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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

PHOBOS: Live on Earth (2012)

Updated: May 26, 2020

Live on Earth deeply moves the balance between lifelessness and harmony, coldness and heat as well as life and void

1 Live on Earth Parts I-VII 50:38


II There’s no Place like Drone

III Special Awareness

IV In Space no one can hear you

V A Moment of Abnormality

VI There may be a Storm Coming

VII A Kind of Peace

(CD-R/DDL 50:38) (V.F.)

(Ambient & Cosmic Music)

Less tenebrous, LIVE ON EARTH seems to be Phobos' excuse to his apocalyptic work which was This Desolate Place. Recorded live at the Branston's Awakenings Festival, held in England on October 22nd, 2011, this 4th opus of Phobos displays his ambient poetry with a fine cardiac pulse which beats delicately under some dense layers of a synth from which the bright breezes are blowing like angelic choirs among a little more nuanced layers. More cosmic than terrestrial, David Thompson juxtaposes waves of lyrical synths which recall the wonderful floating world of Michael Stearns.

LIVE ON EARTH progresses in 7 parts and the opening one is a delight for those who like be rocked by spatial musical images. The movement extends by a weak cosmic crescendo of which the intensity revives the dreamy subconscious with an approach that we can compare with the subtle progression of Chronos from Michael Stearns. The 2nd part (a little before the 16th minute) moves on with hollow breaths, of which the slightly acute filets are crisscrossing and gliding with a threatening approach. This storm of piercing breaths torments the delicate and abstracted carillons, of which the ringings get lost in the immensity drawn by these silent waves which ululate in a slow whirlwind of cosmic lavas. These bubbling grouts to the colours of the void are pouring into the angelic serenity of the 3rd part that concludes the first act of this performance at the Awakenings Festival.

Some fine piano notes fall in the solitude of In Space no one can hear you, displaying a melancholy which cries its solitude among the plaintive breaths of a synth filled of a surprising fragility. These sighs of piano melt themselves in these synth tears to slide on the Milky Ways of a romantic cosmos. This is one of the key moments of this long 50 minutes track which gradually takes back its rights of a cold cosmos and on a lifeless universe with its shrill breaths which transport us towards a cosmic storm. The 5th and 6th parts are fed by black and silvery zephyrs which juxtapose their breaths in a caustic symphony. It’s another great moment that should have its entire dimension in an immense Planetarium with projections of dead stars which float into a universe of genesis. A Kind of Peace concludes this lifeless odyssey with the quiet breaths of some slow panoramic movements of a cosmos formerly sonic.

LIVE ON EARTH exposes us a Phobos who is more poetic and lyrical than on This Desolate Place. It's a good ambient album that one listens to with all the subtlety of the paradoxes between the delicacies of the singing winds and the coldness of the cosmic mistral. It's doubtless the great beauty of this live performance of Phobos where often the soft emotional phases are necessary for the taming of these long atonal electronic structures. And Phobos' LIVE ON EARTH is exactly built on this beautiful astral prose which deeply moves the balance between lifelessness and harmony, coldness and heat as well as life and void.

Sylvain Lupari (July 15th, 2012) ***¾**

Available at Phobos Bandcamp

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