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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ROBERT RICH: The Biode (2018)

Nice ambient beats in a creative landscape, The Biode is like a botanic field where we can hear breathing a garden of unusual tones

1 Recalcitrant Malfeasance 3:14 2 Particles 4:34 3 Protista Mephista 8:21 4 Elevate the Hive Mind 7:28 5 Behind the Staminode 5:26 6 A Porous Membrane 4:40 7 Permeate the Divide 5:32 8 Galvanic Response 8:29 9 Aerosols for Pluviculture 2:27 10 Witchetty Vartu 7:21 Soundscape | SP031

(CD 57:32) (V.F.) (Progressive ambient EM)

Glaucous knockings and noises assail our ears at the opening of Recalcitrant Malfeasance. These sounds seem filled with water, one would say a frogman playing Didgeridoo in a pond, and they murmur a sordid incantation which remains the only harmonious element of this symphony for muddy tones. Little by little, these knockings become a base of ambient rhythm where every tone stretches its note towards the following one in order to weave an impenetrable wall of tones which caw such as batrachians in heat. Expect the unexpected! This proverb suits marvelously the boldness of a musician who challenges his instruments just to go where nobody will go. And it's also the theme of THE BIODE; a biomic node, the nexus or the gathering place where a community of organisms combines to become a unit of individuality or of consciousness. This little lexicon is a part of an observation that Robert Rich shares inside the digipack six-panels artwork colors and in a vision so realist of an album rich in very quirky tones where the psybient and the Electronica hang onto ambiences which never stop to amaze. It's also possible read this observation on the Bandcamp page of THE BIODE. Using to satisfaction the Haken Continuum, Robert Rich weaves some totally nutty choirs Like this one of the deformed specters on the non-rhythm of Particles and its line of bass which sighs in its rhythmic solitude. The bah-bah-bah-bah flows like viscous grass-snakes, clearing a linguistic code which seems to stick to the language of micro-organisms. This is Robert Rich and we sway on the perfumed structures of his steel-guitar and of his anesthetic synth layers which ooze shyly in the crumbling of the rhythmic skeleton of Protista Mephista. Wearing earphones is strongly advised to seize the pleasant melodies of octaves sculpted in the possibilities of the Haken Continuum. These octaves introduce the fluty song of Elevate the Hive Mind which waddles on a bewitching rhythm while causing a squabble of carillons which run away such as the snakes' skeletons on a bed of bells. The steel-guitar is as good as the flute. I've hooked straight away to the decor of this slow and magnetizing rhythm. The same goes for the very organic mid-tempo of Behind the Staminode which switches for a good up-tempo abundantly watered with the possibilities of the Haken. After the very ambient soundscape of A Porous Membrane, Permeate the Divide brings back the beat with a good structure of more or less tribal rhythm decorated with the magnificent lamentations of the steel-guitar. A very intense title and wonderfully ornamented by a sound fauna which has changed tone since Elevate the Hive Mind. The presence of the conventional synths is more noticed on these last titles, as well as on another landscape of ambient elements in Galvanic Response which keeps a link of fascination with those organic clucking. Aerosols for Pluviculture is another title for meditation with nice synth lines and waves to the colors of a night under the stars. Witchetty Vartu ends this other fascinating journey in the core of Robert Rich's imagination with a soft rhythm structured on pulsations and percussions always so viscous. This hypnotic rhythm is at first charmed by a very nice flute. The ambiences reach a phase of intensity unique to the aestheticism tonal of this surprising album from the Californian multi-instrumentalist where some slow orchestrations caress this duel voice/flutes which is part of this sound effervescence of an album which goes beyond the limits of our imagination. Sylvain Lupari (February 27th, 2018) *****

Available at Robert Rich's Bandcamp

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