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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

MOONSATELLITE: Dark Summer (2017)

Updated: May 6, 2022

“Very gloomy, almost poetic, Dark Summer marks a new direction in MoonSatellite’s musical evolution”

1 Variation #1 8:55 2 Variation #2 7:09 3 Variation #3 5:58 4 Variation #4 6:01 5 Variation #5 8:15 6 Variation #6 8:11 7 Variation #7 12:24 8 Variation #8 6:44 MoonSatellite Music | MS006

(CD 63:36) (V.F.) (French School's Cosmic Rock)

For MoonSatellite, DARK SUMMER marks a turning point in his career. First of all, Lone Wolf bought himself new toys and has reconfigured his studio in order to obtain the best sound possible from his instruments with the participation and the patience of Gilles Leroy. The fans and the friends of Marc were able to follow the evolution of these works via Facebook, as well as the elaboration of some titles which were going to appear on his new album. All of this results in a strangely dark album where we guess a Lone Wolf who has a rather dark vision of the future or who had a nasty summer with mixed emotions and admirably transposed them into. Don't look for furious rhythms here. All of them are boned to make plenty of room for these delicious cosmic rhythms and these melancholic melodies which decorated the landscapes of the French EM in the 70's. But DARK SUMMER is not deprived of interests for all that! Oh that not … There is a level of emotion here which transcends the best opuses of MoonSatellite with 8 similar structures. Each of those shows subtle nuances and amplify from titles to titles this continual presence of nostalgic emotions which decorate the cosmic landscapes of this other very beautiful album from Moonbooter. And as usual there are these magic moments, unique to the music of Lone Wolf, which make raise our hairs of the arms, if not of our backbone.

Variation #1 begins this new MoonSatellite odyssey with an approach shaded of romanticism. A somber romanticism sculpted by a soft structure with lines of more or less dreamy sequences which skip delicately in a cosmic soundscape. The decoration is rich with its full of interstellar elements where layers, illuminated by a suspicion of melancholic voices, wrap Variation #1 with a soft and comforting aroma of ether. Variation #2 sniffs at the ashes of Variation #1 to get us out of our momentary musing with a stream of intensity forged by bass pulsations which go hop up and down and a movement of a more fluid sequencer which makes its keys flicker vividly. This phase of rhythm stays in the ambient domain, be a cosmic rock, with a rich decoration always well embellished of sonic images whereas the voices, and our ears, are enthralled by the multiple synth solos which respect this aura and the imprint of nostalgia which roams all over the 8 variations of the album. After a Variation #3 which regroups the main elements of the first 2 titles of this new opus from Lone Wolf, Variation #4 increases the degree of intensity with a very good line of bass which solidifies a structure slightly livelier but also fed by increasing elements of melancholy. The movement of the sequencer makes skip and waltz its keys in a soundscape blurred of this layer of darkness which wraps the essence of the music. We dive literally here in the heart of the French cosmic rock of the 70's with this structure which floats according to its numerous solos loaded of melancholic melodies.

Variation #5 is this kind of title that brands our ears. The movement always remains so delicate as these lyrical odes which wrap the gloomy innocence of DARK SUMMER. But the sequences unfold here a superb march of nostalgia here with keys which alternate with a swiftness repressed by a veil of dusts crumbling from dying stars. The bass line spreads its veil of darkness, amplifying even more the presence of intensity which wraps this superb title. And if we find this moment attractive, it's nothing compared with the chants of the synth which throws a shroud of tears between our ears. Wonderful! Variation #6 follows a little the curves of Variation #5, but with more fluidity in the movement and in the harmonies of the synth. The 2nd part of the title waltzes with so much grace as a ballerina on a carpet of eroded shards. After an introduction furnished by a choir of austere psalms, Variation #7 presents the most livened up part of this album with impulses of a good line of bass. The crystal tone sequences ring a sibylline tune which is chased by these lines of chorus and by another nice synth solo in the vintage pattern of the 70’s French School. Variation #8 ends DARK SUMMER with a livelier movement, we always stay in the field of ambient rhythms here, which breathes like a moment of freedom found through an intensely melancholic album which seduces just as much as the previous works of MoonSatellite. Even if clearly more ambiospherical. Nobody can be disappointed here.

Sylvain Lupari (June 29th, 2017) *****

Available at MoonSatellite Bandcamp

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