INDRA: Turning Away (1993-2011)
Updated: Mar 8
“It's so strange to dig so far in Indra's career, this Turning Away is not perfect but we feel what Indra will become”
1 Turning Away 28:06 2 Archetype 16:00 3 Transcedental Path 12:38 4 The Sacred Hall
(Bonus track) 11:07 EMCD027/2011
(CD/DDL 67:53) (V.F.)
(Minimalist Berlin School, Klaus Schulze)
Finally, the first works of Indra are dusted and remastered. I say finally because I consider that Indra is a sublime EM composer and musician that I catalogue in the same vein as Klaus Schulze, although their musical universes are full of paradoxes and didn't follow the same path. This said, the major point of comparison between Indra and Schulze is the great passion they have for long minimalism ceremonials is hearing on subtle rhythmic modulations. And TURNING AWAY is the anchor point of this comparison and also the very first musical adventure of the Rumanian synthesist. It’s a nice album with long minimalist movements rather introspective and mysterious where the ambient goes alongside with progressive and bewitching rhythm that had revealed us a quality synth player on Echo in Time. A long mesmerizing track which exploits a soft and minimalist hypnotic approach, Turning Away makes us travel in towards dreams of an exotic Arabic universe in the tales of 1001 nights. The whole thing begins with a breath of sands which awakes a synth of which the twisted melody floats among bits of intermittent percussions and suave breezes whereas delicate sequences with tom-tom tones alternate their fine striking of tribal percussions. A soft cadence is settling down. Mesmerizing it criss-crosses a superb melody with Arabesques serpentines of which a mellotron mist is wrapping all of the charm beneath the aegis of percussions at once felted and metallic. Quietly, Indra dresses Turning Away with delicate synth solos which spin and wave with enchantment among spectral breezes, charming flutes and fine orchestral arrangements, like quixotic violins being caress by winds and oniric Middle-East choirs. Apart those sequenced tom-toms, which are the base of a bewitching minimalist structure, delicate intermittent percussions guide the fragile movement of Turning Away which offers subtle modulations in its evolution to reach a more ethereal passage around the 16th minute. A soft moment, more ambient and more introspective, where mellotron layers are entwining to create an odd motionless waltz which is moulding to more predominant flutes whereas that, gradually, the charming world of Indra takes back its shape with sequences which alternate with more mordant in a structure just as much oniric. That’s a very nice music piece which, in spite of its 28 minutes in the meter, rolls with all the finesse from the Rumanian synthesist’ compositions.
A synth with saxophone tones opens the first measures of Archetype. A mysterious silvered mist is wrapping all breezes whereas piano notes suddenly appear to stroll with hesitation on a structure sometimes delicate and sometimes dramatic which quietly embraces a more symphonic phase. Violins and cellos strata are flying away with strings that seem to be rubbed with doggedness, flirting with Schulze approaches on Goes Classic and Das Wagner Desaster before embracing the soft laments of a saxophone that is even more solitary and nostalgic than in the intro. The first breaths of mist that surround the intro of Transcedental Path vaguely remind me the melody hiding in Mike Oldfield's Ommadawn ashes. Transcedental Path is a long ambient track where celestial choirs and mellotron flutes unite their hymns with subtle modulations which progress towards a poignant astral ode. Written in 2007, The Sacred Hall jars with his more contemporary approach. Fine sequences pulse and alternate their low striking beneath a dense wavy mellotron veil. Isolated note tints, like a delicate anvil, moving away the metallic mist to get The Sacred Hall's rhythm more limpid. Jerky and nervous chords, two linear sequences among one that has a resonant oscillations and a vaporous synth draw the hypnotic cadence of The Sacred Hall which, with its minimalist tempo, is in the purest and beautiful Berlin School tradition. A cadence which is fading away at around the 5th minute in a dense metallic mist, from where are breaking through soft and floating synth solos.
Even if it's Indra's very first album, we aren’t in unknown territories with TURNING AWAY. If certain passages, like in Archetype and Transcedental Path, show an Indra which is not necessary in full control of its creativity, the title track is a real small jewel of the electronic minimalist art and innovative contemporary Berlin School for the time. And The Sacred Hall is the icing on the cake, revealing once again the immense musical borders that Indra crosses. Him who is so much capable to transcends his most intimate feelings, either on progressives and touching themes. And, as in each of his opuses, the Rumanian synthesist takes well care of bringing us in it. Sylvain Lupari (April 14th, 2011) *****
Available at Indra's Bandcamp