LINGUA LUSTRA: Life2 (2022)
Updated: Jan 30
“Intense and inspiring, LIFE2 is a hard-hitting album from Lingua Lustra”
1 Life2, Pt. 1 10:38
2 Life2, Pt. 2 7:10
3 Life2, Pt. 3 5:04
4 Life2, Pt. 4 13:18
5 Life2, Pt. 5 11:54
6 Life2, Pt. 6 7:54
(DDL 55:58) (V.F.)
(Dark Ambient, Berlin School)
After two albums of Dark Ambient music and after a silence in 2021, Lingua Lustra returns to haunt our ears with a striking album of Berliner rhythms and ambient beats in a musical texture that inspires many images to the eyes well connected to our ears. For Albert Borkent, life can have many shapes and angles, just as a single musical note can have various shades and harmonies while creating new chords and harmonies, and so on. Thus, a new version of life emerges from the pandemic. And as the door opens, a new light shines and new harmonies can be heard, endlessly reflected, in the sound of tomorrow. A beautiful text by Lingua Lustra that wonderfully illustrates the dynamist of LIFE2.
A brief tonal glow initiates the heavy rhythm of Part 1. Structured on a sequencer that alternates its jumping keys in a lively symmetrical movement, the rhythm is like a ghost train. A bass line supports this movement that subtly deviates to avoid these sonic obstacles that stand in its way. The cadence is fast, and we hear train howls, as well as these delicate translucent pads which radiate a universe in the Exit period of Tangerine Dream. This frenetic structure sinks in a metamorphic phase filled with stellar gas a little after the 4th minute. Waves of sound then cover Part 1 which continues to beat in mute under this sonorous veil where train whistles are even more precise, a little bit like if our main train was running in a tunnel under water. And little by little, the rhythm resurfaces to reappear almost 3 minutes later. Its ostinato texture fills our ears with humming tunes and musical flavors related to Trance while the trumpet-like pads take us back to the analog period of electronic music. A big piece to begin this LIFE2 that puts us in appetite. Especially since Part 2 continues in this approach where the sequencer sculpts a more convoluted rhythmic. Of a frenetic static kind, the rhythm is conceived on a multitude of arrhythmic jumps which are sequenced in a minimalist movement having a light stroboscopic vision. Scarlet colored synth blades cut into more or less short streaks, releasing a hissing wave that casts a prismatic mood around this rhythm that enters a short transition phase about 30 seconds into the 2nd minute. A bit like in Part 1, we hear it as being buried. But it comes back immediately, and we notice a bit more this rubbery texture that creates a constant echo effect on its amazing progression. Its second transition point, a little after the 4th minute, is longer. Afterwards, we hear a little more of this organic spring effect that has been grafted on from the start. Like what these phases of transitions bring a greater attention to what we discover.
After these two rhythmic bombs, Part3 brings us in the territories of the Belgian musician's dark ambient music. Long drones topped with crumpling mainly feed the first half. Omnipresent, these crumples disappear to make room for oscillating loops that encircle processional rhythmic chords, guiding Part3 into a finale where the psybient reveals its charms and usefulness. A fascinating rhythmic structure, still unambitious, opens Part4. Sitting on repetitive chords that flow like rhythmic water, it serves as an oscillating bed that accommodates different colors and lengths of synth streaks and layers on a minimalist movement that overflows its bed with a powerful ostinato movement to finally live in retreat and let the psybient fauna feed the final minutes of the track. After an atmospheric opening, Part5 slides on a pulsating texture where different layers of synth and organ flow in an intensity that reminds of those multi-layers of the psychedelic years. A track that sounds like a good inspired Klaus Schulze. The indecisive layers that introduce Part6 vibrate with their finely pulsating circles. They embrace a long drone that amplifies this measure of pulsations in a texture where the intensity is to cut with a knife. Albert Borkent constantly keeps the listener interested by injecting dramatic pads that continually bubble up this sonic magma fed with the spectral emotion from the synth blades and layers.
Intense and inspiring, LIFE2 is a hard-hitting album from Lingua Lustra. The Berlin School takes and loses its forms in a musical universe always in effervescence. A very good album where the ears get their money's worth!
Sylvain Lupari (January 28th, 2022) ****½*
Available at Exosphere's Bandcamp