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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Remy Fears (2016)

Updated: Nov 11, 2023

“Fears is a strong album loaded of dark moods and those hypnotic beats which make the charms of Remy. A solid album which exposes aptly the depths of its meaning!”

1 Fear 1: Fears 13:04 2 Fear 2: The Unknown 12:54 3 Fear 3: Reality 8:23 4 Fear 4: Terror 9:42 5 Fear 5: Extreme Weather 11:42 6 Fear 6: Death 7:52 7 Fear 7: Cataclysm 9:32 CD Bonus 1 Fears: Prologue 23:35 Deserted Island Music | DIM-005

(CD 73:09) (V.F.) (Dark and hypnotic New Berlin School)

The fears! How to put in music the fears in a rather realistic way and without falling in the traps of a dark music which goes in all directions without ever deepening one? That's the challenge of Remy! Of the one who since the release of the amazing Exhibition of Dreams, back in 1999, doesn't stop exploring these territories where the dreams and the nightmares are exchanging our wills. First solo album since i-Dentity in 2011, FEARS succeeds very well to torment us. So much that the first listening throws a kind of discomfort disturbing between our ears.

The title-track leads us right away in the atmospheres of FEARS. A thick sonic fog widens its disturbing shroud from where inhale the groans of a strange machine which creates these vapors which slow down our steps in the paths of cemeteries. We feel the blackness invading us while the specters hum in symbiosis with these hummings. Delicate arpeggios weave a melody of which the minimalist charms are as well intrusive as magnetic. The procession of Fears is quite smoothly made. Remy puts down these traps which pursue the subconscious while some pulsations liven up a rhythm which is slowly born. Strings caress these atmospheres while the procession is decorated of an uncomfortable musicality, a little as if the slow staccato of the cellos warned us that specters are blowing in our neck. A line of sequences loosens its keys which skip as giant steps in a forest densely smothered by mist. This lento movement increases a bit the pace, but more in the intensity than in vigor, creating an emotional dizziness which embraces at any time the progression of an insanity arisen from the fear. Fear 2: The Unknown adopts a little this principle of crescendo of the fear with an introduction filled of mist which resounds and which hides the incantations of a mist machine. The whole thing introduces even a slow rhythm fed by the loops of the impulses. A line of synth rises to evaporate a harmony which floats between the strata of our emotions, a little as the hymn of discomfort blown by a specter. Another line, tinted by the harmonies of a harpsichord, plunge our frenzies up to the doors of the majestic Exhibition of Dreams. More atmospheric than rhythmic, Fear 2: The Unknown draws his its charm from the ghostly lamentations of the synth and the impulses of a bass line which crawls in the background. The melody? As much disturbing as the memories of the movie Halloween, it insinuates itself into our senses like the fear can stick to the skin with an effect of crescendo which makes beat our temples with the same intensity as these sequences which skip with hostility while Fear 2: The Unknown tramples our senses with the same Machiavellian approach as these jingles of chains that we have just noticed. The more we move forward and the more this electronic symphony on fears spreads its tentacles with a surprising reality. Fear 3: Reality is a wonderful piece of music with a very slow tempo where are roaming the notes of a piano terrified by the singings of a Diva who has just died recently. The effect is hyper striking here. This is very good and especially very effective. I adore and I am certain to have heard this hymn to fear in some of my nightmares.

Fear 4: Terror is a title of atmospheres with a Mephistophelian choir which hums on a bed of arpeggios as quiet as a lullaby for sleepless. Fear 5: Extreme Weather rolls a little on the same Machiavellian principle of dark ambient music while proposing a delicate rhythm which skips on a carpet of sulfur. Effects stain this pensive march with a concert of distant voices, such as the shouts of the afterlife that we just don't want to hear. A beautiful movement of sequences loosens a circular rhythm which is as much discreet as these chords which shape since the opening a kind of procession towards the afterlife. It's a title as troubling as Fear 2: The Unknown in a structure to which it's necessary to take time to listen to. Another title of horror ambience, Fear 6: Death proposes a very slow tempo weaved by endless frictions of cellos which terrify our senses. Some clappings flutters all over this procession of in between-world, while that a bass line abandons gradually our footsteps. Fear 7: Cataclysm is the most complex title in FEARS. The impulses of bass weave a rather slow harmonious rhythm. The strings are always so oppressive and the sound decoration always so penetrating. A line of bass sequences makes spin its keys at the same time as the jingles of cymbals get out of the darkness. Keeping its melody of submission in the background, Fear 7: Cataclysm is changing of skin and becomes more electronic with a multitude of effects and sequences which feed a kind of anarchy. A little as if we got rid of the influence of the fears or as if we were swallowed by it. The album also comes with a CD containing a title of 23 minutes, Fears: Prologue. At the time of writing these lines the special edition would be out of print. But in any case... Here the atmospheres are less disturbing, except for the piano, and the approach is resolutely more electronic and especially more ventilated. We are in the territories of Klaus Schulze of the 80's with a long minimalist structure embroidered around a hopping movement of sequences which leans on the increasing pulsations of a good bass line. The synth injects pattern of a melody, which we will notice especially in the second part, and a piano is scattering the crumbs of a more disturbing melody. This procession strikes a wall of tranquility at around the 11th minute, introducing a more acoustic approach with an a little more improvised piano and more ethereal atmospheres before returning to its structure of base.

Divided into two tomes, we approach FEARS with delicacy. If the first 30 minutes are convincing, the following ones ask for a more intuitive listening so much the atmospheres are in the heart of a romance between fear and madness. But the musicality, which is the big strength of this album of ambiences, and the effects which surround it chase away rather fast this shyness to live for a few minutes in the mouth of all fears. A solid album which exposes aptly the depths of its meaning. Hat to you Remy!

Sylvain Lupari (October 22nd, 2016) ****½*

Available at Desert Island Music

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