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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

JEFFREY KOEPPER: Luminosity (2009)

Updated: Oct 30, 2021

A quiet album of ambient rhythms gathered in a very good Pacific School album

1 Reflection 8:40

2 Light and Truth 9:53

3 Artifacts 5:17

4 Winter Space 7:21

5 Life Clock 7:25

6 Emitter 7:20

7 Transmission 11:06

8 Dusk till Dawn 10:23

9 Rising Sun 6:04

(DDL 73:32) (V.F.)

(Ambient, Pacific School)

Soft, solitary arpeggios shape a fascinating, ascending melody as Reflection opens. Shadows loom timidly, dancing with the reflection of their echoes, while other chiming arpeggios graft on to swirl and shimmer. A rhythm line carves out a peaceful ambient structure not unlike the work of his mentor Steve Roach on Reflections in Suspension from the soporific Structures from Silence. Except that here, the rhythmic glow is more scarlet with a good minimalist swirl that adds intensity and strength to this horizontal spiral. A very nice track to start this album of more atmospheric nature from Jeffrey Koepper. Like on his previous albums, LUMINOSITY is composed entirely of analog synths and sequencers, as well as vintage drum machines. The American synthesist explores a little more the ambient side of electronic music on his new album. An ambient music that is more like his mentor where each track takes us on a journey through a universe filled of sound prisms and ambient rhythms. Light and Truth continues this quest for reflection with waves of sounds that form hoops pushed by synth pads. It gives a similar setting to Reflection without the rhythmic texture. Artifacts is a murky ambient ode with a beautiful mellotron sounding like Tangerine Dream's Phaedra years. This movement captures the ghostly imagination that develops into a slow chthonic procession driven by distant beats. A wonderful mellotron flute accompanies this dark procession which is a real musical gem. Winter Space progresses slowly through hypnotic circles of sounds that grow in a radiant atmosphere of reverberations and intriguing laments. Soft floating notes cradle this nebulosity with a hesitant fingering.

Heavy and dark intro with lazily undulating modulations, Life Clock comes alive with a gentle rhythmic life with some arpeggios falling curtly. The envelope is half white noise and half organic. The sequencer sends forth more rhythm with a good line resplendent with an opaline tone in a phase where vintage galactic sound effects feed a quietude raised by the hazy side of the synth that weaves a beautiful morphic melody. It seems that this track woke up the sleeping spheres of LUMINOSITY which proposes a good cosmic electronic rock in Emitter. Well seated on the vintage percussions, the track flies away with nervous sequences which are jostling and tunes of a synth more concerned by the rhythm than its melody which adopts the velocity of the sequencer and the percussions. A good track that offers a melodic approach that doesn't whistle quite as well in the second half. Transmission is the big track on this album. A track with a complex development, it starts in a misty nebulosity before a lively and bouncy resonant sequence ignites our interest like in the pulsating opening of Creation, from the previous album Sequentaria. A circular cloud of mist forms as another more melodic rhythmic line waddles along a zigzagging one. This rhythm progresses by isolating a last shadow in a course of an electronic rock lively and efficient for the neurons. Beautiful music, even with a structure not inclined to be an instant one to like. A river of prismatically lapping opens the august Dusk Till Dawn. A dark and spectral ode, the ambient music and its organic fauna float in a dead sea with arrhythmic pulsations chords and its mellotron with gloomy waves. We are in the den of Dark Ambient here. Rising Sun reminds us of the luminous side of this album with a soft structure of haze where the jumps in musical canon of the sequencer gambol. Hypnotic and melodious, the title spreads all its splendor with beautiful synth layers in the colors of harmony.

A little less focused on rhythms than his previous albums, LUMINOSITY makes us discover a little more unknown side of Jeffrey Koepper. A quiet album where a beautiful diversity of ambient rhythms are gathered that we listen to like a good Pacific School album from Steve Roach.

Sylvain Lupari (May 22nd, 2009) ***½**

Available at Jeffrey Koepper Bandcamp

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