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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

PALENTIR: Empire of Illusions (2000)

Updated: Apr 11, 2020

Empire of Illusions is an album to be discovered if our senses require something different without neglecting melody nor rhythms

1 Fantasy & Reason 5:23

2 Under the Silverwheel 6:22

3 The Empire of Illusions 17:58

a) Morpheus

b) Rapid-I-Movement

c) Find The Key

4 Qi-Energy of Life 6:50

5 Tranceamazônica 5:02

6 Fatal Charm 4:06

7 Exhibit A 7:10

8 Searching For Words 5:45

9 The Threshold of Perception 5:52

10 Spinback 10:43

a) Backspin

b) Ascendant

Spheric Music | SMCD 3002

(CD/DDL 77:57) (V.F.)

(New Berlin School, Samplings)

Written and recorded over the years of 1995 to 2000, EMPIRE OF ILLUSIONS continues exactly where Refuge in Fantasy has ended; either be in a mythical sonic universe where the sounds make strength of law. And in order to better wrap us in this texture of samplings with tones so diverse as their meanings, Palentir has used the technique of binaural recording, giving an intense incredible depth to a universe where the listener feels literally plunged into a sonic world in 3-D. The effect is completely striking with headphones, but even more hard-hitting when we dare to raise the volume to forbidden levels. At this level, the pulsations of the title-track are voracious! Set apart the correctness, the wealth and the transparency of the samplings; the structures of rhythms, the melodies, the ambiences and the influences are very near of those in Refuge in Fantasy. Ah yes.... I can't close this introduction without talking about the superb artwork as well as the very beautiful explanatory booklet which reveal the sources of each track of an album that I devoured my ears wide open.

The noises of a door mechanism open the introduction of Fantasy and Reason which, at the same time, seems to open to the musical life. Already the rhythm turns up in the ears. Decorated by sweet small bells and flavored by beautiful flute lines, Fantasy and Reason goes in a kind of dance music filled by some hallucinogenic perfumes of trance. The rhythm is lively, the melody joyful, and becomes a little more lively, I hear David Bowie's Let's Dance, whereas the synth goes more electronic with whistled loops which caress those delicate bells of which the ringings are perfuming a livelier rhythm which is more in a dance mood than of a Berlin School style. The structures here are as much varied as those of the previous album, but in a more contemporary approach. Tunes of owl sneak behind the closing doors, awakening the fauna of Under the Silverwheel which is a real Aladdin's cave for the ears. The blows of the owl are melting with the floating synth pads while that a strange nasal air from an organ weaves a minimalist melody which roams slyly, and which serve as shroud to a beautiful flute. Clanic percussions delicately come to stimulate the ambiences which remain overall rather relaxing. The influence of Johannes Schmoelling can be feel here. The title-track is the most complex and the most delicious. Pulsations pierce the cloud of ringings which open its introduction. The rhythm is slow and magnetizing. Stepping up a notch or lowering its strength, it's flooded with a fauna and a flora full of colorful tones as much organic as synthetic. Samplings of acoustic guitar get close tightly to this pulsatory rhythm which, phase by phase, melts in a sound decoration filled by a multitudes of voices from cities, tribes or from heavens. The pulsations switch to big industrial breaths. Heavy beatings which seem to frighten voices of s