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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

GUSTAVO JOBIM: Inverno (2014)

Updated: Aug 2, 2020

An intense black ambient and experimental album, Inverno navigates between a Siberian blackness and Scandinavian's nights of March

1 Frozen Lake 6:35

2 Zone of Silence 7:07

3 Ice Age Coming 5:03

4 Permafrost 7:13

5 Winter Song 20:03

6 Wanderer 3:11

7 Mountain 10:00

8 Last Shelter 4:59

9 Summit 3:26

(DDL/CD-r 67:40) (V.F.)

(Deep dark and experimental ambient EM)

With his highly progressive and experimental experiences with albums such as Connection and Manifesto, Gustavo Jobim concludes a much busy 2013 year with another album whose experiments embrace the genesis of the ambient and experimental Krautrock movement. INVERNO floats between our ears with a disconcerting fascination for an album of black atmospheres. An album woven into the mysticism of a black winter where the cold is often the only allies of our remorse.

It's with shivering gasps that Gustavo Jobim's sonic winter crystallizes in our ears. The arrhythmic movement of Frozen Lake is more disturbing than dark with chords which shiver in a long linear movement and of which each echo of the jerks gives off an ethereal frost which floats among organic groans. Zone of Silence follows the same principle of hypnosis by disturbing sounds with winds which this time replace gasps. The title slips towards a more psychedelic sound fauna with murmurs and rustles which are lost in long dying drones. The intro of Ice Age Coming reminds me of the heavy pads Tony Banks freed in the opening of Watcher of the Skies. The title is more caustic with screeching that creeps through heavy reverberations. It takes patience. Let's say that it has scrape the ears and that it's quite representative of the title. But that's nothing compared to the Sonic Storm of Permafrost. Let's say that my Lise raised her eyebrows more than once!

Winter Song is THE track on INVERNO. Rich emotively, it wraps our eardrums with a mixture of very penetrating synth pads which forges the characteristics of the howling winds of a disturbing winter. That reminds me intensely the dying metallic synth lines and pads that Klaus Schulze exploited in Cyborg and Mirage. We feel the cold here just a bit, because there is a voracious passion which roars inside this dense ambiospherical shroud where the tears of Daniel Cardona Roman's guitar merge marvellously with the breezes of a Mellotron intensely black and wrapping. This is a great track. After a less acidic Wanderer than Ice Age Coming, Gustavo comes back to us with another long track which is more musical in Mountain where slow waves of cold envelop an oblong pulsating linear movement. The tempo is soft, slow. Like life trapped in ice. Last Shelter is a nice little title. It's more limpid, more harmonious with a delicate melody lost in a wandering piano whose weakened chords form a symphony with crackles of frozen water and of Siberian winds. Summit closes this winter dawn with explosions, jets of Nordic steam and stray gongs in a mysterious and enveloping winter aura that is less dark but just as intriguing.

Between Klaus Schulze's Cyborg, Tangerine Dream's Zeit and Stephen Parsick's Permafrost; INVERNO navigates between a Siberian darkness and the Scandinavian heat of the nights of March. It's an intensely ambient album where, if we accept its auditory invasion, can take us far beyond what the still life of a pitiless winter can offer to eyes devoid of listening. I must admit that my first contacts made my ears tremble and that my girlfriend (my sweet Lise) looked at me askance as the waves that overflowed from my headphones revealed an atmosphere of dark sonic perversions. Intense, ambient, dark and very creative; this latest Gustavo Jobim album is aimed at ears eager to hear more and further.

Sylvain Lupari (January 18th, 2014) ***½**

Available at Gustavo Jobim Bandcamp

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