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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Lensflare Orbis Terrarum Descriptio (2023)

Updated: Apr 13, 2023

If you enjoy the sounds of mellotron and of 70's Berlin School style, this one is for you

1 Tropicus Cancri 32:37

2 Tropicus Capricorni 11:35

3 Circulis Aequinoctialis 6:56

(DDL 51:09) (V.F.)

(Berlin School)

In a more atmospheric vision, ORBIS TERRARUM DESCRIPTIO follows the essences of Aurea Stamina (Sic volvere Parcas) by its beautiful dominance of mellotron in electronic music (EM) structures highly inspired by the retro style of Tangerine Dream and the more current one of Free System Projekt. Andrea Lensflare Debbi doesn't hide it, his new album-download is a kind of tribute to the first Dream albums of its Virgin era.

A buzzing wind, filled with absent voices, initiates the long movement of Tropicus Cancri. Fat and juicy chords are resonating, breathing a bit of drama into this very long track which is almost improvisation based and is split into 3 evolving parts, respecting the premises of the Berlin School of the 70's. Various experimental tones, such as interstellar whale calf chants and/or humming or slide flute tunes, are making up a soundscape stuffed with those reverberating waves that moan like a herd of twisted lines. Dark oscillating loops emerge from this subtle fusion of chthonian voices and of slow wispy drones, creating an illusion of ascending atmospheric rhythm with oscillations whose linear resonances diffuse an organic aura. These encased circles live on their echoes on the rays of acrylic-textured synth pads and the faint rays of their evasive melodies. These oscillating waves fade away some 5 minutes later, bringing Tropicus Cancri back into its Dark Ambient vision, where tortuous laments carve out grooves of drones that caress keyboard chords, forgotten on the ice floe of despair, with 70's tones vaguely reminiscent of Pink Floyd. A distant rhythmic structure responds to these moods a few seconds after the 17th minute. It ends up galloping faintly under these layers of industrial haze and nice airs of a mellotron perfumed with that enchanting flute of the Dream and/or FSP worlds. This rhythm remains a bait for the neurons rather than the legs, even our fingers do not find there any impulse to tap the arm of our chair, before offering a more lively and sustained consistency just before this very long tenebrous title plunges in a heavy and noisy final, and in a dark Psybient texture before its 28th minute.

Thus unfolds Tropicus Cancri, thus will unfold the very dark texture of Tropicus Capricorni! Its rhythm, still not made to dance, bursts a little before the 3rd minute. The sequencer emerges from this mixture of spirographic synth chants and dark ambiences to jump around, activating the barrier of our interest. A modulation in the sequencer pattern adds a little more velocity. If the ambiences still have this ghostly texture, the rhythm develops more and more to reach a good speed in an ascending structure that reminds the electronic rhythms of the Dream in their Rubycon and Phaedra years. The industrial haze is still dense with surges that are worthy of a nightmarish vision while the synth explores a little more those evasive harmonies that rolled in loops in the universe of Tropicus Cancri. And even if the second part of Tropicus Capricorni flirts a little more with the universe of dark Psybient, its music and its rhythm always remain hooked to the vintage Berlin School style proper to the universe of Baumann, Franke and Froese. A great track! Circulis Aequinoctialis ends this last album of Lensflare in a vision of ambiences always as heavy and tenebrous which characterizes its first 44 minutes. The mellotron throws some fluty odes on a bed of waves and reverberating lines that come and go, like long whips whose contours are smeared with resonant spines.

ORBIS TERRARUM DESCRIPTIO does not reinvent the genre! It is a good album which is particularly addressed to those who like to hear old Tangerine Dream again, as well as the music of FSP and Brendan Pollard, 2 major artists who are openly inspired by the mellotron period of Edgar Froese and his 2 acolytes from the Phaedra to Encore years.

Sylvain Lupari (April 13th, 2023) ***¾**

Available at Lensflare Bandcamp

(NB: The texts in blue are links you can click on)

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