Out 30th November
Neo-classical and intelligent electronica music is what Fluttery Records are known for. AL_X has been off the radar for a few years since the prominent Shunt, which came out in 2014. This sparkling return to the scene brings seventeen brand new tracks to sink our ears into. Bringing out a more layered and textured composition than before, the ethereal quality of Liverpool's AL_X is given new dimensions.
Beginning with Auf Ver Loven, the music gracefully opens from a silence. Radiating synthesiser beams like dusty luminescence as harmonising tones drape extra garments over the silhouette. Organesque atmosphere grows in gradual blossoms that unfurl into harmonics and resonances. Piano breaks through like a stamen, it visits a brisk stairway of notes that dance around the flowing soundscape. Stringed instruments top the mix with introspective tones that uncloak to reveal choirs.
Next, another brief pause gives us time to muse on what we just heard. Then a distinctive new angle is unveiled that takes a vinyl warmth to a slightly jazz-like piano section. Strings warble in the background as synthesiser blips open out a sense of modernity. Time To Wait uses homely improvisations combine to create a once-in-a-life-time combination of sensations, dreams, and desires. Subtropical feelings flow from sunny mixing that distorts with energy.
A strange ambience creeps in from the shadow as odd harmonies form in windy gusts and the crackling of magic. Onwards Parts 1 and 2 enters with a cautious progression which then becomes a bass drone carried by resonant drums. Emotional and darkened beats rattle and thud in misty glooms which occasionally manifest into familiar shapes. Throbbing pulsations of power then stretch and vibrate across the bars, which then give way to a full-beam layering of the whole picture.
Distant melodies conjure ambient imagery that builds with each stroke of the brush. Enchanting notes whistle on humming undertones. Mysteriousness gathers in tranquil spotlights as the culmination of their breathing begins to form a shell of sound. Musing and ruminating passages of subtle composition rise into craggy landscapes awash with rivers and movement. Low Sun casts its presence upon choppy mixing infused with depths and kinesis.
Melancholy and relaxing piano strokes build from subtle depressions in the silence. A string howls in the distance before a key-change drifts the emotion into a new layer of depth. The Wait drifts like flags on solitary poles in abandoned parks, everything about them is the same only no-one is there to capture the moments as they flicker by. Next, we meet Singularity. The piano moves once again to dance in an adjacent field, one that's filled with budding flowers. An aromatic air hangs gently above the music as subtle symphonics coast in the wake of the tidal melody.
Now we head Into The Hills And Trees. A wideness spans out in quiet chords as piano and string then journey in meandering motions towards the present moment. A euphoria sprouts as digital tones scale in a major harmony across the thoughtful phrases of composition. A shimmering air with speckles of brightness dances with freeing sensations of musical calm. An untitled number follows for the eighth position on this immense album. Guitar and piano join as unison wander as vocals bring out a definitive human quality. More synthesiser gathers the slack fabric into folded uniformity.
A dreamy drench of spongy and soft synthesiser then emerges to gently press cushioning sounds on whatever harshness may remain. Unique sound forms and mirroring of clarity create a lattice of shifting intention as multi-instrumental yearns push for closer gazes at the core. Endless Sleep Ensemble lifts us into cotton like arenas that seek comfort and peace. This is followed by a depth that throbs with a sinister edge. Vaporous synthesiser spoons at suggestive intentions with twisting and scooping tones. Low Clouds forms an intensity over the passing bars which see amplitudes increase to bring out the layered dressing that garnishes the rhythm.
Leaving The World Behind carries a quick rhythm that crackles like a Victorian fire. Smooth vocals then open in organic lucidity which grounds us after a long stretch of out-there electronica. A trip-hop element builds with the melodic vocal-lines. As the composition builds, quirky synthesiser revels in the rhythms which tingle on emotional verses. Once the song is finished, another angle of strangeness is revealed by the low tide. Fuzzing sounds scatter in electron distribution diagrams focussing on protons of pure being. Dissemble takes its time, a Gregorian feel rumbles under the synthetic instruments, phonic mumbling on bass shelves motion onward as the slow-moving sounds break like gentle waves.
A sombre and solitary piano now opens with a pretty progression of notes. Interesting resonances playfully warm the notes as new elements join to create a multifaceted sonic schematic. Vibrant and shrill violins add a tension which grows to breaking then disappears with the music. Intermission gives us pause to think. It is replaced with a retro style bass progression that walks in a looped avenue of scale. Drums fill the spaces to create a river of rhythmic synthesised funk. Trumpet sounds cry like seagulls and a running sensation keeps the music building with new elements of composition. Beyond Perception shimmers with old-school motifs built from nostalgic keyboards.
La Ment starts like an underground train tunnel before the train arrives, a howling grows to a gust before a stream of steady music emerges from the gloom. Not a heavy carriage with an ominous facia but a sleek and gentle flow of dreamy tones with gracefully positioned chords. Plucked notes drip like rain on tense surfaces as shimmers of reflection move across the film. A rumbling drone builds into liquid colour as After The Rain begins. Gentle and softly struck tones create a passage for thought to progress under as harmonies and pressures seamlessly grow. It ends with For Ed. A brief pause lets us align our hearing before a breezy piano melody begins. Harmonies match note for note as dual compositions playfully dance along the stave. More layers of tune build in, making the music swell with cinematic charm and character. Ed must be some guy.
Low Clouds by AL_X is available on Bandcamp
You can visit Fluttery Records online
Listen to AL_X on Soundcloud
Rowan Blair Colver for The Electro Review.