SENSORY++: Lessons in Humility (2022)
Updated: Mar 1
“A very good album with a sparkling sound quality and an excellent dosage of emotions”
1 Nightmare Scenario 12:17
2 Viral Thoughts 7:28
3 The Killing Freedom 12:34
4 The God Money 16:18
5 After Two Years 12:27
(DDL 61:05) (V.F.)
(Cosmic, Ambient, Berlin School)
Nightmare Scenario invites us to this last work of Sensory++ with slow winged movements of a synth that sweeps the horizon of our ears with a series of layers oriented towards a deeply ambient approach. These waves swirl like the eye of a sonic lighthouse describing these great rotating arcs as a wave of sound enveloping us with a unified tone between an orchestral vision and the singularity of drone effects. Like a painter mixing his primary colors, Joost Egelie modifies the texture of his layers to insert external elements that could easily be interpreted as a waltz of intersidereal whales and whale calf embracing a desire to live lost on another planet. Well supported on its 12 minutes, Nightmare Scenario evolves very slowly so that our ears can grasp a sound dimension of a dark blue that radiates on an ebony black with some scarlet filaments that question the judgment of our hearing. Conceived in an adequate balance between the so-called cosmic meditative music and the minimalist movement of the Berlin School rhythms, LESSONS IN HUMILITY invites us to another musical story having as a playground the actual pandemic. More precisely, the chain reactions of the population in front of new rules whose applications have forgotten the deeply selfish character of the human being. Two years later, this new way of life is still a bit difficult to live with, but it is part of our reflexes. We will never be the same again, while the Sensory ++'s EM composes with the rules of its past. The pandemic and its periods of confinement have demonstrated a generalized level of anxiety throughout the planet. And Viral Thoughts reminds us with a radioactive sound mass in a very good industrial ambient track. Sounds blown in a damaged flute like fat chords sounding like drones merge on a fascinating texture where the ears perceive distant rolls of percussions in a setting gathering the essences of Soil Festivities and Blade Runner, 2 flagship albums of Vangelis. The sound structure of this track is particularly effective. It's black, tenebrous and very apocalyptic with good synth trumpets announcing the wrath of angels.
You can hear them screaming in the background of the peaceful opening of The Killing Freedom. Right from the screams of its opening, the droning texture brings forth a layer of pensive voices. It's then that a circular movement of the sequencer strafes these ambiences from left to right. The sequences follow each other with a spasmodic gesture in a sound fauna where the slightest noise is beautiful. The rhythm takes the form of a very good Berlin School with a sequencer in ascensional mode that rebuilds its momentum within its gyratory curves. The synth injects layers where the haze and the voices unite their differences before letting go some beautiful and good lunar solos whose chloroform makes derail this rhythm with a shadow of white noises. A crazy race that hits a band of cosmic winds and whose ghost can be heard behind this harp coming from nowhere that leads The Killing Freedom towards its finale. LESSONS IN HUMILITY's longest track, The God Money develops from a long lunar introduction with layers of cosmic fog, orchestral haze and absent vocals embellished by delicate multicolored streaks. The rhythmic structure hatches out around the 6th minute onwards, offering two jumping marbles lines that intertwine their threads in a stationary rodeo form. Orchestral layers envelop these bucking whose echo forms a continuous minimalist movement. A pulsing bass-line and heavy percussion beats, which also make the drums roll, increase the strength of this rhythm that anaesthetic layers try to extinguish...in vain. Spectral synth chants add a harmonious touch to this structure that subtly changes its sonic scope around the 12th minute. This is good Berlin School floating in a cosmic and quite harmonious sound envelope. After Two Years ends the album with slow synth layers spreading oblong meditative wings. Reverberating shadows stick to it while the keyboard mechanically scatters its chords in a form of lunar melody. Orchestrations, dark breaths and those whining of fake apocalyptic trumpets add a dystopian texture to a finale sewn in this interest.
A very good and well-produced album-download with a sparkling sound quality and an excellent dosage of emotions, Sensory++'s LESSONS IN HUMILITY offers a perfect balance between its panoramas of cosmic ambiances and its minimalist Berlin School rhythms. We know the quality of Joost Egelie's cosmic works which brings the listener here in the territories of Particles and Planets, two flagship albums of the Belgian musician.
Sylvain Lupari (March 1st, 2022) ****¼*
Available at Sensory ++ Bandcamp