SYLVAIN CAREL: Atlantide (2021)
Updated: Mar 5
“It's the most ambient and dreamlike album presented by the French musician since his Caravansary in 2012”
1 Blue is the Color 7:57
2 Here was the Kingdom 7:36
3 Testament 4:27
4 Last Temple Incantation 6:05
5 Sunken Secrets 8:49
6 The Golden Doors 7:57
7 Detected 10:46
8 Sanctuary 5:18
(CD/DDL 58:57) (V.F.)
(Cinematic Orchestral EM)
ATLANTIS! A universe that captivated our conversations as young adolescents that revolved around its gods and legends. It's also the newest album of Sylvain Carel who annually invites his fans and those who love music with the flavors of the myths and the gods of the Middle East. The French composer and musician invites us to a sound feast focused on the oceans, myths and legends. As always, the musical panoramas are influenced by this vision of a poetic Arab world unique to the musical aestheticism of Sylvain Carel. We travel on and in the water with these orchestrations creatively drawn from the synths while the rhythms are dominated by beautiful structures of cinematographic atmospheres have our ears contemplate the Moon sleeping and snoring lightly on the mirror of the nocturnal oceanic calm.
The album starts with a lively static movement with a thousand shimmering reflections, like a trip on the back of a dolphin in crystal clear water. These long undulating modulations become the object of desire of the slow philharmonic flights. They surround it and envelop it in order to isolate it from the percussive elements which tinkle here and there, acting more as decorative elements than as rhythmic propellants. Quite the contrary with the layers of voices that stick to this undulating mass between two ocean layers. These voices become the accomplices of our listening while quietly Blue is the Color modifies its rhythmic structure become spasmodic for a more fluid one which is resistant to the slow caresses of violins and cellos seeking to slow down its electronic ardor. Here was the Kingdom will become this first earworm from another fairy tale set to music by the French musician. Its lagging air is carried away by the ocean current which shakes its waves a little in gentle jolts. The rhythm is of the hip-hop kind which becomes a down-tempo smelling the possibilities of Electronica. The percussions and the bass structure support the brief rhythmic skin changes while the synth appropriates this bohemian melody on a texture that the riffs falling with heaviness bring towards a dramatic theatrical vision. A great title with beautiful arrangements which perfectly frame this haunting synthesized melody. Testament is an ambient ballad woven by symphonic strands on electronic strands whose petticoat of solitary melody drags in the clear Moon impregnated on the ocean. Slow layers of synth dragging like tearful souls are legion in Atlantis and open the door to Last Temple Incantation. This slow track evolves with a tribal vision focused on manual percussions and prayers mumbled in songs. The separation between the hoarse voices and those more angelic of the goddesses of Atlantis versus the orchestrations root the music in a cinematographic genre where our eyes follow the orchestral movement scanning the desert landscapes and plains within sight of the boat. The phantom voices remain the charm of this rather ambient title.
Orchestrations give chills as the drifting hopping rhythm skyrockets our rhythmic anxiety; Sunken Secrets is ATLANTIDE's second charm stop. Sculpted between a gypsy guitar and floating orchestrations, the melodic vision clearly finds its effectiveness on a slightly stroboscopic structure infiltrating the percussive models of the Electronica. This is the kind of title that one makes play again once its final is living on its last seconds. The small sharp streaks of the synth which sound like the cries of mechanical seagulls immediately instilled this taste to listen again for the umpteenth time to the Heroes and Heroines album from The Strawbs. An excellent track which overshadows The Golden Doors and its orchestrations cast in rose water and its intriguing corridors sculpted by the playing of the piano and the prismatic vocal effects. After such a monument of ambient music, Detected shakes the moods with a good dance music where even trumpets come in reinforcement in the dynamization of the voices. Between Solar Fields and cosmic music centered only on the effects of astronaut voices Detected makes us spend a big 10 minute dancing on energizing music. Sanctuary is that kind of thrilling title packed with dramatic elements that explode between our ears on a cinematic structure that reminds us of Vangelis in 1492 - Conquest of Paradise.
ATLANTIDE! Mythical island and land of great legends which is presented to us within earshot on a very beautiful poetic album by Sylvain Carel. An album whose shadows of Sunrise on Panipat are blowing on the sailboats that surround it with their orchestral sails, day and night. It's the most ambient and dreamlike album presented by the French musician since Caravansary in 2012. Once again, there are beautiful little jewels that facilitate its discovery. He is the Vangelis of modern times!
Sylvain Lupari (March 4th, 2021) *****
Available at Sylvain Carel Bandcamp