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NORTHCORE: Desatero (2012)

Updated: Jan 9

Desatero is an amazing musical journey which gets tasted with a bewitchment ceaselessly increasing

1 Looking Glass 4:19 2 Jupiter 5:05 3 Nocturne 5:41 4 Oxygen 3:51 5 Ladybird 3:53 6 Quercus 3:02 7 Green Fridge 4:53 8 Metronome 2:48 9 Parting 4:18 10 Min Ros 3:48 Spotted Peccary| SPTD2101

(CD/DDL/Spotify 41:38) (V.F.)

(EDM, Tribal Ambient, Electronica)

Here's an unexpected release out of Spotted Peccary label. Northcore is an obscure English duet composed of Carl Gibbons (keys, synths, voices and effects) et Jana Tillotson (voices and effects) who built an enviable reputation in the spheres of underground EM, without having realized a single album. And it’s this American label, rather famous for its EM to caresses of progressive New Age or to soft sequenced impetus, which managed to capture the sound universe of Northcore with a superb musical production where all the cultural details are stigmatized with a master's hand. DESATERO, for 10 commandments, is an album without borders. Presented in a nice digipack with a strange but fascinating artwork (like old LP’s), it’s a fascinating musical mosaic of 10 titles, from which the near half are sung and/or told, which navigate between down-tempos and ambient world music in a wonderful poetic envelope. Here's an autopsy of a surprising album which bewitches in every listening.

Footsteps creasing a metallic snow open Looking Glass which displays all of the sonic magnificence of DESATERO with a sound painting to thousand prisms. Ethereal breaths arise prismic dusts when a felted voice gives the start to a delicious down-tempo on which hangs on a melodious line cavorting between the ambiophonic meanders of Looking Glass. The rhythm is divided between its glaucous and crystalline atmospheres, avoiding constantly a steady structure to roam between its hallucinogenic phases. Jupiter is the only track to present a steady rhythm. And it's a heavy one! Arched on good pulsating strikings, it beats a measure of a mid-tempo with fine circular sequences which create a light stroboscopic thin line that a synth line flies over of its chiselled melody. The sound envelope is rich and abounds in related tones that add a dimension, this time it is rhythmic, unreal to this first album of Northcore which assails the ears with an incredible sharpness. Nocturne emerges from a fauna of white noises to offer an attractive Berber incantation where clanic tom-toms and big tenebrous organ pads expose all the paradoxes that slumber here. Both sensual and lyrical Nocturne fleets between two phases, crossing from an ambient tribal dance to a deep nightmarish immersion. Oxygen, a track sung of a suave and absent voice, settles a mood of horror tension with this nursery rhyme for Freddy Kruger whispered by a felted voice that a fine and malicious line of piano leads into the depths of a cerebral paranoia. Ladybird is a beautiful moment of ambient music with its life synth lines which chant in divinatory circles around a strange public market where a Czech bed song is whispering. Quercus continue the bewitching marathon with a carousel of tinkling keys which swirl under the warm winds of a dreamlike flute, while Green Fridge brings us to antipodes with an alarming approach where shrill lamentations screech after an intro darkened by dreadful breaths. Besides, its intro exceeds all fiction with a swarm of abstruse tones which lift glaucous pulsations and creaks of wooden teeth to bind itself to a furious dark rhythm which tergiversates between its circular gravity and its spectral wanderings. Like a tick-tock fleeing its time Metronome sleeps on an ambient down-tempo wrapped of an incredible musical aura where is nesting a delicious melody arisen from an uneven duel of voice. This is quite very beautiful! And it’s just too short. Always rooted in a shape to non-be, the voice of Jana Tillotson has to envy nothing to Beth Gibbons, especially on Parting which is a superb ambient down-tempo. Min Ros, a Swedish traditional song encloses this album with all the mysticism of a Celtic work, a witness of the multiethnicity from this surprising and delicious first work of Northcore on Spotted Peccary.

DESATERO is an amazing musical journey which gets tasted with a bewitchment ceaselessly increasing. Northcore weaves the outlines of a stunning crossing between Dead Can Dance and Solar Fields which makes the listener travel through the corridors of the world with tales and bed songs trapped in paranormal ambiences and where the rhythms and ballads float in a rich and fascinating sound fauna which enhance the borders of a psychedelic universe. It's noteworthy and striking and it’s especially extremely mesmerizing. The pleasure increases tenfold with a good pair of headphones.

Sylvain Lupari (October 9th, 2012) *****

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Available at Spotted Peccary Music