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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Parallel Worlds & Dave Bessell Phosphenes (2021)

Updated: Sep 20, 2022

Phosphenes always draws the listener towards these horror music moods that the two musicians exploit wonderfully together or solo

1Transformation 5:20

2 Empire 6:27

3 Obscure Memories 11:32

4 Silent Observer 6:29

5 Darkest Colour 5:37

6 Mindgames 7:00

7 Dream Creator 8:12

8 Inner Beacon 5:22

(CD/DDL 56:13) (V.F.)

(Dark ambient cinematic music)

A phosphene is a phenomenon that results in the sensation of seeing spontaneous light or the appearance of spots in the eyes. In music it can be translated by sudden rhythms and a sound fauna which is equivalent to these spots which make us see different shapes behind closed eyelids. Third album of the Dave Bessell & Parallel Worlds duo, PHOSPHENES always draws the listener towards these horror music atmospheres that the two musicians exploit wonderfully together or solo.

The resonant pulses of a bass line bring a keyboard to sculpt a sweet horrific melody under the hoots of synth strata disguised as wolves. And very early on, the rhythm of Transformation becomes stubborn and aims for a linear form in which it rushes straight ahead. Pouf, our ears hear in black and white! Theatrical, the rhythm increases its cadence as much as its strength by ignoring this barrier of sound effects, clicks and farcical stuff to reach a passage which is momentarily extinguished to bring us back to square one. This time, the setting retains its theatrical vision of horror which is accentuated with the staccato effect of its arrangements. The intensity is just as compact in this second round which brings us nowhere, except for a funny finale. This little Electronica side linked to the effects of slamming percussions, this devilish air and these ambiences are familiar to us from having heard them in Dystopia. But where is the link? Even though I have peeled the 56 minutes of PHOSPHENES that always this link between its atmospheres drawn from its well of horrors seems invisible to me. And yet! These trickeries for the eyes can become very interesting artistic poles for creative artists who see Evil everywhere. Empire makes its bed next to Transformation. It clings to the same landscape and develops a rhythm as catchy as it is melodious. A diabolical rhythm which digs its earworm in an ambience of old nonsense and witches on electronic brooms. This rhythmic melody spits out a vomit venom which flows over a tight play of percussions. Its middle is a seedy rendezvous between our ears and this melody become naked that tries to charm us with its toothless sarcastic smile. An ambient moment filled with this ambience to scare and which ties in with this second impetus of Empire which flees with a rhythm too energetic for its melody. And that won't be the only thing that goes out of tune in this great album! Obscure Memories displays all the incredible Luciferian decor that surrounds each movement, rhythmic or not, of PHOSPHENES. It is a hybrid title, dividing its 11 minutes between Mephistophelian vibes and rhythms trapped in traps of Luciferian ambiences. The guitar moans like a deeply wounded beast while the percussions hammer a blurred rhythmic vision with strikes which need this echo to become memorable.

Silent Observer is a title without rhythmic debates. The atmospheric genre with delicately drummed percussions, as if to add to the suspense of the story. Organic fauna also inspires this feeling with its effects of rhythmic stridulation. For the rest, it is a kind of procession with monks dressed in white and circling in a hidden night. The keyboard possesses our mind with a melody vaguely reminiscent of the myths and legends of Michael Myers who has always been a silent observer. Flirting between the ambiguity of rhythms propelled by jerks and these ambiences dancing on the razor of a mirror, Darkest Color is this kind of title that could sell the colors of PHOSPHENES without any remorse. This Darkest Color's vibes breathe this enigmatic aura of Silent Observer. Its rhythm is on the other hand better defined with gently beaten percussions and other more dramatic ones while the title invades the territories of Electronica. The percussions add a new tone with steel tssitt-tssitt and its jostling effects in the flow. The harmonious side is defined by a synth whose vocals remain as harmonious as they are enigmatic with a trickle of voices drooling in the dark seconds. There is a superb intensity that shakes the track, giving even more demoniacal madness to this track filled with rubbery chirps, sibylline shadows and which ends with static elements of an old transistor communicating with the afterlife. Mindgames copies the model but with a fascinating prismatic melody which radiates on the treasure of percussions and of percussive organic effects. But not as much as this Crimsonian guitar which returns to revive memories of collective paranoia.

Very sour breaths open Dream Creator, a track with the scents of Mark Shreeve and of the Dystopia album. If the rhythm is like these lifeless rhythms, it beats sharply intermittently in a sumptuous setting for a horror film. To make us tremble, the ambiences are nourished by this organic and percussive flora, always very creative, which encloses a demonic melody blown by a keyboard/synth in mode lullaby for a night of terror. I'm telling you, listening to this album on an evening when everything is off is a door to our inner fear. In broad daylight, we also fall for the childish melodies, written in the territories of Lucifer, and for these sound effects which never stop to make the musical fauna of PHOSPHENES sparkle. The album ends in the juvenile attractions of Inner Beacon. Without doubt the most hypocritical title of this 56-minute repertoire which only serves to bamboozle the more virginal ears with a beautiful melody and its poignant arrangements. The sound effects, the organic fauna and that fat laughter camouflaged in the setting of its finale are an invitation to join the lair of the barbaric illusions of PHOSPHENES. A great album my friends. An album at the height of what DiN can produce and at the height of Dave Bessell & Parallel Worlds. A duo that complements each other wonderfully and that must eat often at the table of the Evil One!

Sylvain Lupari (January 11th, 2021) *****

Available at DiN

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