INDRA: Archives-Diamond One (2016)
Updated: Jan 4
“Magical, like always in the universe of Indra, the music here starts thing big time in the fourth chapter of the Archives series”
1 Bellatrix 9:26 2 The Djinn 15:52 3 Jubilee 12:32 4 She's Good 12:03 5 Zian 16:38 6 Alice in Wonderland 11:29 Indra Music
(CD/DDL 78:02) (V.F.) (Berlin & Roumanian School)
Indra is at his best when he balances us an album of a half-dozens of titles which flirt with an average of 12 minutes each. Not too long, nor too short, the music has amply the time to develop without that we regret its beginning. And it's even more true when the artist, as here with Indra, favors minimalist structures of which the evolutions pass by a considerable addition of sound ornaments.
After a very short introduction of usual formalities, Bellatrix skips between our ears with a lively movement of the sequencer which cuts some slack to its keys jumping such as electronic castanets. Agile and fluid, the luminous movement of spheroidal rhythm flutters around and sparkles until it hangs onto a solid bassline which resounds heavily and accelerates the race of blood in our veins.
Indra decorates his first minimalist movement with layers of seraphic voices and with another line of rhythm which oscillates with a scent of a nightingale's chants in it. The echoes which reverberate in the entanglement of other sequences give a percussive painting of the most pleasant while the main rhythmic part accelerates the pace with the addition of tribal percussions and other percussions which tumble constantly from a stratosphere of sounds rich in percussive elements. The synth adds colors and nuances, whereas the sequencer articulates another line filled of melodious tones. Bellatrix begins with strength this first chapter of the new series, entitled Diamond, from the Romanian synth wizard. Released at the very beginning of 2016, this series makes an overview over Indra's 2009-2012 era, that is to say in the heart of his Tantric Celebration period. Except that the music here is a little bit distant from this edition by proposing a great mixture between the Roumanian and the Berlin Schools. And if you like percussions and the uncountable possibilities of those electronic beatboxes, this DIAMOND ONE is a real mine of percussive nuggets …The Djinn begins with this wide strip of hollow winds. They are as well threatening than intriguing and characterize the usual introductions in EM. Isolated chords ring in this abstruse sky, inviting the course of stars to moor on it and to crumble its dusts which are snatched by strong lunar winds. A distant lament is translated by the strings of a cello saddened by this pain that the rust infiltrates in a system which was for a long time dead. The laments warm themselves and weave out some superb Oriental harmonies, giving us a delicious gooseflesh, which is heavenly hammered by heavy and terribly effective percussions.
Each time it's the same thing! And I always wonder why it took me so long to please my ears by listening to the music of Indra. By discovering his delicious leftovers. Let's be frank here; this huge Archives collection is composed of musical leftovers since the early steps of Indra up until the 2010's. And it contains music of extremely high quality which justifies without a shadow of a doubt this impressive Boxset of 25 CD. And the least that I can write is that DIAMOND ONE starts things big time with in particular 4 tracks which are going to bring you to the heaven of EM. And we go on with the lascivious, the slow and the proud to desire the subjugation of your senses with its divine cosmic slow dance, The Djinn. Structuring marvellously its 15 minutes, it's a splendid movement of musical dependence which ends a little in a rather acceptable ambient chaos, just like Bellatrix. We got a little dozed off? Not really a problem because Jubilee is going to rock down your mind! Its rhythm is heavy because hammered by powerful percussions. Lively too, because it's nibbled by good sequences. But the charm lives in the synths. Between anesthetic layers and chords which get lost in an illusion of harmonies, they throw solos and melodies that make us dream of Klaus Schulze. And with a title like that, we couldn't hope for something else. Very good! The first 3 titles here are wonderfully good. She's Good brings us to another level. A voice of intergalactic mermaid (kind of those in Ulysses) sprinkles lovely aerial songs over a sharp and circular movement of the sequencer. That reminds me of ERA or still Enigma with this structure which swirls from its continual jerks among dramatic effects of percussions and seraphic chants. These jerks are jolting for a good 4 to 5 minutes before the music embraces an ambient phase which invites to an astral meditation. We are in an ambient meditative phase here until the rhythm takes back its strength some 5 minutes later. The evolution of Zian reminds me of Steve Roach. The layers are very restful while the delicate rhythm, knit around effects of manual and tribe percussions, is drumming with more insistently. That becomes very intense. And the arpeggios which sparkle such as stars add a strange paradox to a structure which becomes more and more threatening for those who opted for a soundscape of relaxation. Indra spreads here his magic for sounds and effects by decorating the structure of Zian with a skill that competes very well with the increasing intensity in the evolution of its rhythm always more cerebral than physical. Between the turbulences of the cosmic winds and the quietude of the layers which float such as sweet digital violins in the electronic cosmos, Alice in Wonderland ends another very beautiful album of this collection where the charms and the bewitchments are also dominant than this sweet desire to let ourself being dominated by a contemporary EM certainly, but built with this spirit of the nice vintage years. Incredible when we think of the music as leftovers…
Sylvain Lupari (December 22nd, 2017) *****
Available at Indra Bandcamp