“Reblooming carries out a titanic work in a musical vision that connects his music to our ears in a way that makes the threads of our emotions vibrate”
1 Ophelia's Song 8:02
2 Earth Voice 7:26
3 Foreboding 8:23
4 1988 7:23
5 Aftershocks 7:38
6 Ruins 7:58
7 Searching 5:22
8 Survivors 6:32
9 Echo Memories 6:24
(DDL 65:09) (V.F.)
A cloud of sounds and shoots of wooden percussive effects, that have reminded me of the sumptuous universe of Matthias Thurow's Cornucopia, the opening track Chronological Order, are at the origins of Ophelia's Song. Wooden steps echo on a tarmac of desolation from which this mass of radioactive sounds arises, while repeated tinkles structure a semi-rhythm which evaporates in this floating mass surrounding the evolution of this first track of ECHO EARTH. One hundred and twenty seconds of ambience separate our ears from a first earworm, which will be the guardians of the atmospheric vibes of this first Reblooming album. Ophelia's Song is the first track on an incredibly striking album that Russian artist Artem Mkrtchyan, also known as Strana 03, offers on Exosphere, a division of the American label Synphaera. The echo of sounds as well as an impressive palette of tonal colors projects us into a universe of psybient whose correlation with Blade Runner by Vangelis and Petrified Forest by WellenVorm, as well as works by Solar Fields and Aes Dana from the label Ultimae Records is just at a pencil throw away. Everything remains in suspension in this cataclysmic work inspired by a huge earthquake in Armenia. In a musical mosaic with a clear cinematic vision of 65 minutes, the Russian composer explores his memories of this earthquake which has devastated the Spitak region, in Armenia, on December 7, 1988. And this nightmare vision in the eyes of a child is easily palpable through the 9 tracks of this album with masses of radioactive sounds which float forever, and which surround these ghost melodies which deposit its larvae of earworm at the bottom of our eardrums. Split melodies that come and go, come back and go again, sing and melt without creating long melodious anacondas but which are always etched in our cortex.
The ambiences are sinister with this vision of twisted metal and of concrete dusts which obscured an autumn morning sky. We hear continuous screeching when Earth Voice struggles to structure its framework. Industrial rattling and an abysmal heaviness form its bed where voices lost in the burial of concrete and house carcasses are heard under the noises of a jackhammer. A gloomy synth layer infiltrates these atmospheres, allowing a piano to lay one of these melodies with notes forging water balls under our eyelids. And if we hear birds singing adorned our ears, like in Foreboding, the ambiences remain subdued by this Dantesque vision of a planetary catastrophe. This title of premonitory atmospheres floats in this collection with sounds of a gypsy guitar which makes duel with the birds. One of my big favorites here is 1988 and its breathless piano is simply crying of truth. This slow down-tempo is driven by a dark vision. A ticking and clocks without direction adorn a heavy landscape which blends with the apocalyptic vision of Aftershocks. This simply black psybient is haunted by vague voices and snippets of melodies poisoned by the smell of sulfur. Here, as everywhere in ECHO EARTH, our ears are struggling to identify the elements of this mass of corrosive sounds which advance at the same pitch as a wavering rhythm. And always these blades of sound squeal and expel the last breaths of hundreds of souls going towards a new life.
The big bells tinkle in the firmament of Ruins. Here, no rhythms. Atmospheres! Heavy atmospheres with sound elements that emanate from everywhere, enveloping whispers and spasms of sobs. The synth pads whisper scarlet blades and chords are falling like tears of glass on a derailed and muddled ground of the ghosts of its structures which are only a collective memory. One title I also found poignant is Searching. Not for its melody, but for these atmospheres which are of a realism with any test with its heart palpitations and its digging eyes skillfully built in sounds by the imagination of Reblooming. Whispers, calls for help, it's like we're there! Survivors is the most poignant title of this album with a dramatic vision which is reminiscent of Vangelis in Antartica when the team finds its dogs. The exhilarations of joy are superbly transposed by breaths of synth that sound so out of tune with their brighter visions. It is the only rhythmic phase of ECHO EARTH with percussions which forge however a static cadence. Echo Memories closes the loop of this amazing album with another suspended structure which brings together the secondary elements of the album in what seems to be a shamanic exorcism of the events of December 7, 1988.
I have these few words to describe the vibes of this simply amazing album of Reblooming. Artem Mkrtchyan has carried out a titanic work in a musical vision that connects his music to his memories and to our ears in a way that makes the threads of our emotions tremble. Another great find from the Synphaera label which is a real revelation and a nursery for creative and innovative musicians.
Sylvain Lupari (January 05th, 2020) ****¼*
Available at Exosphere Bandcamp