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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

['ramp]: return (2011)

Return is a powerful journey in the analog lands of EM ...

1 astral disaster  36:30 a) 122112 (2:47)  b) astral disaster (8:48) c) unholy messiahs (3:41) d) iniernal machines part one (6:30) e) iniernal machines part two (8:21) f) a new dawn (2:29)  g) 122212 (3:54) 2 return 38:04 a) Return (7:20) b) radiocarbon part one (7:35) c) beacon (4:44) d) radiocarbon part two (8:24) e) lighthouse (10:01)

(CD/DDL 74:34) (V.F.)

(Dark Ambient & Berlin School)

Like its title lets it freely predict, return is a homecoming for ['ramp] with an album made entirely from analog equipment. The only master aboard his studio and his abyssal wings, Stephen Parsick weaves two long titles with similar structures where abrasive and industrial atmospheres blow in the neck of heavy rhythms, static and unbridled. Return is mounted on two long titles, astral disaster and return, which have an average length of 37 minutes and are segmented into several parts. Two lead-heavy titles, with smells of sulfur and of steel colors where these segments interlace and let themselves be caressed by poetic and diabolical atmospheres and pounded by rhythms as heavy as unbridled. And above this strange apocalypse, return embraces the darkness of Redshift, the tame rhythms of Tangerine Dream and the enlightened cosmos of Jean Michel Jarre. A canvas of sounds that wants to be very enticing.

Like an apocalyptic musical book, 122112 descends from the stars with a slow linear movement adorned with cosmic dust that glitters in an atmosphere riddled with atmospheric sounds. Ambient sounds, half-strokes retained, crystalline serpentines, scattered pulsations and obscure breaths nourish this introduction which amplifies its Dantesque character to finally sink into the heavy implosions of astral disaster and its angelic choruses immured in the bowels of a condemned earth. The atmosphere is heavy and is stigmatized by a smell of sulfur. The voices join the mephistophelic and poetic synth lines that float and tear up their metallic tones on the walls of an abyssal corridor to take refuge in the bowels of immobility.This opera of sclerotic choruses is transposed into the steel limbo of unholy messiahs, which, like rays of sunshine after a deluge of carbonized drizzle, tempers the chthonic moods with a passage in the colors of the rainbow, just before the anger of the gods is thundering with iniernal machines. Part one opens the infernalities with muted pulsations that drop their muffled rustling among metal cymbals and silver breaths. A powerful sequencer comes to life. Its heavy resonant chords encircle more agile sequences that flutter in a delicious anarchy, casting a surreal rhythm that feeds on a mishmash of sequences with mixed shapes and tones. On a convoluted rhythm, iniernal machines part one continues its powerful and static diabolical ride with heavy sequences to make pale Redshift. Sequences that stagger with the grace of an elephant on acid until the doors of its 2nd part, where the atmospheres are struggling to contain the incessant flow of tempestuous sequences that claim their right of destruction. Puny, the rhythm of machines inseparable part two shakes and bends under the weight of thunderous sequences that resonate and shake, both the eardrums and the underground corridors, while clashing into an aggressive echo. The submit choruses are wandering on this powerful stationary rhythm which gradually fades and takes refuge in the breaths of genesis of a new dawn and those more orchestrals of 122212. Poor, the rhythm of iniernal machines part two shakes and bends under the weight of thunderous sequences that resonate and shake, both the eardrums and underground corridors, while striking an aggressive echo. The subject choruses wander on this powerful stationary rhythm which gradually fades and takes refuge in the breaths of genesis of a new dawn and those more orchestrals of 122212.

The second part of return is more musical and more melodious, caressing the rhythms and approaches of Tangerine Dream in the hooves of Redshift. Its introduction glides on a nice soundscape where sinuous waves caress the resonant curves of the crispy reverberations. The choruses are faithfully in their place and hum in dark mists. Blowing in horns, they emit particles and hoops of metal that tear the astral veils to make the interstellar darkness shriek and bring us to the first stammers of the muffled pulsations of radiocarbon part one. And the rhythm unfolds its strength without waiting. Heavy and powerful, it rambles with hesitation before biting the spine of the zombie choir and jumping forcefully in a lead structure. The rhythm is heavy, powerful and fluid. It gets overflown by synth solos as strident as lyrical which cling with an infernal passion at this loud and heavy pace. A rhythm which evolves with fine permutations to rise in the sweetness and ethereal solos of a beacon before splashing again in radiocarbon part two which reactivates all the power of its first part. Lighthouse ends this apocalyptic journey within breaths of angelic trumpets, looping the loop of return with the Dantesque breaths of astral disaster.

Stephen Parsick doesn't seem to know how to disappoint his audience. Once again, he achieved an incredible tour de force by sculpting a powerful journey into the analog lands of an EM that fed the fantasies of early fans when a creative music transcended the boundaries of the imaginary. return lives from its fantasies, from its psychedelicosmic ambiances that lean onto rhythms as heavy as powerful. Two long acts and its segments where each sound and each note fit together in order to demonstrate all the genius of Electronic Music's man in black!

Sylvain Lupari (January 18th, 2012) ***½**

Available at ['ramp] Bandcamp

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