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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

INDRA: Live in the Salt Mine 2007 (2010)

Updated: May 19, 2020

Live at the Saltmine is a must for all fans of Indra and to those who want to discover the man and his music

1 Magneto 20:40

2 The Moog Prophecy 16:43

3 Mythical Forest 27:52

4 Encore 9:37

(CD-R/DVD/DDL 74:52) (V.F.)

(Roumanian & Berlin School)

For Indra fans, see him live is not at everyone's range. Concerts of the Rumanian synthesist are parsimoniously scattered in his country, restricting chances of his fans outside of Romania to see him in concert. LIVE IN THE SALTMINE corrects the situation by transporting us in a concert that vast mining caves made very intimate. A good CD/DVD box where we see the concert, the Making Of and a long interview of almost 1 hour in Indra's studio. An interview that demystifies a bit the man behind keyboards. But overall, the DVD shows us one of the great artistic Indra strength; his extreme ability of dressed, and this all-in smoothness and subtlety, his minimalism rhythms and structures. Recorded in Turda salt mine in 2007, this live album is a pure exercise of style where Indra captivates his audience with long titles built on minimalism structures that quietly take the magical Indra shape.

A sequence of frenzied vibrations opens Magneto. From the outset, Indra charms with the addition of another sequence with chords which nerve nervously on a structure twisted by its undulations in a loop. Already our ears are taken by storm by its 2 sequences which intersect in a minimalism trance specific to Indra's style. Strata and metallic streaks fly over this hypnotic movement where a panoply of heterogeneous tones, worthy of old disused factories, are added to this hatched rhythm, while a salvo of solos swirls above a tempo which at times increases its intensity like a train crisscrossing uneven valleys. Long and sinuous solos with twisted loops fly over this sequenced course which, around the 8th minute, follows a technoïd musical path with a good bass line that rolls under metallic strata. Magneto borrows a heavy rhythm which is devoured by chords which jump with wonder on a line of syncopated rhythm which undulates around furious rhythmic arpeggios, carrying Magneto on the rails of an underground train submerged by waves of a synth with hybrid musical envelopes. The rhythm continues its minimalist push with these pulsations which get more intense and whose felted envelope helps to propel the rhythmic train between rock and techno, always beneath superb enveloping strata. We are in a phase of hypnotic trance à la Indra which goes like a train loaded with sequenced steroids. Borrowed from the minimalism world of Klaus Schulze, this musical concept has become part of Indra's signature who has managed to modify its meaning by adding an overabundance of sequences and of electronic elements to some constantly growing rhythms. Take The Moog Prophecy and its heavy resonant layers that make the introduction. Drummed percussions dance there under the ethereal torques of synth solos while the movement is gradually amplified with another jerky sequenced line which molds a delicate syncopated tempo. A tempo that swaps its rhythmic structure in an electronic kingdom riddled with tones coming from the panoply of synths that Indra manipulates.

Mythical Forest is a long ambient title which evolves on a slow rhythmic structure fragmented by atmospheric passages. This longer title opens gently, presenting a gray universe besieged by a fine drizzle and delicate complaints of a synth with tones of a saxophonist lost in the rain, recalling vaguely the universe of Blade Runner. Little by little the rhythm takes shape, borrowing a soft sensual movement which is lost and reborn under solitary strata which overhang a sound fauna at the crossroads of Spyra and Vangelis, while the rhythm takes more vigor and embraces an Aboriginal tangent to conclude on a good finale tinted with a sensual spirituality. A particularly good title which must be a little difficult to hear in concert, because of its great immersion of tranquility, but on the other hand which cradles wonderfully our nocturnal dreams. Encore is one of these explosive titles that Indra likes to serve us once in a while with pulsations that oscillate in a fascinating Hindu universe, before exploding with a technoïd approach where the synth addresses its audience with an incredible surprise and astonishment. A title whose rhythm thrills in a musical universe in constant development, worthy of the good pieces of Indra.

LIVE IN THE SALTMINE is a must for all fans of Indra and to those who want to discover the man and his music. The CD offers 3 catchy tracks and a long dreamy one whereas the DVD presents a visual approach which respects the visibility that one can have in a mine, explaining the grainy image that surrounds the live performance. A concert that was difficult to capture because of the imponderables link to an underground filming, from where a shorter version of the concert on DVD than the CD which gains 25 minutes missing on the DVD performance. Anyway, it remains o good audio-visual document and a particularly good CD where the music of the Rumanian magician cannot let anybody indifferent.

Sylvain Lupari (March 12th, 2012) ***½**

Available on Indra's Bandcamp

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