M3nash Declive (2023)
“This is the kind of album that goes perfectly with a day of spleen”
1 Tears 8:06
2 Composure of Loneliness 10:59
3 Hanging over the Abyss 6:14
4 Zorrow 7:05
5 Cursed Tape 2:51
6 Drowned 4:59
(DDL/CD-(r) 40:14) (V.F.)
(Ambient New Berlin School)
Stardust are sparkling on a wave of reverberations. Thus, opens Tears and, by the same token, the dimensions of DECLIVE. The falling keyboard chords have the vision of tears springing from nothingness to bounce back and create a ritornello sculpted in the harmony of a sad melody. Synth chirps and other sound effects adorn this circular procession, innocently guided by 2 cadenced chords. The tone is sober and remains in the register of meditative melody, enveloped by the mythical chants of a strange, spectral melody. This melodic approach is even better exploited on the very ambient and melancholy Hanging over the Abyss, where the vision and structure of Esteban Menash's composition go along very well with the meaning of the title. There's a great deal of sadness on this new download-album from the Argentinian musician and co-founder of the Cyclical Dreams label. From the outset, M3nash admits that this collection of tracks stranded on a cassette and found in an old trunk is nothing less than the silent cry of an artist begging to be rescued. And you can hear it on 5 of the 6 tracks on DECLIVE, from which the nostalgic envelope is surprisingly fragile.
The exception is Composure of Loneliness, which comes to our ears with a splendid New Berlin School. Its rhythm is circular, with a first layer of oscillations that swirls with a delicate inflection in its circular axis. The rhythm runs fluidly. It becomes even more driving when percussive effects, a series of 7 rapid hits, encircle it and guide it towards a solid electronic rock. Another line of oscillations, with a more organic texture, is added, momentarily slowing the pulse of the undulating wave. Tender cosmic pads and video-game effects filter through the synth. An excellent track that catches the ears as well as the feet on first listen. With a rhythmic approach as nebulous and hesitant as that of Rock On (David Essex), Zorrow deploys its strategy of secretly cadenced melody. Ambient, its rhythm is circular with a variety of sequences whose textures and colors leap independently to ultimately create a delightful meditative choreography. Some sequences have a rubbery texture, while others have a harmonic limpidity that merges quite well with those always a little lower down. There's also a subtle rhythmic canon effect in some of these arpeggios, which appropriately share both rhythmic and melodic visions. There's a delicate use of mellotron (flute and orchestration) in a setting where synth pads shimmer in an aborted procession and banks of fluty mist cradle cosmic electronic effects. Cursed Tape is a short track with moiré arpeggios that jump without enthusiasm over a carpet of reverberations that wither into a metallic blue. It does very Brian Eno! Drowned closes M3nash's short opus with another beautiful meditative melody, certainly the most beautiful, which overwhelms us with its sadness. The keyboard drops notes that sparkle on a circular movement of the sequencer. They leap in symbiosis with this magnetizing ambient rhythm and in a musical brilliance that makes a lyrical counterweight to the waves of rain and thunder that fill the background of a track that ends on a bed of distorted reverberations.
If Die Loreley had a great legend for us to hear, DECLIVE is the kind of album that goes perfectly with a day of spleen, if you're looking to stay in that state! There are gloomy passages that are quite moving, and others where the creative side, Composure of Loneliness and Zorrow, by Esteban Menash, light up our ears.
Sylvain Lupari (August 18th, 2023) *****
Available at Cyclical Dreams Bandcamp
(NB: Texts in blue are links you can click on)