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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

MOONSATELLITE: Sessions (2017)

Updated: May 6, 2022

I'm not fond of these sessions lost in times, but this one is quite OK

1 Session #1 7:54

2 Session #2 6:33

3 Session #3 16:34

4 Session #4 7:27

5 Session #5 15:09

6 Session #6 6:35

(DDL 60:14) (V.F.)

(Cosmic French School)

Those who have been reading my reviews for a long time know how much I'm afraid of an album that is a collection of leftovers that the artist has composed in a hurry in different recording sessions. The pretention wants that it can interest the fans! For me, I rather perceive a spirit of mercantilism. So my dear friend Lone Wolf decided that this SESSIONS, an album of tracks scattered from sessions dating back to before his studio redesign in 2016, had an artistic value that would appeal to his many followers. And like the opposite, there are also leftovers that should have been out in the open long before. And there are some on this SESSIONS, a delightful opus of music heaps that respects in every way those cosmic EM charms of the French School that MoonSatellite has been putting in my ears since the delicious Sequenzer - Volume 1, released in 2009. And even if the 6 parts follow one another in a long sonic river, with its turbulences as well as its moments of quietude, of more than one hour, the musician from Nantes advises us that there is no link between them and that the 6 sessions of this album, offered in download only, represent six different ambiances which go according to the moods of MS at those moments.

Floppy synth waves, crumbling voice samples and subway noises as well as a nice palette of electronic effects open Session #1. MoonSatellite's signature is recognizable among thousands...except Jean-Michel Jarre's! A carousel of sequences, with crystalline tones, shimmers with the grace of an astral ballerina under a shower of meteorites, leading this ambient movement towards a sustained bass line that our ears misplace with Jarre's in Magnetic Fields IV. A ghostly melody hides behind this sustained rhythm, titillating our ears hungry for these so French and so romantic electronic melodies. It will remain in the background however, leaving all the charm of the voices of the initial sequences to meet a wall of Elven vocals around the 5th minute. Voices that bring Session #1 back to its origins. Session #2 follows with an introduction blown with emotion. Dense layers and seraphic voices pads intertwine in a sonic fabric that exudes orchestral scents as a synth launches harmonies that weep like a concert of lonely souls. A discreet movement of sequences waddles through this richly intense setting. And that synth still crying! Another sequencer movement escapes midway through, tracing a very melodic spheroidal structure that clings to a heavy bass line. And there it is, the long-awaited melody. It's however nostalgic and appears with this movement of the sequencer, like in the good time of Space Art, under the caresses of a synth which abounds in nice analogue tones. It's at this time that my ears were riveted to this jam of MoonSatellite's leftovers. No regrets from this moment!

Session #3 takes us to a long introduction loaded with effects and cosmic orchestrations where the synth cries as much as it launches harmonic SOS. The ambient layers extend panoramas of solitude where a sensitive soul can easily imagine being on the ice floes of the Mare Serenitatis and contemplate the glittering stars that shine like tears through eyelids bruised by inconsolable sorrow. And it's the waltz! A very beautiful and slow orchestral movement settles around the 4th minute. And some 2 minutes later, it is gently uprooted by a rhythmic sequence that takes this long Session #3 out of its cocoon of serenity. The rhythm is pulsating. Screwed on a set of two sequences with simultaneous jumps, it takes root with a multitude of elements that enrich its charms. Oscillating lines, percussion rattling, electronic percussions and those old boxed-percussions of the Kraftwerk years arm this rhythm with elegance and electronic refinements that stimulate the desire to hang on as much as the auditory enchantment. The layers and the splendid aerial solos add the final touch to an evolving structure that clings as much to its cocoon of contemplation as to its structure of cosmic rhythm. A very good and long track as I like them! Session #5 is somewhat in the same vein while offering a rhythmic bass structure that reminds me of P'Cock's in House in the Storm, but with a tonal richness as noble as the mysteries of Cosmos. Session #4 features a Gregorian chant-filled opening before plunging into a rhythmic phase rife with nuance, both in tones and rhythmic embryo. Like a decorator, Lone Wolf constantly adds elements that embellish this rhythmic blooming that becomes as sober as a puppeteer's dance resting his fingers with basic movements. Session #6 ends SESSIONS with a tangle of synth layers in melancholic moods. At once cosmic, symphonic and cinematographic, the strings of wandering voices are poignant with emotion and easily transport the listener to a repressed memory, to landscapes of contemplation, thus concluding an album that MoonSatellite has finally done well to take out of its lost sessions.

Sylvain Lupari (June 6th, 2017) ***½**

Available at MoonSatellite Bandcamp

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