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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

MASTER MARGHERITA: Border 50 (2018)

Updated: Sep 20, 2019

“As always, the colors of tones are impressive and the music hits right the goal aimed, either a good ambient Dub with its load of ethereal beats and drones”

1 Eight Degrees South (Ultimae Dub) 5:03 2 Lowland Areas (First Light Mix) 8:20 3 Shruti One (Ambient Mix) 7:46 4 Geophilous (Arborescent Mix) 10:26 5 Kivalina (Border 50 Mix) 9:20 6 Alternate Pathway (Alternative 1) 5:33 7 Alternate Pathway (Alternative 2) 7:25 8 Cosmogram (Ambient Mix) 7:42 9 Border 50 (Ultimae Dub with The Positronics) 10:06

10 Extending Downwards (Border 50 Mix) 5:25 Ultimae Records ‎| Inre093 (CD/DDL 77:11) (V.F.)

(Psybient, Psy Dub & Dark ambient)

Who is MASTER MARGHERITA? I see his name very often on the net and I have the impression that the Swiss musician has a horde of admirers who have only his music in mind. Visibly inspired by the novel of the Russian writer Mikhail Bulgakov (The Master and Margarita), Moreno Antognini is a musician/DJ who has been making music since the early 2000's. His style flutters between abstract electronic music, he handles quite a bit the oscillating waves of the Modular systems, the Dark Ambient and the new Electronica, where the Down-Tempo patterns and the different styles of DUB serve as rhythmic melodies to his soundscapes. BORDER 50 is a first album on Lyons label Ultimae Records. And his very enthusiastic welcome says a lot about the character and the worship of his admirers. And yet, his music is very well known on this side of EM fans of the Berlin School style and/or of meditative ambiences. I found that he had a lot of similarities between the music of Master Margherita and that of Steve Roach. But beyond that, I was quite seduced by the music of BORDER 50 whose musical journey is quite close to the expectations created by his fans. The soundscape of Eight Degrees South (Ultimae Dub) puts me in appetite. Warm waves drift into a universe conducive to meditation. Pulsations sculpt a hypnotic beat that gains a little energy when a guitar scatters its first thoughts. It's also here that metallic rustling echoes respond to the beats now muffled by sonic ornaments where my ears also hear a slight astral hum. Quiet, Eight Degrees South (Ultimae Dub) is no less intense with this subtle velocity which goes out in a pool of sound effects that we count at droppers. Lowland Areas (First Light Mix) is a first firm favorite! Its pace is slow. In fact, it's a super-slow down-tempo with a bass line which crawls while squeaking and with the strikes of a sleepy drummer on grass. Keyboard chords sound as Rick Wright's and they fall with fragility in this setting where sensuality and serenity flirt a little with the Dark Ambient style. Shruti One (Ambient Mix) brings an oriental breeze to this collection of titles redone by Master Margherita. Even if percussion effects play drum like a carpet of nervous beats, a Chinese flute establishes the portal of the atmospheres of this music which gets activate a little more with another good pounding bass line. The final brings this title back to square one. Geophilous (Arborescent Mix) is a title of meditative vibes with a very Steve Roach approach while Kivalina (Border 50 Mix) is in the Dark Ambient style with reverberant waves which stretch their sonorous chants with organic pulsations. Clear sequences flutter and draw oscillating axes that come and go with more velocity while my ears perceive fascinating murmurs. This extremely musical awakening of Kivalina (Border 50 Mix) is one of the good moments in this BORDER 50. Especially since we are in a phase of rather dark ambiences with the murmurs of drones in Alternate Pathway (Alternative 1) and those of Alternate Pathway (Alternative 2) where lurk uncertain chords and that Cosmogram (Ambient Mix) is really what its title means! Performed with The Positronics, a Lebanese duo doing Dub Techno Psychedelic Border 50 (Ultimae Dub) is a minimalist title like Plastikman. The rhythm is a slow linear race suitable to a multitude of sound effects in an Ambient Dub slightly, but slightly, Techno. The memories of Plastikman, among others, add to the charming potion of this track. Extending Downwards (Border 50 Mix) ends this first work of Master Margherita on Ultimae Records with a mini symphony for floating drones. A Dark Ambient ode with a slight hint of musicality! Enough in any case to make of it an always pleasant track to hear. And without reinventing anything, BORDER 50 is pleasant to discover because of the diversity of styles that are welded into one and same musical address. I have not discovered anything of extraordinary or ordinary! An honest album whose Dub style is stretching to some essences of Steve Roach and that gives it all of its cachet.

Sylvain Lupari (December 16th, 2018) ***** Available at Ultimae Records Bandcamp

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