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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

JAVI CANOVAS: Eunomia (2015)

Updated: Apr 10, 2020

As usual and without surprises, Javi Canovas proposes here another sweet moment where good vintage Berlin School breathes again

1 Sophrosýne 17:41

2 Phrónesis 16:40

3 Andreía 20:09

4 Dikaiosýne 15:06

(DDL 69:37) (V.F.)

(Vintage Berlin School)

A sinuous wave, with metallic contours a bit nasal, crawls between our four walls while that some delicate synth pads, clouded by a perfume of Mellotron and ethereal voices, make counterbalance with a warmer and more musical tone. Roaming as an intro which searches for its dens in works such as Phaedra, Sophrosýne sets the tone to this last album of Javi Canovas who renews thus with his perfumes of origin where albums like Light Echoes, in 2006, and In This Moment, In This Place, in 2009, where fed on ambiences of the Franke, Froese and Baumann years. Clearly far from the very structured dozen of tracks of Axiom, EUNOMIA dives into long structures soaked of ambiospherical introductions and finales where the sequences dance on airs of improvisation and swirl of their minimalist ballets, untying some edgy shadows which feed sometimes nervous, and sometimes ambient, rhythms which remain always fascinating. We are in the lands of good vintage Berlin School!

The first 5 minutes of Sophrosýne immerses the listener in a bath of ether. The movement of sequences which pops up make the keys kicking which pulsate in a frantic disordered envelope. The oscillations of the rhythm are wide, and the shadows of the keys get detaching to take directions both rhythmic and harmonic where other keys with slightly more limpid tones invite Sophrosýne in an interesting ballet tinged with nuances. Here we have the main structure of the sequencing that will feed the four phases of this album. All with slightly different shades here and there. The sequences dominate the synths which weave ambiences with fluty chants, enveloping this first track with a meditative aura which contrasts with the stationary violence of the rhythm. Phrónesis is more expeditious and offers a catchy structure of rhythm with lines of hyper nervous sequences which go up and down and alternate the pace by nervous fluttering, sweeping the cosmic winds of the synths which stop being timid by making small harmonic phases and good ethereal solos. The atmospheres tastefully recall these cosmic mists of a famous German trio. It's a very good title but it's Andreía which won the prize for the most beautiful title of EUNOMIA. The structure of the rhythm is soft, like Steve Roach from the Empetus years, while the atmospheres shine with the best moments of Mellotron's mist from the Dream. The highlight is undoubtedly this transition between Roach and TD which takes place after a short atmospheric passage in the middle of the music. Dikaiosýne takes on the same ambient nebulosity with slender synth lines that waltz into nothingness. It sounds like interstellar whale's chants. Sequences drum with figures of random rhythms that descend like allegorical streamers along walls resplendent with electronic tones. Little by little these keys get exhausted. The sparkles of electronic cymbals reactivate Dikaiosýne's life. The sequences resume the road of broken dances. Like bones that throb in all directions on a conveyor, these keys end up taking a shape of minimalist rhythm that pulsates under silky synth pads. The keys detach. Spitting organic filaments and reverberant tones, they borrow Sophrosýne's clothes and its wide oscillations which roll under synth lines with sibylline chants. Bewitching, attractive! Like good old Berlin School.

With 18 albums in 10 years, it's obvious that the style of Javi Canovas is repeating. The Spanish synthesist may alternate his approaches by sometimes going for more ambient music, more lively or closer to progressive rock that his music always breathes the same perfumes of the good analog years. But very often he succeeds in going to another level by taking directions, like in Andreía, which surprise as much as charm. I really liked this EUNOMIA. It's a good mix of New and Vintage Berlin School where Javi Canovas weaves charming hypnotic rhythmic labyrinths.

Sylvain Lupari (February 18th, 2015) ***½**

Avaiable at Javi Canovas Bandcamp

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