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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Isostatic Cloud Forms (2020)

Updated: Dec 16, 2022

Cloud Forms is a very ambient album where the cosmic landscapes seem to steal the essence of the clouds and the legitimacy of their forms

1 A Moment of Calm in a Chaotic Sky 6:15

2 Honeycomb Ripples 6:11

3 Across the Horizon 8:26

4 Crystals of Ice 7:52

5 Cirrus Memory 5:58

6 Cloud Forms Part 1 7:33

7 Cloud Forms Part 2 7:31

8 Noctilucent 6:46

9 Convergence Lines 7:58

(DDL 64:36) (V.F.)

(Dark Ambient)

The sky of Isostatic is very dark on this album and the race of its clouds is too close to the Cosmos to believe it. So, the clouds must have this grayish milky appearance of the stormy skies. Because that's how A Moment of Calm in a Chaotic Sky comes to caress these two cortices that make us vibrate to the sounds of harmonies. We are therefore inside these big clouds to hear implode these twisted tubes which squirm by spitting the threads of corrosive reverberations. These clouds are high, because they flirt with the border of Cosmos in a compact decor which barely camouflages the twinkling of the stars, like the hissing song of the shooting stars. Everything is suspended in the world of CLOUD FORMS, hence probably this link with the title of the opening track. And through these interstellar breezes, we hear these arpeggios dance as shimmering as the face of a star. They unfold as if to parade before ears eager for these harmonious sounds that take the forms of our imagination. Cloud shapes! You can see many things there with a good dose of imagination when these clouds are blown up by the winds or when they bathe in chronic heat. Cloud forms! It is also the title of this second album by Isostatic, which has left a good impression with Woodland Structure, released just 6 months ago. Sean Costello continues to let me perplex with an album title which seems to me disconnected from its music and its moods. And yet, how many times have I seen the clouds take on incredible forms? CLOUD FORMS is an ambient album, very ambient even where the cosmic landscapes, like the sound effects, seem to steal the essence of the clouds and the legitimacy of their forms. There are many reverberating shadows moving with this vision that we have of big space fleets slowly advancing in a cosmos filled with wooshh and wiishh. The orchestral arrangements merge in the multiple synth lines and waves that clump together or disperse in an apathetic heaviness, testifying to the very Dark Ambient character of this second album by the English musician on the American label Exosphere. A division of Synphaera.

Honeycomb Ripples is more animated with sequences that run after their shadows. This harmonic rhythm loses its moiré, leaving only a distant echo to act in its place in a sound maelstrom in suspension, where it will return in the last third of the title. The decor is cosmic with unusual noises, like this giant metal comb where we caress its teeth vividly. This three-phase figure comes back regularly sprinkling a bit of life in the most unexpected moments of this album. With its two sonic colors that confront each other, Across the Horizon comes to us with its compact sound mass that moves like a big rumbling cloud. Beaded lines emerge from this mass, spitting out a thread of reverberations which wiggle like big radioactive boas. Keyboard riffs emerge and add their momentum into a musical cascade out of nowhere to dive back into it while Across the Horizon continues to vegetate like a dark threat. A phase that will repeat itself in the last sprint of the title. If you like a Dark Ambient that breathes through industrial gills, Crystals of Ice will charm you with its implosions that make the sound vessel crawl in a starry cosmos. A melodious vision arises in its last minutes, radiating a luminous phase whose mere presence exudes beauty. Noctilucent drinks the same musical water! Cirrus Memory lays down a phase of meditative atmosphere, even if the sound is black and the vibrations of the buzzing are sounding like strange mephistophelic bells. Like a stain extending its conquest on an immaculate form, the music extends its possession with a satanic pastoral vision where even a shower can arise from the Darkness. Simply magnificent, Cloud Forms Part 1 offers an upward movement whose luminosity provides a harmonic contrast. The music moves by its secret impulses, while Cloud Forms Part 2 flirts with the worlds of Chronos and M'Ocean from Michael Stearns. Convergence Lines is heavy and slow. Like all of CLOUD FORMS' music, it moves like a big cosmic vessel navigating the oblong oscillations of cosmic currents. We let ourselves be lulled by this movement with ocean roots which cuts through the mystery of the sky to embrace with these fascinating waves imbued with a more musical reverberation here. Water! It's raining on this final where still I have not yet grasped this link between the title of the album and its moods.

Sylvain Lupari (June 8th, 2020) *****

Avalaible at Exosphere Bandcamp

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