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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

SENSITIVE CHAOS: March of the Timeshifters (2015)

Different tones, different moods and different beats, the music is a superb blend of eclectism where we just can't deny how good it is

1 March of the Timeshifters 7:26 2 Gypsy Moth Dance 8:22 3 The Romance of Train Travel 7:26 4 Cream and Variation 5:48 5 The Heliosphere is a Harsh Mistress 6:05 6 Voyager Surfs the Interstellar Seas 7:59 7 March of the Timeshifters (Radio Edit) 7:00 8 Gypsy Moth Dance (Radio Edit) 6:19 9 The Romance of Train Travel (Radio Edit) 6:32  10 Voyager Surfs the Interstellar Seas

(CD/DDL 70:00) (V.F.) (Electronic NeoFolk)

In this universe of long improvised and unfinished structures of the Berlin School or these very mathematical polyphase rhythms of the digital era as well as these long cosmic odysseys or still their ambient tendencies, the music of Sensitive Chaos manages to find its way between our ears with a disconcerting ease for the genre. For little that we like music, the style with very eclectic flavors and also very ethereal of Jim Combs' universe is like a dose of reconciliation in this quest of taming of all these genres. Between Jazz and pastoral classic, post-pop or ambient folk, the music of Sensitive Chaos navigates here between perfumes of Broekhuis, Keller & Schönwälder, for the electroacoustic tribal side and especially for Josie Quick's caresses in the violin, and of Osamu Kitajima, for these surrounding areas of cosmic blues as well sensual than very ethereal.

A sonic dew soaked with delicate woosh and of wiishh tickle our ears at the opening of the title-track. A line of bass sequences extricates itself from these iridescent particles. Although it's semi-lively, its pulsations, coupled with discreet effects of kind of Tablas percussions, sculpt a structure of slow rhythm, like a minimalist ambient Berlin School, which adopts marvelously the long march of solitary souls of which the heavy feet have difficulty in climbing the dunes of sands. Electronic effects and others of reverberations, as well as breezes of discreet voices, decorate this slow procession where the oscillations create a kind of gypsy blues that a violin caresses of its lyrical tears, pushing constantly March of the Timeshifters towards a very orchestral crescendo nuanced by a delicious effect of lento. As usual, everything is very minimalist. The members of Sensitive Chaos add their personal keys, increasing a dynamic music which gains in power and emotions as time flies by. And that would be the universe of Sensitive Chaos without its carillons which clink with so many harmonies? If they lead March of the Timeshifters to its finale, they also open the doors of Gypsy Moth Dance which reveals a beautiful structure of rhythm arched on bass pulsations, which resound like a big baritone tuba, keyboard keys and the chirpings of synthesizers which bicker on a pattern of rhythm slightly hopping. The link with the last music of Broekhuis, Keller and Schonwalder, in the Repelen series, will never have been so obvious as here. In particular when the structure is carried away by a festive approach where Josie Quick's violin is king of ambiences of a rhythm very lively, very cheerful and so very folk. The Romance of Train Travel is a beautiful track which exploits a more ambient approach with a zest of..... Godspel. The synth lines quiver such as sobs on a structure which sways on the knocks of sober percussions. I even hear a small sequenced melody which is panting on this fine approach a bit stroboscopic. One would say that the guitar is crying and that its crystal tears sing with this bow which dances on the strings of the violin, while the saxophone mislays a rather melancholic festive air. The flavors which mix in this piece of music make of it a rather unique thing to hear. I have adored right on the spot. As the next one!

Cream and Variation is a beautiful minimalist ritornello which is going to eat the deep of your ear. It's a kind of bed song for child, starting with a piano which spreads the chords of an obsessive minimalist melody in the gargoyles of a bass line which pounds such as a big monster. The mood is very intimist, one would say a melody played in a room by a chamber orchestra, where all the elements add up; whistling synth, weeping violin, breezes of EWI and the murmurs of dark lullabies are creating the perfect setting in order to calm the most turbulent of the cherubs. The final, watered of clanic percussions and of chants with African fragrances, has awakened in me the desire to listen again to The Songs of Distant Earth by Mike Oldfield. The Heliosphere is a Harsh Mistress offers a growing heavy and a divine rhythm which reminds me of this cosmic blues that Osamu Kitajima gave us with his sublime and seraphic The Source and mainly the track Heavensen. It's less acoustic and more sensual but just as much oniric, there are many similarities between this track and the opening one, and the suave moods of Kitajima's ode are much more present in Voyager Surfs the Interstellar Seas which is a nice ambient track fed by a lot of sonic particles where a delicious bass lines ends by crawling and feeding the essence of the percussions with a rhythm which releases itself in a structure near free jazz. The album concludes with 4 versions, edited for radio, of the best moments in MARCH OF THE TIMESHIFTERS. Except that someone has forgot Cream and Variation and The Heliosphere is a Harsh Mistress. Yes! A solid album which redefined the borders of the sound eclecticism. It's like being in New Orleans, on an evening of Mardi Gras, listening to some Jazz, Folk, and to some chamber music on the banks of the bayous.

Sylvain Lupari (September 18th, 2015) ****½*

Available at Sensitive Chaos


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