Recorded at the E-day festival, this consists of two long tracks. The almost hour long title track slowly builds up a polyrhythmic jigsaw of sequencer patterns, like a sculptor hunting for the form buried in a slab of marble. Or something. The band were given a pretty free hand as to timing so the music has time to breathe and develop. On the day, the set was even longer but a section that was a little sparse due to technical difficulties has been compressed. Despite the time warping it's all here! |
- Travelling Light [58:16]
The coda to this, Convoi Exceptionel (a bonus track to try to thwart the pirates. It won't work, of course) took place as the encore. With the energy still high from the main set, there's no let up and it's straight into modular-fuelled sequencer heaven again.
But just in case that sounds a bit one-dimension, don't worry. The ever shifting sequencers serve as a backdrop for some of the most intense playing seen at an airsculpture concert. Vast phasing pads, wailing leads, it's all here.
Recorded at the E-Day 2015 festival in Oirschot, the Netherlands, “Travelling Light” takes us back to the intricate structures which have made up the essence of Graveyard Shift. Either be with a long track of almost an hour where Adrian Beasley, John Christian and Peter Ruczynski develop an electronic music always faithful to the signature of Airsculpture.
An introduction of atmospheres where we float with Mellotron nebulous pads and lot of chthonic voices. Beyond these sound shadows rises a synth song whose nasal tone imitates that of a saxophone with tenderly moving solos. A thin line of distortions opens an avenue for beautiful pads of an old organ around the 10 minutes. The processional movement becomes more austere for a short moment, the time that the sequencer gets out of its silence to structure the first rhythmic phase of "Traveling Light". Under white noises, radioactive effects and ectoplasmic chants, the structure of the seque ncer extends a good rhythmic bipolarity which reaches a vertiginous peak rather quickly. The movement is frenzied with tones of both wooden and metallic balls twirling on a conveyor manhandled by mechanical spasms. Fog patches spread the usual mysticism effects at the Berlin School as synth lines bicker a tonal intensity with the distortions of a guitar. The rhythmic structure continues its spasmodic phase with sequencers as frenetic as a dozen hands beating tense skins without rhythmic cohesion, while the scenery is composed of synth lines which twirl and twirl in banks of mechanized fog. Breathless, the beats reach an exhausted point in these benches around the 32nd minute, establishing the first ambiospherical phase, I'm not talking the introduction, in "Traveling Light". Misty and fluttered tunes pass through this 5-minute passage where another rhythmic structure gets to try building a new life. Less explosive and nevertheless persistent, this 2nd phase emerges more vividly aro u nd the 45th minute with clear sequences which leap like Bambi's feet on a frozen pond. Always woven tight, the ambiences evaporate when sequences filled of organic radiations give an unexpected heaviness to a final that justifies its length by the addition of good solos, guitars and synths, but also with a sequencer on the edge of exploding so much its roars vibrate of distortions. This is some good Airsculpture that won't disappoint their fans. "Convoi Exceptionel" is an excellent title that is tasted a little more easily in its shortened envelope. From the opening, a pulsating rhythm is densely covered by clouds of shadowy synth and by sinusoidal waves. Distorted keys bursting with ectoplasmic tones get in this dance for one-legged people on steroids that decorative elements unique to the universe of EM cover in a shroud of sonic oddities. Synth solos pierce this soundscape and fly over a rhythmic structure which crumbles under the weight of its elements. And if the rhythm reache s a harmonic fluidity, some keys remain shadowed by distortions until "Convoi Exceptionel" reaches a saturation point around 6 minutes. A phase where a more conventional movement of the sequencer makes its keys palpitate in an analog heat and where "Convoi Exceptionel" flies to a solid Berliner electronic rock filled by chthonic humming and by sequences which jump so strongly, even with shadows of white noises clinging to their palpitations, in order to crash in a rock final such as a Deep Purple without Ritchie Blackmore nor Ian Paice.
“Travelling Light” is another solid opus from Airsculpture. It's a big electronic rock where the rare moments of atmospheres are hardly quieting down neurons excited by these rhythmic designs always elusive. And these tones eroded by white noises and by distortions bring the convoluted rhythms of the English trio to levels comparable to the best of both worlds of the Berlin and the England School, which meet here in an impressive and rather explos ive cocktail of these 78 minutes of “Travelling Light”.
2018. Sylvain Lupari