more atmospheric track in this seductive collection of contemporary film-inspired music. It is shimmering arpeggios that trace a wandering melody, over a bass line suffering from its soul, that controls the track's destiny. We stay in this realm of less dynamic music with At the Occult Library from which the atmosphere is in every way consistent with the idea behind the title. It's a cinematographic mood music for a horror movie which is very well structured by its secret rhythm driven by a vampiric bass shadow whose procession is haunted by swirling clouds of transient arpeggios and a magnificent spectral chant of the synth. Chills guaranteed! The Passage of Time takes the guides of DANGEROUS NIGHTS' unbridled rhythms with a structure of sequenced pulsations in a long path of spasms and jolts which gives this effect of listening to the hyper syncopated heartbeats of a giant sucker. The synth takes on a childish tone, almost virginal of children's tales about to be devoured, in a track where the delirium of darkness is overshadowed by this kind of infantilized rhyme. Dusk in the Forest's music is of a processional kind with a slow march sculpted by hesitantly falling pads and synth riffs. Bird chirps, hidden here and there, complete the rather murky setting of this last track of an album full of fascinating surprises. To be listened to with the doors of the imagination wide open!

Sylvain Lupari (March 25th, 2023) ****¼*

Available at Cyclical Dreams Bandcamp

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

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