Sylvain Carel Sunrise on Panipat (2020)
Updated: Nov 3, 2022
“Another fascinating album which has these nice Middle-East scents in structures much closer to heaven than our own thoughts”
1 Aurora Fields 11:48
2 Gone with the Red Clouds 8:53
3 The Legend of Ranik Devi 6:02
4 Ritual Dance 6:42
5 The Nawab Begum Song 11:16
6 Shalimar Gardens 5:08
7 Daughters of the Mughal King 9:07
8 Empire and Dynasty 7:17
(CD-R HQ/DDL 66:45) (V.F.)
(Cinematographic orchestral EM)
A coppery shadow initiates the first swings of the sequencer in an opening where the synth and its violins moan. The cymbals accompany these seraphic sufferings with long metallic rubbing that a flute flies over by brief appearances to possibly awaken a line of arpeggios whose rhythmic flow is perfumed with Logos. We lose the flute from ears to hear the nasal chant of a synth that leads us at the door of a first rhythmic texture of SUNRISE ON PANIPAT. I say texture because the rhythms here are delicately drummed in a sort of mesh of acoustic strings, often giving the impression of hearing curt chord plucking from a guitar, like the felting of hands on tight skins. Aurora Fields is a first example of fascinating rhythms here with acoustic jumps where arpeggios frolic free from any electronic embrace. The flute dominates the moods of this track with harmonies that hide the electronic decorations of the synth, while Aurora Fields slowly increases the pace. Its harmonic potion suddenly became a duel between a synth and the plug-in of its oneiric flute. After a brief phase of meditative ambiences, the rhythm structure comes back livelier thus accompanying the crescendo of orchestral arrangements that respect Sylvain Carel's visions. I already missed the Semiramis album! And romantic like I am, there was no way I could miss another Sylvain Carel album! And what an album is it! Woven in the complex arrangements from the People of the Sands, SUNRISE ON PANIPAT is an album as seductive as a sunset over the Mediterranean. The French musician-choreographer's first album on SynGate, SUNRISE ON PANIPAT has these nice oriental scents in musical structures more electronic than ever, but still guided by the innocent romanticism of the worshipers of Sindbad!
Available both in CD-R HQ and in digital download from SynGate Bandcamp, this latest album by Sylvain Carel offers 67 minutes of music scattered over 8 tracks which are cemented in the visions of Aurora Fields. Gone with the Red Clouds is heard by a beautiful piano caressed by the voices of Berber nymphs before melting into intense and ephemeral rhythmic jolts. The synth weaves good solos which give more bite to the piano and the arrangements. One by one, the French synthesist imposes his vision by signing elements that fatten the texture of his structures without modifying his course, such as whispers and various percussive ornaments. Dominant, the piano remains anchored in its vision of romance and dream on a structure which leaves its ambient cocoon a little before the 4 minutes. Hopping sequences with a harmonic will are animating this rhythm slowed down by dense orchestrations, like also accentuated by the cadence of the percussions which have just been grafted. Pushed by riffs and slowed down by the slow movements of the violins, Gone with the Red Clouds will reach the end of its 9 minutes… like Aurora Fields did. It's a violin launching its singing solos in a night painted of black silk that The Legend of Ranik Devi makes its stars hear cry. The layers of voices which join this gypsy air lead to a slow rhythm, while murmurs transform into fluty airs or synth pads whose violins drag a melancholy joined by a pensive guitar. Ritual Dance is a lively track that offers a skillful mix between EM and tribal where guitars and female voices compete with a sequencer and electronic percussions that are both rock and tribal.
Built on a model of choreographic theatrical music, The Nawab Begum Song spreads its 11 minutes through different spheres where the non-rhythm pours into slow rhythms to finally adopt a structure animated by a light staccato. Bedouin chants are torn between a pious vision and one less virginal. The music is intimately cinematographic with a strong Arab essences in the orchestrations, as lively as they are slow. If the slowness is seraphic, the percussions are splendid jewels for the ears. We advance in this universe of enchantment with another seraphic choir that weaves the introductory ambiences of Shalimar Gardens. A synth completes the tonal setting with arpeggios' dusts which becomes ink stains on blotting paper. These tasks draw evasive lunar melodies while an ambient rhythm pushes for a minimalist melody that the piano adorns with its lively notes. Slowly, Shalimar Gardens extends its musicality which will become a slow rhythm, surrounded by a host of acoustic and wind instruments. Daughters of the Mughal King comes to us with an electronic tribal dance structure. Less tribal than Ritual Dance, but deliciously more rock and dance electronic music with sequencer and percussions, without forgetting the bass, which serve as a canvas for various melodious approaches from the Orient. I was highly surprised by this very electronic track from Sylvain Carel. A sneaky introduction, like thugs slowly escaping with all the loot, Empire and Dynasty is another title that offers different musical panoramas where a panoply of instruments from the East offers its charms on a moving structure. A slow movement, very cinematographic and orchestral, shrouded in all the sonorous and musical jewels from the People of the Sands.
Another majestic album from Sylvain Carel; SUNRISE ON PANIPAT is for dreamers and romantics who grew up with the movies of Sinbad to Aladdin without forgetting Lawrence of Arabia. But beyond that, the musician from France has succeeded in transposing into music, which transforms very well into images, a tribal electronic and acoustic vision with a precision worthy of an orchestra of over twenty musicians. A monk's work by an enthusiast, for enthusiasts.
Sylvain Lupari (July 24th, 2020) ****¼*
Available at SynGate Bandcamp