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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari


I discovered the depth of this album of The Amnis Initiative after a good half-dozen plays and each new listening brings his or her finds

1 Ejection 5:44

2 Aurora Borealis 5:34

3 Solar Storm 3:09

4 Liberation 6:07

5 Vigil in the Dark 4:30

6 Reunited 4:37

7 Offline 1:38

8 Total Blackout 2:21

9 A Sky Full of Stars 7:33

10 Solar Wind 4:09

11 The Carrington Event (Flashback: 1859) 6:52

12 A New Dawn 3:01

13 1989 (Flashback: Second Warning) 9:00

14 Final Warning 1:39

15 Ejection - Sunspot Remix 5:35

(CD/DDL 71:30) (V.F.)

(Soundtrack, E-Rock, EM)

When we discover a new artist, our horizons seem to narrow. This so-called cultural open-mindedness evaporates to display suspicion, inevitably seeking to draw parallels with such and such. It's these parallels that often allow us to establish a better connection with the object of our discovery. And when there is nothing to establish these links, we seem to lose our bearings. That explains a lot of the time I needed to write this review. Links to The Amnis Initiative? Aside from the structures of Vangelis in his film scores, there are few. The music on this album is dark with an ancestral vision that matches my idea of that time when even the Amish were at the same level as all the inhabitants of this planet. And this reflection is not free since I clearly felt the Amish spirit in many places in this album, especially in the vocals. Very orchestral, at the beginning I was thinking of the last Mannheim Steamroller albums as well as their electronic rock anthems on Fresh Aire III and Fresh Aire 4, the music offered on EJECTION is in every way consistent with its story, that is to say this solar storm which struck Earth in the 18th century. Nicknamed the Carrington event, this storm produced numerous polar auroras visible even in certain tropical regions and severely disrupted telecommunications by electric telegraph. It's considered to be the most violent solar storm on record to hit Earth. This event is supposed to happen every 150 years. Imagine the consequences of such an event in nowadays!?

The title-track isn't done in the timid! A line of bass sequences hops up and down strongly in a rapid oscillatory movement into which a spectral melody of the synthesizer flows. Its air is like that of a spider playing octopus on a mass of air which rises and falls. The percussions which invite themselves, invite us to an incredibly good electronic rock while gothic voices accompany the initial chant of the synth. Ejection arrives at this point where the ambiences play with the tumults before the rhythm leaves with an increased presence of the synth which thus throws particularly good solos. How to survive such an introduction? Aurora Borealis does achieve this with its synthesized tune whistling a sharp melody. Bass pulsations erect a stoic rhythm while arrangements borrowed from the universe of Vangelis lead us into a more progressive rock sector. It's the flight of music with good percussions, a sequencer loosening a limpid line of static harmonic rhythm, while once again the synth surprises us with its vision and its tone which are linking universes of prog rock and the Greek musician. A layer of monasterial voices expires in a finale that leaves us on the alert. Solar Storm is INJECTION's first atmospheric title. Its opening comes from a reverberating breath whose sinuosities nourished its movement by silent implosions. Dramatic effects are grafted onto what becomes the membrane of this title, the second part of which becomes flown over by extraterrestrial drones in a cinematographic ambience ideal for high-tension films. Liberation offers a melodious vision of the sequencer derived from this aria for Michael Myers in a heavy electronic envelope with sinister sibylline melodies which float from their long vulture wings on a minimalist structure. Moreover, the art of the minimalist nourished the longer titles of this album, and each new turn of the dial of ambiences and rhythms, there is gradation in one of the sets. As here, where the rhythm progresses more slowly than the atmospheres in a title which in the end doesn't breathe this joie de vivre linked to a liberation. To date, I like what I hear! These slow orchestral wings take over the intro of Vigil in the Dark where the synths are in apocalypse mode in winds filled of cosmic particles. Besides, cosmic effects flirt with this Amish choir which always gives a macabre tone to the stories of this album and to the funeral march of Vigil in the Dark. Reunited dances lasciviously to the sound of this saxophone tied to the synthesizer in what becomes EJECTION's most catchy track. As much by its softly bounding rhythm as of its synthesized melody influenced by the style of Jean-Michel Jarre, this title would be the ideal 45 rpm for this album. Awesome! We whistle its chorus hours later...

Offline features the synthesized choir of The Amnis Initiative. Built on a wide range of electronic percussions, Total Blackout is another big cinematographic title which would go well enough to the moods of a film like 300. Pharaonic ambiences on a structure sometimes without rhythm, but just animated by a thunder of fanfare percussions, as sometimes jerky Total Blackout advances in orchestral arrangements worthy of the Greek musician in a structure which doesn't say no to particularly good solos. Impressive! More seraphic, A Sky Full of Stars offers a long semi-ambient structure where the sequencer switches to two levels of rhythm in a universe of Blade Runner vibes. Synth wings dominate the beats, while a little shimmering arpeggio carousel contrasts here and gives a little something to A Sky Full of Stars. Even in its organic mutation. Solar Wind throws us into cryptic atmospheres, a bit like Solar Storm did. Except that here, the ambiences of orchestrations plunge us into a cross between Cocoon and E.T. not really intended for children. The Carrington Event (Flashback: 1859) offers good edgy electronic rock with cinematic effects and rhythmic eruptions that reminds me of Andy Pickford's early years. A New Dawn is a lunar title that has a very retro Vangelis tone. Both for the memory and for the arrangements, it's so tender that makes an onion cry! 1989 (Flashback: Second Warning) is good electronic rock forged in a sequencer that blasts its rhythmic balls up until the percussions catch them to drag us into a rhythm as pure e-rock as the title-track. The synth takes the shape of this fast structure by adopting an adequate computer language while another line does its solos in a structure that rolls on the highway of electronic rhythms, including tunnels and level crossings, in a well-structured 9 minutes. Sometimes I have the impression of hearing flying saucers whirling around, bringing me back to the mood of Encounters of the Third Kind. Am I alone in my head? After a Final Warning which is also very Vangelis, tearless, Ejection - Sunspot Remix ends this album as it started. Except that this time, the rhythm is Trash Electronic in a structure vivified by incredibly good percussions and by its vigorous percussive jerks.

Ohhh Yes my friends, an excellent discovery that this EJECTION! I discovered the depth of this album of The Amnis Initiative after a good half-dozen plays. Each new listening brings his or her finds! And linked to this fantastic science fiction story, which really happened, this album goes over 70 minutes without one too many. The music of Dutch artist Dennis Lodewijks, the man behind The Amnis Initiative, is rich and the rhythms are sewn into the complex of sophistication, giving such incredible colors to this album that puts a big smile on my face as it makes me say; yes electronic music is still alive and above all innovative. Not to be miss…

Sylvain Lupari (August 13th, 20/20) ****½*

Available at The Amnis Initiative Bandcamp

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