IVAN BLACK: The Rain (2022)
“It's another fine collection of some good electronic rock”
1 Wears no Future Faces 8:55
2 The Motorcade 9:49
3 The Rain 9:16
4 All Bridges Built for Burning 7:10
5 Somehow we Drifted off too Far 7:45
6 The Shadows of the Moon have Broken 7:42
7 The Vicious Style of Love 8:13
8 These Murdered Angels 9:29
9 Speed and Machines are Art 7:55
10 Tenderness, Asphyxiation 8:13
(DDL 84:32) (V.F.)
Always very generous with the music time offered in his download albums, Ivan Black proposes another musical rendezvous with 10 tracks all conceived on the fly. Rhythm structures that the musician-synthesist-sculptor restores in its most simplistic elements and whose minimalist structures serve as a basis for a musical enrichment in constant evolution. As with his previous improvised albums, the English artist has simply mastered this latest work which always mixes electronic rhythms with atmospheric zones more transient than sedentary. In short, some good electronic rock!
Wears no Future Faces is an evolving track as I like them! The track starts with an ambient structure that takes its time to take off. It starts about 20 seconds after the 4th minute with a sequenced rhythmic structure built on melodic oscillations. Other chords, like keyboard riffs and bass chords, are added to accentuate the rhythmic velocity which takes its last flight when the percussions structure a good electronic rock some 2 minutes later. The percussions play and the percussive elements are treasures for the ears. At the very least for me! And they still abound in this album which is resolutely rhythmic, both from the sequencer and the electronic percussions. The title ends in the acrylic mists of its opening. We find some tracks among the 10 proposed that evolve according to the same criteria. It's different for a title like The Motorcade. A rhythmic melody, inspired undoubtedly by the ambiences of the Halloween movie and of its music, enlivens its opening. The music swings between its circular rhythm, well structured by a good play of the sequencer, and its ambient phase in the middle. The sequencer sculpts the spherical structure which is supported by keyboard chords. These chords dance in the shadow of the rhythm, bringing that cinematic spectral vision. They are the essential element of this rhythm since they instill a harmonic vision that percussive effects over-dimension. The rhythm gets lost in a layer of artificial mist and that of a bass peacefully exhaling a floating rhythm for a distance of 2 minutes before The Motorcade returns to its rhythmic cradle. Except this time it zigzags a little more awkwardly under the apocalyptic harmonies of a synth flavored with the 70's Tangerine Dream's influences. Under rain effects, the title-track offers a rhythmic structure at the crossroads of electronic rock and moderate Techno, mostly because of the muffled percussion hits. This driving rhythm is interspersed with more atmospheric phases. Moments that are in turn disturbed by phases of rhythm that are reborn under good synth solos. The first 4 minutes of All Bridges Built for Burning propose a more atmospheric texture with a nice magnetizing synth melody which rolls in loop. Jerky percussive elements and their echoes then structure a tasty slow rhythm, as I like them. The opening melody, like that of a zombie hummingbird, is grafted onto this completely unexpected structure. In a delightful ambient hip-hop texture, Somehow we Drifted off too Far repeats some of the same themes, both in terms of the rhythm and the spectral melody whistled by a beautiful synth, in a structure that sounds vaguely like a mixture of a military anthem and of a funfair of the future.
Heavy, slow and spheroidal, The Shadows of the Moon have Broken is a little gem that evolves to a more nervous structure. The undulating, metallic blue synth layers adorn the different panoramas of THE RAIN. They are at the origin of the bouncy rhythm of The Vicious Style of Love which privileges a stealthy approach. It's a string of arpeggios shimmering with a sibylline melody that awaits our ears at the opening of These Murdered Angels, a track that is more atmospheric. The sequencer weaves an ambient rhythm around this ghostly melody, creating the perfect balance of a minimalist structure in symbiosis. Speed and Machines are Art also favors an atmospheric opening that spans over 3 minutes before offering a bouncy rhythmic structure that is slightly spasmodic, offered by a pairing of sequences and keyboard riffs. A bass line brings more fluidity to the rhythm which turns into a good electronic rock in its last third. Tenderness, Asphyxiation ends THE RAIN with the same sibylline essence of The Motorcade. Except that its electronic ritornello is more playful and swirls between the ears like a musical chime caught in the midday winds. Little by little, this structure unstitches in favor of a rhythm filled with muffled kicks, structuring a spasmodic approach that loses its momentum in these iridescent layers of mist that also fill the atmospheric passages of this last album-download from Ivan Black.
Sylvain Lupari (August 4th, 2022) ***¾**
Available at Ivan Black Bandcamp