Patrick Kosmos The Visitor 1988 (2022)
Updated: Oct 8, 2022
“An album for the fans who want to remember good memories of an autumn tour in 88”
1 Stranded 3:23
2 Eruption 12:21
3 She 6:49
4 Rainbow Warrior 6:37
5 City of Dreams 10:00
6 Earthbound 11:16
7 Shuttle Lock Part 2:13
8 Random Illusions 9:51
9 Hurry on Sundown 8:48
(CD/DDL 71:16) (V.F.)
(Ambient, Art for Ears)
Difficult to define the orientations of this 4th opus, after Lophophora, Mindscapes and Monument, of the series The Chronicles that Groove nl reissues for the fans of Patrick Kosmos, as well as those who missed the works of the Belgian musician in the 80's. For the fans, since THE VISITOR 1988 is a live recording from The Visitor tour in the fall of '88. The lucky ones who attended one of these concerts all agree that the recording, which nestles on the oh so long discontinued 11-CD-(r) box set The Chronicles, is a small silver disc that guarantees many goose bumps. And for those who didn't have the chance to follow the career of the musician-synthesist from Belgium, we can hear how this musician had nothing to envy to such big names as Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, whose style on stage is quite similar, Vangelis and even Kitaro. Difficult to define, because the music transits between Tibetan and Middle-Eastern ambiences on atmospheric textures that flirt with New Age and that are as close to the oceans as to Cosmos. In short, a nice inhomogeneous journey where our neurons don't have to work very hard to succumb to the charms of a meditative electronic music (EM) album that time has slightly worn out.
Winds making whirl a series of chimes with various tinges liven the opening of the very atmospheric Stranded. The continuous noise, not to say din, of these chimes brings a touch more industrial tribal than meditative ambience, although we are not far from a form of Tibetan trance to this title which gradually makes melting its magic to migrate towards Eruption which adds aquatic elements to its opening. Submarine ballast effects and sino-acoustic sounding chords precede tender moaning synth layers. A bass line is droning, casting a slightly nervous ambient structure that ties up to a seductive set of bass sequences to arrhythmic rippling. The synth airs take a harmonic bend towards Middle Eastern fragrances. These elements cook for a distance of 4 minutes before the percussions redefine a structure closer to a passive electronic rock which is the ideal complement to the numerous and very melodious synth solos that Patrick Kosmos throws into the universe of THE VISITOR 1988. Afterwards, our ears and senses are treated to a suite of tracks that immerse us in the meditative moods of this concert. A spiritual and celestial chant opens She which is a quiet track carried by percussions, sometimes sober and sometimes symphonic, well scattered on its almost 7 minutes, as well as a series of cadenced chords which traces an ascending movement. It sounds rather like the acoustic rhythms of Vangelis in his 70's, L'Apocalypse des animaux, La Fête Sauvage, etc... The synth releases sinuous reverberating waves. But what holds the attention is this very seraphic fluty airs which emerges from it. This symphonic and lyrical vision is also present on Rainbow Warrior which presents the same elements, the same texture with more developed orchestrations. The rhythm is ambivalent, sometimes slow and sometimes lively but without making us dancing. A rhythm of pious trance I would say, and the arrangements are indeed in mode give me-goose bumps.
The winds blow hard in the opening of City of Dreams, much like in Stranded, which continues to exploit that structure rhythmic for the neurons undertaken with She. There is a slight gradation, following that of Rainbow Warrior, but nothing more. The keyboard chords have a more oriental fragrance here than on the 2 previous tracks. Earthbound is a quiet track with celestial chimes and synth waves with soothing orchestrations, as well as threatening resonances, where acoustic tonal chords sound like a Japanese guitar, Koto style. Patrick Kosmos seems very inspired here. An electric guitar makes roaring its passion at the 6 minute mark. Shuttle Lock Part is a more atmospheric passage that leads us to Random Illusions and its ambiences of a seaside landscape. A line of alternating leaps emerges from the chimes that envelop its intro, creating a catchy rhythmic structure. A shadow stands out. Using a different tone and with a flow that is also more accentuated, she gives a heavenly depth to a rhythm structure that reminds me a lot of Mind Over Matter in the Avatar album. It's very good, especially since the synth throws in some beautiful and striking melodic phases that melt into a layer of angelic voices. Patrick Wille has this art of mixing well the tones of the chords of his keyboards. At certain moments in THE VISITOR 1988 one can hear Koto as well as xylophone tones. Xylophone that is less discreet in Hurry on Sundown and that resonates melodiously on a rhythmic structure of a kind of electronic art rock with a synth that dominates by good solos always melodious. These last two tracks are a good way to conclude a rather quiet album where we notice that Patrick Kosmos can move away from his cosmic waves in order to offer a music closer to acoustic and especially theological values with an oriental flavor. Indeed, an album for the fans who want to remember good memories of the time when Kosmos' music was only released on cassette. Another good initiative from Groove nl.
Sylvain Lupari (October 8th, 2022) ***¾**
Available at Groove nl
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