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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Sylvain Carel Talisman (2018)

Updated: Nov 3, 2022

Talisman stays quietly in the confort zone of the French musician

1 Strange Bright Stones in The Deep Forest 4:28 2 Catharsis 7:23 3 Here Was a Mystic Way 5:22 4 Where Spirits Live 8:13 5 Contact 5:57 6 Future World 6:09 7 Sanctum 8:51 8 All Those Whispered Secrets 5:57 9 Talking to The Wind 5:53 10 The Lost Valley 6:39 AD Music ‎– AD196r

(CD-r/DDL 67:27) (V.F.) (Cinematographic Music)

It's been a while since I had not heard the music of the French musician and choreographer of sounds! At first glance, you have to listen to Sylvain Carel's music for what it is; a story from the Middle East whose poems are set to music. Otherwise we miss a very nice music, not really in the Berliner style and neither in a Tangerine Dream style electronic rock as suggested by the press guide, which blows its perfumes of the Middle East in structures of rhythm slow and captivating. True to his musical signature, TALISMAN is intertwined in the fascinating complexity of its multilayered cinematographic vibes and of its orchestrations sculpted in order to give us these goosebumps which amplify the harmonic signature of Sylvain Carel.

It's in a very electronic setting that Strange Bright Stones in The Deep Forest settles between our ears. Synth rustling, where vocals and reverberations spread a cryptic aura, raise a long snake skeleton which winds the ambiances by rattling its glass bones. A solitary violin stretches its lamentations which get lost in the interstices of the 1001 possible fantasies of the synth, creating an austere cinematographic approach. Catharsis also offers an ethereal overture with electronic flickers which cajole the shadows of a synth and its momentums of voices, at both Berber and suggestive. A slow rhythm settles. Progressing with the weight of the orchestrations, it deviates little by little towards a mid-tempo with a melody woven of earworm. The pace is catchy and the scenery lush, like a festive evening in Tunisia. In a setting of world music with a vast sampling of tribal percussions, Berber guitars, Arabic flutes, evocative voices, and especially orchestrations which transport us like on flying carpets over lush soundscapes, this last album of the French musician owns some jewels that will glue us to our headphones. Catharsis is one of them, as well as Here Was a Mystic Way which also proposes a rhythm with riffs of orchestrations and good perfumes of Middle East. Dense and intense, the orchestrations fly against current and the synth is delicious with its Arabic flute tone. Where Spirits Live is a title of ambiances more seraphic than cinematographic. His first moments offer violin layers in an ambient choreography which welcomes the clinking of shimmering chimes and bursts of a suggestive voice which wander here and there in the world of TALISMAN. Little by little, this celestial decor is transformed into a structure which ripples like the reflections of the sun dancing on a water fed by light lapping. The soundscape is filled with these fascinating elements that adorn the music of Sylvain Carel. The kind of thing that you just can not like!

Contact is a tasty tribal psybient. The percussive effects, both tribal and electronic, and the breezes of the Arab desert accompany a Berber guitar simply delicious. The second part is still sparkling in my ears. Future World swaps its introduction of seraphic ambiances for a slow rhythm carved between tribal percussion and a line of bass pulsations. The synth is very musical, scattering arias in the form of harmonic solos and guitar effects. Sanctum is a long meditative title with an unexpected duel between a piano and an angelic choir. We are in the core of the meditative moods of this album. It's a title which moves a little away from the atmospheres of the Middle East usual to Sylvain Carel's register. The end is more intense and doesn't overflow of its contemplative cradle. All Those Whispered Secrets is a bit New Age with another piano participation, whose melodious rhythmic march is delightfully cradled and cajoled by the multi layers of orchestrations. The more you listen, the more you want to hear this title which offers some more moving passages. Talking to The Wind is a title that develops like Future World and Catharsis. It's very cinematic, but no more than The Lost Valley which is very much like those films where one discovers, with enchantment in the eyes, a valley formed by magic and computer. The fauna and ambiances sound like Strange Bright Stones in The Deep Forest but have a rhythmic structure a bit like watching this valley on a platform suspended in the air. And the violins are always imagined with a melodious approach which spreads a warm wind over our arms. It's nice! This is the world of Sylvain Carel.

Sylvain Lupari (January 6th, 2019) *****

Available at AD Music's Webshop

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