1. Lepton [17:40]
  2. Fermion [17:23]
  3. Boson [24:33]
One of the best Synth duo's in the world (Steve Smith and Michael Shipway), with Particles they take you on a micro electronic journey through their musical world. Album concept about the microscopic universe of particles, “Particles” finds itself in the list of the best EM releases so far this year. Molded on the same precepts as Circuits, this last album of Volt proposes 3 long tracks of which the structures of sequences propose ambient rhythms sometimes a bit heavy and lively. But mainly evolutionary rhythms with sequences which sparkle with a stationary effervescence in electronic envelopes with divine harmonies weavers of earworms. An album where EM shines of its thousand fires, of its Berlin School influences, both vintages and contemporaries, and of a perfect complicity between the styles and approaches Steve Smith and Michael Shipway, “Particles” is a wonderful journey in what EM has of more beautiful to offer.

Hits of sticks on extraterrestrial's vocal cord make jump some sizzling keys on an extremely tightened silk thread. "Lepton" begins this last opus of Volt with hoarse pulsations of which the undisciplined jumps bounce in beautiful layers of synth which float with a mixture of seraphic voices. Honeyed and sibylline, the synth draws lines, as ethereal as threatening, which sweep an intro eaten away by weak electric explosions. And we fall over into the universe of Volt where the reminiscences of the vintage years caress our ears with synths to the slightly nasal twisted solos which remind the cabalistic approaches of the Dream. After a rather ambiospherical intro, the rhythm settles down with shyness a little after the 6th minute. Soft sequences espouse the movement of the crisscrossed pulsations, shaping so an oscillatory rhythm which increases its weight with more black sequences. The mist of Mellotron installs a dark atmosphere while it waltzes of its beautiful strata to the sm ells of bitter violins on a rhythm which will never look back. The magic of synths operates with lines as much musical as ethereal. Allying Arabian breezes to breaths of oracles on a carpet of opal mist, they let pass soft solos which coo in an ambient and floating texture that sequences in the mathematical intertwining are rocking of delicate jolts. Beneath this meshing of synth lines and layers is drew a slow rhythmic crescendo which reaches its peak when "Lepton" opens its skeleton to offer its sequences, become more incisive, to the percussions which plough a rhythm became blazing, drawing an upward ride which gallops heavily under solos shouting like a guitar that we torture. This is great Volt here which nails us to our seat, the ears on the alert on a finale buzzing of a harmonious aggressiveness. Quieter in its broth of lines and translucent breezes, "Fermion" proposes rather a darker structure with chthonian choruses which hum on a rhythm to soft ambient inclinations. Witho ut being aggressive, the sequences skip in their shadow such as snips of scissors in an icy water and divide their harmonies beneath the aegis of synths with soft dreamy solos.

"Boson" imposes a heavy intro with some stormy synth breezes which moan in the most black of the black holes. These breezes get wind up like breaths lost in a heavy wind, forging a symphony about oblivion where roam choruses in search of light. Intense and black, the intro of "Boson" plunge the listener into an intense morphic 5 minutes before that some heavy pulsations are shaking the inertia. It's the genesis of a very beautiful structure of rhythm that settles down. Fluttering sequences are grafted to these pulsations, molding a sedentary flight which buzzes of a mass of hundreds of wings while the synths divide a harmonious approach in two lines, among which a very discreet one, shaping so a splendid melody à la David Wright (Walking with Ghosts) reverie. The rhythm gets loose. Skipping in solitary into the iridescent mists, it pounds with a weak pace under electronic chirpings and solos with a delicate acuteness which floats like a smell of regrets. Beautiful of its ambient and melodious rhythm, "Boson" tries a 3rd rhythmic breakaway at around the 14th minute. Quite soft, this phase will go growing. Fed by percussions, it bangs and bangs under the bites of solos to the steams of a guitar with a zest of ambient heavy-metal. This is awesome! One would say that it’s a mixture of David Wright, Code Indigo and Volt.

Ambient, implosive rhythms and wandering melodies on 3 long tracks to the slow minimalist evolutions, “Particles” is a pure EM work where Volt takes all its time to deepen the subjects of its covetousness. A little as particles in the LHC; the reminiscences of the analog and contemporary era as well as meshing of the Berlin School and England School genres merge marvellously to reach a small musical Big Bang where the cosmic rhythms and the oniric melodies enchant ears constantly on the alert.

2013. Sylvain Lupari / gutsofdarkness.com & synth&sequences.com Work on "Particles" already started during the process of assembling and finalizing "Circuits", a VoLt-release that turned out less accessible and much more adventurous in the end. "Particles" however, once again developed and shaped over the internet, takes on an organic, more flowing character. Moreover, it re-invents and re-energizes the VoLt-signature once again.

The original idea for a track sometimes emerged from a sequence, which inspired one of the musicians to add some atmospheric sounds or pads. The new additions were passed back in a file for a lead line or additions to the rhythm etc. to be added later on. This process of swapping files back and forth has become a most satisfying and rewarding work modus for both Steve Smith and Michel Shipway, leading to more progress and less pressure, as both didn’t need to be in the same place at the same time. It allowed them to work on a track at any time, night or day, whenever inspiration stroke, rather than be tied to a schedule based on when they were both available. By working this way, one might think these talented guys would lose some of the spontaneity they had by composing together in ‘live’ studio sessions. But in fact, that is not the case as Michael and Steve tend to record all ideas as they happen, triggering the other to respond.

Meanwhile, as VoLt were to play at Germany’s Electronic Circus festival in September 2012, they worked hard on the tracks "Lepton" and "Fermion" first to make sure they could be played between the older tracks "Circuits" and "Extinction" during that live-set.

The positive comments on the VoLt-performance and the new material eventually made them compose another track ("Boson") to complete the new full-length release and start studio mixes of all tracks (leaving just enough time for Ron Boots to master the tracks and make the album available for E-Day 2013). And what a nice and dynamic effort it has become.

The whole outcome has more melodic solos, excellent spatial sequencer parts, vintage and contemporary pads and a great sonic flow overall. These all make the vibrant and convincing "Particles" much more exciting, and at the same time more appealing to a wider audience (as was the case with the previous four studio albums. VoLt is back on track!

2013. Bert strolenberg / Sonic Immersion