It is with a distant sound wave that begins “Craters”. Percussive elements peck these cosmic ambiances where the impression of drifting in the layers of Michael Jones is striking. The cosmic horizon is of a soothing calm. So much as the first tinkles of the chiming arpeggios are tinkling, our ears and our senses make a little jump of surprise. Constantly dressing its floating structure of atmospheric elements such as layers of voices and orchestrations, Bouvetøya manages to cement a strong moment of intensity which reaches its climax towards the 4th minute with a staging which is not reminiscent of these peaks of emotions in Manfred Man’s synth jets in Solar Fire. Intensity! Everything revolves around this word in this last opus of Bouvetøya; “Moonquake”. And this “Craters” locks us into a mass of orchestrations and synth effects which crosses the worlds of Michael Stearns and Vangelis in an intense cosmic canvas.
“Phenomenon” offers a very nice fusion of the French School a la Jean-Michel Jarre and the Berlin School Tangerine Dream’s sauce. A slow introduction of cosmic ambiances elements, which will also adorn its finale, creates woosh floating with layers as much drifting but which are possessed by souls of cosmic violins. Quietly a sound mass, richer than in “Craters”, raises the passions of the aficionados of interstellar esotericism in this introduction which waltzes with the sources of oblivion. So much, that glaucous and organic sounds get merge and are meandering these ambiences with sonic graffiti and sighs that sculpt good solos of a contemplative synth. These elements bring “Phenomenon” to a fluid movement of the sequencer. The rhythm is ideal to make work our neurons which must follow a fracture of the sequencer, releasing another contiguous line which hops in the hesitation of the first line of rhythm. Phantasmagorical elements ululate in the echo of this structure, like a concert of cosmic spectra which would go perfectly with the tales of a 4th dimension. Very good! Subsequently we come across “Synchronous” which presents another style of ambient rhythm surrounded by these decorative elements that sparkle all over the world of “Moonquake”. Here, they tinkle and parade like mini carousels that are trapped with rotating arches. A dense sound membrane releases the passion of the synthesizer on this pulsating rhythm. Its allegorical chants and its many scarlet streaks sharpened in passion add to the weight of this intense title that makes shivers run on our skin. In “Ocean”, it is rather the Mellotron that gives us chills. Its fluty songs float on a slow structure whose flickering arpeggios vaguely recall the arrangements of Vangelis in China or the peaceful progression of Jarre in Waiting for Cousteau. This long segment of contemplativity glides to another structure of rhythm, genre down tempo, which is pushed by a sequencer in mode Tangerine Dream. Grave chords bring dramatic effects while the Mellotron continues to charm our ears, just as these lunar orchestrations which cement this vision of emotional intensity which overhangs the 44 minutes of this other beautiful Bouvetøya album.
Sylvain Lupari (October 24th, 2018) *****