INDRA: Archives Platinum FOUR (2016)
Updated: Oct 7, 2019
“The journey of the Archives series is coming to an end, but meanwhile the penultimate album is filled with beautiful music including the splendid Feliciano”
1 Feliciano 49:07
2 Roll It 9:48
3 The Living Nada 6:47
4 Ambiosonic 10:56
(CD/DDL 76:40) (V.F.)
(Roumanian & Berlin Schools)
A long title of 50 minutes! Who does that nowadays? I know there are a lot of artists on Bandcamp who are experimenting with sounds and ambiospherical textures of over an hour. But who can do it with as much panache and brilliance as Indra? I don't want to talk about Klaus Schulze, because I think that Indra has supplanted him by imposing his contemporary vision on that of the German master who has always had difficulty with his long titles. The recipe is simple; a hypnotic minimalist structure to which elements are grafted which gradually give the aspect of a bolero. Like Feliciano! Simple!? But how many have succeeded there? The fans of the Romanian synthesist remember his longest music act Elixir, that can be found on the album Tripura Sundari, and these rotary loops that lead us from an ambient opening to a solid Trance, unique to Indra style. If the principle applies to Feliciano, the result is quite different. Like the multicolored dots that are hidden under our eyelids after rinsing our eyes with sun rays, they are scattered loops that adorn his introduction. Dozens of bubbles that sparkle with short tones and others a little more elongated. Chloroformed layers and dull beats invited themselves to join this choreography of sequenced tones. These bubbles of tones are the first base of the ambient rhythm of this long musical river of 49 minutes. A line of bass sequences, as deaf as the first beats, discreetly extends its Berlin School approach with these perpetual upward movements whose effect is diminished by this new mass of layers from which is formed an angelic choir. Whereas stationary bubbles have become the melodious element of Feliciano, delicate percussions come to solidify this base of rhythm by pecking it delicately. And then it's the bass line that copies the movement of the bass sequences. Subtly, the rhythm has become a sort of morphic trance unique to the Roumanian School, especially with the amplification of percussions that nervously beat this spasmodic structure. Electronic effects support the hypnotic melody that is now fighting against a more intense and accelerated rhythmic vision. A rhythmic vision embellished by a fascinating echo of crotale percussions and the effect of the fluid and fleeting threads of the synth adds even more to the enchantment of which we are a victim since the first melodic bubbles of Feliciano. Bubbles that are isolated on the border of 20 minutes, before the tempo returns to its pace until the 26th minute. Up to a point of meditation where Indra looks back and forth to see where he can bring the listener hanging on his fingers. And it's a more Groove approach that emerges. The rhythm is more fluid with drums that frolic and take control in a structure enhanced by the ornamentations of a synth that sways between a psychedelic vision or a tonal incense for meditation. A solid title that one listens to not stop, so much its effect of bewitching is intense.
There are 3 more stories on PLATINUM FOUR. And each has its own identity that is sometimes light years away from Feliciano. Roll It is inspired by its Morphic Trance approach. It differs however with this game of percussive elements in its decor. There is also this delicate nuance in its frame of rhythm and a melodic pattern where emerge a very beautiful chant of the synthesizer and, further, a tonal oration a little more experimental. It's a very good title with a rhythmic structure as lively and as well melodious which doesn't suffer at all of Feliciano's imposing structure. The Living Nada is a title of the Romanian tales' folkloric vibes. A voice of gypsy deity dances with a gypsy violin. We must be in the mood because it's a bit discordant from those hypnotic rhythms that have dominated our ears since the first bubble of PLATINUM FOUR. It's important not to trust the title Ambiosonic to judge of its musical depth. A bit like Steve Roach, Indra has the gift of creating a symphony by lifting a small rock. Here, it's cosmic dust that it delivers, and which throw itself into a stream of hot air that becomes a lyrical ode with this fusion between synth pads and a barely audible morphic voice. The intro is ambiosonic and sounds a bit like Worlds Away from the Canadian band Strange Advance. But the fiery rhythm is replaced by a structure sewn by a nervous sequencer where the agitated keys struggle to follow the ambient pace blown by layers and synth effects. Sonic bubbles ring and come closer to the floating harmonies of Feliciano. They are immersed by the complaints of a synth that hang its lamentations on the threads of Ambiosonic's structure. An even more nervous line of the sequencer throws its loop which rolls repeatedly in the resonant strikes of the morphic percussions, thus leading Ambiosonic until its last second.
Where the desire to make play again PLATINUM FOUR is stronger than anything! Me, I couldn't resist to the bewitching call of Feliciano. But as you know I'm a fan of Indra's music. You doubt? Well, it's the same for me. Because each time I'm reviewing one of his albums I say to myself: how can he be so good all the time? I think I connected to his vibrations from the first analysis of his music. Finally, PLATINUM FOUR is a solid opus for those who love these long structures that serve as a canvas for the immense creativity of an artist whose potential has been proven for years. An artist like Indra.
Sylvain Lupari (July 18th, 2019) *****
Available at Indra's Bandcamp