MYSTICAL LIGHT: Full Moon Rising (2015)
Updated: Apr 10
“Heavy and pushed by hard rhythms of dance, Full Moon Rising is the equivalent of hammering an anvil in a porcelain store”
1 Adrift 6:46
2 Signs of Life 5:02
3 Quantum Leap 6:23
4 Stranded 8:31
5 Fly me to the Moon 6:10
6 Lost on the Dark Side 6:44
7 Pulse 5:32
8 Gravitational Vortex 6:19
9 Mare Tranquillitatis 5:48
10 Silent Sky 10:05
11 Full Moon Rising 5:54
12 The Selenites 5:53
Self-release (CD 74:14) (V.F.)
André Willms and Michael Wilkes have simply mystified the aficionados of EM in 2013 with a hard-hitting album which allied the ambiences of Astral Cookies, André Willms' musical project, to the heavily sequenced and very livened up music from Yog-Sothoth, project of Michael Wilkes. The question was to know if Mystical Light would go beyond the horizons of Beyond the Horizon album. Difficult to do better! Nevertheless, the W duet is not very far behind. Even with an approach which could confuse more than one! FULL MOON RISING is made with less subtleties. Always embalmed of intoxicating flavors of a Berlin School hammered by good sequences and heavy percussions, this 2nd album of Mystical Light is more direct. Let's say that it's not made in lace with an approach concentrated on rhythms which rock between a kind of IDM, without its psybient elements, and a very robotic, even a very cosmic, techno. Once again, it's our ears, our walls and our neighbors which suffer from it most...
A slender line of wind coming from the North, sound particles filled of prism, muffled knockings and a sinuous line of oscillations are building the Mephistophelian rhythmic approach of Adrift. FULL MOON RISING starts with a cannon shot! Twinkling sequences decorate a sonic constellation inspired by the Stratosfear years. The rhythm is heavy and dark. Wrapped by beautiful synth pads perfumed of iridescent colors, it carries a beautiful vampiric melody which sings such a choir of spectres on a rhythm which crawls of its nice oscillating loops. The decoration and the arrangements are hallucinating. One could imagine to be in a horror movie with this superb piece of music. This is a great mix of retro and new Berlin School which is going to turn all year long in my iPod. Let's say that it starts very well this 2nd meeting with Mystical Light. Signs of Life takes us to another level; that of the dance floor music for clumsiness that flourishes in every corner of this album. A necklace of arpeggios traces a structure of spasmodic rhythm with chords that shake the moods of the morphic synth pads. These layers counterbalance a kind of cosmic funk with keys which break-dance in the shade of good resonant pulsations, fairly sober but heavy ones, percussions and metallic rattles that can be confused with hand claps. A delicate melody comes out of this relatively ambient dance pattern, thus testifying to all the riches that surround each of the tracks on this album. Fine devious pulsations and chants of ectoplasms on LSD are opening the slow rhythm of Quantum Leap. The movement is circular and filled with organic twittering, combining the genre of Redshift with ambient techno arched on good pulsations. Pulses that lose their shadows. And shadows that agglutinate in a heavy pandemonium choreography where the synth swaps its clothes for those of a six-string and throws solos which haunt as much as these crystalline sequences which sparkle and twirl with spectral grace. Heavy and reinvented Mark Shreeve! I love. Stranded is not to be outdone. The atmospheres float like a threat in an intro where an alarm signal awakens in us a feeling of distress in a space shuttle. The arrangements accentuate the climate of anxiety with winds which are lost in layers of ambient caresses. We hear the percussions coming from afar. They end up hammering a rhythm that is both heavy and fluid while the sequences are transformed into organic twittering whose stroboscopic lines crisscross without hitting another line of sequences decorated with a delicate inviting melody. It's beautiful music.
The sneaky approaches are legion in this new album of Mystical Light. They take time to develop, may this be in rhythms or in ambiences layers. On Fly me to the Moon, they serve as beds for nice arpeggios with glass tones that parade in an ambient and jerky movement. The synth solos fuse from all sides, it's one of the wealth of this album by the way, on a structure that hesitates between its rhythm and its ambient visions. A structure that is gaining speed and ends up sinking into a kind of very robotic IDM. Lost on the Dark Side presents a jerky structure, like in the good moments of dance and of cosmic techno from Nattefrost. We always stay in the field of cosmic dance and of cybernetic IDM inflated by heavy atmospheres and jerky pulsating rhythms, a bit stroboscopic, with Pulse and its panoply of percussions which click like electronic castanets. Gravitational Vortex makes even more dance floor music with arrhythmic pulses, spasmodic arpeggio croaks and allegorical tinkles that blend with dance orchestrations. If we stay in our chair, it's because we're exhausted! Take advantage of Mare Tranquillitatis to catch your breath because it's the only quiet moment in this album full of rhythmic dynamite. The approach is delicate and very oneiric with nice clear sequences which tinkle and wind up between hollow winds. Silent Sky immerses us in rhythms of hellish cosmic dances with a long structure which takes advantage of its 10 minutes to mix its rhythms well with phases of atmospheres where guttural sounds à la Secrets of Taklamakan come to prowl. It's a title which makes very Jean-Michel Jarre with good articulated and well-proportioned percussions as well as samples of manual percussions and good nervous sequences which are unleashed in very dance style orchestrations. Full Moon Rising is also very inviting with good synth solos but uninviting voices, while The Selenites finishes FULL MOON RISING with an ambient rhythm which becomes slow, like a kind of down-tempo, drawn from the shadows of Pulse. The ambiences are rich and nourished by absent voices and good solos of a very lyrical synth. I hear murmurs of Let the Night Last Forever by Walter Christian Rothe on this track.
Lively and pushed by hard rhythms of dance, FULL MOON RISING is the equivalent of hammering an anvil in a porcelain store. All which falls, all which bursts produces bits of melodies in supernatural tints. There is a pretty good mixture of Jean-Michel Jarre and Nattefrost rhythms here with ambiences in the sound decors of Tangerine Dream, period 76-77, and Mark Shreeve. Even if we are far from the nuances of Beyond the Horizon, the music remains good and quite lively grapeshot of sequences, bass pulsations and electronic percussions which whip, knock down and adjust each track towards passages always more dynamic, without never neglect the melodious approaches with their spectral airs that haunt.
Sylvain Lupari (March 7th, 2015) ***½**
Available at Cue Records & Groove NL