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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

LOREN NERELL: Slow Dream (2012)

Profoundly ambient and wrapping, Loren Nerell's Slow Dream is a beautiful balance between mysticism and musical poetry

1 Mentation 28:40 2 Slow Dream 10:29 3 A Sense of Presence 19:28 4 Persistence of Dream Imagery 8:31 Projekt| PRO00271

(CD/DDL/Spotify 67:10) (V.F.)

(Dark ambient, Gamelan)

Loren Nerell is an American composer and musician who likes dark ambient music and Balinese Gamelan, a musical style made of various gongs and metallophones from the Indian and Malaysian origins. SLOW DREAM is a 7th opus. It's an album of an extreme inner tranquillity where the drones of silvery breathes caress our senses with an infinite contemplative serenity. Set apart the opening track, the album is a somber reflection on musical universes which recall with delight the heavy and ambient music of Steve Roach whom the presence on mastering is directly reflecting on the drones and the passive sound arcs of this last effort of the musician born in California.

Mentation plunges us into the fascinating musical universe of Gamelan with its long cyclic adventure carried away by the intonations of the gongs and metallophones which quietly forge an enchanting spiritual approach, like oneiric chants caressing the grooves of our ears. This longitudinal title which clocks the 30 minutes begins with breaths of life which take the shape of gong's reverberations of which the ringings are singing of their silvered reflections an ode to peace of mind. I have already heard this contemplative approach on The Sky of Mind from Ray Lynch which is however more melodious than the music found here. Because, here there are no rhythms or melodies. Everything is centred on relaxation and mental appeasement which evolve among fine and subtle variations brought by a synth with breezes of mist. Breezes which subdivide their breaths, bringing a delicate poetic contrast on the metallic stanzas of the gongs which are hiding between sound and silence of souls. The title-track brushes the lugubrious finale of Mentation, pursuing this long unstressed odyssey among the somber breaths of a synth which float such as black angels on an earth of perdition.

Slow Dream widens its veil of mysticism through its delicate drones which crisscross a subterranean world full of rustles of a strange immersive paranoia. By moments, one would believe to relive the lifeless and quiet world of Steve Roach's Immersion Series with this heavy meditative approach which puts the music in mode sleeping. Same thing goes for A Sense of Presence except that the hollow breezes awake a strange fauna of a hybrid world. The more we move forward and the more the breaths of synths implode into somber cataclysmic tumults, awakening a universe stuffed by avenging spectres which blow their conflicts among intense drones with sibylline incantations. Persistence of Dream Imagery ends the album with with the same Balinese approach than on Mentation except that this time Loren Nerell adds some vestiges of a western universe with metallic noises which roam here and there, lost between silence and noise, between day and night. Like a reflection of an industrialized universe mislaid in the immersive universe of the meditative contemplations on Balinese Gamelan music. Profoundly ambient and wrapping, this last opus of Loren Nerell is a good balance between mysticism and musical poetry. It's as darker as it can be beautiful and, especially, it’s as well charming than it’s quiet. For fan of dark ambient with a nice exploratory touch.

Sylvain Lupari (September 13th, 2012) ***½**

Available at Project Music Bandcamp

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