MYTHOS: Jules Verne - Around The World In 80 Minutes (2016)
“This is an ambitious sound fresco that we haven't heard yet and that brings us back to these big cinematographic soundtracks”
1 Phileas Foggs Dream 4:22 2 Around the World in 80 Days 6:24 3 Across the Mediterranean Sea to Egypt 6:56 4 Steamer to Bombay 10:11 5 To Calcutta by Elephant 7:42 6 From Calcutta to Hong Kong 8:31 7 From Yokohama to San Francisco 8:32 8 Across the Atlantic Ocean 9:35 9 It's Off to Liverpool! 3:13 10 It Seems the Wager has Been Lost 7:31
11 The Triumph 6:59 Groove|GR-224
(CD 78:58) (V.F.)
Like with Jules Verne Forever, writing a review about this latest Mythos album is not easy. Here, there is nothing like elsewhere, except in Jules Verne Forever. A sound wave extends its reverberation which withers in didgeridoo rattles. Tribal voices ululate while a line of sequences makes oscillating its keys in fine horse kicks, and the percussions spring like jets of blowguns. The rhythm of Phileas Foggs Dream, as well as the whole universe of JULES VERNE - Around The World In 80 Minutes is quite difficult to describe, so much its sonic richness is the elite of the new technology. Sometimes it oscillates like a big boa and other times it drums like a pony caught in the ice. Without forgetting these moments of transitions which facilitate the passage from one to the other. But each time it's forged in sequences and percussions, as much organic as electronic, with a harmonic portion which remains stuck to the eardrums. This texture is also just as fascinating with a caricature approach which oversizes a bucolic sonic envelope in a sound fresco which brings us back to these great cinematographic deployments where traders of fairs and acrobats of circus strolled in crowded streets. Here you go, it's completely consistent with the 80 minutes of this other odyssey from Stephan Kaske in the heart of Jules Verne's universe. Everything here is as attractive as is difficult to grasp. In fact, JULES VERNE - Around The World In 80 Minutes is an album that is tame quite difficult as the sound texture that comes out is as bold as unpredictable.
The fairly Tibetan opening of the title-track brings us into a universe that constantly challenges the imagination. The tinkling of bells is swallowed by a structure of rhythm which sparkles of its thousand pulsations, and the shimmer of these bells finally crawl like shadows of vampires before exiling on a more fluid phase where dramatic and imaginary elements clash in a baroque structure crammed with effects and sound elements as realistic as these grandiloquent films inspired by the world of Jules Verne. Around the World In 80 Minutes flows into Across the Mediterranean Sea to Egypt. The rhythm is very electronic with a mesh of sequences, with intertwined acrobatics, and percussions which slam and resound like wooden hooves. The sequences feed the fire of percussion as much as the nets of harmonies chirped by absent voices and flute effects. Each title is glued in a long mosaic of 80 minutes with structures that are similar while being very distinct. So, the rhythmic structure in Steamer to Bombay is a fascinating symbiosis of the first 3 titles, but in a more jumping essence. It's undoubtedly the first crush on this album with this rhythm which gambols happily under the bites of the bass sequences and the grapeshot of percussions as brilliant as attractive. The effects of flutes and of the gurgling elements are as much mystery as charm. To Calcutta by Elephant pursues the quest for elegance with an indefinable structure embellished by nice harmonies extracted from a synth always in creative mode. The rhythm is ambivalent and enslaved by a jungle ambience full of dramatic effects.
From Calcutta to Hong-Kong follows with a structure always also so organic but in an envelope of an ethereal melody, more oriental this time. Chinese violin and mandarin flute accompany the blossoming of a green and abundant musical envelope while the title undertakes a more dramatic tangent with good oriental harmonies. From Yokohama to San Francisco takes the form of a slow tempo, a bit in mode nuptial march, adorned by good moments of harmony whose effects of jerks and of swirling give the impression of hearing the fall of the stars, some of them beautiful songs go by, a boreal night. We enter the quieter heart of the latest installment of Mythos. Lighter but just as mysterious, Across the Atlantic Ocean offers a peaceful, hopping structure with a mixture of tones in the movement of the sequences, presenting a delicious crescendo between its atmospheric phases. Very charming, the synth offers two lines of fluty harmonies which skip in unison with the delicate rhythmic growth of Across the Atlantic Ocean. It's Off to Liverpool! is the 2nd title of this album to show a structure more in electronic rock, genre Tangerine Dream in the Jive years. It's a good title with a circular melody that swirls in electronic effects very close to Legend. It Seems the Wager has Been Lost is as light as Jazz music in a night club where a few last lovers look at each other with desire. The tribal approach that hides behind this curtain of romance offers a very exquisite cachet to this music which spreads its finale in jolts. The Triumph ends this other impressive work by Mythos with a superb melodious approach where voice effects caress a good movement knotted in the limpidity of a stream of sequences. The title then evolves in a beautiful down-tempo and reminds me a lot of these seductive movements tinged with romance that adorned the music of Thierry Fervant or Walter Christian Rothe in his majestic Let The Night Last Forever.
Fascinating and audacious! Such are the first words which come in mind to describe better the universe of this last Mythos opus. Still surfing on the dreams and the fantasies of our childhoods, closely linked to the tales of Jules Verne, Stephan Kaske always succeeds gallantly this audacious bet to put in music the tales and the visions of the famous writer from Nantes. And as indicates it so well Mythos, you must give yourself the chance to listen this album entirely, with good earphones, in order to be taken by the waves of his last creation. And that comes rather fast.
Sylvain Lupari (June 25th, 2016) *****
Available at Groove NL