SYLVAIN CAREL: Caravansary (2012)
“Melodious and romantic EM with lot of beats and orchestral arrangements that will blow your ears up if you like the music of Jarre, Vangelis and Hans Zimmer”
1 The Doors of Jerusalem
3 Nile 4 Amazones
6 Now and Tomorrow 7 Waiting for You
8 Tales of Mu
9 Voices of the Dunes 10 Secrets of the Caravan
11. Voice of the Sand 12 Just a Dream
14. Taj Mahal 15. Two Small Shoes
17. Rani Dreams 18. Aurora
20. Shador 21. The Lotus and the Mountain 22. Return to Kashmir
(CD 61:59) (V.F.)
(Cinema, Progressive New Age)
What would you say of a fusion between Vangelis and Hans Zimmer with as decor the enchanting night-landscapes of the Arabic deserts? Newcomer on AD Music label, Sylvain Carel is certainly one of the good picks David Wright's label. CARAVANSARY is his entry album and offers a musical ode tinted of a mesmerizing tribal approach from the peoples of sands. That's a first album that let see an enormous artistic potential from the French musician-composer. A musical fresco made of 22 titles which fit into one to another, such as a musical mosaic that shapes a soundtrack of a movie to be imagined, CARAVANSARY transports us at back in the time of flying carpets over a civilization built upon fantasies, tales and legends are skilfully told on a rich music tale that never reaches a lack of inspiration.
As soon as the opening of The Doors of Jerusalem, Sylvain Carel introduces us in his universe of Arabic tales with ethereal voices and iridescent breezes as well as scattered symphonic percussions and ringing of esoteric bells that float in a mood of Arabian carnival ready to take-off. Ambiguous the rhythm lets itself be seduced by the hard riffs and the soft tears of violins which tear out the ambiences on hopping sequences and an attractive pattern of ethnic percussions that will be the main skeleton CARAVANSARY. The rhythm on the alert and surrounds by layers as much melodious as ambient, The Doors of Jerusalem is the first of a series of titles which slip into another in order to structure this long musical painting filled by a strong cinematographic fragrance. After a brief local dance, Nile moves on with a rhythm torn between its down tempo approach, its sudden tribal kicks and its soft atmospheric indecisions. The percussions which slam are awakening some reminiscences of the up-beat approaches of Jean Michel Jarre while the wild dances of the Sahara remind me Hans Zimmer's powerful Black Hawk Down musical score. In fact, the influences of an eclectic electronic musical world abound in CARAVANSARY. From Jarre to Vangelis while passing by Enya and Enigma, without forgotten Zimmer, this first opus of the French synthesist is an impressive mosaic of electronica in diversified rhythms and electronic with a more rock tendency with some pretty good Stratocaster solos and riffs as on Now and Tomorrow and its electro-pop spasms which pound in the shade of violins of clay, Tales of Mù is a good example of Enigma and Jarre influences as well as on the very brisk and electronic rock that is Secrets of the Caravan. The filmic approach is strongly present with some great orchestral arrangements that torture the emotions on titles as melodious as elegiac like Voices of the Dunes, the too short Voice of the Sand, and the bipolar direction of Just a Dream. Silky melodies as Taj Mahal and Two Small Shoes, two titles that hook in a beautiful harmonious duel. The dreamy Rani Dreams that sleeps on a delicate piano, the gloomy Shador as well as the catchy The Lotus and the Mountain and its blades of staccato violins which surround a Berber choir, are skillfully inserted among these electronic and folkloric rhythms which jostle and shake this very nice musical ode which is this ambitious and melodious first opus of Sylvain Carel.
CARAVANSARY is a nice surprise and another good find for AD Music which so fills marvellously its mandate to widen the horizons of contemporary EM and progressive New Age. If you like the filmic approach of Vangelis and the Arabic ethereal and folk moods on curt and abrupt rhythms in a techno-rock-electronica à la Jarre or Hans Zimmer, this album will find its way to seduce.
Sylvain Lupari (September 7th, 2012) *****
Available at Sylvain Carel Bandcamp