ROBERT LOGAN: Sculptor Galaxy (2017)
Updated: Dec 1, 2019
“A splendid unexpected surprise, Sculptor Galaxy is this kind of album without frontiers in a precise field that you have, at least for once, give it a try!”
1 Sovereign 7:36 2 Climber 4:23 3 Be Tall 3:16 4 Binary Star 5:59 5 The Weaver 6:12 6 Endless Sea 4:02 7 Senescence 2:27 8 Plantal Sequence 4:45 9 Metazoa 5:49 10 Voyager 6:26 Projekt | PRO 345
(CD/DDL 50:55) (V.F.) (Psychedelic, Tribal, Berlin School)
I discovered Robert Logan with the pair of albums that he made with Steve Roach last year. If each album had a very different identity, Second Nature was very ambient while Biosonic was of tribal nature with psybient rhythms, the true nature of the English artist is rather in the kind of deep ambient landscapes with a propensity for tones sculptured around surrounding samplings. Walking between 2 aliases, Sense Project and Firehand, to widen his experimental pallet, Robert Logan delivered 6 music albums decorator of ambiences since 2007. And now taken out from nowhere arrives this brilliant SCULPTOR GALAXY. And the Press info didn't do into subtleties by underlining that it's doubtless this avenue that Jean-Michel Jarre should have chosen after his surprising Zoolook in 1984. What about it?!
Reverberating effects and others organic ones spice up the uncertain rhythm of Sovereign. Samplings of voices deformed as well as heavy riffs of keyboard give a psychedelic envelope to this structure of rhythm built in a kind of stop'n'go and of which the absence of nuances makes a whole contrast with the organic effects and the stroboscopic veils which are added to an unreal choir. Between its abrupt shocks and its respites of ambient phases, Sovereign gives an overview of the structures of rhythms which mark out this Robert Logan's surprising opus. The mixing is extremely well done by Steve Roach and gives justice to the wealth of the tones, as here and as everywhere in this album. Climber attacks our ears with powerful knockings which make raise lines of flickering sequences and attractive percussive effects. Still here, the structure of rhythm is hatched but clearly more lively with good arrangements and a pretty nice hint of Jean-Michel Jarre, in particular for this approach of synth-pop well controlled in its more progressive environment. The samplings of voice get back to charm our expectations in the smooth rhythm of Be Tall, I would even believe to hear sing the title in various ways. The percussive effects are always that attractive and fit very well into other effects which brings the music in a zone of psybient. And if the bass traces a cosmic Groove with good lascivious movements, the percussions on the other hand bring the title towards a good rock brought out of another universe. Binary Star begins with a more electronic approach which is guided by fluid and lively movements of the sequencer. This structure melts afterward behind another cosmic Groove approach pattern with a bass and percussions more in the tone of a good mid-tempo. The collections of hoarse voices and cosmic effects always stay in the field of psychedelic Electronica. But one tames it quite easily.
On the other hand, The Weaver asks for a bit of more listening. In fact, the evolution of the music follows marvellously the sense of its title with a weaving of sequences which little by little adopts a coherence, but which comes up against a heap of sound and percussive effects. It swirls delicately and it's rather a kind of progressive ambient music. The samplings of voices, the organic as much as the percussive effects are in the heart of the charms of this album and Endless Sea which, actually, would fits very well with Jean-Michel Jarre's repertoire. But a more audacious one because everything is of boldness here! After this quite lively piece of music, Senescence sounds so out of room here with its delicate piano which puts its pearls of melancholy in the lamentations of what seems to be a sort of in-between violin and cello. Plantal Sequence will be your first crush here. Like a thing that we know without ever being capable of putting a name on it, the music is like a pack of people who look for themselves in a wonderful harmonious choreography. That does very Steve Roach and at the same time very Berlin School with a touch Alexander Desplats' mood. A delight! Metazoa is another title which seduces straightaway with a very Zoolook structure, we are even entitled to these knocks of percussive grapeshots, where the samplings of voice form a nice harmonious choir. A rather delirious title which finds its strength out of our earphones with a good stereo effect. Voyager ends this fascinating discovery of the audaciousness universe of Robert Logan with a cosmic journey where the ambient music is nicely decorated by a strand of musical sequences, by some very intense synth layers and by other percussive effects which are just as much. There is an effect of crescendo here, we notice that almost everywhere throughout the 51 minutes of SCULPTOR GALAXY which pushes an EM towards a nirvana of intensity which makes no concession for the Jean-Michel Jarre's shady world on the London dock.
A splendid production from the duo Logan/Roach, SCULPTOR GALAXY has literally brought me to the skies of surprises, of astonishments. Besides its samplings of voice, which are not too intrusive but rather eccentrics, its percussive effects and these brilliant organic imprints, SCULPTOR GALAXY is of an intensity which competes its creativity. Every title is a box of sonic surprises where the boldness is not too situated that far from the accessibility. And to think of it well, this distant link with Zoolook is not really so distant after all … Remarkable, essential and a pure delight for music lovers.
Sylvain Lupari (November 29th, 2017) *****