MATZUMI: Ad Infinitum (2010)
Updated: Jun 24
“A fascinating album where darker vibes battle against words and where the ethereal approach goes with a minimalist sequenced phase”
1 The Lonely Path - Prologue 2:36
2 The Sense of Life 7:37
3 We are One 5:27
4 Dreamtraveller 7:56
5 Epilogue 9:56
(CD 33:35) (V.F.)
Matzumi is a German artist who mixes her voice with synth layers. It's a mixture that can annoy some of us because in EM voices are supposed to be in opposition with sounds. Nevertheless, the fluidity of Matzumi's voice is merging very well to her music which is in a kind of Vangelis and Bernd Kistenmacher with an intimist, emotional and especially delicate feminine orchestral vision. AD INFINITUM is a mini album which follows Sometimes released in 2009. A fascinating mini album where darker emotions battle against words and where the ethereal approach goes alongside a minimalist sequenced phase.
The Lonely Path - Prologue begins like a Berber ode. A Tuareg chant à la Enigma beneath droning reverberations, ringings and nice iridescent pads from a discreet synth. Powerful, the voice of Matzumi is melting with this eclectic sound adornment of which the dense mellotron layers wrap of their orchestrated fragrances. This bewitching Arabic haze continues on the intro of The Sense of Life where soft celestial layers bring us to soft sequences which drum in a minimalist echo. The twisted synth waves derive there. Embracing the arc of their resonances, they get muddling to ore limpid breezes and delicate ringing whereas the cadence of the pulsations, percussions and sequences hasten the pace but shape however a slow minimalism rhythm. Suave voice lines are floating just like a scent of ether and wrap these beatings which are pulsing with insistence while synth pads smother gradually this hypnotic rhythm which goes out in of beautiful and poignant orchestral layers. We are One bathes in a dense synthesized orchestration with layers which float and waltz like leaves falling from trees and get trapped in the winds, before ending on a less intense moment that Matzumi's voice flavours the movement of an exalting sensualism. It's in a sound universe always so tinted by influences of Arabic and exotic worlds that we move within AD INFINITUM. Dreamtraveller is a heavy and striking track with weighty percussions which fall and collide languishingly on a rhythm as much ambiguous as its percussions. A little as in the same mould as The Sense of Life but less minimalism in its sequences' hopping, Dreamtraveller is soaked with vocalises that are leaking away in this sometimes warm and sometimes metallic rhythm until it's engulfed in of dense orchestrations. Epilogue begins with oscillatory pulsations, wrapped by synth layers with iridescent mists and by Matzumi’s voice effects. A movement between two rhythms, Epilogue embraces a soft tangent of Arabic deserts before taking back its rhythmic crusade on its pulsations and silvered synth layers which garnished the whimsical rhythm of its introduction.
Oscillating between the soft vapours of a tender EM and the oniric universe of the Arabic world, Ad Infinitum is a pleasant surprise. It's certainly not the kind of opus that will destroy our eardrums but it's an album made all in softness and subtlety where nuances go up to the roots of sequences. I quite enjoyed this fusion voice / synth which floats like a perfume of tranquillity on always ambivalent but strongly present rhythms. In brief, those who like the symphonic universe of Vangelis and Bernd Kistenmacher and even of Enigma's suave vocalises will be delighted by this discovery that is Matzumi.
Sylvain Lupari (June 2nd ,2011) ***½**
Available at Matzumi Music