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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari


Updated: May 6, 2020

Vague Traces is an album for those who look for an immersion by the charms of the acoustics

1 Far Past 4:40

2 The Diamond Sky 6:26

3 Across the Sun 9:49

4 Evening's Empire 12:11

5 Just a Shadow 5:28

6 For Dreaming 11:05

7 Until Tomorrow 12:33

(CD/DDL 62:15) (V.F.)

(Deep ambient music)

A wave of winds with crystalline dusts and with shades delicately tinted of reverberations float like a winged boa to sneak between our eardrums. Dominant, Far Past unwinds its heavy ambient winds which increase in power, in volume in order to shuck the fruits of a passive musicality where the dreamy notes of a piano are courting the strolls of a bass. Sailing between the nebulas spheres which separate the sleep from the awakening, the dream from reality, this last album of Phillip Wilkerson respects the abyssal depths of his perception of the world of deep ambient music. Composed and played with Chris Russell's collaboration, VAGUE TRACES revisits the universe of the immersive and contemplative music with an approach more sibylline than seraphic where the shadows play with the light and the sounds with a fascinating obsession for a state of cerebral stillness.

The slow veils which open The Diamond Sky are floating of their lace wings with slender impulses which caress and make ring the carillons wrapped of cotton. Acoustic notes resound in the singings of birds, fusioning a strange concert between reality and its shadows. It's the slow waltz for amorphous with a waterfall elegiac breezes which interlace in ochred tones where we can perceive, even hear, some strange impossible murmurs which get lost in the immense furrows of sinuous reverberations and of their a little less misty clones. The tandem Wilkinson & Russell confronts their abstruse lines which seem to be threats for the dream and the edges of its reality. It's very enveloping and this slender line which separates the light of the blackness exploits marvelously the ambiguities of the slow neurasthenic movements. Across the Sun is like a long river of air which crosses the infinity of the sky. It's a long race of noisy winds lines which make spherical particles splinter into some small sonic shavings. It's a heavy and powerful storm of fluid winds which if is totally deprived of rhythms is not devoid of subtle impulses. In fact, the phases of movements in VAGUE TRACES live throughout the multiple modulations and the infinite curves of the winds. We can hear them to shiver, so much they are near the blackness of the cosmos. A little as the opening of Evening's Empire which vibrates like the reactors of a space shuttle. After this very dark intro, the music reveals a little more of its heat with fragments of harmonies that we considered lost in the finale of Far Past. There isn't much to say, or add, about Just a Shadow or For Dreaming which move, float, and exploit the same sonic textures cut straight from the whims of Aeolus. Only Until Tomorrow distances itself with an approach which seems to be inspired by Harold Budd.

An album of an extremely enveloping ambient music. A work as dark as the beds of the winds which refuse to leave the stratospheres; VAGUE TRACES is an album for those who look for an immersion by the charms of the acoustics. It's like to sleep awakened. And if it is the purpose aimed by the duet Phillip Wilkerson and Chris Russell, we can easily say that it's mission accomplished! For lovers of deep ambient music...

Sylvain Lupari (December 1st, 2014)

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