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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ROBERT FOX: Into the Light (Remastered) (1997/2015)

Into the Light is a solid album which mix wonderfully the orchestral moods to some very strong and lively rhythms of England School

1 Feel The Warmth 2:28 2 Brother Earth 6:10 3 A New Day 2:07 4 Paths of Change 8:49 5 Into the Light 11:35 6 Somewhere out There 8:24 7 Shadowedland 11:31 8 Lights.. Pictures.. Sensations 9:48 9 Nearer than Before 2:28 10 Sister Earth 5:59 AD Music|  AD152CD

(CD/DDL 69:76) (V.F.)

(Orchestral England School)

Where to place the music of Robert Fox in the immense universe of EM? With very well-structured compositions, which leave no room in any forms of improvisation or spontaneity, filled with melodies which are coated in of silky orchestrations and of very beautiful arrangements, the hyper-melodious music of Robert Fox is cataloged as being of New Age. If I share a bit this opinion notice, well I don't here. INTO THE LIGHT is a powerful album and it in every sense of the word. The rhythms are furious, sometimes even violent, and even the ambient phases, apart from short moments, are fed by upheavals and by emotions. Evidently, melodies are legions. But while being very beautiful, they charm more in the background altering not at all this powerful musical framework which is the envelope of this album. Yes, there are voices! But they are well measured and inserted skillfully sensibly, giving some more of relief and of depth to an album which will amaze you by the power of its contents. I have approached this album with many prejudices. And I hope that with this chronicle I shall bring down these barriers which stigmatize the image of Robert Fox in a too humdrum, a too honeyed style. I know that David Wright can be easily carried away about the music on his label. But I must agree with his words when he puts this album very high in the chessboard of the EM made in England. And by this new mastering, which is totally justified, David Wright gives more depth to an album which already had amply.

We feel this touch of this new remaster from the first seconds with a storm of woosh and of wiishh which infiltrates our ears. Feel The Warmth begins this very musical journey of Robert Fox to the heart of his imaginary countries by a very evasive piano which lays down the beginnings of a melody of which the notes are drank by a delicate voice of a nymphet and by a somber synth wave which muffles Feel The Warmth in a dense apocalyptic veil. The atmospheres metamorphose with the arrival of Brother Earth and with its sharp pulsations. An Amerindian incantation floats on the beginning of a rhythm papered in heavy atmospheres that a piano cuts out by delicate harmonious lines. The rhythm which follows is very catchy. Flooded by these elements and with dense orchestral pads, it skips with a fusion of percussions and pulsations. We are in the lands of a good orchestral electronic rock that the piano tames with a delicious Honky-Tonk approach. This is as good as it sounds weird to read! A New Day moderates the moods with a short ambiospherical approach where sparks a thick cloud of stars and whistles a shower of cosmic lines beneath the stories of a celestial nymph. A piano gets loose from these more or less cosmic atmospheres in order to draw up a very harmonious structure of rhythm which is sat on very agile notes. The percussions are also lively than these piano notes. And little by little Paths of Change gets transformed into a monument of intense heaviness which is set ablaze by some dense orchestrations where the melody is now blown by a synth with the airs of trumpets. Whether it is from the piano or the synth, the melody which haunts the heavy passive structure of Paths of Change is as much poignant as intrusive. It leads us to the soft rhythm and to the intensely troubling title-track which uses the perfume of beautiful synth lines to the colors of ochre. A kind of saxophone cries in these sound turbulences where are pounding some sober and steady pulsations, but without really bite for a structure of rhythm. Orchestrations are intensely moving, but not as much as the piano with its strong and heavy notes which hammer the lyrical part of our cerebral rhythm. This is very beautiful.

And like every time, this Robert Fox comes to shake up my soul, to set fire to my emotions. Add to this the voice of this astral goddess and the intensely touching piano, we are not really far from the very New Age structures of Vangelis. The rhythm of Somewhere out There is more sustained, maybe even as violent as in Brother Earth with beautiful crash of chords which resound in our eardrums and with some lengthened riffs which are dying in a structure decorated of beautiful electronic effects. Some carillons are ringing in this tumult drowned in arrangements rather very striking which remind me of Mike Oldfield in The Songs of the Distant Earth. With such references, that can't be mediocre! Shadowedland is a long track of atmospheres with loud effects of knocking and synth lines which try to flood a spectral melody which shows up the nose from time to time. Ambient and very intense! Lights.. Pictures.. Sensations is a splendid electronic rock. Certainly, the wildest track here with a meshing of sequences, percussions and pulsations which forge an intense rhythmic ride of which the harmonies are blown by a synth perfumed of the airs of a saxophonist lost in this tumult. Nearer than Before is another ambient phase which will lead us to Sister Earth and its structure of rhythm kind electronico-tribal-Amerindian of Brother Earth, but in a more ethereal envelope. I would say even more joyful. What a way to close an album!

Between Mike Oldfield and Vangelis, while passing by the high colors of Code Indigo, the music of INTO THE LIGHT is a bulldozer of feelings and rhythms which is going to turn you upside down. There is quite a lot in there; furious rhythms worthy of England School's good moments, melodies which are going to hook you some sighs on your soul and arrangements (the piano is divine) which are going to set the fire on them. Alive and audacious, with this mixture of voices over tribal and ethereal rhythms as well as hard knocking e-rock, it's a very musical album which rolls at high speed in this universe of sounds that is EM. I didn't know the album before, so I don't have a clue if it's due to David Wright's remastering, but I am sure as hell that INTO THE LIGHT is a solid album which seems to have passed by incognito. And I always try to understand why.

Sylvain Lupari (October 7th, 2015) ****½*

Available at AD Music

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