MYTHOS: Jules Verne Forever (2015)
“We wanted EM to grow in something different? Well...Mythos has heard our claims and delivers a stunning album in lands where EM has never gone before”
1 The Mysterious Island 8:40 2 Mighty Orinoco 3:57 3 Eight Hundred Leagues on the Amazon 6:50 4 All Around the Moon 9:08 5 Southern Star Mystery 5:20 6 A Drama in the Air 7:10 7 Off on a Comet 7:26 8 The Ice Sphinx Adventure 9:50 9 Jules Verne Forever 10:16 10 Five Weeks in a Balloon 9:31 Groove | GR-217
(CD 78:20) (V.F.) (Filmic, oniric, lively and new EM)
Strange and fascinating that this last work of Mythos! More than 3 years after the solid Surround Sound Evolution, Stephan Kaske gets back to us with a new rather audacious musical adventure which is freely inspired by the stories of Jules Verne. In fact, JULES VERNES FOREVER pulls us literally where many filmmakers knew how to bring us… Either towards enchanting places in a very ambiosonic and very cinematographic work where we are surprised to see images of Verne's books parading in our mind with the same self-assurance that its writings have been brought to cinema. The approach of Mythos respects that of the filmmakers such as Henry Levin, Cy Endfield, Richard Fleischer, Michael Anderson, and recently Brad Peyton, who knew how to put in image, here it's in sounds, the magical imagination of Jules Verne. JULES VERNE FOREVER is 10 stories on 10 tracks. It's also 78 minutes of solid and melodious EM where the structures of rhythms so difficult to put in words, like the words of Verne in movies, as much oneiric than lively take us now in the heart of Mythos' imagination who raises this audacious bet with all the panache that we know of him.
We notice the very stylized approach of Stephan Kaske from the first moments of The Mysterious Island. A threatening structure of rhythm moves its keys which skip such as big sneaky step. A melodic line covers this start with a mixture of fluty jets and arpeggios struck on a kind of glass xylophone (Laser Harp?), spreading straight away the big wealth, as musical as sonic, that will be the keystone of the 78 minutes this album. Don't look for hard rhythms! They are but not that explosives. At halfway between ambient or lively, they make move the moods of this last adventure of Mythos by being as secret as the harmonies lively. Here we roll of the neck with this structure a bit ghostly. The glass arpeggios as well as the lines of flutes and their harmonies a bit jerky go and come like a merry-go-round which waves in a tunnel full of threats, while the basis of The Mysterious Island is pecked by percussions. Their strikes are so much in contrast with this union between the flute and the xylophone that our expectation towards a project of such a scale is approached with fineness. Mythos wraps all his structures of an incredible wealth. So much that our ears, as well as our two hemispheres, run from left to right in order to assimilate these dark choruses, these vampiric solos, these mocking harmonies and these lines of harmonious sequences which sparkle, roll in loops and float on a structure of which the charms feed both of its ambivalence and of its imperceptible secret aim. And that will so be for the 9 other structures of the album. Mighty Orinoco offers a heavy electronic structure which is hammered by an impressive meshing of percussions, pulsations and sequences. The shadows of the melodies which roam depict aptly the tensions of this unusual journey on this long Venezuelan river. Eight Hundred Leagues on the Amazon takes a little the same bases, but with a rather Babylonian filmic approach. The deafening rhythm switches off its violence to make listen the charms whistled by a good synth which sings, either in a jungle or with a Gregorian choir. It's quite intense and that sounds very Vangelis, just like the very beautiful Southern Star Mystery and its tribal essence a bit phantasmagorical. The flute, the voices and the percussions blown in a kind of long blowpipe are releasing some rather poignant perfumes. By far the most beautiful track of this adventure with the solid A Drama in the Air and its slow rhythm which forges a fascinating ascent in an electronic setting to the thousand sonic flavors.
We speak about rhythms difficult to describe? What to say about All Around the Moon and of its resonant spherical approach where organic sequences and keyboard chords are dancing in circle with their contrasts. Off on a Comet offers quite another approach with a rhythm which skips such as goblins in a cave where sparkle thousand subtleties and hoot strange magical voices. The union with a Gregorian choir adds a surreal dimension to a music which drinks of Jules Verne's imagination. The kicks of the sequencer, delicate needs to say, and the circles that they sculpt are in the heart of these imperceptible rhythms that are feeding the peculiarities of this album which reveals its charms track after track. I think here of The Ice Sphinx Adventure which is build a little in the same mold. The title-track is more fluid and throws at us a delicate structure of circular rhythm which invades the ears with sequences in parallel lines and with sober percussions which roll in jerks. Here, as quite everywhere in JULES VERNE FOREVER, Mythos forges a unique sequencing pattern with tones of prism which skip or brawl with others perfumed of resonances or of organic veils in the caresses of elvish voices or in the tendernesses of the fluty breezes. It's the rhythm which eventually put an earworm in the bottom of our ears. And this goes too for Five Weeks in a Balloon where the essence of Off on a Comet is more fluid, livelier and whose harmonies are also exhilarating as Jules Verne Forever.
If to describe the structures of this album turns out to be an exercise where words and terms may be missing, the music on the other hand lack of nothing. This last album of Mythos is at the height of this brilliant musician who tries constantly to push away his limits by improving this so unique tone that he knew how to develop over the years. The rhythms sparkle with freshness in an approach that becomes more harmonious than rhythmic. And the final is rather special because we constantly have the impression to hear a music which comes from another place, another dimension. Just like the imagination of Jules Verne. And in my opinion, it's the most beautiful compliment that we can make to JULES VERNE FOREVER.
Sylvain Lupari (May 25th, 2015) ****½*
Available at Groove NL