ISOSTATIC: Glacial Epoch (2020)
“A storm of layers with contrasting tones, Glacial Epoch offers prehistoric ambient tribal where even rhythmic illusions are allowed”
1 Planetary Approach 7:06
2 Landing Party 5:12
3 Surface Exploration 6:36
4 A Flurry of Snow 6:37
5 Ice Fields 6:28
6 Glacial Epoch Part 1 6:54
7 The Endless Tundra 5:57
8 Glacial Epoch Part 2 7:12
(DDL 52:04) (V.F.)
(Dark Ambient Music)
It's with a buzzing breath that Isostatic lay down the dark linear movement of Planetary Approach. We can hear reminiscences of Jean-Michel Jarre on this ambient canvas with breezes tinted with the circular rays of Ethnicolor. Balls of cosmic particles roll on this smooth surface, creating loops that slide in suspension and draw a vague rhythmic structure feed of white noises. They turn in place with a tasty elasticity effect, arousing our interest in what follows. But this brief rhythmic passage of GLACIAL EPOCH goes towards a gaping mouth, blower of reverberating murmurs, which absorb them and regurgitate them in bundles of translucent lines. These lines merge into the nebulous mists to reappear later without too much impact on the destinies of Planetary Approach and this latest album by Sean Costello. His second in 2020! From Cloud Forms to the ice age, there is a whole difference between these two visions that the English artist invests a little better here than on the nebulosities and the shapes of clouds. The Ice Age is a hell of ice where every glance here and there is the witness of a possible event. And if we could dig to the very bottom of the oceans of ice, some think that it is the door to Cosmos that would open. All this to say that despite the trips that Isostatic wants us to experience by ear, there is always a cosmic aspect within earshot.
Like those cosmic chirps and prismatic synth pads that initiate the Landing Party blossoming. Always present, the arcs of reverberations weave scribbles that stretch out in an inert panorama. Giving an appearance of life that blossoms with slow orchestral layers whose sentimental sweets are unstitched by these breezes and sonic filaments which get intertwine in a soundscapes as messy as these sketches made with the spirograph. Take these elements and transpose them to the other 6 structures of GLACIAL EPOCH and you have a good idea of the textures that make up Sean Costello's Ice Age. Imagine now, magma of boiling lava, whose arches of fire intermingle in front of a large misshapen mouth in a dance of death. Imagine all this in slow motion, and you have the intense colors of this album. Surface Exploration offers a smooth surface where the breezes and anger of Aeolus dance with sharp blades to cut out through the dialogues and different visions of this album. There are also clicks, some are even major, which will initiate rhythmic patterns in titles like Ice Fields and The Endless Tundra. It's with knocks ringing like big funeral bells that A Flurry of Snow opens. Fascinating laments also emerge from this ambient din where I always seek to understand musically the visions of the title. Apart from these strange noises dancing towards the second part of the title, I don't understand the relation with the title. A world of contrast! While the ambiences, filled with choppy ice particles, of Ice Fields meet these objectives a little better. A line of rhythm is articulated in these ambiences where our ears are constantly assaulted by waves of sound. Its aboriginal rhythm becomes quite simply attractive in this universe where the tonal fauna is even better when one doesn't try to connect it with the visions of the title. A very good passage in this album, as well as with The Endless Tundra which is built on the same principle. Glacial Epoch Part 1 is a peaceful, even meditative title, with those long arcs of reverberation that roar from point to point. I hear strings of violins stretching agony over this featureless surface, except for the linear tumult of the winds, unlike Glacial Epoch Part 2 which is as intense as cinematic. Its 2nd phase is the most seraphic of this album, even in its esoteric envelope. For those who have this weak spot for dark ambient music.
Sylvain Lupari (August 26th, 2020) ***¼**
Available at Exosphere Bandcamp