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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Mathias Grassow Lyramos (2023)

A voyage in the heart of dark ambient music bordering the frontiers of meditation

1 Lyrania 12 5:40

2 Lyranium 56 30:25

3 Lyrania 34 7:02

4 Lyranium 78 31:34

Bonus Tracks

1 Tonstrom I 5:31

2 Tonstrom II 12:16

(DDL/CD-(r) 74:44) (V.F.)

(Dark ambient, Drone)

Imagine, with an amplified tone, the flight of a fly missing a wing, and you have the opening of Lyrania 12. The sonic metamorphosis evolves with a layer of grainy drones and a more musical synth wave. Elements and contrasts that are found throughout Mathias Grassow's second album on Cyclical Dreams. LYRAMOS pushes back the charms of Through an Unknown Stargate with an album based purely on long, droning movements where winds and secret voices howl in a universe not really made for sleeping. Meditate, perhaps, but not to sleep! There are no rhythms here. Just long passages dominated by drones, cosmic rustling and plunges into a universe of perdition, where the German musician-synthesist attempts to unite the psychic barriers between his music and the healing possibilities of another form of medicine. At the very least, this is the musician's goal! The music on LYRAMOS is the fruit of an unexpected collaboration between a Ukrainian engineer, Vlad Kreimer from Soma Laboratories, who designs synthesizers in a highly innovative and advanced way. Mathias Grassow bought one of these synthesizers, the Cosmos, in last December. The special feature of this instrument is its ability to generate meditative states through music. Everything is designed to establish a close connection between musician and listener, leading to a state of grace and serenity. Facilitating the transition to experiences intrinsic to meditation and stimulating the ability to hear tranquility with sound waves that are both buzzing and ethereal.

A breeze exhaling a thin thread of astral voice and a droning wave are the contrasting sound entities that open the long Lyranium 56. Discreet chords skim the surface, rather like Brian Eno's secret universe, while muted implosions are gently making undulate this long serene musical anaconda. Apart from these subtle undulations, the movement is linear. It evolves slowly between its drones and tinkling sound elements, like a seraphic call to a form of transcendental meditation. If we strain our listening, we can hear voices humming a melody that flirts with the beyond. Always if you strain your listening and, above all, your imagination! But no matter, there is indeed a passage between the sibylline and more luminous universes of an ethereal approach in the ambiences of this album. Between more seraphic and more shadowy phases, due to the presence of drones and their tonal inflections, Lyranium 56 flows quite well. More musical than abstract, this long 30-minute odyssey respects the goals of LYRAMOS. But Lyrania 34 takes us elsewhere! Into the darkness of a journey in the heart of dark music. Dark Ambient! The longest track in this mosaic of sounds plunges us towards a universe of dark ambient music and flirts with a slight industrial texture. Lyranium 78 forces the passage from Lyrania 34 towards an abyssal descent which draws some of its elements to the vibes of Lyranium 56. The sound is just louder, and its impact is more violent.

Mathias Grassow intends to push further the fruits of his collaboration with Vlad Kreimer. This is undoubtedly good news for fans of his style, which he exploits with much greater freedom here than on his debut album on the Argentinian label Through an Unknown Stargate. Obviously, as a follower of more rhythmic and/or melodic movements than on this LYRAMOS, I had to adjust my expectations to this darker ambient music that flirts as much with the limits of Cosmos and those of an industrial ambient music. This album comes with 2 bonus tracks, Tonstrom I, which is more ethereal, and the dark and gloomy Tonstrom II, which sails into the territories of the second half of LYRAMOS, an album indeed that will be greatly appreciated by fans of the genre and of the musician from Wiesbaden.

Sylvain Lupari (June 29th, 2023) ***¾**

Available at Cyclical Dreams Bandcamp

(NB: Texts in blue are links you can click on)

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