“A mix of ambient beats and of purely quiet moods, Svalbard respects the orientation of those minimalist and hypnotic beats of TM Solver and of the New Berlin School genre”
1 78°N19°E 6:26 2 Snowfall 2:25 3 Arctic Dream 7:01 4 Northern Lights 8:53 5 Polar Night 14:07 6 Svalbard 14:35 7 The Little Auk 8:56 8 Olav v Land 10:22 Luna | CD-r tm10
(CD-r 72:49) (V.F.) (New Berlin School & Ambient)
A little like last year with the duet of Polymorph and Namaste albums, TM Solver gets back titillating the ears of his fans with an album of pure New Berlin School, for Maroc, and another one of ambient music. Inspired by the northern and frosty landscapes of the Spitsbergen island, SVALBARD is a music album of meditation, of contemplativity that Thomas Meier has written during his journey in the archipelago of Svalbard, Norway, in 1993. This music had never found echo on a recording before this day. Recorded and remastered in 2015, the SynGate label is offering it in a download format under its Luna banner. A brand which is dedicated a little more to the music of atmospheres than of rhythms, although both forms can coexist. A little as with this SVALBARD. It's with pulsations which beat sneakily that 78°N19°E gets developing between our ears. The rhythm is soft and beats lasciviously, as a kind of slow, sensual and cosmic Funky-Groove. The bass pulsations go up and down in an ambient pattern where elytrons of metal are flashing, relaxing stars are sparkling and astral choruses are warbling. The movement is slow and rather poetic with these crystalline tones which sparkle here and there. Torn between its envelope of atmospheres more cosmic than Arctic, although both poles are very near, 78°N19°E scatters elements of ambient rhythm, here and eleswhere in SVALBARD, which crackle and skip nervously, like steps lost on a tense drum skin, in the resounding curves of the bass pulsations and these lines of synth filled of voices and of astral mist. Our thoughts go adrift towards the very ambient Snowfall and its breezes full of prism which whistle in the ice-cold reflections of the synth lines fed of Arctic colors. These lines are overflowing in the ambient territories, and less threatening, of Arctic Dream, a long track with profound meditative atmospheres which little by little reveals a structure of rhythm. A structure always so very lunar with soft beatings which sculpts a walking in a thick coat of snow where some uncertain steps accompany others more assured. The atmospheres are always signed by synth lines of filled with harmonies mourners and of scarlet colors, challenging even sometimes the nature of this album which is inspired by the Norwegian coldness. Northern Lights drives us a little in the psybient territories with a structure of slow rhythm where always crackle these crumbs of rhythm crushed on a bandaged skin in between lines of a synth haloed by vocal breezes and by icy mist. The bass line is feeding more and more a morphic down-tempo approach where is sparkling and crackling a thick clouds of chords paints in the colors of the Arctic prism. Polar Night is as ambient than Snowfall and is built upon the same icy elements while the title-track is a long wall of very meditative atmospheres. We are in the most ambient moods of here. Doubtless the most livened up track of SVALBARD, The Little Auk draws marvelously the walk very muddled of this funny little auk. Except that he is not alone and the lines, just as much incoherent, of rhythms weave a gyrating core where sequences prevail on the very discreet songs of the synths. The whole thing goes up to Olav v Land which concludes this album of Greenland atmospheres with a mixture of rhythm and non-rhythm where the sequences and the percussions have difficulty in dominating the synth lines which pile together in a thick wall of atmospheres always rather contrasting with the coldnesses imagined of this archipelago lost between the glaciers of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Sylvain Lupari (December 29th, 2015) ***½**
Available at SynGate's Bandcamp