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Electrypnose - Subliminal Melancholies, AJACD0006
Review, Written by Rah, Sonic Energy
Subliminal Melancholies is the long awaited second album of Vins Le Barde’s sudden incursion in the world of psychedelic trance as the now renowned Electrypnose. The name makes it clear -or at least hints the idea- we might be dealing with a softer side of the coin from the pieces of his down-beat repertoire we had been listening in scattered locations, all with a very positive response. The specific type of music ranges from ambient tunes, to chill going all the way to his ‘experiments’ in down tempo. These tracks often sound like corrosive, glitchy breaks with muffled kicks and heavenly sounds to mix a weird soufflé, making everything into a fluid symbiosis, breaching that gap between producer and artist. This is the same guy that has no trouble spilling out a mechanic vibes at 150, straight from Fritz Lang’s Metropolis in his very worse nightmare. The end result is melancholy, feeling, musical composition without sounding clichéd or cheesy for a second..

Submarine opens in ambiance to the sound of whales communicating in their daily water-cooler conversation about… god knows what. Piano lines are subtly introduced one note at the time as the track takes form. Somewhere around the third minute a beat comes in and the submarine is complete with all sorts of side effects, perfectly restrained as to not damage the actual environment sitting atop, like sound pollution that in some strange way complements this aquatic exploration.

The very first movie I remember watching in theaters (which is a big deal, because I love movies) was Never Ending Story. That same Christmas some family member gave me as a present the sound track of the movie in tape, that literally got jammed from listening to it so many times. I have tried to remember if there are any specific sounds that remind of the sound score and to be honest, I’m not completely sure. I think the main line that comes in about half way might have something to do, but it could be placebo. Either way, I cannot get enough of it, and the interplay with the bass is heavenly. I keep thinking I have heard it before and as such it all makes sense now, even If I can quite put my finger on it. Its magical come-down music and I’m placing a pin in the backburner to play it when that moment presents itself again in my adventures. Big thumbs up.

Cordial Family reminds me a lot of the general mood Ajana presents in his Magical Journey compilations. So, in a way this is all about that sound for me. Mysterious, eerie sounds challenging the notions you can have distress and chill music. In this particular track the high pitchers -like some gun-powder rocket gone terribly wrong- for the first couple of minutes bother me a bit, is not inviting me to listen to this but I carry on. By this point this is exactly what Electrypnose defines as ‘experiments’. Is not down-tempo, is not IDM and is not breaks, its some weird fusion that sits in between. Interesting, freakish family we deal with here.

The Mountain Landscape of melancholy swirls with gliding sounds from the beginning asserting a catchy line and baleful energy decrescendo that keeps getting more and chilled as the timeline runs its course. Call it good meditation music.

Entre Palmeras is slightly deceiving. It’s supposed to convey a tropical feel of Palm trees, sun and probably the ocean in the background, but I don’t get that dubby taste. Perhaps only the really heavy bass marked with the signature glitches around the edges and the distant voices. Around half way through there’s some synth action, bare piano lines but I’m still not being transported to the Island. Let’s drop that mental image altogether and focus on the music here. Unfortunately the track is not grabbing me.

Tripad a return to what Electrypnose does so well, that gothic, magical feeling in the harmonic structure to create the psychedelic sound score for the new Munster’s family show. It’s detailed and especially designed to grab you from the beginning, as the piano takes us through. In the middle we find some chirping sounds that remind me a lot of the door bell in my house and I keep looking to see if someone is actually ringing. Well executed, I like it.

We have reached the 7th chapter with Rozococie and that is good news. Along with invited artist Ajja Leu they have placed forward an amazing piece that puts a lot of attention on the guitar solos on top of a chill beat. It reminds me a lot of Canartic and his album Headphone Test released last year. It’s got that blues-y guitar the chill atmosphere, the hints of Carlos Santana circa 1970’s, for me post-rock music should be ALL about this. If you are going to hear simply one sample in this album, make it this one. And Vins, bring Ajja back we want to hear him working in something Electrypnose again.

The collaborations continue in Bozom, Olivier (didgeridoo) and Francois Chabbey (Guitar) from Water Lily continues giving new life to the Electrypnose experiments. By association this one conveys more of an eastern vibe. Each one brings something valuable into the track making a composite of influences, which is why psychedelic chill out can get so exiting at times. There so many ideas mixing in the pot together that is very pleasing to hear something work. This is barely digital in sound, heavily marked by the organics, focusing on different elements to build trance states.

New Wave goes back that same 1700’s post-gothic feel accentuated by the piano (or whatever they call those instruments at that time) and gently pushes gritty jungle-esque, fractured, break core rhythms with noir pads. Interesting…

This Is the Beginning goes deeper into full-time glitch-break mode of mechanical proportions on top heavenly pads that strike a sense of machine-made Armageddon, highlighting that sweet point before they blow it all to hell. There isn’t much interaction of elements, it’s all very minimal, but it’s supposed to be a beginning and it works well as a good set opener. If you manage to beat match a long intro on this, it can work wonders.

00-16 is something of a recapitulation of what we just heard. I could type “magical, eerie, glicthy, mysterious” all over again but man, wouldn’t that be boring? So I’ll just say it encompasses the feeling of the album quite well and places a golden ribbon at the end to leave you feeling rewarded.

I had the opportunity to play this album for a high-brow, classical music connoisseur (one of those folks that feel extremely proud of having the entire discographical collection of Beethoven) who happened to study in Berkeley at some point in the sixties. After playing the album for him for about ten minutes, he looked at me back and said nonchalantly “Are you trying to hypnotize me to sell me something later?” Coming from him, that was huge compliment. So let’s look at it that way, Electrypnose is trying to hypnotize you to sell you something. What? A window into what his subliminal melancholies sound like. And it’s a fascinating world down there…
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