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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

[PASSAGES] Framed by Nova (2014)

Passages is a splendid mosaic of psybient, lunar down-tempo and ambient dub music which quietly invade our senses

1 Passing through Walls (James Murray) 5:48 2 Delicate (Fingers in the Noise) 6:35 3 Within (Cygna) 6:04 4 Opal (Brando Lupi) 7:42 5 Kinematics (Miktek) 5:00 6 Der Blaue Engel (Murya) 3:15 7 Moments (Martin Nonstatic) 5:30 8 Deeper Direction (Lars Leonhard) 7:00 9 Unlit (Aes Dana) 6:14 10 9980-Cell Remix (Connect.Ohm) 7:39

11 Skying (Max Million) 7:16 12 Northern Wind (Zinovia) 5:43 Ultimae Records | inre068

(CD 73:45) (V.F.)

(Electronica, Psybient)

It's with the ears wrapped up well in a good pair of headphones that we taste this very last release of Ultimae Records about which the universe, I often say it, is a sonic kaleidoscope of thousand ambiosonic subtleties. This last realization of the Lyonnais label is an invitation to the London DJ, and famous music journalist, Massimo (Nova) Terranova to create a mosaic of psybient EM where skillful UR artists, and other emerging ones, are offering some music pieces that Nova ties up in a long sonic odyssey to the cosmic colours. It's thus with pleasure that we find compositions of Miktek, Lars Leonhard, Aes Dana and Connect. Ohm furnishing the fascinating and strange psychedelicosmic horizons of PASSAGES (Framed by Nova); a pure festival of cosmic psybient which begins with the interstellar singings of James Murray.

Lines of synth to the esoteric colours float with sizzling shadows. Passing through Walls begins the slow interstellar ascent of this compilation with an ambiospherical intro where synth lines with nasal and saddened breaths draw a sweet melancholic serenade. It's beautiful to hear these lines to interlace with an incredible delicacy, floating over delicate arpeggios hammered with the homesickness in the soul. I like! And that gives me the taste to hear The Glimmer Room's so wonderful I Remain. Delicate follows with a kind of lunar dub skilfully wrapped by surrounding cosmic waves where fine pulsations shiver in the crackling of white noises and the beautiful evanescent harmonies of the star dusts. Within continues the ascendant sonic cosmic travel with synth layers filled by ethereal voices which float languishingly on the jingles and pulsations of an imperceptible rhythm which adrift between dub and psybient. Opal presents a more sustained rhythm with good percussions of which the undisciplined strikings forge the faces of a good ambient lounge where arpeggios, and their echoes, draw the shadows of a delicate structure of fleeting harmonies. The approach is one of the most harmonious of PASSAGES (Framed by Nova) with some good emotional moments and points of crescendo which make our senses shiver. Muffled pulsations, jingling which fit closely to the beat, and heterogeneous noises; Miktek presents us a superb psychedelic down-tempo in Kinematics. This sounds like a kind of psy and smooth hip-hop where swirls a melody as much ghostly as the choirs which try to suck it up. Very good! We fall in a rather ambient phase with the very short, Der Blaue Engel which is a fascinating ectoplasmic melody with a strange choir which flees a harmony nevertheless very present on a strange psybient rhythm of which the panting of the heterogeneous percussions embraces slightly the pattern of Delicate and of the very gloomy, the very rainy Moments and of its industrial aura which is very near the borders of Blade Runner. If we have liked Northern Lights from Lars Leonhard, we shall also like his Deeper Direction which soaks into the same structures of his Burning Clouds EP.

Unlit is a little jewel of ominous ambient music with a meshing of pulsations, percussions, noises and drummed stampings which sculpture a race against the clock (this kind of wild race in slow motion in our dreams). Chords of a pensive keyboard are roaming and forge a kind of evanescent melody a bit devilish with arpeggios of which the crystal ringings erase the delicious tune of a piano mislaid in metallic synth lines. This is a small jewel signed Aes Dana. This fascinating structure of spectral melody finds refuge on the superb 9980 from Connect. Ohm which is admirably livelier on this compilation from Nova. With Max Million's Skying we reach a kind of emotional nirvana in the genre of Carbon Based Lifeforms' last works or still Solar Fields with a very ambient intro where coo in loops some oniric singings in an electronic mosaic filled by synth lines to hybrid sonic forms. Riffs floats and float in these multi-sonic circles while that quite quietly we feel the storm coming. And it comes by jingles of cymbals and percussions which beat a slow, heavy and steady rhythm beneath synth streaks which roar in these magnetising cooing loops. This is great music, well selected well and mixed, from the Ultimae Records label. After this brief sonic storm, Northern Wind brings a relative peace of mind with somber notes of a very meditative piano which cries while containing its fury under threatening synth waves which remembers very well how to start a sonic storm.

PASSAGES (Framed by Nova) is the kind of work that we tame quietly and which, once well anchored in our ears, leaves its indelible traces. This first compilation of the London DJ on Ultimae Records is as high as the professionalism (you have to see the inner notebook and the splendid photos of Giovanni Calemma which image the spirit of the 12 tracks) and of the avant-gardism of the Lyonnais label which pushes away constantly the limits of its excellence. The selection and the mixing of the tracks made by Massimo Terranova are of a surprising cohesion and Nova manages to make an impressive homogeneous mosaic with these 12 music pieces which disentangle the psybient, the lunar down-tempo and the ambient dub to split them into a long ambiospherical odyssey quite slowly wrapped by synth lines and waves to the cosmic aromas and ethereal voices. Very good!

Sylvain Lupari (May 4th, 2014) *****

Available at Ultimae Records Bandcamp

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