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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ROBERT RICH: Filaments (2015)

Updated: Dec 12, 2020

Robert Rich dazzles our ears with a universe of sequences of which the echo of waterfalls weaves delicious ambient choreographies

1 Filaments 4:58

2 Majorana 10:45

3 Scintilla 3:47

4 Aetherfields 5:22

5 Entangled 10:54

6 Eulalia 5:44

7 Laniakea 3:54

8 Aetherfolds 3:54

9 Telomere 9:58

(CD/DDL 59:17) (V.F.)

(Ambient and floating sequenced EM)

Filaments are the strands of condensed energy-matter that formed out of the earliest inflationary period in our universe and helped pull together the gasses that eventually became our cosmos. For Robert Rich it's also a mixture of sounds with elements which extricate themselves of our loudspeakers to sing and hoot in ambient electronic currents. Torturing his lap-steel guitar, of which the striking lamentations are melting marvelously to some nebulous synth layers with a strong Steve Roach perfume, Robert Rich dazzles our ears with a universe of sequences of which the echo of waterfalls weaves delicious ambient choreographies. These ambient rhythms unwind delicate serpentines of crystal clear sequences outside the limits of the cosmos in order to sparkle and skip such as centipedes trapped in thick clouds of strata with colors and tones rich in contrast, making of FILAMENTS an album of EM with a unique sound wealth that we taste with ears full of interest.

A big somber wave, a slow buzzing breeze besieges our ears from the opening of the title-track of this last Robert Rich's album. These bipolar winds which moo and interlace in long organic strands awaken some electronic chirpings and a mass of crystal-clear sequences which tumble down the ambient sound plains of Filaments. Already the sound wealth of the album settles down between our two ears. Except that the effect is even more amplified when it floats between four walls with this fusion of lines of guitar and synth which drift, sing and howl with passivity some ambient poems on a brilliant bed of sequences of which the knocks of percussions and scattered pulsations make jump in a delicious effect of harmonic string. Majorana offers an undulatory rhythm which crawls under dense strata tinted of cosmic dusts. From its 5 sequenced chords, the rhythm goes up and goes down like a hypnotic linear carousel before fainting in a very ambient passage. Other sequences float there. They make ring their charms of prism beneath a fusion of Lap-Steel Guitar which melt in a mystic sonic environment painted by layers of synth filled by perfumes of esotericism. Scintilla is a delicious short track with bass sequences which stamp a delicate ambient rhythm. Ringings and bass pulsations decorate this ambient choreography where the strata of a tearful guitar sound like the chants of ethereal sirens. Less alive and darker, Aetherfields roams between our ears with its long hummings which wind the oblivion. Hummings are coiffed by guitar tears and synth lines which enclose the scattered notes of a pensive piano.

Adorned with the same elements, Entangled offers an attractive structure of sequences with keys which jump in cascades, creating an ambient and linear rhythm which pounds in the rich echo of the piano notes and of the drummed sequences. This fusion between the lines of synth and guitar which caresses this rhythm winding with a little more fury, while the minutes are dying, will captivate the interest of Steve Roach fans. The same goes for Eulalia which displays a livelier structure of rhythm with sequences in tones of green wood of which the continual drumming sculpture an atmosphere of jungle which stirs under a superb alloy of synth and guitar. Short and rather incisive, with its delicious stroboscopic envelope, Laniakea is breathing of this universe of crystal-clear sequences which cavort so freely and under a sonic sky as colored as in Scintilla, while that Aetherfolds is more ambient and as much melancholic as Aetherfields. And Robert Rich ends his solid FILAMENTS with a last pearl where the multiple sequenced keys are falling into beautiful cascades. The nervous unpredictable flows of Telomere cut through the undulatory laziness and the melancholic wanderings of a good line of bass and under a sonic sky painted of black. A sound sky where this fusion of synth/guitar spits the ambient hymns which make up this surprising dark and nebulous universe of a music of which the genre seems inexhaustible between his skillful hands of sculptor of sounds and of sonic spaces.

Sylvain Lupari (February 13rd, 2015) *****

Available at Robert Rich Bandcamp

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