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Robert Rich - Fissures (with Alio Die) CD (album) cover


Robert Rich


Progressive Electronic

4.00 | 11 ratings

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Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars I have recently reviewed a "duplicate entry" of this album as I had added it under the "ALIO DIE" page. Later, realisung that it was already on the site as a Robert Rich's album I have informed the admins and now I'm posting the review again.

Please consider that I knew this collaboration as an ALIO DIE album, but it's effectively a 50/50 effort and what really matters is that this is a very good album. This was my original review:

Speaking of progressive electronic I think that Stefano Musso (aka Alio Die which in Latin means "another day") deserves a particular mention.: As the Tangerine Dream of the debut he didn't start directly with the electronics as his musical research includes acoustic and ethnic instruments plus everything can make a sound, so in this collaboration with Robert Rich the second plays things like flute and dulcimer. Years ago, buying some pills against migrain, I had a "bonus CD" of meditative music by the flutist Andrea Griminelli. I'm saying this because the opening track of this album is very similar: a relaxing keyboard layout on which flute and percussion create a dreamy environment which speaks to my mind of woods, winds and nature in general.

The sudden passage to the second track brings us to Asia. The percussion have an Indian flavor but the flutes are more far eastern. Behind all, the keyboard layer is on minor chords so that the ambient is a bit darker than on the previous track. I think to a mountain landscape before a storm. The track title "A Canopy Of Shivers" demonstrates that what the artists succeded in transmitting the impression they wish to.

"Sirena"(Mermaid) starts, of course, with the sound of water and seashores. The soundscape is now very dark, similar to the spacey drones of Phrozenlight, with incomplete keyboard chords coming and going, apparently nowhere, but surely more things happen in this 9 minutes track than in a 30 minutes Phrozenlight's drone. I think that this track could be inspired from the famous episode in Homer's Odyssey when Ulysses listens to the mermaids' chant. After 4 minutes the keyboard layout becomes more consistent and the track reaches the level of the previous two. Unexpectedly there's a classical guitar which adds a floydian flavor so that the second half of this track is much more interesting. I think to Cluster One from the Division Bell or some slow atmospheric parts of "On An Island".

"Mycelia" starts with one minute of jungle noises (rain or fire?). The keyboard background is cold and a little dissonant. The percussion contribute in making it darker while the sound grows in volume. At the top of the crescendo the flute enters. It takes some time to get where the artists want, but at the end they reach the target. Meditative ambient music with a touch of darkness.

"The Divine Radiance" begins with noises which make me think to mechanical devices in a SciFi movie. A minor chord of Keys and flute accompanies them. After two minutes the keyboards are louder than the other instruments even though the initial noises are still perceivable. There's a string instrument below. Probably it's the dulcimer played by Richard Rich, but it could also be a guitar. The track which was apparently static is now developed. The atmosphere seems taken from Blade Runner, but later some strong noises and tapes are added so the final result is quite psychedelic.

Now it comes the longest (more than 18 minutes) track. Bells and drone noises in a jungle village. The bells sound like in a Buddhist temple and the contrast with the flute creates a strange atmosphere. The percussion are well inserted into this environment which grows sligthly. If I close my eyes I see a jungle in the morning and I can imagine a temple nearby, something like Angkor Wat. I'm used to let my mind travel when I listen to ambient music and enjoy when the music is able to transmit images to my mind. However the "Road to Winkuta" is in Mexico, not in Asia. I don't think it's a real place. I have read somewhere that "Winkuta" is where the peyote gatherers go. Thinking to this, the central part of the suite appears very mystic, and some sounds can also remind to the atmosphere of Ken Russel's movie "Altered States".

The closer "Tree of the Wind" is a relaxing piece with an unusual touch provided by the dulcimer which is played like an oriental instrument. The track starts in a very light way but when the dulcimer enters the keyboard chords become minor and the environment is darker. The instruments fade out in different moments and the album is gone.

If you like this kind of ambient electronic you'll surely be happy to get this album in your collection.


octopus-4 | 4/5 |


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