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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

JOHN LYELL: Reflection of Time (2014)

“Reflection of Time is a very beautiful album of ambient, cosmic or esoteric music which crosses new borders”

1 The Deep Unknown 6:06 2 Above the Stratos 9:21 3 Dreaming in Sine Waves 6:31 4 A Far Away Place 7:09 5 Space Ethereal 6:46 6 Dreaming in Sine Waves II 8:16 7 Reflection of Time 6:55 8 Crossing the Barrier 7:50 Independent

(CD 58:58) (V.F.) (Ambient and cosmic EM)

John Lyell is an American musician who began his career by playing guitar, at the dawn of the 80's, within diverse rock and hard rock bands. His career took a tangent closer to the electronic art at the beginning of the 90's when he discovered the ambient and cosmic music by listening to the famous radio show Hearts of Space. Since then this musician native of Minneapolis built quietly his own studio. He became with the years a very active personality in the up universe of the cosmic digital art, we can view his numerous paintings on his web site, and the ambiospherical American music by becoming a composer, a producer and a sound engineer for various projects which were inspired by the horizons of this American cult radio show. REFLECTION OF TIME is his 5th album and presents a very beautiful collection electronic music pieces where the mysticism and the esotericism mix up on structures of ambient, as dark as romantic in the soft fragrances of Vangelis, where the stars and celestial bodies sing the divinities of a cosmos to the unsuspected horizons such as put in music by a passionate of astronomy.

And we enter the universe of John Lyell's intergalactic atmospheres by the main entrance with steps of a sequencer to staggering organic chords which open the fragile ambient pace of The Deep Unknown. Our ears discover, or imagine, a fascinating intergalactic dialect with tones which adopt a delicate structure of rhythms of which the little deformed echoes resound under morphic synth pads. Above the Stratos roots the perception that we are almost in the psybient world by spreading its translucent seraphic pads, where fine voice filets from the oracles of snows are escaping, which cover some electronic chirpings frozen between two ambiospherical layers. This is soft and floating, just like the title-track which takes the air of an ambient funeral walking and the next 40 minutes of the album. Closer to the melancholic spaces of Vangelis, Dreaming in Sine Waves spreads some delicate arpeggios which sing their fragilities in breezes of Orion. It's a very beautiful piece of music soaked of an attractive ethereal approach, just like the very beautiful Space Ethereal; the most beautiful track with this superb voice of cosmic Efle which hums with a symphony of stars. A Far Away Place is not outdone with its heavy and slow cosmic waves which roll over the singings of forgotten celestial bodies. Soft, dark and very melancholic. Dreaming in Sine Waves 2 presents the little darker side of its first part. But if the arpeggios are ringing with so much brightness here, the ambient structure is clearly gloomier. And we cannot be immersed farther in the cosmos than with the very black Crossing the Barrier. This long ambient track sounds like a slow journey inside a space shuttle, needs to listen to it with headphones, where, fascinated, we watch the blackness becoming blacker. Even the seraphic voices, very discreet y the way, cannot manage to uproot this perception to sink into even more dark.

I have to admit that I was a little bit sceptical at the idea of discovering a new artist who does in ambient and cosmic EM. There is so many out there that we have the impression to always listen to the same thing. Except that the music of John Lyell really has its seal. If we can make a bit of comparison, that would be with the romantic approaches of Vangelis. As for the rest, we are in originality or something that I still don't know. We can make links with Michael Stearns, for the ambient cosmic approach, but they are very fragile. Making of John Lyell an extremely rare artist who arrives to find his place in a musical crenel aired from everywhere. REFLECTION OF TIME is a very beautiful album of ambient, cosmic or esoteric music which crosses new borders. To discover …

Sylvain Lupari (April 19th, 2014) *****

Available at John Lyell

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