INDRA: Parallel Time (1993/2011)
“Parallel Time is a pearl!”
1 Prophet 31:32
2 Sphinx 30:52
3 The Twins (Bonus Track) 17:29
(CD-R/DDL 79:53) (V.F.)
(Ambient Berlin School)
Curt and sharp chords waltz with a metallic cohesion on the murky breaths of heavy and sinuous iridescent reverberations. Melted in a musical universe where silvery tones are lost in breaths of dying metals, Prophet's intro takes us into the curious and abstract musical world of Indra. We can hear his synths sculpted by the winds of the East. As we can hear his poetic breaths and his orchestral arrangements carrying whimsical chords which only ask to form a coherent musical chain, but Indra has decided to move away from his usual approach in order to offer a more daring album. An album that he himself qualifies as the most difficult to tame.
It was after attending the theatral play The Primeval Beauty that Indra had the idea of composing an album where the abstract would rub shoulders with ambivalent and latent rhythms. After 2 first albums inspired by the Berlin School, the Romanian synthesist wanted to undertake a more daring musical journey and PARALLEL TIME is one of a heck! Prophet is the more experimental of the 2 tracks on this album. It's a long abstract canvas where a panoply of interrupted sounds, broken chords and isolated orchestrations vacillate and float in a musical universe divided between cerebral anarchy and its ephemeral evolutionary rhythms. The ambience is surreal with these bits of melodies drowned in a musical anarchy composed of heterogeneous tones and of metallic breaths. Despite its length (31:32) we can't say that the title stretches in redundancy since the Romanian synthesist captures our attention and feeds our imagination with harmonious insertions that get lost and come back in other forms in this long mess of sounds. Divided between pure sluggishness, subtle sequenced impulses that undulate on a sea of restless sounds and wandering choirs as well as some avalanches of scattered percussions, Prophet continues its long road of lost harmonies, sometimes falling into harsh eclectic moments and rising from other times in brief harmonic moments; witness to the constant duality that Indra wants to impose on his 3rd work.
Sharply more musical and more inspired by The Primeval Beauty, Sphinx is simply wonderful. It's a long hypnotic title which is strongly impregnated by the influences of the Berlin School with a meditative progressive rhythm hammered by incise percussions of which the strikings sometimes metalized resound in the mist of Hinduisms' fragrances. A synth with honeyed winds of the Middle East opens the intro. A rich intro where the paradisiacal breaths are wrapped by crisscrossed synth strata. Strata which drop its choirs and its limpid tones of crystal. This mesmerizing movement of morphic waltz stretches its elytrons of desires beyond the first beatings of percussions, rooting the sensualism of an intro which doesn't stop merging in the strange lasciviousness of a movement which nevertheless goes on the borders of perdition. A little before the 8th minute the percussions fall with more heaviness and vigour, masking a bit the tones of suave flutes which emerge from the synths and giving so a second life to Sphinx. A life imprinted by a sensual and cerebral magnetism. Wandering choirs smell the limping rhythm. It's a slow and heavy rhythm, as a hypnotic groovy, which skips with a mixture of percussions and metallic jingles. Indra adds to it some splendid and attractive synth layers with tones as much striking as surprising which whip up the senses and calm the heaviness of the strikings of percussions of which the hypnotic pounding oversizes its dodecaphonic approach. And so Sphinx goes on and displays its 30 minutes like a slow cerebral trance where the rhythm is of use as pretext to a musical painting with thousand eclectic breaths and where the magic of Indra settles its first real daring ramifications which will serve the versatility of the Rumanian synth-spirit through his many works to come. This title is a pure marvel of electronic minimalist music.
Composed almost 15 years later, in 2007, The Twins is a bonus track offered with this reissue of PARALLEL TIME. And this is another gem that Indra comes out of his synths! A pure delight of minimalist fascination which begins with chimes chords that skip and collide with the sweetness of dreamlike tenderness. We recognize the Indra sound! Its delicacy and its style of balanced hesitation, signature of softness and sensitivity acquired through slices of life, which shapes a fine and slightly jerky rhythm. And the music is beautiful! A superb romance where the chords fly with finesse and harmony, changing the course of their melody on a subtly changing rhythmic axis. The movement is of an innocent candor and all in harmony with a series of scintillating chords that skip in threadlike lines and crisscross in different melodious approaches, forging a ball of unfinished melodies that complement each other in the abstraction of its parallel lines. Hence the link with PARALLEL TIME. And when we say to ourselves; Oh shit that is so beautiful; it becomes even more so with his orchestral arrangements that bring a smile to the soul. Smiles that Indra has actually been pulling from me for many years.
PARALLEL TIME is a gem! If Prophet can scratch your ears with its eclectic and experimental approach, Sphinx and The Twins are two must-haves in Indra's musical world and even EM in general. Bold, Indra laid the foundations for a style that he will refine with more refinement in his subsequent works, I am thinking in particular of the very beautiful Echo in Time released in 1998, and which will become the seal of this brilliant synthesist and composer.
Sylvain Lupari (February 21st, 2012) ****½*
Available at Indra's Bandcamp