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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Parallel Worlds & Kostas Boukouvalas In Respect to the Chaos of Noise (2022)

Updated: Sep 20, 2022

This is a pure atonal work of dark ambient music

1 Drawn by Shadows 26:49

2 Into the Abyss of Time 16:47

3 In Respect to the Chaos of Noise 28:52

(CD/DDL 72:30) (V.F.)

(Dark Ambient Music)

Bakis Sirros continues to go from label to label in order to offer his music to his numerous followers who drink from his dark works propelled by the beauties of electronic music assisted by modular analog synths. It's the turn of the Belgian label Off-Records to propose us his last CD made with one of his old accomplices, during the shows of Parallel Worlds in the 90's and 00's, Kostas Boukouvalas. Between the rehearsals for these shows, the duo recorded enough material to fill 2 concerts. Recorded on the basis of studio improvisation, IN RESPECT TO THE CHAOS OF NOISE, a very appropriate title, is one of those recordings. Welcome to the gloomy and dark universe of the Greek musician-synthesist and Kostas Boukouvalas who propose here an album without rhythmic life ideal for a concert including a projection of a minimalist and expressionist film in black and white.

Drawn by Shadows offers an atmospheric opening disrupted by various clanging metal hoops that strike each other, tinkle and resonate under a buzzing breeze of synthesizers. These breezes become waves that clump together into a compact mass from which a multitude of lines and effects fray and detach. Some percussive bursts remain behind the ambiences, creating a counterbalance to a structure that fills by swirls and other effects with an organic dialogue. Without rhythms, the elements present in Drawn by Shadows move in ripples whereas these swirl effects are floating like jellyfish movements. An industrial haze rises in this context, enveloping what we hear and identify as rubbery pulses with an aura of misty mystery. Like those horror movies from silent cinema! Waves of sounds, intense buzzes and stereo effects continue to feed these ambiences that an atypical line of mechanical pulsations animates around the 13th minute. This line of beats progresses like an ascending procession with suction effects at each step that settles on the floor of the ambiences. It's a relatively stable setting with synth waves moving like ghostly chants and muffled gas explosions radiating this haze that still hides in its blury hazes random clackings. Into the Abyss of Time is a track that highlights Kostas Boukouvalas' talent as a pianist who scatters a multitude of notes in ambiences flirting with darkness, madness and romance. Sometimes soft, sometimes brutal. Sometimes melodious, sometimes dissonant and often obscure, this piano weaves a fascinating twisted path around the themes often exploited by the gloomy, atonal and mysterious universe of Parallel Worlds.

The long title track builds slowly with waves and contoured synth lines bursting with reverberations and iris-colored squeaks. Although coming from a total void, the approach remains meditative as long as our ears contemplate the diversity of sound movements and their reflections that reverberate in dull echoes. The synth waves float with light impulses and surges of blue and buzzing lines. It reminds me of Klaus Schulze's early atonal works, both for the synth wails that stretch like the agonized ultrasonic cries of electronic bats, and for those layers that have that old organ texture. In Respect to the Chaos of Noise wanders between its phases, making the most of the sounds' ability to generate layers of echo in an atmosphere that sounds very close to the void. The shadows whisper from this void. Their humming is coupled to the scarlet colors of the lines of synthesizer and the murmurs of keyboard which return untiringly furnished the 29 minutes of a long and slow sound choreography where nothing happens and would make sleep well of the spectators. Hence the importance of treating this IN RESPECT TO THE CHAOS OF NOISE as the soundtrack of a minimalist and expressionist film in black and white where nothing comes to the end of imagination.

I won't lie to you by stating that this last effort from Bakis is one of his bests! IN RESPECT TO THE CHAOS OF NOISE is a pure atonal work of dark ambient music like I rarely heard from Parallel Worlds which always likes to breathe some beats into its dark music. Maybe the presence of Kostas Boukouvalas is for something. In any cases, the music is perfect for those dark nights when sleep never settles down.

Sylvain Lupari (May 12th, 2022) *****

Available at Stilll-Off Bandcamp

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