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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

LOREN NERELL: The Venerable Dark Cloud (1998/2016)

The Venerable Dark Cloud isa nice album of ambient ethnic music build upon a great  ensemble of clanic percussions

1 Dark Horizon 6:15 2 Eclipse 8:53 3 Liquid Metal Stasis 7:42 4 Another Cloud 9:08 5 Tenganan Grove 6:36 6 Within the Cloud 3:49 7 Ablution 2:23 9 Lambat Lane 24:24 Projekt ‎– PRO330

(CD/DDL/Spotify 69:11) (V.F.) (Ambient ethnic music)

A distant breath takes its hold on our senses by accentuating its presence with a glaucous humming from where escape a drizzle of prisms and some secret voices. Tom-toms blacken this sibylline atmosphere with scattered knockings while the muffling of drones becomes comatose with the presence of contrasting synth lines and songs of flute. Meditating on the direction of its approach, Dark Horizon continues its linear obituary walking which will really take off with the very good Eclipse. Recorded for the needs of the Italian label of ambient music Amplexus at the dawn of year 2000, THE VENERABLE DARK CLOUD sees again the day in an edition lengthened of some 47 minutes on the American label Projekt Records. At that time, this 5th work of Loren Nerell was published in format mini CD and had known quite a success among the music lovers of atmospheres which came from an unsung universe, that of the Balinese tribal ambient music. If the fans of the kind are beforehand conquered, those who grope the genre from the tip of their timid ears will also find some benefit there.

After the slow introduction of Dark Horizon, Eclipse dives into our ears with an uncommon intensity. The Balinese percussions sculpture a slow ritual rhythm of trance with winds which caress the senses and the small bells, as well as their shadows, which draw a minimalist melody by two opposite phases. The strength of the buzzing breezes weakened a little the charms of the percussions, but the bells which always remain so hypnotic. Liquid Metal Stasis is a new track on this reedited version of this album. The movement is as linear as these musical winds which sweep endless horizons where are shinning two ringings and their distant echoes. This second phase of this new edition is almost similar as the original version, as the first two following titles are traced on the same roles as the two first ones. After its rhythm of a ritual trance as Eclipse, Another Cloud slides towards the quieter abyss of Tenganan Grove and its strange noises which sound like murmurs of an open-air cave. Within the Cloud and Ablution were a part of the original opus and are 2 titles of glaucous atmospheres that a flute decorates slightly towards the finale of Ablution. Lambat Lane is a segment of more or less 25 minutes which is added to this 2nd sonic skin of THE VENERABLE DARK CLOUD. It's a long wall of atmospheres weaved between the black charms of a synth guided by its Mephistophelian needs and of percussions which add a veil of intensity as so black and wrapping as the music of Steve Roach in his moments of introspection. I think in particular of his Immersion series.

THE VENERABLE DARK CLOUD is an album in 2 tints where the lascivious rhythms amaze and seduce in this immense envelope of glaucous breezes of which the very nuanced contrast navigates on surprising ensemble of clanic percussions. It’s a nice album of ambient ethnic music that is going to please undoubtedly to the aficionados of the genre who have missed this episode in 1998.

Sylvain Lupari (November 16th, 2016) ***½**

Available at Project Music Bandcamp

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