JIM OTTAWAY: Beyond The Purple Sun (2019)
Updated: Oct 1, 2019
“Nice soundscapes with lot of cosmic moods, Beyond The Purple Sun is what is make of best in ambient cosmic music”
1 Celestial Rainbows 6:32 2 Lavender Moons 8:08 3 Dark Spaces 7:37 4 Birth of a Violet Quasar 10:02 5 Space Lightning 6:45 6 Secrets of the Hidden Stars 7:48 7 Beyond the Purple Sun 10:06 Jim Ottaway Music (CD/DDL 56:58) (Ambient Cosmic Music) (V.F.)
A versatile musician-composer, Jim Ottaway is as much comfortable composing deeply ambient music than an EM whose structures are animated by beautiful movements of sequencers. The closing title, Beyond the Purple Sun is a very good example. Winner Australian Awards, as well as the Zone Music Reporter Awards of last year where he won the prize for the best ambient album for Deep Space Blue, the Australian musician and synthesist offers a 27th opus and a 7th in his series ambient -cosmic. Following the corridors of Deep Space Blue, BEYOND THE PURPLE SUN offers a collection of 7 titles with very different sonic perfumes that he had improvised in his studio between 2010 and the end of 2017. Hence this feeling of disparity between the 7 titles. The finish was thrown in February of this year with slight adjustments and some overdubs. The result is a halftone album if one seeks form pure mediation music. Otherwise, it's an album of cosmic ambiances carved in impressive panoramas where some pearls nestle as well as titles of disturbing moods.
A muffled shadow and quavering tones open the territories of Celestial Rainbows. From then on, a wide layer of pastel color assails our senses with a slight hint of ocher. These layers drift like a lost ship in space-time. We see a conductor gather these sound waves to sculpt them into lunar orchestrations. We hear jingles and other stars mourn the silence of the gestures while a thin lost voice joins the cosmic violins. An intensity clings to this ambient-cosmic and ambiospherical movement which undeniably transports us to the door of an enchanting universe, if tones and cosmic arrangements are part of the elements that charm us. The strength of the Australian musician is to draw cosmic panoramas with such precision that we drift with his music. Lavender Moons is a good example with these multiple interstellar tinkles and these sound dilations that forge pulsations lost in their notions of beating. Cosmic effects and astral waves shrouded in visions of Tomita accompany this title without rhythmic life but lives from its synth layers whose colors and graceful movement are fluid as these screenshots in an ocean where so many multicolored creatures are dancing. But we are in cosmos and the synth is proving creativity by scattering lines, whose floating harmonies remind us of these Tangerine Dream's trumpet tones, and drifting pads scattering some wandering chants sung by astral mermaids. Dark Spaces has atmospheres that portray the dimension of its title. Effects explode here and there, while synth lines of synth collide and scratch the colors of their tones. The soundscape breathes of these sound masses full of mini explosions and of suspicious voices which try to push us back to the borders of the impossible. A bit like these sirens in Ulysses' journeys! Space Lightning is a bit like that, but with more aggressivity in its cosmic effects, in its sound effects. Strange songs emerge between the rest of the din, as well as long filaments of reverberation. We do not sleep there! Birth of a Violet Quasar is a beautiful cosmic road where interstellar winds are like whispers that communicate with the clink of stars. A slight movement of the sequencer inspires an ambient rhythm that turns in a loop, even developing an evanescent harmonic vision. Here again, a cosmic choir murmurs serenity if one wants to dive into a meditative phase. A good ambient-cosmic title rich of its lines and poetic hums. Secrets of the Hidden Stars ties dynamic impulses to its moods. The winds, the moiré effects of the reverbs and the Alan Parsons arrangements add layer by layer to turbulences that are tamer than in Dark Spaces and Space Lightning. The long title-track closes an album ambivalent in its structures and its visions with a pretty good sound wave that makes radiate the few seconds of its introduction. Video game effects adorn an introduction which pushes with a nice dangling of the sequencer and its Berlin School upward ambient rhythm. Threads of twinkling arpeggios follow a spherical fluttering path in an intense structure that, I hope, could be the omen of Jim Ottaway's next album. It's too strong for BEYOND THE PURPLE SUN which is a good album whose divergent elements throughout its 57 minutes get to be its strength. At the end, I had a nice hour of discovery on Jim Ottaway's BEYOND THE PURPLE SUN! Sylvain Lupari (May 13th, 2019) ***½**
Available at Jim Ottaway's Bandcamp