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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

SENSORY++: Exoversum (2020)

Updated: Sep 17, 2020

The music of Sensory ++ revolves around these eternal battles between cosmic ambiences and fast sequencers

1 Creating the Portal 12:00

2 Beauty of Chaos 4:38

3 Becoming Energy, Nothing Matters 10:35

4 These Laws of Physics Don't Apply Here Anymore 15:08

5 The Way Back Home 7:35

6 We'll Never Be the Same Again 8:55

7 The Vast Universe is not so Vast Anymore 12:25

(CD/DDL 71:22) (V.F.)

(Cosmic Rock, ambient & Berlin School)

Slightly reverberating threatening waves, sonic drops falling from the Heaven of EM and samplings of a discussion during the Apollo 9 mission; the introductory ambiences of Creating the Portal are surrounded by a cinematographic sound texture that swallows our curiosity. Fat and juicy chords start to resonate around 90 seconds, letting pass between their rays another wave of these drops which will be an ornamental element of EXOVERSUM, but dragging out above all from limbo, a fascinating hydraulic beat which opens the rhythm of Creating the Portal. A circular motion of the sequencer, bending out like a helicopter doing slalom against winds, is moving from ear to ear. This movement is loud and sustained. Combined with the beats hydraulic, which have become friction, Joost Egelie adds a third element to his rhythmic knitting. This time it's a dynamic movement of a sequencer line which makes its keys dribbling as much in the rhythmic symbiosis already set, as well as in a clearly more harmonic vision. It results in a spasmodic melody skipping on a carpet of bass-sequences moving faster than light. Sensory ++ has already won my fervor. We are in the middle of Software's heyday here with organic and percussive effects lurking in the background as the synth releases a bank of heavenly haze. It's the life for the 10 minutes to come, with a little variance in the intensity of the orchestral mists, where Creating the Portal is a pure New Berlin School that we already miss at the beginning of Beauty of Chaos. WoW! What an introduction my friends!

I love the music of Sensory ++. And the Belgian musician surpasses himself on this album by harmoniously balancing the melancholic moments and the thread of the ambiences to rhythms stirred by a sequencer in Berlin School mode with contemporary tones. And as Joost portrays it so well, the music of Sensory ++ revolves around these eternal battles between cosmic ambiences and fast sequencers. Undertaken a year after the wonderful Art of Sadness, EXOVERSUM, which means transcending our own universe to come back with nothing more and to share this new knowledge, was thought to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Joost Egelie's first album; Boundaries of Infinity. Meticulous musician who leaves nothing to chance, it took him nearly 2 years to finalize an album to which he grafted various samples of cosmonauts in a musical universe rich in sound effects, including very good organic effects, and where the Cosmos is always within earshot. From Software to Vangelis, without forgetting Redshift or Tangerine Dream, this album is a pure marvel woven between analog and digital which should appeal to EM fans.

Sonic drops immerse Beauty of Chaos in a psychedelic cosmic ambience. The envelope is striking with a soft piano which moves its notes thoughtfully in a texture filled with the clicking of these drops which seem to crumble like crystal bones in a good interstellar ambience. There is life, there is a soul on piano! And it's great. Becoming Energy, Nothing Matters is a title that arises from the organic matter of another solar system with a slow introduction equipped with an astral choir and layers of cosmic violins which advance by enveloping the elements of this other universe with infinite tenderness. Synth sighs, fat like those of a gentle giant, fall here and there, creating a bed of reverberations on which cosmic orchestrations are leaned. A line of sequence gets grafted to this slow cosmic waltz. Its timid and jerky movement modifies the axis of the ambiences to become a kind of lunar choreography of which the rhythm is fleeting by jerks is sucked up by cosmic orchestrations. Intense and enveloping. We come to the heart of the album with the very ambient These Laws of Physics Don't Apply Here Anymore. We are in the middle of a cosmic blizzard with wooshh and wiishh howling and whistling between our ears in a two-dimensional setting that fills them to the brim. We find the path of rhythm with The Way Back Home which enjoys an incredible sound richness. As long as we lose this rhythm, which has nothing to envy to Creating the Portal, by ear from time to time. It's a big cosmic rock inspired by the little jewels of Jean-Michel Jarre, but in a much more convoluted texture. We'll Never Be the Same Again brings us back to the Apollo 9 samplings in a more distorted view. Here too we are entitled to a 90 seconds of ambient elements before the rhythm is born by a vision of electronic rock drawn in the borders of white noises and of cosmic radioactivities. The percussive and organic effects are just well balanced with this little taste to come back to it again. Good, creative, well-tuned cosmic electronic rock in a progressive psychedelic outlook. I don't know if you will discover, like me, this little Stratosfear air circulating in such a dense mass of sounds that you wonder how the sequencer does to stimulate this sustained rhythm. The Vast Universe is not so Vast Anymore introduces us to a rich finale filled with the scents of Vangelis, what synth pads here my friends, which try to charm the harmonic discourse of the loud arpeggios. This combat between ambiences and harmonies hides a structure of rhythm which beats in mute, weaving these rodeo kicks behind this velum of intrigue and of fragmented harmonies, to bring us in a final embellished by a keyboard and its evasive melody which expires in nothingness. And from this nothingness comes another listening of EXOVERSUM which is a splendid album and this at all levels. Even the long ambient phase is full of beauties that actually seem to come from another universe.

An album that must be owned flawlessly and that transcends the oh so magnificent Art of Sadness.

Sylvain Lupari (September 9th, 2020) *****

Available at Sensory ++ Bandcamp

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