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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

MEMORY GEIST: Benthos (2011)

Updated: Dec 26, 2020

There are splendid moments on this album which are worth discovering this highly creative duo who always privileges an analog modular approach

1 Metaphore 8:13

2 Mysticeti 5:31

3 Ocean Memory 10:39

4 Photophore 9:53

5 Carcharhinus 10:51

6 Bathosphere 12:14

(DDL 57:36) (V.F.)

(Dark Ambient, Gothic EM)

Here's the 2nd opus of the so heterogeneous as dark duo; Memory Geist. An album produces over a period of 4 years, where Steve Law and Bakis Sirros have sculpted their musical visions on sound textures, BENTHOS distances from its predecessor, Funeral Cavern, by exploring various facets of music to infinite possibilities. Heavy ambient music just as much darken as cheerfully livened up, BENTHOS is a superb journey in the heart of the modular and analog synths, there where the imagination takes its shapes and the noises are switching into music. And there where the music can become source of harmonies.

Metaphore begins this second musical journey of this duet filled of many heterogeneous tendencies with an ambivalent rhythmic structure which lulls between uncertain rhythms, is driven by astounding percussions and gaily-coloured pulsations which beat in Memory Geist's odd and sinister atmospheres. Delicate felted pulsations resound on a fine linear wave which spreads its sonority up to a nest of pulses to varied circles of influence and metallic sonorities. Muffled beatings resound like banging on a door, mixing fragmented pulsations in search of momentums and keyboard chords which are hanging around like guitar notes. The rhythm in waiting, it's lulling on its chords and deploying with a strong uncertainty on a glaucous structure which is pressed by arrhythmic percussions and iridescent pulsations, forging an ambivalent rhythmic where the beat crosses multiple sound effects and ambiances interrupted by soft melodious fragments. Mysticeti is by far the most accessible track offered by the Law & Sirros duet. It's a superb melody which takes its source from a nice synth line which undulates beneath spectral breaths, nervous percussions with an unexpected flow and nice pads of an orchestral synth. Jerky pads playing violins among fine glasses' twinklings and a suave but sinuous synth solo. Oneiric and romantic, Mysticeti is a surprising melody forged in a musical universe still unknown of Memory Geist, but the sound imprints which lie there is unmistakably indelible, in particular with its deaf and twisted reverberations which wrap the innocence of a bed song played near hells. Ocean Memory transports us in the soft tranquilities of an oceanographic universe where arpeggios sparkle and dance like jellyfishes in a seabed papered with sombre musical waves with slow dreamlike oscillations and twisted reverberations. It's a long ambient track where the surrounding noises captivate us so much the depth and the sepulchral precision depicts the sense of this track.

Dark undulatory pulsations coming from a curious industrial universe animate Photophore's intro. Percussions with abrupt strikes tumbling down are joining this curt and fragmented rhythm, awaiting the arrival of drum strikes which hammer a down-tempo style. Photophore bends on this cadence filled of subdivided, but steady, elements which evolve on an electronic structure where the down-tempo merges with a slow hip-hop fed by a beautiful bass line, lamentations of wandering souls and a fanciful drummers' duel which hammer furious strikes in a musical universe imprinted by pulsations and always papered of surrealist sound elements. Carcharhinus cuts the rhythm and puts BENTHOS in an ambient and atmospheric phase with noises of intergalactic transmissions of which cracklings float around dark reverberations and deaf pulsations. The track offers a slow intro filled from by tones of an amphibian world growing in an increasing rhythmic approach fed by fine percussions and big glaucous pulsations which beat in a psychedelico-ambient universe where sinuosity and long synth strands darken a musical universe feed of white noises. Bathosphere ends BENTHOS with a long ambient track of which the reminiscences to Michael Stearns' Chronos filled our ears, but with a darker approach where cosmic layers marinade with sombre choirs which try to avoid the entrails of their caves. It's a very good ambient track with solid atmospheres which allies darkness and brightness in a world bordering of angels from darkness.

That would be a lie to say that the music of Memory Geist is easy of approach. Steve Law & Bakis Sirros have been masters in the art of building an abstract music where fine harmonious fragments are hiding in heavy black and corrosive atmospheres. On the other hand, BENTHOS shows a new facet of Memory Geist by offering more places to rhythms and melodies without leaving aside the sepulchral and abstract approach. There are superb passages on this album which are worth discovering this highly creative duo who always privileges an analog modular approach, giving so a heat and a depth to a complex and dark music. A music that should charm fans of Redshift, ['ramp] and Ian Boddy for sure and gives me a taste to re discover their first album.

Sylvain Lupari (June 20th, 2011) *****

Available at DiN DDL Bandcamp

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