• Sylvain Lupari

NOTHING BUT NOISE: AEON 2 (2021)

Ostinato rhythms and high tension vibes are among the prerogative of Aeon 2

1 Cycles 5 (16:03)

2 Cycles 6 (11:05)

3 Cycles 7 (15:14)

4 Cycles 8 (14:31)

5 Cycles 9 (14:16)

db2fluctuation

(CD/DDL 71:09) (V.F.)

(Dark ambient Orchestral bursts)

When I wrote my chronicle about Aeon 1, I knew what this AEON 2 was made of! And I welcomed the idea of Nothing but Noise to split this new creative quest in 2 parts, since AEON 2 is very different. Rhythms condemned to turn into curt and jerky repetitive orchestral movements, ambiences conceived in the bold creativity of the Belgian duo and visions of tension and/or horror are the prerogative of this second part of AEON that brings us to the deepest of our perceptions. And yet, beauty nests on this devil's nest! We find it in the fluidity of some orchestrations as well as in the melodious threads that we find during one passage to another. Or in these judicious patterns of the sequencer which allies rhythm and harmony under the same cut, question to decorate a first listening with these points more beautiful than its opposite. Welcome to the dark orchestral psybient of NBN!

Cycles 5 begins with bouncing and tinkling chords. The echo is resonant and draws in a pulsating bass line whose echo stigmatizes itself in hushed staccatos that are more fluid than authoritarian. Things change quickly in the world of AEON 2. These staccatos become more formal while thinking, the rhythm is pushed by the adrenaline of the orchestrations creating a tasty rhythmic mix where loops in formations flicker over the long tubular of the orchestrations. There is already a haze bridge at the 5-minute point. A passage where unfinished staccatos jump around in a rumbling mist. Chords in the form of a tonal bubble burst in an atmosphere that turns more or less towards a prismatic sector thanks to synth chants as ephemeral as those of an astral whale. This movement is graceful and enveloping. It lifts us 2 minutes later to a tunnel lined with chthonic voices and a series of muted beats over staccatos that evaporate into suspended shimmers in the shadows of this passage that suddenly disappears at the 8:22 point. At this point, a bass-pulse crashes down, radiating its presence in a series of oblong circles with the space to make its shadows dance in it, which have become sequencer steps that weave over this structure a line of lively oscillations that the synths follow of their harmonic loops. The idea of a string orchestra trying to follow the imprecise and unexpected directions of the sequencer floats in my head, especially when the violins try to reverse the electronic steam. In the end and overall, Cycles 5 is like a sonic jumble that gathers the necessary elements to create rhythms, moods and harmonies that harmonize as they meet. If you like the idea of incoherent music that finds its cohesion in daring crossroads where Daniel Bressanutti and Dirk Bergen sort and separate audacity from Cartesian symmetry in order to forge hallucinatory concepts watered by the fluid of their creativity, you're in the right place with this AEON 2. Let's take Cycles 6 which is born by the radiations of chimes to follow a line of ambiences to the psychedelic meadows of Nothing but Noise's universe. Acidic voices come out of these ambiences, followed by radiant metallic tones, creating a rather melodic linear movement in a context of ambiences created from sound fusion. Sequenced orchestrations and jumping keys leap into this half-consumed symbiosis, while another cluster of tonal debris merges into a thin line of sharp oscillations. From this broth swimming in full arrhythmia, a fabulous ostinato movement is formed that sparkles brightly with harmonic vision in its dry flow. From this grows a splendid sequencer movement with lively and fluid oscillations, creating an auditory dependence for this too beautiful minimalist and hypnotic movement that became Cycles 6.

Sequences gamboling like horses in a cloud of mosquitoes open the boiling Cycles 7. The only track to have Berlin School values in AEON 2, it's also the hardest track to follow because of its many sterile directions. Its rhythm multiplies the rushes of the sequencer that orchestrations envelop until they steal its appearance. Sequenced into a minimalist rhythm for violin/cello chamber orchestra, Cycles 7 continues its musical quest by facing big orchestral spasms, bow explosions triturating a rhythmic direction that advances headlong until the second metamorphosis, a little after the 6th minute. It's been a good 2 minutes since the Berlin School vision evaporated! Our ears live in a phase of uncertainties and reversals thrown by orchestrations which seek themselves in the vapors of the electronic debris dissipated for a long time. A more electronic phase occurs around the 11th minute. The sequences and their tinkling shadows in these circular rushes install a short electronic phase without continuation. Dissonant with incantations to kill the music, Cycles 8 is the most inaccessible track on the AEON set. There is a will to pound our eardrums here by series of musical relentlessness worthy of high voltage movies or even movies where horror reaches its zenith and the threshold of our tolerance. Separated by series in order to avoid any panic, its 14 minutes are presented in ostinato phases which are lively and sometimes very intense and for the most part guided by orchestrations. The finale is quite explosive with a real cosmic and exciting ride. After such a title we need something more musical. The psybient universe that radiates from the introduction of Cycles 9 can be a bit scary with its muffled beats in a prismatic or schizophrenic tonal flora. This introduction stretches past the 4-minute mark to dissipate and take the track to a static flow of a sequencer in melodic rhythm mode. The synth scatters jets of pastel colors and radiation effects some 5 minutes later. This is an ambient phase, a meditative Berlin School where the sequencer dissects its jumping keys to keep the most musical ones in this long road of a peaceful rhythm that melts into the woosshh of eternity.

There's no denying it; Nothing but Noise likes to take its audience through its creative passages where reason questions common sense! AEON 2 is very different from Aeon 1 to the point of wondering if the two albums are indeed correlated on the same theme. And yet we find links. But beyond these facts, we must give NBN its due. That is to say a duo making very creative EM where the part of the abstract always attracts the consent of the melody and the rhythm in order to create roads and musical panoramas that always end up finding that link that brings us back to the origin of its story. And here, the story is AEON.

Sylvain Lupari (May 13th, 2021) *****

SynthSequences.com

Available at db2fluctuation Bandcamp

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