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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

NORD: Quiet Moments (2020)

The best synth solos can be heard in Nord's repertoire and they are flying high in those Quiet Moments

1 Quiet Moments Part 1 15:42

2 Quiet Moments Part 2 17:18

3 Quiet Moments Part 3 13:13

(DDL 46:13) (V.F.)

(Berlin School)

Like Alba Ecstasy, I have become a fan of Sztakics István Attila's music. A slight movement of the sequencer frolics at the opening of Quiet Moments 1. Its landing is done in pain, creating a sound confusion where the synth layers and its effects contradict each other on the value of their objectives. If one seeks calm, the other entity seeks chaos while the layers, flavored with an anesthetic old organ, bring this first movement of the sequencer back to another flight. Another sequencer movement awakens behind this decor. It undulates and vacillates in slow impulses, the weight of which creates a climate of drama. The synth clings to this structure by performing strange vocalizations and is singing, like the Castafiore, a brilliant electronic opera whose high tones compensate for the heaviness of the sequencer, which has become hybrid with another more musical line, which works in the shadow of the first. The first movement of the sequencer has become a more zigzagging phase which accelerates the pace of Quiet Moments 1. The dramatic effect, frozen by the bass impulses of the synth, returns with more aplomb as it draws up solos even more pharaonic than these sung by Bianca Castafiore. This excellent openness to QUIET MOMENTS is a little different from what we can anticipate by imagining quiet moments. Nord offers 3 structures whose emotion deprives us of relaxation, or tranquility, as we have the ears well screwed to our headphones. There is Quiet Moments Part 2, but again, the solos are so intense that you just want to listen to them.

Take the bass pulses of the synth in Quiet Moments Part 1 and add screaming solos, we have the basis for its opening. Here too the synth gets rid of its sound effects, a bit like this singer who does his vocalizations before the show. And the solos come. They sing in an ambient texture. Respecting Nord's signature, they are high-pitched and perform spectacular choreography with twisting effects that are made and undone while joining the cosmic elements. Percussive effects dance the hiccups in the background, a prelude to the rhythm to come which will unfold with fine lines of the sequencer and its upward movement always under the aegis of the synth's bass chords. But the sequencer persists by adding a line of arpeggios singing the Halloween theme. The synth solos here reach a high level of emotionality in an ambient structure that has become cinematographic in an area of gloomy and of tension. Our hairs running on our arms, we want to hear again! The shortest moment in this trilogy about quiet moments, Quiet Moments Part 3 wastes no time in showing the color of its intensities. High and poignant solos on a barely audible rhythm where one feels all the same a violence to come. A piano swaps the atmospheres by inviting orchestral layers to this ambient structure which gradually borrows a vision of progressive music with a keyboard making its chords dancing on this pulsating but stationary structure conceived on the improvisation model. The bass line that makes One of These Days is tasty as it is quite unexpected in the last third of Quiet Moments Part 3.

Voilà! Another musical chapter from Nord which is going quite well. The best synth solos can be found in its repertoire which fills our ears to the brim with the first 2 parts of QUIET MOMENTS which in the end turns out to be a very nice EM album.

Sylvain Lupari (September 7th, 2020) ***½**

Available at Nord Bandcamp

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