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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

PAGINATION: For Why (2021)

Updated: Mar 22, 2021

An album closer of soundscapes but in a dark-ambient vision with shadows that travel between two universes

1 Your Other Left 7:46

2 Stop, they 4:52

3 No Clean Heroes 4:33

4 For Why 7:27

5 House fell Down 3:10

6 Shouter 6:33

7 Titans and all That 8:46

8 Anon Again 4:46

9 I know, I know, I know 4:14

Cyclical Dreams Music CY0020

(DDL 52:12) (V.F.)

(Dark ambient, modular synths)

The EM universe will never cease to surprise, especially with emerging artists and the infinite capacity of modular synths. Artist with an imposing discography of 32 titles, Pagination modulates his sounds in a unique mix of modular to his Baritone guitar and its many effects pedals. The musical universe is close to the ambient drone with slight reflections of reverberations from the Baritone. FOR WHY is a first album on Cyclical Dreams and it would be good to advise you that here no beats, nor melodies, except maybe for Titans and all That, is on the agenda of this album. It's an ambient album sculpted by drones and where the background is the opposite of what we hear first. The world of FOR WHY and the reliefs of Tom Schmidlin live in an ambience tinted of sepia. This double-vision drug!

Your Other Left kicks off a captivating album, if you like the drone-ambient genre and its dark sinister reflections. What we hear is the equivalent of the sound of a guitar that we rub in order to give it different modulations in a setting surrounded by a lugubrious environment. An ambience in transition, since the sound of this kind of cello of darkness cannot camouflage the birth of its opposite in the background. Dark and austere, the arrangements flirt with more and more diaphanous layers where the dark counterpart of the first layer finds its echo in a brighter orchestration. And this fight between reflections is the charm of FOR WHY where the listener hears these oppositions bloom which make us believe that there are two chamber orchestras fighting around this new album from Pagination. Stop, they is a little gem of tenderness with its orchestrations à la Ennio Morricone which makes lifting its airs, like the hairs of our fibers. Loops flow from the rustling of the void where sometimes the oboe tunes rise from their shadows that can be heard under the floor of the void. No Clean Heroes goes in a ceremonial walk in a place imagined in the shadows of a city in sepia. In the distance, we can hear the voices of spirits humming a welcome home. And if we have this power to imagine stronger than reason, we can even hear bells. It's both monastic and dreamlike because of the sensitivity that emerges from it. And that precedes the title-track which continues on the path traced by No Clean Heroes. If we could have a negative effect on the music, like in the photo, that would be the term I would use to describe the early vibrations of House Fell Down. The deaf beats draw a race against time, always without beat, of a universe put in orange by a fire. Shouter offers a more linear movement whose accumulation of waves vibrating on the spot sculpts a dark ambient staccato. Titans and all That is the complete opposite of what we have heard since Your Other Left started the FOR WHY adventure. Its almost 9 minutes begin with an isolated sequence which jumps on the spot in a primary phase nourished by loops, reverberation effects and crackling shamanic percussive elements. The modulations in the sequence activate the ambiences in which the horde of elements, as much musical as sonorous, begins to fly faster than her. And as soon as it disappears, Titans and all That becomes again a compact sound mass with a processional effect which brings it towards its lethal finale. Anon Again redefined the process of Shouter in a movement of a less disturbed minimalist tranquility, while I know, I know, I know ends FOR WHY, with an armada of brighter layers which have erased the pleasantly comforting cryptic side of this new Pagination album.

And like his friend Edmund Osterman, aka Screener, Tom Schmidlin offers an ambient album which is far from Berlin School and progressive EM. An album closer of soundscapes but in a dark-ambient vision with shadows that travel between two universes. Less cinematographic than Ataraxia, FOR WHY remains a good album of tenebrous and dark ambient music dominated by the know-how of the artist from Arkansas who weaves a beautiful web of supernatural ambiences having this power of attraction.

Sylvain Lupari (March 22nd, 2021) ***½**

Available at Cyclical Dreams Bandcamp

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