IMAGINARY LANDSCAPE: Nothing Left Behind (2019)
“If you are looking for a dysfunctional sound mass with very intense passages, you are in the right place with this album of ambient anti-music”
1 Overture 7:45
2 Distant Voices 8:50
3 Where will we Go 8:37
4 Remembrance 9:05
5 Broken Dreams 8:21
6 Cold Light 9:33
7 Larsen-C Revisited 11:40
8 Nothing left Behind 8:48
(CD-r/DDL 72:42) (V.F.)
(Ambient abstract music)
Hans-Dieter Schmidt is the sound engineer who mastered the very beautiful album of P'faun (Sp'roque) in 2018. It was also part of the duet Bridge To Imla project with Michael Brückner. He is also behind this new soundscape project called Imaginary Landscape, whose first album NOTHING LEFT BEHIND has just been released on CD-r and in a download option on the German label SynGate and its Luna division. We'll say right now, this album is not for everyone! It's an anti-symphony of sounds and of their violence when piled up into moving walls that seek to replenish the coffers of nothingness. I had difficulty passing through its 73 minutes as it is dissonant and the opposite of the word music. I won't give it a note, because it's not my musical genre. But if you are looking for a dysfunctional sound mass with very intense passages, you are in the right place with this first album of Imaginary Landscape.
Well-adjusted violins and tears of trumpeters crying in anonymity open the slow tonal bloom of Overture. Clinking and humming of unicorns adorn the scene, which slowly changes to a more deadly aura. The rattling becomes rubbing of bones that are moved by rattlesnake crawls as the whispers become cavernous breaths, exposing the setting of NOTHING LEFT BEHIND that sways between hope and its opposite. Chords sounding like strings and piano notes thrown into the abyss complete this decor whose heartbeats give life to this first very quiet opus of Imaginary Landscape. Ambient certainly, but not devoid of intensity as evidenced by Distant Voices. Swept by hollow waves and piercing breaths, the movement is like those cosmic masses of Michael Stearns in Chronos. The multi-lines of synths are still a very sinister scene with effects that arouse the hearing, for a little that ambient music, ambivalent I must add, and slow evolutions of sonic panoramas interest us a bit. This is essential if one wants to measure to the very gregarious visions, both in evolution and in transformation, of the 72 minutes of this album. Where will we Go is undoubtedly the most intense title with deafening layers whose resonances slightly mask this duel with the choirs nestled in the clouds. Dark and rather sibylline, the music evolves in layers by always adding a level of intensity to each permutation of the sound surface. Chords of a stringed instrument, a harp or an effect of the synthesizer, waltz and hop up and down on this structure where we hear very good airs of flutes. A bit like Tewt in The Mighty Hercules cartoon. The music reminds me a lot of Robert Rich's. The piano dominates with its chords sculpting a funeral march in Remembrance. Its notes are firmly set, as long as they resonate in the vaporous effects of a repentant cello. This march stumbles in a violent movement, a sonorous cataclysm, in which the tears of violins can hardly be distinguished from the sighs of the cellos in a sound mass as compact and granular as the rage of a sandstorm.
Broken Dreams belongs to this list of intense tracks of NOTHING LEFT BEHIND with a plethora of tones that resemble a tuning of a horn and string orchestra. The synth pads, sometimes apocalyptic and sometimes seraphic, also evolve like a storm of sounds that roars of its vibrating particles. The sound mass is divided into titanic shadows that float with a threatening presence. Especially with these frictions of metallic materials that crumble like ink particles in this setting obsessed by its sibylline essence. Its finale is more musical and closer to New Age lullabies. A long and slow buzz keeps Cold Light alive. A warmer wave comes off in order to bring a light veil of serenity where these gongs, crumbled by the multiple strikes and whose dust haunt the hearing, these tones of bells tingling in oblivion and these smothered knocks are still active in this setting. The introduction of Larsen-C Revisited places the explorers of the shapes and colors of sounds on this thin line that delimits the abstract of the concrete and their origins in another tonal experience that requires patience. Splashes become percussive elements to become water again in a fishing context with flapping wings that tickle its surface. Everything is possible here, especially since the movement embraces an angelic phase to descend into the bowels of an enormous cave whose tunnels are the effect of these organ pipes blowing the sulfur of the abyss. Noisy and ... very noisy! The title track is only an extension and a final hoped after my multiple attempts to understand much better the meaning of NOTHING LEFT BEHIND.
Sylvain Lupari (September 17th, 2019)
Available at SynGate-Luna Bandcamp