MADHAVI DEVI: The Truth of Being (2018)
“The Truth of Being is a splendid album which redefined parameters of ambient music with a richness that had never reached my ears yet”
1 Translucence Reflected 9:34
2 Jade Breeze 12:28
3 Cloudbreak on Ilsa 6:21
4 Breakthrough 4:51
5 Inner Vision - Cave of Light 15:14
6 Luminescent Hue 7:50
(Ambient with a zest of mysteries)
Where do I start this review about the last of the celestial and atmospheric Mass from the Spotted Peccary label? I had already heard the music, at least his participation, of Madhavi Devi with the very ambient Source of Compassion, album made in 2016 with Howard Givens; the great Manitou of the American label. Always at the controls, Givens lends his synths and especially his realization for a splendid album which redefined some parameters of the ambient music. Bewitching, secret and mystical, THE TRUTH OF BEING explores another realm of atmospheric landscapes with a sound aesthetic that impressed me with a richness that had never reached my ears yet. Cheryl Gallagher uses a variety of synths, analog as well as digital and modular with equally diverse sound filters. The harps, the Big one as some electrical, a guitar, a violin and truly fascinating Tibetan percussions weave pads of ambiances and evanescent rhythms in a very immersive music enveloped by sumptuous orchestrations. A superb album guided by the oceans, the secrets of Madhavi Devi and its impressive musical vision that makes us travel through her fantasies!
Breezes blowing on the Pacific Ocean bring the waves to murmur on the shores. It's in a very heavenly vision that Translucence Reflected floats these puffs that raise sand particles which solidify into carillon chants. Like a mobile of a child above a gigantic astral bed, the tones of the chimes must go over the immensity of the territory and turn into percussive chords which get bang and tingle with a hope of forming a less passive rhythm. And it's a slight movement of rhythm that finally seduces the azure winds of Translucence Reflected. This rhythm swirls like a mirage of Michael Stearns in a second part blown to give us chills with orchestrations and chants of the stars which form a sublime lullaby lunar. Here it is! Cheryl Gallagher's charms box is now wide open, and Jade Breeze gets in all in softness with its purring and deafening breeze. Celestial layers unfurl like a carpet of yellow tulips opening their petals in a symphony of inert movements. Even with shades of shadow, the tones are radiant and cast a meditative tranquility that is joined by a duel between a piano and tinkling chime, maybe Tibetan percussions. Thin lines of voices seem to come out of this membrane where nothing else can get in while the jade breezes play with the tenderness of a piano which has no restraint for throwing some chills in the secret corridors of our soul. And as in Translucence Reflected, it's a kind of chimes dance that lights up the light rhythm of Jade Breeze. Drums, very discreet, invite themselves in this ethereal dance which gradually scatters its clinking tones in this vast ocean which has blown its introduction.
Cloudbreak on Ilsa is a rather intense ambient track that moves in the void by the impulses of its dense sound doormat embroidered by multiple lines of orchestrations. Harp and a violin played by Stephanie Britten Phillips throws a very nostalgic, sometimes very cryptic, vision in an electronic texture fed by many sound effects of another realm of tones. Close to Patrick O'Hearn's mythical territories, Breakthrough takes us to another level with a didgeridoo song rocked by superb percussions that mold a mesmerizing down-tempo of the most eclectic. Strange, my speakers always want to hear it again! Sighs and tears exist in all forms in THE TRUTH OF BEING. And they are at the origin of Inner Vision - Cave of Light, a symphony for souls adrift. At the same time complex and heavenly, with nice passages of introspective harmonies, the music is a kind of astral journey with its many waash and wiishh that undulate and caress the slow winged movements of the stringed instruments and the soft laments of a synth in mode; Michael Stearns cosmic with a sibylline scent. The waves of sound, like THX sound strips, take us into a tonal landscape, which always manages to reach a higher level from title to title, and its fabulous permutations that are done smoothly. A tingling of percussions pierces the aura of the orchestrations, destabilizing the atmospheric wave that seeks its rhythmic lair. The oceans are still spitting waves on the celestial shores while the advance of the percussion jostles another color of the synth layers. The irregular flow of the percussive jingles and the echoing movements weave an ambient rhythm that sounds like if Klaus Schulze was waiting for us in another universe. The violins throw blackness and the harp is woven evanescent melodies that come and rephrase their designs in ambient soundscapes that merge into an impenetrable mosaic whose twisted effects multiply the new abysmal slowness of Inner Vision - Cave of Light, which quietly gets back to the port of its loneliness. A superb evolving title which precedes the tease that is Luminescent Hue. Here, no more question of serenity. The rhythm is sometimes hungry and sometimes controlled, but always dominant. The violence in orchestrations and another superb pattern of percussions enliven the tempestuous flow of this title that concludes a very surprising and invaluable album for the ears as well as for the speakers from beginning to end. An amazing discovery my friends!
Sylvain Lupari (October 5th, 2018) ****½* SynthSequences.com
Available on Spotted Peccary