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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

INDRA: Pleasure (1997/2001)

Updated: May 19, 2020

Pleasure is a hybrid album where Indra establishes his vision of sensuality on his most beautiful ambient ballads

1 Pleasure (Remix) 5:46

2 Calling Amos (Remix) 2:00

3 Fatal Woman 4:06

4 Beauty (Remix) 7:06

5 Together 5:26

6 Lorena 7:04

7 Fairies of the Dawn 3:20

8 Heaven Path (Remix) 2:58

9 The Field 12:37

(CD-R/DDL 50:23) (V.F.)

(Blend of down-tempos, sensual and cosmic music)

We look at the artwork and we understand of what PLEASURE will be made of! It's been a while that I have this album and I was always reluctant to approach it. What's to be done with a rather suggestive music? The first time that I heard it, I was sitting on the fence. To tell the truth, I had stopped at Together! Which was a little mistake, and you will see why. But don't get me wrong here. I think this is good music but not just in my vein. To me Indra revisits the lands of Software's lascivious dances and moods of Digital-Dance, or Food for Fantasy or still Robert Schroeder in his groove era. So, a lot of you should like this. We are far, but very far from the Berlin School style and these mesmerizing long minimalist rivers of sounds to which the Rumanian synthesist had so skillfully accustomed us since we heard his magnificent The Call of Shiva back in 2005. Certainly, there were several discoveries since then, but never Indra had gone out of his comfort zone so widely to offer a music directly bound to the carnal charms. Because it's really this pleasure that Indra calls out with PLEASURE, to say the least of its first part. As for the second one, it's quite another story. Composed and recorded at the end of the 90's and remixed twice since then, this album which will guide you near the sensualism; as spiritual as cosmic and physical, will eventually find on the other hand its way if we take the effort to go up to the end. Because if the first 24 minutes of this album, including the really beautiful Beauty, will sound like a kind of sensual awakening, its 2nd part will invite you to a real lunar feast.

Fragile arpeggios like these flakes of snow hesitating in an uncertain sky, Pleasure (Remix) extends its ambiguity towards a down-tempo where a big bass line croaks on the back of the waves from an ocean that we guess very close. The rhythm is lascivious and tied to slow orchestrations which waltz sweetly under a sonic blanket eaten away by a distant festive and tribal approach from the Pleasure Islands. Slowly, the title deviates towards a nice serenade that would make Yanni turn pale. We cannot say that it's not good, even if it isn't our musical genre. The effect of sensuality sought by Indra hits the nail on the head with a soft rhythm and saxophone tunes that mold perfectly to the tears of chimerical violins. I like it! Just like Beauty which, in my opinion, is a musical gem in terms of the melodious, melancholic, and sensual genre. The crystal-clear piano notes weep on solitary acoustic guitar riffs as well as the lascivious Chinese violins and transport us to the country of chivalrous dreams and illusions that rocked our childhoods. Astonishment, I hear a kind of Chinese cosmic western… Calling Amos (Remix) is a track with flavors of tropical islands with its rain and thunder that pierce a pretty electronic serenade disturbed by a sensual voice. I hear Software, but not as much as on Fatal Woman and its very suggestive rhythm. A kind of slow sensual jazz where a languorous saxophone duo, which reminds me of the Digital Dance moods, courts a delicate piano.

I could say that only Together is one of those sanitized melodies that could be played in an elevator or at doctor's office. If its delicious and very bucolic intro enchants, its portion animated by a suggestive rhythm and sung by a kind of guitar-synth-saxophone mix has the gift of annoying. But I warn you; after two plays we get hooked to it. It's after this episode that the pleasure of hearing PLEASURE grows with use. Because after this Together the next 27 minutes make us drift towards good cosmic melodies that have nothing to envy to the repertoire of Vangelis. I mentioned to you that Beauty was a little gem, but Lorena is even more radiant with sensitivity. Melancholic and black at will, Indra lies here a splendid ballad where our ears are the temple of our sensitivity. There is a good mixture of sensuality and serenity on this title which rocks my tormented nights since it attacked my ears (it's the case to say it). And what about Fairies of the Dawn? An ambient-cosmic title with synth lines on spectral airs. A bit like Tangerine Dream's Legend. And Heaven Path (Remix)? Vangelis has escaped a dark serenade somewhere! The Field is a bonus track added in 2001. And it's a good ethereal movement that has nothing to envy to the ambient music of Brian Eno. It's very serene and it concludes a hybrid album where the first part flies over music common to the more commercial works of Software and Robert Schroeder and the second half takes us to where Indra excels the best. Get your hands on it, if only for the last 27 minutes.

Sylvain Lupari (November 10th, 2014) ***½**

Available at Indra's Bandcamp

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