By : Mike, Ambient Music Guide
Sometime in 2007
Ajana Music put out a v.a compilation a few years ago called A Magical Journey highlighted by a ghostly piece of slow breaks called "Perce Orielle" by Swiss artist aka Electrypnose. Now comes this stunning new album which completely fulfils that track's promise.
Subliminal Melancholy is dark, glistening and beautiful and sounds unlike anything in psychedelic chill right now. Ghostly synth chords and haunting melody lines move and morph like oil in a lava lamp, defying gravity as they glide through shadowy passages and circle under threatening skies. The mood is positively gothic at times ala early Delerium, such as "New Wave" with its doomy piano figures and unresolved chord changes. The beats are an odd and varied concoction of slow to mid-tempos influenced by breaks, techno, dub and drum'n'bass, sometimes pulled part and reconstructed with striking originality.
The music casts long shadows - Electrypnose is rather fond of minor keys - yet it falls well short of morbid gothic indulgence or avant noise. Excellent melodic writing is what gives these twilight atmospheres and meticulous sound design the necessary colour and emotion. Melancholy is a good thing it seems. One of the most original and compelling psy-ambient releases I've heard in a long time. Rating: 5/5
By : Paul, Morpheusmusic
Sometime in 2007
Bright, digital downtempo grooves, with clean synthetic melodies. Subliminal Melancholies opens with some deep spacey ambience - expansive and open, the plaintive cries of whales echoing in the depths before one of the most delightful, glitchy beats sets in. The album unfolds into a series of carefully crafted tracks where alien voices, didgeridoos, and guitars enhance the primary synthesiser arrangements. Electrypnose doesn't overdo the use of arpeggiation or the repetition of cycling patterns - there are plenty of well developed motifs and melodies here. One of the most enjoyable aspects of this CD is the beat construction - fragmented rhythms that are constantly varying and twisting - lo-fi crunches and muted loops, patterns fed through rolling effects, all enhancing the basic rhythms..
Lucid electronic dream spaces - at times hypnotic and trancey, then melodic and wistful. Indeed a melancholy air in keeping with the title is held through many of the tracks - the choice of key and chordal patterns leading to harmonies and themes that automatically suggest gentle sorrows.
Clear sky blue panels support a variety of graphic abstractions in shades of grey suggestive of undefined technical equipment. The CD comes with a two page booklet that opens out to relay thanks, credits and contact info. Track details are on the rear.
This is a strong downtempo debut from Switzerland's Vin's le Barde. As Electrypnose he has already had tracks featured on Ajana's 'A Magical Journey' compilation series. Electrypnose describes his chosen styles as "hard night, trippy, totally disturbed, full on, morning, melodic and .... ambient, trip hop, melodic electronic music, sofa surfing, experimental inspired by Aphex Twin or venetian snare ... and more" - quite a range, yet the result is tightly coherent and with a tidy vision of its own. As his most inventive Vin's produces tracks where almost every bar differs from the next - especially well done in the excellent opening track 'Submarine'.
WHO WILL LIKE THIS ALBUM
Chillout fans looking for pure electronica with a bit of emotive content. Electrypnose will appeal if you like something that demands a bit of attention and rewards your concentration.
Chill/worldbeat/ambient/electronica info hub
By : Impossible Vortex
Very good album!!!
Great melodies, beats, emotion, ambience/atmosphere. Some of these tracks are mentally provoking. It's interesting. I really like his work on this album. It's very different from what I'm generally used in the downtempo genre. Lots of feeling and thought seems to have gone into this one. I really like the variety of songs here. From ambient/chill, to downtempo, new agey/chill, breakbeat/downtempo. He even ends the album with a sad (almost tragic sounding) yet beautiful downbeat/ambient piece to conclude the moody opening ambient one. I'm generally not big on breakbeats and although I'm glad he limeted the album to of them, I really like them both. How he created these songs, what he placed around the breakbeats are great. Having these two (tracks 9, 10) tracks makes a nice variety too. Both are good, maybe one or both is great!
In Conclusion, Electrypnose: Subliminal Melancholies is my most favorite downtempo album by a main artist in 2006. It has a handful of good and great songs on it. This is moody, at times sad (opening song) or surreal like stepping into a fairytale or dream (track 2, 6), album. And some tracks are more driven in the beat or beats (Tracks 3, 8, 9, 10). There are no bad or average tracks here. Track 4 and especially 7 are both slower and less engaging and catchy compared to others to me. Overall Subliminal Melancholies isn't a masterpiece but a follow-up to this style has that potential. This album is like a breath of fresh air. Some of the work here is excellent. I love it. My friends love it. There's atleast one or two songs that I consider superb for the downtempo genre. I could go on and on. This is easily one of the top best downtempo and electronica albums of 2006.
Favorite songs: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11.
By : DeathPosture
Out on Germany’s Ajana Records, is the third album by Swiss sound sorcerer Vince Le Barde. This productive, elusive producer released his wonderful 2nd album Le Tireur De Ficelles on Peak Records only 3 months prior to this… The difference of course, lies in Le Tireur De Ficelles being an up-tempo danceable album, whereas Subliminal Melancholies is chilled downbeat stuff… Well, on the surface at least! More about that later…
Ever since his excellent debut album Brain Stretching (ResonantEarth.com 2005) I’ve been a big fan of Vince’s musical output and pretty much everything I’ve heard from this versatile producer has been excellent… Including his very interesting chill tracks released on the two A Magical Journey compilations (Ajana Records 2005/2006) + his highly original chill track Bas Le Masques running at an incredible 193 BPMs per minute closing up his last album… All in all, this, his first downtempo album is destined to greatness… Let’s find out!
Let me take you thru the tracks…
As the title suggests, the album kicks off with a submerged, hollow-sounding underwater tune… Its icy cold clinically-distilled ambient music with only a few, subtle beats in the last half of the track… Not unlike the chilled maestro’s CBL and Solar Fields really… Dreamy, eerie and melancholy stuff… The echoing submarine steel and subtle whale songs are the icing on the frosty cake… Awesome!
#02: Neverending Story
Up next is another piece of sonic bliss… The track starts with some seriously cut up alien voices accompanied by a gorgeous melodic lead very reminiscent of the works of Mr. Angelo Badalamenti… Add some subtle Ventian Snares/AFX industrial off-key breaks and cuts, and you’re close to the sound of this sweet track! That’s right; this is deeply emotional, epic stuff… Like a trippier, less sad version of Bluetech with the added odd time signature stamp… Amazing!
#03: Cordial Family
Two such amazing tracks must be hard to top – and yes, the icicle does melt now… Sure, this track has loads of interesting moments... Especially the clash between organic and digital sounds is interesting to observe, but somehow it does move me as much as the previous tracks… Also I don’t quite agree with the high-pitched, squelching noises – not really something I dig in downbeat music that I often use to relax or sleep… Anyway, it’s not a bad track at all – it’s just not as great as the two previous ones…
#04: Mountain Landscape
When I first started reviewing Vince’s music a couple of years ago, I often described his music as ‘highly inspired by the majestic Swiss peaks’. On this track his old inspiration shines thru musically again – and this music is like a nice mountain backdrop with incredible depth and latitude… Nothing too complicated going on – it’s all subtle, floating stuff… Like a step, depp Bulgarian Radi-style mountain (Psynews insider-joke, sorry… ) Nice little tune, though again it’s not a stand-out…
#05: Entre Palmeras
From ice-covered Swiss mountains, it’s time to head south and get between palms! And sure enough, the sun is starting to challenge the cold now, and we’re slowly moving towards sunnier, more progressive stuff… This is very nice, soothing downbeat wallpaper – perfect for relaxing… Yummy!
This choon kicks off with some analogue synth exploration that is soon joined by a strange off-key piano melody… All very relaxed and peaceful. Suddenly some subtle radical distortion breaks the mould with AFX-like irregular rhythm patterns + some heavily vocoded voice samples… A clash of two worlds, which you would usually find hard to combine outside of IDM, but Vince does it with the greatest of ease here… And it works and fits the flow off the album… Nice!
I have no idea what Rozococie is referring too… Sounds like the name of an obscure, Polish village, but I have no idea… What I do know, is that Vince is joined by fellow countryman Ajja S.F. Leu (The Peaking Goddess Collective/Yab-Yum) on guitar on this extremely chilled, esoteric piece of mellow downbeat… The added organic flavour of the guitar is a real asset, and this is among the most epic, ethereal tunes here… Very tasty!
On this track Vince is joined by some dude called Francois Chabbey on guitars, and another dude called Olivier on didge… More ‘real instrumentation’ is great, and once again they help lift the track to higher levels… This is absolutely lovely stuff… Very sunny, organic and uplifting… Epic, drifting and delicate… Brilliant!
#09: New Wave
“Cris-crossing the Torah, is a code of hidden words and phrases that not only reveals our past and present, but foretells our future. Some even believe that it contains the actual blueprints of the universe.” Whereas New Wave is another extremely unique tune, it has some of those high-pitched sounds that bothered me earlier, so for chilling this is maybe not so good… But as a piece of non-linear, non-conformist music it’s very interesting… We’re drawing even closer to industrial/IDM territory here – the drum&breakz percussion is a dead give away… Interesting track with a fitting length…
#10: This Is The Beginning
Next up is a track with is just as unique as the previous one, but without too many high-pitched sounds… But this is still über-hardcore for a supposed chilled track… The hardcore, distorted, industrial-like stabs are weighed out just right – and the atmosphere here is VERY mechanical-animal like… It’s not quite illbient, but its close… Kick-ass!
The final track with the cryptic title is more organic vs. digital eclectic downbeat music… It’s a clash of smooth, slick, floating organic vibes colliding with sharp, electronic, industrial elements… And some guy called Djoul on drums! And somehow Vince manages to make it all sound extremely blissful… I dunno how the hell he does it, but it totally works… A fine way to end this unique album!
With this album I got exactly what I hoped for: A full Electrypnose album that continued the trend Vince started on those few selected downbeat tracks he already released…By that I mean a clash of soothing, floating, mellow organic sounds enhanced with vivid experimentation especially in the rhythm sections… The off-key, often distorted and industrial AFX-like rhythm signatures were already a major factor on his last album Le Tireur De Ficelles, but Vince manages to draw on the same influences on this downbeat album… That also means, that for serious chillage or even sleeping this album might be a little too hectic – but for lucid chilling it’s very good! Sure, there’s a couple of tracks that are not as good as the rest, but as usual with Electrypnose, the quality level is VERY high and the competition for stand-out tracks is fierce! In short all that means, that this in an extremely well executed and very mature album! I dig it!
It’s no secret that I wasn’t very impressed with the last artist album Ajana Records released: the hugely disappointing Endless Universe by Psyfactor… But with this little gem, everything is forgotten… The artwork has also improved at great deal and all in all I’m very satisfied with this… Fans of eclectic downbeat will need to check this out, as will fans of psy-downbeat/IDM crossover stuff… Purists will have to look elsewhere though… I’m not a purist though – and this is another subliminal Electrypnose album… Enjoy!
Favourites: 1(!), 2(!!), 6, 7, 8(!), 10, 11
By : Rah
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…