Mystical Light are the Cologne-based electronic musicians André Willms (aka Astral Cookies) and Michael Wilkes (aka Yog-Sothoth, winner of the Schallwelle award best newcomer 2011).
- Adrift [6:46]
- Signs of Life [5:02]
- Quantum Leap [6:23]
- Stranded [8:31]
- Fly me to the Moon [6:10]
- Lost on the Dark Side [6:44]
- Pulse [5:32]
- Gravitational Vortex [6:19]
- Mare Tranquillitatis [5:48]
- Silent [10:05]
- Full Moon Rising [5:54]
- The Selenites [5:53]
Full Moon Rising is the second album of the duo, who likes to freshen up the EM community.
André Willms and Michael Wilkes had simply mystified the aficionados of EM in 2013 with a hard-hitting album which allied the ambiences of Astral Cookies, André Willms' musical project, to the music heavily sequenced and very livened up by Yog Sothoth, project of Michael Wilkes. The question doubtless was to know if Mystical Light would go beyond the horizons of Beyond the Horizon. Difficult to do better! Nevertheless the W duet is not very far behind. Even with an approach which could confuse more than one! “Full Moon Rising” is less subtle. Always embalmed of intoxicating flavors of a Berlin School hammered by good sequences and by heavy percussions, this 2nd album of Mystical Light is more direct. Let's say that it doesn't go in for subtleties with an approach concentrated on rhythms which rock between a kind of IDM, without its psybient elements, and a very robotic, a very cosmic techno. Once again, it's our ears, our walls and our neighbors which suffer from it most...
A slender line of wind coming from the North, sound particles filled of prism, muffled knockings and a sinuous line of oscillations build the Mephistophelian rhythmic approach of "Adrift".“Full Moon Rising” starts with a cannon shot. Twinkling sequences decorate a sonic constellation inspired by the Stratosfear years. The rhythm is heavy and dark. Wrapped by beautiful synth pads perfumed of iridescent colors, it carries a beautiful vampiric melody which sings such a choir of spectres on a rhythm which crawls of its nice oscillating loops. The decoration and the arrangements are hallucinating. One could imagine to be in a horror movie with this superb piece of music. This is a great mix of retro and new Berlin School which is going to turn all year long in my iPod. Let's say that it starts very well this 2nd meeting with Mystical Light. "Signs of Life" leads us to another level; that of dance floor music for oaf which blooms in every nook and cranny of “Full Moon Rising”. A neckl ace of arpeggios draws a structure of spasmodic rhythm with chords which shake the ambiences set in motion by morphic synth pads. These pads make the counterweight to a kind of cosmic funk with keys which hiccup in the shadow of the good resonant pulsations, the rather sober but heavy percussions and the metallic jingles which we can confuse with bangings of hand. A delicate melody extricates itself from this schema of relatively ambient dance, so showing all the wealth which surround each of the tracks in “Full Moon Rising”. Delicate sneaky pulsations along with singings of ectoplasms on LSD open the slow rhythm of "Quantum Leap". The movement is circular and filled of organic chirpings, allying the kind of Redshift to an ambient techno hooked on good pulsations. Pulsations which lose their shadows. And shadows which agglutinate in a heavy pandemoniac choreography where the synth is trading its clothes for those of a six-strings and throw solos which haunt just as much as these cry stalline sequences which sparkle and spin with a spectral grace. Heavy and reinvented Mark Shreeve! I adore. "Stranded" is not outdone. The ambiences float like a threat in an intro where an alarm awakens in us a feeling of distress in a space shuttle. The arrangements accentuate the climate of anxiety with winds which get lost into layers with ambient caresses. We hear coming the percussions by far. They eventually hammer a heavy and fluid rhythm, while the sequences metamorphose into organic chirpings of which the stroboscopic lines crisscross without striking another line of sequences decorated with a delicate inviting melody. This is beautiful music.
The sneaky approaches are legion in this album of Mystical Light. They take time to develop, at the same time, and the rhythms and the moods. On "Fly me to the Moon", they are of used as bed to some beautiful arpeggios in tones of glass which parade in an ambient and jerky movement. The synth solos come from all sides and from everywhere, this is one of the many wealth of this album by the way, on a structure which hesitates between its rhythm and its moods. A structure which wins in velocity and eventually turned darker and flirts with a kind of very robotic IDM.
"Lost on the Dark Side" presents a bouncy structure as in the good moments of dance, of cosmic techno from Nattefrost. We always remain in the field of cosmic dance, of cybernetic IDM inflated by heavy ambiences and jerky pulsatory rhythms, a bit pulsatoires, a stroboscopic, with "Pulse" and its panoply of percussions which click such as electronic castanets. "Gravitational Vortex" is deep into dance floor music with arrhythmic pulsations, cawings of spasmodic arpeggios and allegorical ringings which melt themselves into danceable orchestrations. If we stay on our chair, it's because we are knackered! Make the most of "Mare Tranquillitatis" to get your breath back because it's the only quiet track of this album filled with rhythmic dynamite. The approach is delicate and very oniric with beautiful crystal clear sequences which clink and wind among hollow winds. "Silent Sky" brings us back into the infernal rhythms of cosmic dances with a long structure which takes advantage of it s 10 minutes to well mix its rhythms with ambient phases where the guttural sounds in Secrets of Taklamakan come back to roam. This is a very Jarre track with good articulated and well measured percussions as well as samplings of manual percussions and good nervous sequences which burst out in orchestrations of very dance style. "Full Moon Rising" is also very inviting with good synth solos but the voices are less inviting, while "The Selenites" ends “Full Moon Rising” with an ambient rhythm which becomes slow, as a kind of down-tempo, drawn from the shadows of "Pulse". The moods here are rich and fed by absent voices and by good solos of a very lyrical synth. I hear here some murmurs of Let the Night Last Forever from Walter Christian Rothe.
Heavy and constantly boosted by heavy rhythms and other ones more ambient, “Full Moon Rising” is the equivalent of hammering an anvil in a porcelain store. All which falls, all which bursts produces shavings of melodies in supernatural tints. There is a superb mixture of Jean Michel Jarre and Nattefrost rhythms here with ambiences, sound decors of Tangerine Dream, period 76-77, and Mark Shreeve, if not Redshift. Even if we are far from the nuances of Beyond the Horizon, the music remains beautiful, lively and shoot with a grapeshot of sequences, bass pulsations and with percussions which whip, knock down and adjust each track towards passages always more stormy, without never neglected the melodious approach with spectral airs which haunt. To hear!
2015. Sylvain Lupari / gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca