SOLAR FIELDS: Ourdom (2018)
“Intense and powerful on beats, ambiences et melodies, Ourdom is a huge gift to offer to oneself and will eventually lands for sure on my list of timeless albums”
1 Burning View 7:28 2 Shifting Nature 2:40 3 Into the Sun 6:40 4 Forgiveness 9:20 5 Mountain King 14:24 6 Wave Cascade 5:04 7 Moving Lines 5:02 8 A Long Tailed Bird Whispered 1:37 9 Joshua's Shop 5:28 10 A Green Walk 1:52 11 Parallel Universe 8:08 12 The Daylight Carrier 6:32 13 Siren Song of Glass 5:04 Solar Fields Music
(DDL 79:21) (V.F.) (Psytrance, EDM)
I must admit that I don't know how to present you this last opus of Solar Fields. Although I have Until We Meet the Sky well hooked at the top of my preferences, the phenomenon occurs each time that I discover a new part in the world of Magnus Birgersson. And that's the rub! I am constantly looking for those emotions which have literally overwhelmed me, invaded I should insist, during my learning of Solar Fields with Until We Meet the Sky. I looked for these anchors points in the next 3 albums, but never got there. And yet, the music was very good. In Magnus Birgersson's lexicon, OURDOM means a space where creative freedom reigns. The master of sounds in Mirror's Edge Catalyst was inspired by the landscapes and surroundings of Plettenberg Bay in South Africa in order to compose the music of his last album, becoming thus the first ever album of Solar Fields to be composed outside the studio in the hometown of Magnus Birgersson, Gothenburg, Sweden. I don't know about you, but the least I can say is that this brief exile from Solar Fields has had the effect on me. In addition to the spirals of furious rhythms, this album is full of that melancholic essence which distinguishes one album from another. In fact, I have rarely heard an album where the intensity and the emotions surfed with their differences on endless explosions of rhythms.
The rising layer of Burning View acts like a sunrise on the sound horizons of OURDOM. Sparkles of prisms, muted mini-pulsations and percussive elements rub against sonic hoops which seem to hesitate to start a syncretic chant. Whispers and organic elements get add while a strange song is forged inside a mass of sound whose shielding doesn't affect in any way this magnetizing intensity of the tones, the rhythms and the ambiances which lodge through the 80 minutes of this latest opus of Solar Fields. The sonic awakening is gradual. The pulsations become more insistent while the sound flora intensifies its magnificence with these astonishing sequences which fall down like spirals in madness, whereas the pulsations get metamorphose into oblong organic beats. In order to counterbalance, a melody just as fragile as embryonic finds its way between multiple keyboard riffs. All this heavy staging will burst with such intensity and will trigger the first of the multiple addictions to this album which redefined the boundaries of psytrance. Because beyond the intensity of the sounds, of the musical membrane, of the multilayer of rhythms and of the multiple percussive elements, Magnus Birgersson has no equal to house a few chords here and there which tickle the strings of our sensitivity. Like those grave chords falling from the sky and those astral voices when Shifting Nature becomes the defector of Burning View and lodges into our ears. By cons, OURDOM has the defect of its great quality! Its mass of sounds is imbued with subtleties and harmonies as frail as these tadpoles wriggling for their lives in a pool of snakes. And when added to its rhythmic abundance, these two elements can be lost in the very distinctive din of an album where the softer moments get essential if you do not want to burst of emotivism, of intensity. Into the Sun is a striking example. Ethereal, even astral and lyrical, its introduction converges to a sound complex where the sequences swarm by the hundreds, the percussions hammer a lead rhythm, and the bass grinds all of it. In this musical mess, because everything is very musical here, there are these melodious arrangements which remind me of how sublime were the harmonic segments of Until We Meet the Sky. The percussions are shattering and the music is in mode ambient psytrance with these jerky filaments which run all over the body like a swarm of centipedes dancing in a discotheque bulging of arthropods on drugs in our back! The thing to remember is that we are only in the 17th minute and already the roots of my arm hairs raise the white flag.
One thought to have reached the ecstasy that Forgiveness pushes the nail even further with an electronic anthem as intense as totally heavy. Very heavy! And again here, a little melody forged on dozens of spasmodic jerks comes to stir my senses. The last 3 minutes offer a soft lunar rhyme which lowers the pressure. A delicious moment which makes sprout a strong earworm. The sound of African flutes is more noticeable here. And it's in these moments that one hears a little better all the depth of the instrumentation and arrangements of OURDOM. This delightful lullaby crosses the borders of Mountain King which becomes a real hymn of trance like in the time of the infernal beats of Future Sound of London and Juno Reactor. Skillfully playing on the 14 minutes of this explosive title, Solar Fields multiplies its loops of rhythms with series of beats and circular sequences through a magma of sound effects which thwarts a possible drowsiness and/or rhythmic hypnosis to the raver. We always remain in the field of dramatic intensity with Wave Cascade which undeniably has all the attributes of its meaning. The intensity in the rhythm then becomes the business of Moving Lines which takes again the trance guides of the album. The play of the bass is stunning while the sound effects come out in bunch from the structure where the head must be screwed firmly to the shoulders. Another seraphic moment in A Long Tailed Bird Whispered, whereas Joshua's Shop unveils a very good and heavy down-tempo with a melodious upward structure to give chills. Another monument of extreme hearing pleasure which gets drown in a sound mass that makes burst our eardrums. I believe that a good streaming Media player and a high bitrate resolution is needed here. I heard a clear difference between a FLAC file and the Wave version that Magnus Birgersson sent me. I am at a moment where I have no hairs on my arms! And the atmospheres of A Green Walk fall flat, since that Parallel Universe quietly unfolds its organic EDM structure, while The Daylight Carrier offers a segment of intensity, less dramatic but just as effective as in Burning View. Siren Song of Glass concludes the last chapter of OURDOM with a structure of atmospheres which makes decanted a bit this horde of threads all mixed-up that connects our emotional center of gravity to reason. I breathe and I tell myself that I absolutely must speak to you about this Solar Fields album. Even if it's not Berlin School, it's still an excellent EM album that probably would not have been released without the Berlin School's influences on the EDM and of its derivatives.
Available only for download, although I've seen Italian imports on Amazon, OURDOM is a huge gift to offer to oneself. This is the album which makes the perfect transition between the interstellar poetry of Until We Meet the Sky and the violence in rhythms of Mirror's Edge Catalyst. I had my share of shivers and of gorgeous earworms as well throughout a listening full of emotion and of disbelief, so much Magnus Birgersson has this unique way of transcending the world of psybient, of psytrance by giving to it an electroshock of melodies which nourish the roots of our emotions is as much unique than it's deeply melodious. OURDOM will eventually lands for sure on my list of timeless albums!
Sylvain Lupari (June 4th, 2018) *****
Available at Solar Fields Bandcamp