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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Perceptual Defence & Syndromeda The Alien Arrival (2020)

Updated: Oct 11, 2022

And unique to the duo's ambient cosmic music signature, this latest album musically continues where the trilogy ended in 2018

1 Screams of Help from Planet Earth 17:54

2 Earth Rescue 32:39

3 Alien Cure - Embrace 22:00

(CD/DDL 72:33) (V.F.)

(Ambient Cosmic Music)

It has to be up to the cover art! And it's a big 18 minutes of intergalactic atmospheres, arcade game and cinematographic sound effects that the Italo-Belgian duo offers in Screams of Help from Planet Earth. A lifeless siren begins this futuristic new adventure that is THE ALIEN ARRIVAL. Just by the title, Screams of Help from Planet Earth, we feel like we and our neighbors are in trouble. The shy howl leveled off, initiating a triggering moment when a swarm of message launchers swept through our earthly layer in search of help. There seems to be a confusion because these arrow-missiles launched into space come from everywhere and draw jets of light, like laser rays, which divide the space into many symmetrical geometric figures. This improvised light show seems to attract an intimidating life form that grumbles and gurgles in organic language that doesn't mean a simple hello. The inside of the cover, a real work of art signed Andreas Schwietzke, sells the wick in this direction with 4 large monsters perched on futuristic buildings of the Aliens genre. Jets of sounds, like sound lights, invade our listening in the second half of Screams of Help from Planet Earth. Among these we note elements of coded conversation while other sounds, some are even strident, are the witnesses of this fear, pain and of the slow death which fall on Earth and which launch its SOS in the best way possible. I had mentioned, during my Live at Cosmic Nights review that the duo Perceptual Defence & Syndromeda, did not seem to be at the end of their resources. THE ALIEN ARRIVAL proves it. And unique to the duo's ambient cosmic music signature, this latest album musically continues where the trilogy ended in 2018.

Earth Rescue begins with the effects of a tropical storm. The thunders burst brightly, some even made me jump! The sound effects shear the density of the ambiences, even that some have this language of raptors in another texture of atmospheres playing to dominate our imagination until this first movement of sequencer injects a second breathe to our patience. The movement is heavy and fluid. Following in the footsteps of Tangerine Dream in the 70's, it sets up a sustained movement lasting a good ten minutes which makes Gabriele Quirici enormously proud. The movement fades in a military zone where the winds whistle, and the echo of the mountains reflects a phantom vision of the rhythm which disappears entirely in the buzzing and quivering of vertical hoops. Where more philharmonic layers seem to dance with our destiny in an organic fauna. An ambient uproar settles down where we can hear dialogues like footsteps slamming on the pavement in a disorder that wants to be more and more reassuring.

Bird chirps and sounds flowing from a source of vitamins open Alien Cure - Embrace. The atmospheres are earthy and serene, like a sunny morning on the beaches of Colombia. Waves progress little by little with a delicate apprehended impulse which will bring back these vibes of terrestrial paradise towards more electronic grounds. They are oscillating loops which rise and fall in a hypnotic circle and which trap the synth solos, like this circular step of the sequencer, creating a pocket of intensity which will constantly outlast its weight. The musical signature here is very Syndromeda in this heavy and resonant structure fertile of its tones which always exceed the model hoped for by the drawings of Dany Budts. This textured heaviness crumbles around 13 minutes, before Alien Cure - Embrace descends on this Earth sanitized from all microbes and where artificial life has once again become this new cradle of humanity which should serve as the basis for the next episodes of Perceptual Defense & Syndromeda. This is one of their best!

Sylvain Lupari (November 16th, 2020) *****

Available at SynGate Bandcamp

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