LINGUA LUSTRA: Omni (2020)
“A Berlin School album which combines the poetry of the Pacific School with the audacity of the Belgian School”
1 Rain 5:27
2 Tide 25:23
3 Rasa 13:57
4 Omni 9:18
5 Glory 14:35
(DDL 68:41) (V.F.)
Fascinating album is the latest one of Lingua Lustra! Fascinating, since you can hear rhythms there. Real spasmodic rhythms identified with the Berlin School style, to which the oceanic scents of Michael Stearns clings, like in Rain which immediately puts us at ease with a soft music propelled by synthesizer impulses. These jerky impulses structure these phantom rhythms which live in the background of a musical canvas carried by a mass of circular winds which are filled with wooshh, wiishh and the murmurs of oceanic sirens. Intense moments when M'Ocean is just within earshot. Tide is a monument! This very long track begins with a soft movement concentrated on ambiences' elements captured in a bubble which comes and goes, which rolls in loops and in harmony with this magnetizing rhythm beating in mute in a decoration filled with the chirping of interstellar parasites. Albert Borkent weaves huge parallel with passages from the album M'Ocean. Mostly at the level of intensity that will subtly build up to its breaking point around 10 minutes, propelling Tide on a long journey filled with those spikes and linear moments that are more in meditation mode. This mortuary intensity comes from a bass line that splits into two elements. The one that crawls gives life to a crawling structure, while the one that dissolves to become a web of ambiences increases its pressure to reach these peaks of intensity which activate its long procession between the opacity of its winds and the luminosity of its radioactive elements. In the end, Tide lets us decide of its fate. It's indeed a very good meditative title. But not to sleep on it since the peaks of intensity which, resurface in a fairly regular way, arouse our attention, so that our lover makes faces behind her closed eyes. But what a title my friends!
And it's with pleasure that we see that Rasa is simmered in the same bowl! It's another intense title that lives by its aquatic heart which beats with a sedentary life. The intensity is linear and remains stuck in this active musical zone which receives showers of cosmic elements in the form of interstellar drizzle. Even more musical than Tide, I compare Rasa to this big bubble filled of water that moves like a big river in a sphere copied on the model of the Amazon. An electronic Amazon with its cybernetic flora and oneiric elements that facilitate our quest to sleep here. Except that the title track doesn't hear it the same way we do. Omni is a pure Berlin School in the same vein as the peaceful rhythmic structures of Steve Roach in Now/Traveler. The rhythm flows while spinning with a spasmodic flow and stronger phases, more intense at the level of the hammering of the sequenced arpeggios. Its descent is like a musical slide on steep slopes, from where this effect of jerks which fades in its last right. Glory ends OMNI with a series of muffled beats that parade in symmetrical kicks under a line of wooshh and waashh. These two very distinct corridors are invested by a line of rhythm whose jerks cloud these ambiences which end up relegating these beats as useful but not necessary accessories. Except that these rhythmic elements have left a very visible tonal imprint in this title which has become a storm of atmospheric elements whose survival depends on our imagination. As far as I'm concerned, I hear a fascinating choir dissolve as I see subtle changes in the rhythmic axis of the title. These changes inject a temporary liveliness as the pool of sounds and atmospheric elements again stifle this rhythm which will thus survive until Glory immerses itself in these aquatic atmospheres around the 11 minutes.
What a beautiful album this OMNI is! Its sound mass, which constitutes these multiple levels of atmospheres, is as impressive as it is lush with levels of intensity that fill our ears with emotional nectar. There is in this album a high level of tonal dust which partially suffocates these different rhythmic routes. Rhythm axes that persist in surviving and dragging us into the surrounding Berlin School which combines the poetry of the Pacific School with the audacity of the Belgian School. In short, a Lingua Lustra album made for all ears!
Sylvain Lupari (September 8th, 2020) ****¼*
Available at Exosphere's Bandcamp