SEQUENTIA LEGENDA: Celestial (2021)
Updated: Oct 21, 2021
“The music is so beautiful and flows quietly without ever getting tired of it”
1 Three Astral Arches 23:25
2 Symphonic Dawn of the Stars 21:29
3 VOICES 55 (Revisited version) 20:07
(CD/DDL 65:01) (V.F.)
(Minimalist New Berlin School)
It's this time of the year where Sequentia Legenda delivers a new album. Available as a download and as a manufactured CD, CELESTIAL brings nothing new from Laurent Schieber's universe. The music is beautiful. Always beautiful! She flows quietly with this phenomenon that we can play it in loops without ever getting tired. Like a wizard who hypnotizes us with his music. One of my friends even told me how meditative the music of the French musician was. Long rivers of minimalist music that gets stronger with each minute passing by. The result is another beautiful and solid album that walks on the ashes of Beyond the Stars. Which is not a weakness!
Light tinkling sounds driven by a tide of cosmic woosshh, muffled banging and sound effects simulating the adjustments of a huge spacecraft, are at the origin of this slightly industrial and cosmic introduction of Three Astral Arches. And when the eye of the 3 astral arches seems to be aligned, an oblong musical shadow, still breathing of this industrial breath, quietly goes up to our ears. CELESTIAL is thus launched! One perceives a breathing beat in this mass of white noises which surrounds this anaesthetic movement. At the same time, the sequencer simmers a line of jumping balls that flutter and flicker on the spot. The movement is spasmodic but stationary. From its first seconds, the intensity curve of Three Astral Arches keeps increasing while flirting with a linear movement after its 5th minute. Continuously, the music attacks our ears with jets of accentuation that come out of the electric rubbing of the cymbals. This is how the rhythm carries its weight over the minimalist movement, after the 10th minute. Powerful and static, this dense ambient layer flirts with Klaus Schulze's old analog dreams by creating an illusion of spasmodic trance with a more contemporary tone. Percussions make its appearance 2 minutes later with mechanical tentacles that give the music another boost of dynamism. An appearance of 4 minutes before a big cloud of drones gradually swallows the charms of Three Astral Arches.
As far as I'm concerned, Symphonic Dawn of the Stars is the jewel of this album. Built on long oscillating circles, the music spins like a big psychedelic spiral effect. The sound is incredibly close to vintage with these loops multiplying in a pattern of sequenced oscillations. With the shadow of one encroaching on the other, there's this sense of being absorbed into a maelstrom that gradually fills with metal-plated wood rattles. The percussions come in, it is the case to say it, after the 4th minute. We travel in time. In the time when Harald Grosskopf was bludgeoning the fantasies of Klaus Schulze. The long circles are getting fill of water set to music and disturbed by a synth that unties imperfect loops. No solos, only effects. In fact, all that's missing are the synth solos to carry me to the skies. The musical density continues to develop with layers of quoted synths that gradually fill the interior of the loops. And so Symphonic Dawn of the Stars strips off its rhythmic assets at the beginning of its 11th minute. And like Beyond from the Beyond, from the album Beyond the Stars, this wonderful track gets absorbed by the notion of dark ambient music. From there, the oscillating movement of the rhythm turns into an undulating movement taken hostage by a synth unfolding its old Farfisa organ tones up until chthonian voices envelop the last right of Beyond the Stars which now lives on the remnants of its premise. Amazing! VOICES 55 (Revisited version) features a longer version of a single, available for free on Sequentia Legenda's Bandcamp site. Composed last November, it is pure Laurent Schieber with a minimalist structure knotted around a lively and spasmodic movement of the sequencer. A movement surrounded by another rhythm line and synth solos that seem too shy, far from our ear capture. It's like a bonus track that makes buying CELESTIAL even more interesting. Except that CELESTIAL, another very nice album from Sequentia Legenda, doesn't need this track to sell itself.
Sylvain Lupari (October 18th, 2021) ****¼*
Available at Sequentia Legenda Bandcamp