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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

LARS LEONHARD: [Burning Clouds] E.P. (2014)

Updated: Jul 19, 2020

What we have here on this short EP is a great and smooth psybient EM which respects the horizons without borders of Ultimae Records

1 Burning Clouds 5:37

2 Halos 5:42

3 Northern Lights 7:03

(DDL 18:23) (V.F.)

(Floating psybient EM)

It's very appropriate to listen carefully the music that comes out of Ultimae Records. Recognized for producing an EM with a tonal flora immensely rich and a sonic palettes soaked in panoramic colors as diverse as birdsong, the Lyon based label has this gift of putting between our ears a music as much refined than exquisite. Ambient music immersed in a world of heterogeneous noises end up forming bewitching melodies with psychedelic eurythmies in harmony with morphic rhythms. This is the world of Psybient. German composer, whose music is regularly used by NASA to illustrate their videos, Lars Leonhard is the latest taking of this brilliant label. The one who had seduced with a title where the rhythm fades by its metallic clicks in an ambiospheric as well as claustrophobic ambience on the Mahiane's Oxycanta III compilation (Slow Motion) therefore returns with a series of digital EP's which will be available via the download platform of the French label. The first chapter of this new sonic adventure is called [BURNING CLOUDS]. A short E.P. of nearly 19 minutes which reflects the audacity of this label of which each new release knows how to charm the most intuitive ears.

The title-track invites us to the last sonic feast of Lars Leonhard with a slow rhythm anchored on fine bass pulsations, on discreet clappings of hands and of percussions which beat in the reverberations of sonic hoops tinted of metallic colors. A seductive evanescent melody prowls and disperses its trembling singing arpeggios in soft winds where furtive chords with hesitant steps give way to an ambient, almost organic, rhythm where one floats more than one moves. Lively and captivating, Halos offers a structure of rhythm a little more lively with cosmic gases, organic stammerings and sober percussions which surround the vicious undulations of a bass line which not only feeds the rhythm but also serves as a melodic motif to a very cosmic sonic setting. Putting a constant gradation in his patterns of rhythms, Lars Leonhard concludes this first EP with a title which merges the ethereal ambiences of Burning Clouds and the slightly more sustained rhythm of Halos. Northern Lights ties its rhythm to pulsations whose arrhythmic and harmonic flow gets melting with delicate metallic clicks. Harmonies are done and undone with the indecisive shapes of synth pads with, a bit like circles in crystal-clear water, are floating like specters in an attractive sonic constellation where everything that wanders attempts a melody.

Very good, but above all quite attractive, [BURNING CLOUDS] kicks off a promising musical series where the cosmos makes its organic elements sing in structures of rhythm as ambient as floating. Those who know the musical creations of the label Ultimae Records will be on familiar ground because this first E.P. by Lars Leonhard fully respects the horizons of this label where music, imagination and daring have no boundaries.

Sylvain Lupari (March 4th, 2014) ***½**

Available at Ultimae Records

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