PERCEPTUAL DEFENCE & SYNDROMEDA: The End of the Universe (2016)
“This is the most inaccessible album of this trilogy but as always the duo manages to get the best of everything by creating a very unique soundscape”
1 Alien Voices from the Silent Space 28:47 2 Into the Faulty Universe 18:46 3 The End of the Universe 22:24 Luna | cd-r pdss03
(CD-r/DDL 69:58) (V.F.) (Dark ambient EM)
A friend has already asked me what was of use of these long introductions and these slow finales which mark out the structures of EM. He only saw in it some anti-music, and I I hear a kind of appetizer which puts our ears in appetite. The debate persists and this last album, which completes the trilogy of the Italian-Belgian duet, of Perceptual Defence and Syndromeda possesses all the attributes to animate it even more. On 3 long structures where the introductions sieve the ambient rhythms and the atmospheres to come, THE END OF THE UNIVERSE is undoubtedly the most complex album that Dany Budts and Gabriele Quirici offers since Fear of the Emptiness Space has landed in the digital tubs in 2014. The duet thus completes a sonic journey through the galaxies; these black holes and the strange universes where we imagine the extraterrestrial life under these most puzzling forms.
A drop of sounds spreads a weak cloud of arrhythmic tones which beats like the echo of a butterfly wing. A heavy humming escapes from it. It widens its radiations which form a kind of unstable rhythm moving as the glove of blackness. Abstruse voices emerge from depths of the cosmos, giving a form as mysterious as of terror to these voices (these sounds?!) coming from the silent cosmos. Little by little, Alien Voices from the Silent Space takes form. Little by little, THE END OF THE UNIVERSE takes life! Here the ambiences dominate the few fragments of rhythms scattered around the 70 minutes of this last album of the Italian/Belgium duo. And the structures of rhythms are not always obvious. As here where the sequences tinted of organic tones and of gurgling shadows roll in loops and in symbiosis with these strands of hummings and with the metallic percussions. The beating and a line of bass sequences invite each other in this astral dance which spreads its rhythmic loops in a sordid cosmic atmosphere. The rhythm is decorated of new fineries with a line of sequences which gallops in this tide of intersidereal winds whistling of stridency and throughout a concert of strange intersidereal dialogues. And the blackness falls around the 13th minute with a heavy sonic veil embroidered in the mystery of the cosmic winds. It's like to be deafen by the landing of a space shuttle, so much the intensity of sound immersion is huge. The next 6 minutes are of atmospheres with slow drones, woosh and a kind of lamentations that only the imagination can perceive. A heavy rhythm skips at about the 19th minute. The structure frees dark oscillations which skip with their shadows, weaving so an ambient and static rhythmic approach. This oscillatory movement amplifies its presence in the cacophonous tumult which roars in the background, developing a subtle stroboscopic cycle which will go out in the hurricane of the woosh and of the particles which escape from it and form the silence of sounds for the last 3 minutes of Alien Voices from the Silent Space. It's from this finale that feeds mainly Into the Faulty Universe; a long ambient and almost amorphous structure where we can decode, with a lot of stratagem of the imagination, the forms of rhythms and melodies in a dense magma of woosh and drones. Let's say that there are no debates concerning the long introductions and the slow final here!
The title-track starts with these organic suction cups pulsations which filled the ambient rhythm of Alien Voices from the Silent Space. A dialogue between a man and a woman explains where we are and where we shall go; be towards the end of times. The intro, all in tones and hummings which intertwine together, filters the harmonies of a delicate Mellotron flute which evaporates its presence upon the arrival of heavy sequences which loses a little of its echo. While the waves of a synth undulate such as a mirage, the rhythm of The End of the Universe enriches its armature with other sequences which skip like fireflies all over around this sneaky movement of the main sequence. It's some very good Syndromeda who stuffs our ears here with this color of the sizzling tones which surrounds the rhythm. Synths spit lines of fire and the movement of sequences becomes more agile, even if we stay in a pattern of rhythm which can only make dance our neurons. Dany Budts' universe bursts here with these organic gurgling which encircle the dance of the wooden cracklings that is this movement of sequences which sparkle like fireflies in a bowl without oxygen. The duo uses advisedly the 22 minutes of The End of the Universe by modifying subtly this structure of rhythm which will watch pass the parade of the hummings announcing in a dramatic way the end of this album.
I won't lie to you, THE END OF THE UNIVERSE is the most inaccessible album of Perceptual Defence & Syndromeda. It's an album of very dark and especially very creative EM where the sound signature of the duet (cosmic sounds, chirping of sequences, synth squeakings, drones and reverberations effects) floods dark and so black atmospheres as the cosmos seen by our eyes lulled of imagination. Except that the duet always manages to get out while the going is good by creating a sound universe which is out of reach for many artists, making of their music a small sounds and tones cavern where ambiences and the ambient rhythms take one any other dimension. The title-track is a must for fans of dark EM of the vintage years.
Sylvain Lupari (August 2nd, 2016) ***½**
Available at SynGate Bandcamp