ISOSTATIC: Winter's Edge (2021)
“A nice album of dark ambient music with a nice palette of tones and ambient beats”
1 A Sea of Golden Leaves 8:20
2 Autumn's Twilight 7:10
3 Freezing Rain 8:58
4 Birds Fly South 6:53
5 Winter Memories 8:10
6 Hibernal 11:10
7 Winter Speaks in Whispers 9:18
(DDL 59:57) (V.F.)
(Dark ambient beats)
WINTER'S EDGE opens with a sound shadow. The shadow is made of a zephyr breeze that floats gently, while A Sea of Golden Leaves already let glimpse this tonal fauna made of silver, gold and vermilion with this light hint torn from the colors of rainbow. Dark, this opening wave is projecting a tenebrous ambience through the droning moans of the synth. This static mass of sounds is present throughout the main lines of this newest Isostatic effort. Its slow unfolding is like a big core of sounds turning on itself by amalgamating and confusing its colors where a thin line of refulgence is constantly grafted. This riderless waltz displays its core of intensity with orchestrations that sneak into the core of the drones, picking up that Dark Ambient texture that is at the origin of Sean Costello's style. The artwork of WINTER'S EDGE correctly depicts the colors of this new album-download from Isostatic. Clearly more accessible than Earth Tones, this new album from the label Exosphere ends a year 2021 where good albums allowed the American label to establish itself well on the market of ambient/psybient and Berlin School while exploring the paths of psychill. Three elements that are at the heart of this album's delights which is an ode to winter and its secrets buried in our memories, since there is nothing better than winter and its great white coat at night to plunge us back into these memories that we want to bury for winters to come. Moreover, this beautiful poem by Emily Brontë, Spellbound, is present to help us exorcise what must!
In the buzzing winds that propel Autumn's Twilight is hiding a line of arpeggios leaping in the shadow of the previous one. Hatching some 10 seconds before the 3rd minute, it adopts the movement of an ambient Berlin School with infinite antics. Stuck one after the other, these rhythmic sequences create an echoing texture that makes it impregnable except for those short phases where the upward movement drops too low. Delightfully harmonic! Grave and pointed, two synth lines stick together in a slow introductory movement where a vampiric bass shadow stretches out defending the ambient territory of Freezing Rain. This bass vibrates around the lascivious movements of the synth waves, guiding a delicate suite of sequenced arpeggios to cascade beyond its horizons. The music does not leave its cradle of serenity even if its ambiences embrace a more intense passage in a second half where the synth lines unravel to become radiant luminous beams that wander in this cosmic atmosphere guessed from its opening. Imagine a mass of colors tending towards the red with white filaments that are slowly stirred, and you obtain the ambiences of this hyper soaring title that is Birds Fly South. Unless you imagine the view of the birds immigrating to the South, the structure is of a slowness incompatible with the wing strokes necessary to move in the sky...unless you glide to get there. That said, it's a beautiful ambient track.
Winter Memories rests on a bed of sonic drones where a soft melancholic melody lies weeping with suppressed tears. Tinkling chords of a limpidity to turn poignant a block of ice are giving a brighter glow by letting an echo texture shimmer that gives more relief to this ambient melody. Misty violins carve a more nostalgic frame, inviting many arpeggios to dance more casually within the parameters of this soft winter reverie that reaches its emotional weight as soon as a bass wave casts its austere veil after the 5th minute. The music resumes its course barely a minute later, leaving Winter Memories its need to move us. Hibernal is a track as slow as it is long, comfortably settled on the colorful core that illustrates the cover of WINTER'S EDGE. The synth lines unfold on a wide bass layer, replaying these loops that sound like sound transmissions lost in the cosmic vastitude. These loops coo to join a core of intensity revealed by lunar orchestrations. The second part already crossed that Hibernal changes of skin to become a mass of winds and drones in conformity with the Dark Ambient style of Sean Costello. Winter Speaks in Whispers brings me back to the soundscapes of Earth Tones with its ambient texture where the resonance of the drones swallow the refulgence of more accentuated moans. The two antipodes cross in places, letting filter a thin ray of hope from these winters that speak to us through the crumpling of our steps on the snow.
With no surprises, WINTER'S EDGE lives up to our expectations with a collection of tracks that reflect the many spheres of composition from Isostatic. It's a nice album of dark ambient music, as it is done a lot, but with a nice palette of tones, nice sequences of ambient rhythms and just the right number of movements to get our senses out of the road to Morpheus.
Sylvain Lupari (December 23rd, 2021) ***¾**
Available at Exosphere Bandcamp