top of page
  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

RICHRAD BONE: Serene Life of Microbes (2006)

It's a book without texts which takes shape with the passions, the wounds and the melancholic thoughts which betray the glances

1 Attenuation 7:25

2 The Seduction of Dr. Pasteur 8:10

3 Protozoa, Mon Amour 5 :49

4 Autotrophic Light 3 :46

5 Evolution Primitive 6:58

6 This Radiant Life 6:20

7 Thermatoga 5:35

8 Archaea Apart 5:11

9 Going Dormant 6:22

(CD/DDL 55:55) (V.F.)

(Dark Ambient, Experimental)

I'm not a fan of ambient music, even less the one we call Dark Ambient. I rather like the sounds and their progression towards unsuspected borders. Richard Bone is an American artist who specializes in a form of ambient music. Dark Ambient music filled with a palette of sounds with multiple of color tones. SERENE LIFE OF MICROBES is an album with rich sound structures which feed our imaginary with heavy ambiences evolving on nebulous impulses, the pushes of synthesizer. Constantly evolving, it's a first opus for the musician to appear on AD Music, bringing with it his dark colors that are cradling the echo of our reflections.

Distant cosmic waves are approaching on a dense wind with threatening atmospheric gusts. Attenuation is floating like a tight-fitting mass whose particles flow in fine streams, like this water whose lapping can be heard, without really knowing its origin. Without rhythmic life, the music progresses with muffled pulsations and a synth wave which floats around parasitic sound effects which bleat strange voices. Dark and enveloping universe, a synth escapes placid laments on a more dense movement, initiating a fine circular sequence which turns in the shade of celestial choirs and of the synth with solitary breaths. The Seduction of Dr. Pasteur floats on an uneven line, like an ascent held back by invisible forces, giving an intriguing structure. We are surprised to allow ourselves being caressed by this linear impulse which scrolls smoothly, offering scattered notes and lines adjacent with melodious and penetrating breaths. A metallic wave, with strident reverberations, invites the melancholy piano of Protozoa, Mon Amour to pierce this caustic wall with a superb melody that even the cold streaks of the soulless synth end up fanning their indifference and taking heat. With Autotrophic Light, we enter in a slightly more lively sector of SERENE LIFE OF MICROBES. A sequencer turns its line of bass pulses in rotating circles. Surrounded by an electric piano or an old Bayous guitar, always according to the perception of our ears, this sequencer spins its chords with finesse. This meeting between this fuzzy rhythm creates a strange fusion and a magical structure where the harmonies of the arpeggios merge with the disordered spirals. A sequenced melody with ringing notes encircles Primitive Evolution. It's a superb title with a sensitive piano which resonates with its melancholy in an ambience weighed down by multi-colored layers with invading shadows.

This Radiant Life exudes the same heavy musical spirit. A fine sequenced line filters a sound that pulsates like a lifeline on dense and enveloping synth layers. A piano walks there. Uncertain, he encounters disturbing atmospheres with fleeting auras. A buzzing linear movement opens Thermatoga. The atmosphere is dark and the movement separates in short sound waves which come wet the edges of a solitude. A solitude rocked by fine pearly notes which scatter its harmonies on the hints of a line which evaporates in the finale. Archaea Apart follows with a similar structure. A suave nostalgic synth blows the pangs of life through the winds of a virtual trumpet. It's a beautiful sensitive track flowing smoothly and illuminated by celestial chords which melt in short harmonies. Going Dormant ends the album with the same heavy and deaf movements that built its main rhythmic parts. Austere choirs, like if whispered by monks with questionable values, cross a line with intense hums. A bit as if an unreal world parallel to ours was feeding on our dreams, our hopes.

SERENE LIFE OF MICROBES is no ordinary ambient album. Truth be told, I expected to hear a sampling-boosted Brian Eno genre. But I was surprised. Pleasantly surprised even. It's a book without texts, a negative without image which is written, which takes shape with the passions, the wounds and the melancholic thoughts which betray the glances. It's a kind of crossing between the hypnotic spheres of Michael Stearns on his magnificent Chronos, the vaporous rhythms of Patrick O'Hearn and the melodious dreams of Richard Burmer. It's a beautiful journey to the center of dark sounds, where constantly bits of light form unsuspected harmonious circles. New Age is not really far from the essence of this album, even in the darkest corners.

Sylvain Lupari (November 23rd, 2016) ***½**

Available at AD Music Shop

321 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page