PERCEPTUAL DEFENCE: Journey of Illusions (2021)
“This dark ambient Journey of Illusions revolves around 6 movements where we can feel its different emotional levels”
1 First Illusion
2 Second Illusion
3 Third Illusion
4 Fourth Illusion
5 Fifth Illusion
6 Sixth Illusion
(DDL 80:52) (V.F.)
(Dark ambient Berlin School)
Perceptual Defence has had a pandemic year with 4 albums, including 3 collaborations with Syndromeda, for 2 albums, and Robert Rich, and a solo album, Resilience Suite, where he left his dark ambient panoramas to offer us some good Berlin School. Recorded live at the Musart Studio in Rome (Italy) on May 8, 2021, as part of Nick's International Virtual Garage streaming, JOURNEY OF ILLUSIONS is completely different. This improvised concert revolves around the theme Illusion with 6 movements where we can feel the different emotional levels of JOURNEY OF ILLUSIONS.
It starts with waves of sounds coming from far away and whose quavering can mislead us. What I thought was a storm of blasts pushed through vuvuzelas is only a tonal slingshot movement where the level of reverberations rises and falls, depending on the amplitude of the movement. Yet the arabesques buzz like if propelled by thousands of giant bees. My ears rarely betray me and I'm hearing the ambiences of Bernd Kistenmacher's famous Utopia album, the track Born From Chaos, foment trouble in this First Illusion. This first passage is swollen with a bubbling rhythmic life which makes its charm. The second illusion points in around the 14th minute and plunges us into the universe of dark ambient, with all the panoply of the chthonian effects (hollow breaths, layers of hoarse voices and disturbing background noises) which transports us on a dozen of minutes. Third Illusion emerges from this long dark passage to bring out with a short translucent phase where the mystery remains intact behind the clattering of unidentifiable objects that soon remind us that the dark ambiences of Second Illusion are the prerogative of JOURNEY OF ILLUSIONS. The drones at the core of the movement become reverberating shadows that inspire the synths to dig deep into their reserves in order to better make the ambiences of this album more Mephistophelian. And if we like to hear these sound drones, they are very intense in the opening of Fourth Illusion which leads us to a passage where the noises can be deranging. It's a bit of a storm before the warm calm that draws us towards the concert of Fifth Illusion's oscillations. This movement proposes the electronic tones of yesteryear with these continuous back and forth, running on another sound mass that brings us closer to the ambiences of Pink Floyd from the time of DSOTM. The layers that are inserted behind this movement of ambient hectic wrap us in a veil of memories that betray my age. An excellent movement in this album that concludes in a confusion of the senses when the oscillations lack of analog steam around the 62nd minute. The silence surrounds scattered voices in an invisible phase that plays on the emotionality of Gabriele Quirici in the manipulation of his keyboards. The layers are elusive and spread waves of sounds, sometimes emotive but often monotone, pushed by the seconds up until 10 minutes later when a level-headed tumult bursts, just to remind the virtual crowd that the illusion is still alive in a delicious synchronism of cosmic terror. And then, the winds exploding further and further away confirm that JOURNEY OF ILLUSIONS has nothing left to offer but a memory of a concert offered for download on the Perceptual Defence website, which also offers us a link to this concert where we always understand a little better this art that is able to dress any illusion!
Sylvain Lupari (June 13th, 2021) *****
Available at Perceptual Defence Bandcamp