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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

INDRA: Interactive Play (The Essential) Vol. II (2011)

Updated: Mar 28, 2021

Indra deserves to be finally recognized for his true value

1 Walking on the Moon (excerpt Space) 3:46

2 The Living Forest (excerpt Seven) 5:38

3 Golden Ray (excerpt Seven) 4:38

4 Prelude (excerpt Plenitude) 3:14

5 Sheherezad (Tales from Arabia) 3:14

6 The Holy Dance (excerpt Magic Collection) 4:40

7 Passing Pulse (excerpt Magic Collection) 3:26

8 Veda (excerpt Cosmic Sound) 7:38

9 Turning Away (excerpt from Turning Away) 6:07

10 Rustic Pictures (excerpt from Kingdom of Light) 4:25

11 Plenitude (excerpt from Plenitude) 4:25

12 Synapse (bonus track recorded in 2007) 25:17

(DDL 76:01) (V.F.)

(Oneiric, Minimalist, Roumanian School)

This second part of Interactive Play offers a darker and introspective side of Indra with more ambient and atmospheric titles where the rhythms pierce their iodine and iridescent membranes. The only vestige of the Space album is Walking on the Moon. And it begins this second compilation with a track that flows through our ears with a sweet musical scent of psychedelic years. Synth and keyboard waves are entwined in movements of invading and floating layers on percussions which thunder and resonate, shaping a bewitching cerebral trance rhythm where arpeggios emerge towards the very end. The intro of The Living Forest is submerged in cosmic breezes and breathless whispers that feed a muffled poly sonic agitation. Sighs of violins rise. They open the door to a heavy rhythm which traces a slow upward course whose steps weigh in clouds of mist, molding a steady and symmetrical rhythm. A rhythm transported by the caresses of the violins, struck by percussions and doubled by other touches of more limpid sequences. Also, from the album Seven, Golden Ray leans on a rhythm pulsating slightly in clouds of mist thrown by the violins, carrying away the sweet melancholic scents which seem to reign on this album of which I cannot erase a strange link that I make with Adelbert Von Deyen's Atmosphere album. It's very beautiful. With its chords that fall like a metronome on drug, Prelude is about to weave the cocoon for a nice earworm. The flow is strangely bewitching, even if devoid of rhythm, with fine modulations in its proceeding. Sitar chords ring behind this hypnotic ticking which quietly soaks itself in iridescent mist and iodized choruses while percussions fall a little before the second minute, solidifying the harmonic impact of this innocent ritornello. After a short foray into the tribal dances of the nomadic people of the sands in the title Sheherezad, The Holy Dance offers a hesitant rhythmic approach with chords that wave on a bed of iridescent mist. The rhythm is fuzzy and delicate. It skips lightly under good inspired synth solos which exude an astral serenity and unite their poems to fluty breaths. Jerkier, Passing Pulse spreads out its rhythmic frolics with the help of percussions whose irregular flow matches the plucked chords, forming a slight rhythmic whirlwind which swirls by the force of the winds. Strata of violins snatch up this harmless rhythm and wind it up in a beautiful staccato-style movement, like snowflakes swirling in a storm blown by choirs, disturbed by tams-tams and nourished by voracious violins. I would have liked to hear the rest! Veda is an atmospheric track where the synth waves swirl and become entangled between the chords of a harp and water droplets.

It's a long ambient passage, like Plenitude which is on the other hand more orchestral and therefore more touching where the mellotron-synth plays a preponderant role by multiplying the amphibian waves which modulate a psychedelicosmic and surrealist approach, as in the first works of Tangerine Dream (Zeit and Atem). Turning Away is one of the first tracks Indra has composed and it takes full advantage of its 30 minutes in its original version. We are entitled in INTERACTIVE PLAY (The Essential) Vol II to its finale where the sequences whirl under waltzing morphic synth layers and encircling a circular rhythm from which escape small percussions with felted clicks. It's very beautiful and very representative of Indra's minimalist style just like Rustic Pictures from the Kingdom of Light album. The extract proposed exploits the heart of the harmonic envelope of the title with percussions of which the echo of the hammering is topped with violins plowed with jerky bows. Violins dancing with fury, assisted by choirs humming gently under the repeated blows of percussions whose echo is gradually lost in a distant cosmos. Emerging from iodized sighs, Synapse deploys its rhythmic arsenal with a panoply of sequences which crisscross and merge their tones as well as their circular movements around ringing arpeggios which try to create the breaths of an innocent melody. Sequences snake the movement, like dragonfly wings weaving a slightly stroboscopic movement while percussions fall to fatten an already very well nourished rhythm. Synth chords chirp among heavenly breaths, covering this rhythmic crossroads which strangely resembles the last works of Tangerine Dream. This first phase is extinguished in the resonances of a long pulsation whose resonant contours release another rhythmic phase. More robotic and slightly technoïd, this second phase extends over the oscillatory waves of a fluttering sequence residue, laying the foundations for a very beautiful melodious approach that flows with harmonic softness on an arched rhythm on pulsating percussions and melodic sequences which support its hypnotic hammering. Waves and choruses, as well as cosmic tones, surround this gently jerky rhythm which dances in our ears for almost 8 minutes before the last, more morphic phase extinguishes the charming rhythm of Synapse which dies in the menacing and reverberant breaths of its intro.

Obviously, INTERACTIVE PLAY (The Essential) Vol II is the perfect complement to Interactive Play (The Essential) Vol. I. The set of 2 CDs offers a nice overview of Indra's first albums which are unfortunately lost in the abysses of time and of its imponderables. I still believe that this is a compilation aimed at fans, allowing them to follow the evolution of the Romanian synthesist in a period of bloom in composition and production since the Romanian synthesist produced no less than 12 albums during this era covered by the 2 volumes of Interactive Play. As for the bonus tracks, they are very good; Synapse being my favorite. Quite frankly, I believe that each of them is worth the cost of each volume of this short series which contains very good tracks in a pool of titles demonstrating all the creativity of this artist who deserves to be recognized at his fair value.

Sylvain Lupari (April 1st, 2012) *****

Available at Indra Bandcamp

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