1 The Awakening 6:52
2 Coko's Theme 8:58
3 Sequencing the Elements 6:43
4 Quantum Lounge 5:50
5 Secrets of Taklamakan 7:23
6 Aurora Borealis 6:49
7 Eternal Peace 7:21
8 Return to Skye 9:03
9 Between Galaxies 8:56
10 The Clava Cairns 4:49
11 Hymn 5:47
Mystical Light Self-Released (CD78:31)****½
(Based sequenced Berlin School)
You remember of Michael Wilkes, or if you prefer Yog Sothoth? Of his heavy and powerful rhythms which terrorized our ears in Prehistoric Dawn? Well he is half of Mystical Light. The other one is André Willms who, under the name of Astral Cookies, develops an EM closer to ethereal cosmic ambiences. Mystical Light is the fusion of both genres, and their first album, “Beyond the Horizon”, breathes of these two contrarieties to give a powerful album of EM with a deep cosmic dimensions. Electronic cosmic rock, in the purest of the analog year's traditions, where the shade of Vangelis' orchestral arrangements overhangs tracks where the melancholy and the anger mix in a surprising harmony that Ron Boots has finely orchestrated.
It's with a line of sequences that makes spin its keys in a stifling oscillating spiral that "The Awakening" extricates itself from the icy nothingness of this new silvery disc. A muffled pulsation binds itself in this line while that insidiously another line emerges to make flutter around these silvery keys. The pulsations accelerate the pace of a static rhythm which welcomes some fine layers of a morphic synth, as well as cosmic riffs, switching its passivity for the strikings of unchained drums which lead "The Awakening" towards a kind of cosmic funk. A fascinating cosmic funk, just like "Return to Skye", where the drum enrages a rhythm which hiccups beneath the spasms of a sequence line of which the metamorphosis went unnoticed in this intense electronic broth. "Coko's Theme" is a wonderful cosmic track with a lot of Vangelis' fragrances where the synth layers are drawing clouds of ether which float among attractive morphic voices. There is a lot of ambience on this track. We would really imagine being in a space shuttle, the window of the porthole opened, to contemplate the stars sing in silky astral painting. This is immensely beautiful. After this splendid and soft cosmic interlude, "Sequencing the Elements" takes back the rhythmic main lines of "The Awakening", but with more vigour, heaviness and with more present electronic melodies. And "Quantum Lounge" rests the walls, and our senses, with a beautiful ambiospherical down-tempo of lounge style. The tempo is slow and relies on sober percussions where delicate mislaid arpeggios draw the lines of a melody fragmented in the thick morphic shroud of a synth which also spreads some floating coats of ethereal mists. Intense, "Secrets of Taklamakan" sounds like a war hymn with its big drums which roll and thunder under a hoarse voice. The orchestrations are just splendid. Their wave-like and hatched strata are adding a theatrical depth to this intense mythical ride which cavorts with heaviness in the big Mongolian plains. They ride with glass arpeggios, a bit like those we used to hear when we attended in a military parade. Titanic and impressive!
"Aurora Borealis" borrows the same ethereal paths as "Coko's Theme". The synths sing a delicate morphic melody which joins the rustles of the angels whom the celestial serenades are floating into soft orchestrations. This is a very beautiful. And both tracks stuck together bring us simply somewhere else. It's with the chirping of birds singing over a monasterial choir that "Eternal Peace" embraces our sensibility. The synths draw caresses à la Vangelis, while unfolding a dark veil where a line of sequences is waddling. The ambiences grow heavy and the strikings of percussions harpoon an ethereal sweetness which pours its tears on a rhythm become heavier with a lento gallop where synths harmonize their angelic breaths for a more austere approach. A symphonic approach which lets filter a shy harmonious filet. You remember of Michael Garrison? This is the first thing that came to mind when I heard "Between Galaxies". A heavy track, well in rhythm with a sequenced approach which hangs on to a rinforzando to finally offer itself to some sustained percussions. A lively rhythm, hammered beneath a bed of stars from which the sonic brightness embellish a beautiful harmonious approach, programmed by chirping of synths. After a brief bad patch, "Between Galaxies" spatters with more sparkles in a rhythm pattern where the percussions and the sequences beat themselves and dance in a rhythmic echo which releases harmonies weaver of earworms. This is great cosmic rock which inhales the fragrances of former days, whereas "The Clava Cairns" is forged in a structure of more contemporary, heavy electronic rock of which the outburst leads towards a delicious rhythmic anarchy. "Hymn" crowns this wonderful album by Mystical Light with a filmic structure à la Vangelis where the big drums resound in the breaths of synth with the fragrances of an avoided apocalypse.
Powerful! I adored every second of “Beyond the Horizon”; a colossal album which will know how to please the fans of Tangerine Dream as well as those of Jean Michel Jarre and Ron Boots. I adored this symbiosis between the poetic ambient moods of André Willms and the big hard rhythms, the big resonant sequenced momentums of Michael Wilkes. Mystical Light offers nearly 80 minutes of pure delight where we hear all forms of musical memories getting melted in a powerful album where the passion, as much as the quietness, are wrapped by an orchestration with the sonic tentacles strongly inspired by the visions, as seraphic as Dantesque, of Vangelis.
Sylvain Lupari (September 7th, 2013)
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: