Total time: 75:45
INDRA is definitely a ‘machine’ to produce music. A lot of it! Just in 2005 the Romanian musician produced 7 albums, including an album in concert, besides a crowd of musical pieces that he judged out of context, or being inadequate, to nest on one of these albums among which Signs and The Call of Shiva 1 were going to reveal the music outside the frontiers of the one that I nickname without shame: the contemporary Klaus Schulze of Romania.
Emerald One invites us in the 2nd chapter of this titanic Archives series that INDRA has reworked in his studio for the most great pleasure of his fans. But was it necessary? Is the material of this section of the Archives series at the high as the albums of INDRA in 2005? I think we have to be fans to answer justly to this question. And I am! We have to know his music adequately, which I do, and to know the evolution of this great synth wizard to judge of it. Which I still do. And when I hear hypnotic things such as ‘Phase Two’ for example, I know that I am going to get some great music to stuff my ears with from this Romanian magician.
‘Arian Theme’ begins with the acute reverberations of a flutty carillon. A line of sequences hides behind this ochred veil and frees its keys which drum and skip sharply in a structure of ambient rodeo where these carillons roam as a veil of sibylline harmonies. More crystalline sequences, and more musical, pierce this cloud of contradictions of tones in order to dance freely in a structure filled with electronic effects. These lines of sequences spread some harmonious verses and go and come through these sonic turbulences while pulsatory booms-booms inject an approach of techno for marinated zombies. The play of sequences, the percussions, the veils shaded as well as the carillons add a lot of depth to this track which would have very well appeared on Signs.
‘Saxish’ is more in a dance musical mode, a kind of crisscross of funk and break-dance, with symmetric booms-booms which whip the harmonies and the solos in tints of jazz, quite near those of Schulze in his In Blue period, from a synth running wild. The minimalist approach is perturbed by some short ambient or psychotronic transitory phases, leading ‘Saxish’ in the hands of a DJ for a Friday night dance and trance event.
‘Apocalypto’ is built little on the same model as ‘Saxish’ but in a purer envelope (less effects) while digging a little in the effects of ‘Arian Theme’ (sighs of the carillons).
After a big 27 minutes of dance music, ‘Phase Two’ brings us to cosmic atmospheres on a great morphic techno majestically soft and deliciously bewitching. The play of the bass drum throws magnetic impulses which freeze the senses and the electronic effects (we can hear murmurs of cetaceans) decorate these ambiances which impose a phase of serenity, even if sometimes they are boosted by dramatic orchestral effects and by attempts of stowage into phases more dance-able. It’s a superb track!
Just like ‘Farewell’ which is livelier and among which the wildly jerky structure of rhythm, the airy voices and the orchestrations remind unmistakably Klaus Schulze in his period 95-97. Plus effects ‘made in’ INDRA!
‘Piccolino’ seems to belong to a past more distant than the 2005 period of INDRA. And this is to say the least, if we rely on the sound envelope which sounds so much older. It’s another title which mixes the dance music with phases more astral as INDRA knows so well how to do it. The rhythm is delicately hopping and respects the signature of the Romanian musician with sequences which are embroidered very tight, having little space between every jump. The effect gives a rich rhythm, without holes or tears. A minimalist structure which wins in intensity and as soon as the point of explosion is felt, it returns to its square one. A little like a coitus interruptus. INDRA takes good care of stuffing our ears to the limit with a sound fauna rich in cosmic and organic elements which merges marvelously with the movements of a structure of rhythm which is rather ambient.
‘La Porte des Reves’ proposes a furtive structure of rhythm with a line of bass sequences of which the delicate pulsations depict quite well the corridors of dreams. Some more crystal clear sequences are ringing over there, as well as subdued voices which murmur some sibylline hymns. It’s very restful and the effects of percussion gas as well as these lines of voice which go adrift, such as songs of spectres on some kind of Martenot waves, add to the surrealism of this aesthetic movement.
This is astral rhythm unique to INDRA’s signature, as in ‘The Methodist’ which pursues in this lineage of rhythm as much mesmerizing as meditative. It’s a slow tempo that percussion and sequences try to charm for a down-tempo while the melody, kind of a dreamy one, which arises in 2nd portion adds a touch as romantic as spectral.
For me there is no doubt; Emerald One is as good as INDRA’s albums back in 2005. There is a couple of titles in there that I cannot believe that they were forgotten in the sometimes severe judgment of INDRA regarding his composer’s talent. And I end this chronicle by listening to Emerald Two… I already look forward to write about it!
Sylvain Lupari (June 12th, 2016)