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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

PICTURE PALACE MUSIC: Indulge the Passion (2012)

Updated: Aug 10, 2020

Indulge the Passion navigates in full storm, caressing our fantasies and ignoring their rules to sink into the most absolute black

1 Immortal Hours and Passion Flowers 10:04

2 The Rose and the Cross 8:33

3 Separate Existence 6:18

4 Speaking Stillness in the Rose-Flushed-Snow 5:39

5 Bealific Vision 6:12

6 Fiery Fountain of the Stars 6:18

7 Passion of Regret 12:16

8 Compass Me 12:09

9 Continuous Aspiration 7:30

(CD/DDL 75:06) (V.F.)

(Art Rock, EM, Berlin School)

In its quest for an absolute originality Picture Palace Music stigmatizes our incredulity by works of a surprising sensitivity beats up by furious surge of violence. Ambiguity? Completely! INDULGE THE PASSION is a perplexed work which leaves a strange imprint of fascination after the first listening. And, according to the numerous instruments listed for its making, every additional listening dissipates the doubt and roots the perception that we are in front of a great and surprising work with ambivalent structures, if not schizophrenic, where the sweetness is next to violence and the romance get lost in its reflection. INDULGE THE PASSION is another wonderful work which will survive to this fascinating group which is weaved in the meanders of a world of black and white and which makes me say that PPM matures like souls in turmoil.

Lugubrious synth waves and other ones glimmering overlap to pave the way to the sober percussions of Immortal Hours and Passion Flowers which open the timid rhythm of the album. Blades of synth cry over this introductory tempo to which are adding some percussions which resound as some hollow wood, leading this rhythm towards a heavy and resounding bass line. And this rhythm grows heavy. Circumspect it collapses under these heavy bass notes and these percussions which ring as glass wood, keeping a melodic approach that synth laments are wrapping of an intriguing aura of mystery. Keyboard chords draw a fine harmony which fades in this maze of percussions while Immortal Hours and Passion Flowers goes into a brief atmospheric passage where crystalline arpeggios and silk choirs are floating in a black hole that some fine percussions redirect towards its heavy tempo of origin. Ambiguity? Absolutely! The 9 titles which feed the indomitability of the album offer superb structures where the passion is devoured at knocks of turmoil with rhythms and melodies which bicker in ambiances sometimes hard rock and sometimes oneiric. As a rose growing in the garden of darkness, The Rose and the Cross is a pure jewel of sensitivity. It’s a wonderful moment which tears the soul with its strings of violins and cellos crying over sequences / percussions running as wavelets caught in dead water. The rhythm is slow, even statics, with percussions in the Amerindian tribal forms which collect its tears of violins / cellos of which the parameters of sensitivity increase in a latent crescendo structured to tear away tears of the heart. Outstanding and so much heart-rending! Separate Existence shakes our emotional torpor with strikes of percussions rolling in an infernal spiral. The percussions fall very hard on a tempo of which the harsh and unbridled rotations drag harmonious chords and supernatural breaths. These voices get lost in synths and guitars which unite their lamentations to form some enthralling melodies both spectral and virginal. In its rhythmic pattern which seems to climb an eternal slope, Speaking Stillness in the Rose-Flushed-Snow grave in our ears with its heavy percussions and its flickering sequences. It’s a fascinating and lively electronic ballad to miles tones lying on a bubbling bed of sequences and percussions which shape a heavy but harmonious rhythm eroded by guitars, synth and kazzoo electric which unite their stamps to weave some superhuman laments. It’s the white and the black put in music. Bealific Vision is another great melody. It’s a real pearl of tenderness and melancholy with guitars which roar on the back of the fragility of a piano of which the notes embroider the memoirs of a delicate contemplative melody which cries in the fog.

Arpeggios waddling with innocence draw the charming introductory melody of Fiery Fountain of the Stars which collapses in a furious whirlwind activated by a good bass line, syncopated sequences and strong percussions. Heavy and edgy, melodious and ethereal, Fiery Fountain of the Stars navigates between tranquility and fury with a surprising resemblance with Tangerine Dream. The somber and lugubrious breezes of the Harmophone introduce the solemn intro of Passion of Regret which stumbles and melts into a suave and slow tempo to the scents of Pink Floyd on US and Them. The synth blows its airs of romances of a dark sensuality on a bed of sparkling arpeggios which glitter such as droplets in suspension. The more we move forward and the more it becomes heavy. And a little after the 6th minute, the percussions fall. They accelerate an evanescent rhythmic which unfolds its wrath with heavy soloing riffs and tremulous sequences before disappearing just like that into floating ambiences where some fragile piano notes roam in abysses filled by protesting spirits who will be swept by a furious apocalyptic ride. Compass Me is another wonderful title. Its intro is swept by the winds of a didgeridoo which blow in a plain filled by a ghostly aura of spectres from deserts. Notes of an acoustic guitar are strolling there, looking for a melody to be lived within, whereas the percussions pierce the horizon to mold a mesmerizing dramatic approach. And it’s through these percussions, this guitar carried by the ochred winds of a didge and the wandering breaths of lost souls that Compass Me espouses the fascinating crescendo of a heavy but floating rhythm, like a slow ride in hostile lands where the sands are glittering such as some bubbles bursting under a blazing sun. Chords of an electric piano roam in the grooves of their resonances, displaying the somber comfort of Continuous Aspiration which breathes by knocks of cymbals. A sequence emerges. Its keys flicker eagerly, dragging the cymbals in this spasmodic linear dance towards the heavy knockings of a drum which hammers the heavy and incisive rhythm of Continuous Aspiration. And a feminine voice roars its sensuality on a rhythm of lead, concluding another intense musical journey in the theatrical entrails of a beast to multiple artistic resources.

It's in the broth of pure black and heavy electronic rock that INDULGE THE PASSION assails our senses. Once again the gang of Thorsten "Q" Quaeschning disconcerts with a powerful album to the antipodes of a passion eaten up by remorses. Violent and soft, romantic and prosaic; the universe of this album navigates in full storm, caressing our fantasies and ignoring their rules to sink into the most absolute black. It's a puzzling and fascinating opus which is in the lineage of Picture Palace Music's big works; by far the most creative band that has emerged in the last decade.

Sylvain Lupari (June 11th, 2012) *****

Available at Groove NL

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