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Ars de Er - Somnambule CD (album) cover


Ars de Er



4.04 | 4 ratings

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars For non French speaking people, let's say that "Somnambule" means "Sleepwalker".

This 41 minutes single track is very well explained by its title. I interpret it as a journey into a dream. A first part is based on keyboard major chords with little variations. It's like the first phases of sleep, when the sleeper is initially relaxed. I can imagine to see landscapes, dreamy situations, the kind of things thatsometimes come to the mind when the conscience is relaxed and you are about to fall into a deeper sleep. It goes this way for about 10 minutes, then suddenly bass and drums put you into a different mood. It may be a nightmare, or just a different kind of dream. There is drums, then electronic noises like in many drones from the Berlin school. Now it's like being in a deeper dream, more detached from reality with things going on until only a piano note and a clock remain. The clock is suddenly replaced by a rock section introduced by bass seconded by electric guitar and percussion. At this point we are about at half the track and it unexpectedly turns into a sort of free jazz with a swinging bass, but without abandoning the main theme. When it ends, we are ready for the next section: dark chamber rock in an ART ZOYD vein. Another sudden change and a sort of remote wind is the background dor little rhythmic noises, but it's time for a church organ. From free jazz to classical in few minutes. My imaginary dreamer is having several different moments in his night. After the organ there's another dark section of keyboards and noises. I'm not sure about the album, but I think SENMUTH has done something similar revisiting in music the travel of Osiris in the realm of death.

Depending on the listener's state of mind, this part can even be considered spacey, as TANGERINE DREAM were in their Pink period, but the strange noises resembling a sort of melody in the background are closer to the way a sleeper's mind interprets the sounds heard while sleeping. It stops and a sort of wind remains, then tapes, piano strings manually hit, sound effects make it really weird. Let me say that there is continuity even with the sudden changes. This track is a journey and after more than 30 minutes one can start wondering what the outcome will be.

Some seconds of silence and it's organ and brasses. Now there's a melody. Dark, of course. I'm lost. I can't find my imaginary dreamer now, I can only follow the music trying to figure out where it's about to go. This organ stops and the piano continues its work. For about a minute I think to Claude DEBUSSY but it's quickly replaced by a harder section made of organ and dissonant keys, then relax again, bells and from the bottom, the initial keyboard raises slowly for a while. We are brought to the end of this sleepwalking journey by the bells...susrprise...I won't disclose it. I just say that the very last sound is the ringing of a wakeup.

I've had some fun describing it in this way, but more technically speaking, I have to say that the guy behind this project is a very skilled multi-instrumentist able to put a lot of ideas and make them work together. As in the story above, there's a bit of jazz, classical, noise, electronics, and even if I can't be 100% sure, I think there are true instruments, not keyboards only.

I have really enjoyed this journey into a musical dream. If you are in the right mood for a thing like this you just have to try it.

octopus-4 | 4/5 |


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