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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

THANECO: Lunar Monolith (2022)

Cosmos and cosmic electronic rock are challenging our tastes track after track

1 Over the Eons 8:44

2 The Firstborn 9:15

3 TMA-0 8:22

4 Interstellar Travel 5:45

5 TMA-1 5:45

6 The Jovians 8:34

7 Light Bringer 5:28

8 TMA-2 7:55

(DDL 59:52) (V.F.)

(Cosmic Rock)

Cosmos and cosmic electronic rock spearheaded a more accessible electronic music (EM) in its golden years. Inspired by 2001: A Space Odyssey, both the book by Arthur C. Clarke and the film by Stanley Kubrick, Thaneco has structured the outlines of its new downloadable album LUNAR MONOLITH. Recorded on the estimated frequency of the Earth, 432 HZ, the music of this album also seems to be designed to stimulate the cells aiming at increasing our spiritual consciousness. It can also explain this slow departure towards the confines of the Cosmos of an album that, track after track, quietly puts us back in those phases of wonder that stimulate the music of the friendly Greek musician.

Synth layers with a dramatic vision fall on the opening of Over the Eons, while others with a Vangelis sound add a melodious science-fiction aspect. Our ears float in a cosmic ambience with sound effects of the genre that cover up a rhythmic structure. She quietly takes shape with a swarm of static percussive chords from which emerges a line of more musical arpeggios that bounce with more vivacity, casting a shadow that deepens the ambient rhythmic texture of Over the Eons. The ambiences, as well as the main rhythm line, are in the vein of Tangerine Dream's Firestater music. Mainly the track Charlie the Kid. Austere synth layers overshadow the lighthearted vision of the limpid arpeggios that adorn the introduction of The Firstborn. Like luminous dots of sound, they flit around like if being trapped in the eye of a small tornado for almost 3 minutes before the stomping rhythmic bass elaborates a series of keen oscillations. These arpeggios, the fluidity of the bass and another series of rhythmic kicks from the sequencer are sculpting the jolts of a rhythm whose main reason for being is to support those magnificent synth solos, which draw acrobatic choreographies, and the aerial melodies of the mellotron on a rhythm more animated than static. TMA-0 is a fascinating track centered on a series of beats in front of circular percussive effects (Tchik-a-tchick), structuring a static and noisy electronic rock for neurons in a post-apocalyptic atmosphere with reverb waves and synth layers flooded of melancholy.

These first 25 minutes of LUNAR MONOLITH command a greater mind openness, while the second half of the album flows like a charm. An evolving track, for its short time, Interstellar Travel falls into that category of those beautiful melodious cosmic ballads that clings to a rhythm slightly swirling in its progression. After a very atmospheric opening, and its sound structure worthy of a video game where invaders dominate our planet, TMA-1 offers a good rhythmic vision with a series of ascending sequences. Marbles jumping on a conveyor belt embellish this rhythmic sequencing pattern in a second part where the keyboard draws a nice melodic approach. In another cosmic story built upon a nebulous opening loaded of strong cosmic winds and of reverberating effects of keyboard chords falling with a dramatic vision, it's the swirling synth solos that stick our ears to the interstellar movie style opening of The Jovians. Bass sequences collide seconds before the 4-minute mark, laying the groundwork for an evolving cosmic rhythm from the Oxygen and Equinox years of you know who. There's not a second wasted in the evolution of this track, and the maudlin synth solos are very beautiful and musical. Light Bringer needs its hundred seconds or so before it pulls us into a cosmic rock that rolls its hump in its undulating ascending vision. Pulling itself out of the cosmic winds, the sequencer swings back and forth between 2 options; ambient or rhythm. The second option wins out after the synth solos lead us to the 3rd minute gate. The arrival of the percussion beat stimulates the stroboscopic rhythmic vision of TMA-2 which continues its evolution towards a solid semi-lively cosmic rock in its delicious theatrical vision. Concluding thus a rather short but very nice album from Thaneco.

Sylvain Lupari (May 2nd, 2022) ***½**

Available at Thaneco Bandcamp

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