THE FELLOWSHIP OF HALLUCINATORY VOYAGERS: Tenderness Avalanche (2018
“This is a colorful album Cosmic psychedelic electronic rock that really requires an open mind that will be rewarded”
1 I can hear the Dark 9:48 2 Dark Star (Book of the Dead Mix) 18:31 3 Through the Steepled Window (Standing on the Ledge Mix) 16:48 4 Tenderness Avalanche 11:37 Sendelica Music
(DDL/CD & Vinyl 56:45) (V.F.) (Cosmic psychedelic electronic)
There is a revival movement in the colorful universe of psychedelic cosmic rock. One has to think of E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr, of Electronic Orange, Astral Sun, Sun Dial and finally Dave Schmidt and his Sula Bassana project. Groups that inject into the style of Berlin School some psychedelic vapors with guitars and their effects which disrupt rhythms built around a sequencer and the multiple of its percussion. The march is high for a fan of purely Berlin School since the boundaries of Krautrock and of its ancestral ascendants on electronic art, I'm thinking of the early 70's, are more inaccessible than the first sequenced movements of Blackdance or Phaedra. Sendelica is an English West Wales band that makes psychedelic cosmic rock. The founder of the band, Pete Bingham, contacted Craig Padilla in order to create another band, The Fellowship of Imaginary Voyagers. The two artists got to know each other around 2013 with the album Strange Fish One on Fruits de Mer Records. They have kept in touch and are now offering us TENDERLESS AVALANCHE, a colorful album that really requires an open mind. But in the end, I discovered an album to which one listens well. A listening following the other and which remains as audacious as seducing at times, as well as daring than totally out of reach at times...!
It's with a lone bass from Gary Smart that I can hear the Dark opens. The step of a sequencer in mode astral cha-cha-cha and rattling of percussions embrace the roll of the bass, while tears of violins add a veil of tenderness and that little by little get grafted more sound effects much noisy than musical. Gently, I can hear the Dark clings to another spheroidal level of the sequencer which pulls the music out of its bucolic and psychedelic cocoon to bring it to a more electronic phase. The ambient and harmonic rolling of the sequencer weaves a solid musical itch while the music evolves in a sound uncertainty, as if we really heard the darkness. This first title of TENDERLESS AVALANCHE puts our ears in confidence because we are in territories where they heard more daring things. Except they (our ears) do not lose nothing by waiting because the long Dark Star (Book of the Dead Mix) plunges us into the heart of its zizanophonic ambiances. The rippling water and the whispers which surf over the finale of I can hear the Dark are transposed into the introduction of Dark Star (Book of the Dead Mix) where we also expect a kind of Japanese guitar, like Kitaro's kyoto. A bass pulsation establishes a hypnotic rhythm structure where sound effects lie, as well as violin sighs and dark riffs of Kate Riaz's cello. Distortion effects of a very Floydian guitar bring the quirky ambiences of this long title into the psychedelic territories of Pink Floyd's More and Ummagumma years. But still, there are seductive effects in the music that keep us captive. In addition to the guitar, synth pads adorn a soundscape which vibrates of rage with its rhythm became more insistent. A heavy and intense title which gets evaporate in the nice introduction of Through the Steepled Window (Standing on the Ledge Mix) and its peaceful moods that sound like King Crimson's Book of Saturday. The cello which crushes its strings in the shimmering reflections of an iodic water is at the origin of this feeling. Saxophone moans join this dense fauna of distortions where even a thread of sequences swirls, adding this electronic wire to ambiances forged by string and wind instruments. Moving at times by the push of a sequencer too fragile to support the weight of such environments, Through the Steepled Window (Standing on the Ledge Mix) remains a title that will please more the ears than the feet or even the fingers. The title track completes this seductive collaboration between Sendelica and Craig Padilla with a vision of EM ambient that is closer to the soundscapes of the American synthesist. A beautiful title where Craig Padilla's ethereal cosmic approach coexists beautifully with Pete Bingham's dark and experimental visions, which are more musical here. An album that is primarily for those fans of music without borders nor labels, although the psybient kind doped with traditional elements (violin, cello, guitar, bass and saxophone) can be applied, TENDERLESS AVALANCHE gets tame gently. Like many albums of the genre, one must first love music and its ability to seduce by the color of its tones. And the palette here is wide with a fusion between electronics and progressive music on a background of ethereal and sinister ambiences. In brief, an album to the dimension of its spirit and of its contradictions!
Sylvain Lupari (January 4th, 2019) *****
Available at Sendelica's Bandcamp