ROBERT KALYOS: Cosmopolis (2021)
Updated: Mar 27
“Robert Kalyos offers a great melodious ambition where throughout his album he draws up a long shivers-giving ode with nice earworms”
1 Cosmopolis Part.1 4:36
2 Cosmopolis Part.2 8:49
3 Granted 4:56
4 Dream 6:17
5 Cosmopolis Part.3 7:02
6 Whispers in the Wind 4:33
7 Cosmopolis Part.4 15:05
(DDL 51:21) (V.F.)
(Melodious EM, Soundtrack)
Cosmopolis, an imaginary city with a thousand fantasies. The Sodom of our imagination! How many musical odes all as inspired and all as good, depends on different points of view, have been fascinated and inspired so many musicians. This time it's a new Italian artist strongly influenced by Jean-Michel Jarre, Vangelis, Tangerine Dream and Giorgio Moroder, who makes of COSMOPOLIS his elegiac vision. I never like to make comparisons between one album versus another. Like David Wright and Walking with Ghosts. Besides, I found a certain similarity between the music of Robert Kalyos, at least on this COSMOPOLIS, and that of the AD Music label. This new Kalyos album is built with an EM approach that flirts with progressive New Age, cinematic music with dramatic arrangements and dance rhythms closer to Disco and Techno than to Electronica. Although the use of percussion and percussive effects… The comparison with Walking with Ghosts? Like David's pivotal work, Robert Kalyos offers a great melodious ambition where throughout his album he draws up a long shivers-giving ode with nice earworms that enhance our emotional level in a music that continuously increases its level of intensity. The Italian musician takes us on a journey on the intelligence of his keyboard in order to weave ambiences of a dramatic weight like a lyrical lightness where beauty and drama can be heard from afar. Available only as a download, COSMOPOLIS is a musical tale without interruptions. In order to satisfy those who like the MP3 format, a version without interruptions of 51:21 is also included in the price of the download.
To the names of the Italian musician's influences, I would add that of Pink Floyd whose shadows of the synthesizer waves are drinking of this opening inspired by Learning to Fly. Stretched over Cosmopolis Part.1, Cosmopolis Part.2 and Granted, the first 15 minutes of COSMOPOLIS lives on these blurry images of the Northern Lights in motion. The synth layers drift in a sky within earshot, while the low chords of an austere keyboard scatter a melody like those tears crying their lives on an astral desert pushed by the panting sobs of tears. It's very moving and I let myself been caught like virgin in need of romantism by this opening and its drifting to the heart of Granted where the influence of Giorgio Moroder, like that of Hans Zimmer, bites our eardrums with its disco structure well cushioned by good arrangements which emerged from the morphic sufferings of Cosmopolis Part.2. The opening of Granted takes up back to the drama dimension of Learning to Fly, while preparing the rhythmic portion with chords crashing in its first seconds. Sequences and rhythmic elements start to twirl when techno's boom-booms percussions and orchestrations of silk inject this dance which finally takes place between two ears. The melody which is rising belongs to the undulating synth waves with a harmonic solo dancing in orchestrations to give us goosebumps. Dream brings us back to the music of filmic ambiences with a dense layer of whitish dust activated by scattered bursts of sounds. The arrangements are noble and austere, like the eye of a camera viewing a lifeless horizon. A line of rhythmic jewels begins to swirl around after the 3rd minute. Its effect weighs down the creepy nature of the layers with an unambitious zigzag, dying even before Dream's last breath. We are at the heart of COSMOPOLIS and so far, apart from this effect of increasing intensity, this new album of Robert Kalyos is more modeled in tenderness and oneiric ambience. Cosmopolis Part.3 will change things!
Water, winds of violins and the issshhh of synth waves besiege this introduction, while a rhythmic line imposes its domination by inviting various percussions to work on a structure of dance music. The flow is catchy with good percussive effects that follow the enthusiasm of the rhythm. The synth imposes its presence with a sibylline tone which sings a hymn to freedom on a rhythm which has become more lively. The orchestrations add a JMJarre's Techno effect and the structure becomes convulsive to finally calm down in waves of the synth which, like at low tide, withdraws its presence to sink it in the tranquility of Whispers in the Wind. The music of this ambient track respects the visions of its title with whispers that wander in a beautiful orchestral structure of the synthesizer, and possibly of a mellotron, with a continual rise in its core of intensity. We have listened to a good 36 minutes of nice music, when the sonic horizon of Cosmopolis Part.4 is revealed to our ears. The sublimity my friends! The percussions structure a rhythm of a knight making his horse trotting. Behind, the arrangements weave a dramatic heaviness which is pecked by light percussive and melodious attacks of a xylophone style. Little by little, and the fluttering sequences helping, the ambient rhythm agitates like an attack of luminous hornets. And always these ambiences which are equivalent to a wedding march reaching the podium when the percussions go back to work. The guitar-shaped synth solos arrive a little before the 9th minute. Leaving a delectable 6 minutes of a melody worked since those first keystrokes in Cosmopolis Part.4 and which arrives to us all constructed in another vision of music for sentimental movie.
A superb title that I tell you, but I am a romantic who refuses to grow old, which ends a very beautiful album that I can only recommend to you if the genres of Vangelis, David Wright, Robert Fox and Hans Zimmer appeal to you. COSMOPOLIS is a city with the power to germinate many so many visions and fantasies. And that of Robert Kalyos is one of the most poetic that I have heard.
Sylvain Lupari (March 26th, 2021) ****½*
Available at Robert Kalyos Bandcamp