SEQUENTIA LEGENDA: Beyond the Stars (2020)
Updated: Oct 4
“If is there a thing he copies yet of Klaus Schulze pretty well; it's the astral beauty side of his music”
1 Experimental 29:48
2 Float Among the Stars 14:43
3 Beyond from the Beyond 21:42
(CD/DDL 66:15) (V.F.)
Ah this Laurent Schieber! Year after year, he offers us an album which, without leaving his comfort zone, succeeds in making us travel on the wings of serenity. Since Blue Dream in 2015, Sequentia Legenda has not stopped revolving around the same theme while being able to extract different harmonic avenues, all woven in subtlety. And yet, each of his albums has this power of subjugation. BEYOND THE STARS is timely! No more saying that Sequentia Legenda is an imitation of Klaus Schulze. Apart from the first track, of which we still find the backbone of Body Love, the last 36 minutes are signed by an artist who has reached his independence, who has developed his sound. BEYOND THE STARS is a great album. A magnificent album by Laurent which still has this power of bewitching, even with a new sound signature.
Experimental immediately offers this new sound texture with an opening that spits its industrial venom, while the life of a machine beats in the depths. To better situate you, it's a little Pink Floyd's moods in Welcome to the Machine. We feel that a dormant layer is trying to take a shape. Pads come and go pecking her, whereas jets of vapors blow in her and rip her open. And then, lines of wiishh are getting out. A slender, undulating line makes its way, leading Experimental to leave its industrial zone for the lunar hypnotic rhythms. Here, the bats have a different tonal color and the bass sequences roll faster, harmonizing its vampire rhythm to electronic percussions. Keyboard riffs inject more life into this accelerated vision of a new P.T.O. from Body Love which displays its virility around 9 minutes and some dusts. We flirt with good cosmic rock and Tommy Betzler's drums have something to do with it. It adds a visceral dynamism to this long track which develops in parallel an intensity which is renewed periodically until the appearance of this chthonic choir. The rhythm of the sequencer becomes a memory that we always hear. On the other hand, TB's work is deftly more incisive, guiding Experimental into an industrial finale.
Float Among the Stars floats between our ears like a line of a thousand luminous dragonflies winding those secret paths of Cosmos towards our ears. A synth line shakes its mute impulses, drawing an undulating rhythm slower than the twinkle of dragonflies. A giant mouth wandering not far from the movement turns and traps the dysfunctional rhythm which is swallowed up to disappear in the dusty corridors of sandy walls. A little too long, I would say more than 6 minutes, the second half of Float Among the Stars is frozen in an ambient model where the line of wooshh and waashh plays on the nuances of its austerity to bring us to the realm of Beyond from the Beyond.
If you are familiar with Sequentia Legenda's universe, you may remember of Circumnavigation. Available on its Bandcamp site, it's a 16 minute track sell as an E,P.. It's this title, dedicated to Dr. Eben Alexander, which is hidden under the skin of Beyond from the Beyond. This track, that some fans qualify as the most beautiful music of Sequentia Legenda, begins with cracklings of radioactivity. Detached chords drifting far beyond the hereafter get recognize and begin to communicate. The Sequentia Legenda magic begins. Little by little, these chords become a mass of sound that the French musician examines attentively. He takes a note here and another there to put them in a rotating bubble. He shapes dozens of little musical bubbles. Laurent then designs an escalator to peaks. This escalator has the particularity of climbing eternally. The bubbles are attracted by its mechanism. Appearing at regular intervals they shatter the silent monotony with hoped and expected shimmers, creating a magnificent melody that could easily replace any existing lullaby. Splendid, Beyond from the Beyond has this characteristic of resembling nothing in the repertoire of Sequentia Legenda. There are connections that can be made. Such as the movement of the escalator, which is typically Berlin School. But the envelope is conceived in the originality. The sparkle of melodic bubbles is simply overwhelming. The kind of thing that can be listened to endlessly! But there is an end. It comes in a more anesthetic form at around 12 minutes. But the melody resists and refuses the invasion of sedative layers which gradually increase their numbing effects, reaching levels of intensity that are simply poignant. It's at the foot of a huge lake, watched over by fairies and nymphs from beyond, that our ears bring us. Their silent chants soothe this slight hearing pain following the disappearance of the bells. They become an interesting ambient choir which guides the last 4 minutes of Beyond from the Beyond towards a very rich Dark Ambient. A great title that is simply sublime.
Once again, I'm a victim of Sequentia Legenda musical spells. And I'm not complaining, the music of BEYOND THE STARS is so beautiful. And if is there a thing he copies yet of Klaus Schulze pretty well; it's the astral beauty side of his music ......
Sylvain Lupari (October 3rd, 2020) ****¾*
Available at Sequentia Legenda Bandcamp