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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Max Corbacho Atmospheric Twilight (2023)

The art of nuancing colors in order to insert lyrical movements without stanzas

1 Atmospheric Twilight 45:09

2 Stillness Glow 12:43

3 Dusk Awakes 15:51

(CD/DDL 73:45) (V.F.)

(Deep atmospheric cosmic music)

ATMOSPHERIC TWILIGHT is the 6th album of the always cosmic and dark ambient universe of Max Corbacho that I review. And I also listened to several of them without writing about those. So, the question arose whether I should review another of his albums that are conceived in the same comfort zone that the Spanish musician-synthesist has been bathing since moons. Since I heard, out of curiosity, Nocturnal Emanations in the early 2000's in fact. At that time, I was not really fond of the kind of atmospheric music without rhythmic life. But I changed. My taste for the genre has evolved over the years, unlike Max Corbacho's vision, which for some reason still manages to enchant me, to caress my soul with ghostly impulses that fit that need to be alone with my headphones drifting in a Cosmos filled with verses without words.

The long title-track continues the momentum of Equinox with synth waves that are pushed on the impact of the previous ones. The music drifts between the Cosmos and our ears with this opaque tint where the dark lets filter shades of lavender and orange, giving an impressive sound show where the abysses continuously whisper their chthonian charms. This sound show is as great as the 74 minutes of this ATMOSPHERIC TWILIGHT by the way. The slow and long movement is comparable to a mass of winds that roar like lava flowing from a volcano with their scarlet colors. These winds in suspension release fine laments that moan like ghosts lost in the cosmic immensity, creating this perfect balance between the atony of the movement and its latent charms of these chants that rise between the colors of the volcanic ashes. A little more and we would be in the abyssal spheres of Steve Roach's Immersion series, colors and tonal life in more. With a little imagination, we can also define this movement as a mega space shuttle and its linear humming that escapes from its flaming grooves. But no matter where we place the setting of Atmospheric Twilight, Max Corbacho makes drift our emotions through the twists and turns of our past throughout the 45-minute track. The American meditative music sculptor is the most realistic point to compare and situate the Barcelona synthesist's ambient, and sometimes abstract, works. And a track like Stillness Glow cements this comparison beautifully. The difference is the cosmic side that the musician-synthesist brings to the depth of his atmospheric textures, giving a wider range to his music. I like the sense of urgency that emanates from Stillness Glow with these waves that stand out like shadows to add a slight dramatic touch. A very nice track! But I like even better the slow movement, quite similar, of Dusk Awakes. The atmospheres, on a background of twilight color, have an even more accentuated depth in this title where translucent filaments escape and draw deformed arabesques. And the drones have a more musical texture here than elsewhere because of the outer thin layer of sizzle that surrounds them.

It is the charm of the meditative cosmic music of Max Corbacho! This art of nuancing his colors in order to insert lyrical movements without stanzas shines from everywhere in ATMOSPHERIC TWILIGHT. When you think about it, as long as it's beautiful, well done and effortlessly tame, the Barcelona-based synthesist may be doing well to stay so anchored in his comfort zone...which becomes ours!

Sylvain Lupari (January 26th, 2023) *****

Available on Max Corbacho's Bandcamp

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

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