Music Reviews

Artist: Paragaté
Title: Stillness In the Mirror
Format: CD
Label: Auraltone Music (@)
Rated: *****
This second release by Paragate' on the trustworthy Auraltone Music's imprint sounds like a sort of documentary collection of a series of mystical experiences, whose title could ideally refer to the musical unwinding of a conceptual catachresis, whereas a reflected light unavoidably amplifies a refecting light. It's a process which seems to have a requital echo in the sound processing: the close delays, the echoing sounds which look like rapidly tramigrating from one point to another one inside the sonic space and evaporating into scented clouds on quasi-drone built on microtonal variations just like permanently recombinating and changing state could be considered a musical transposition of such a process. Most of tracks rest on that kind of padded ambient sets which are close to the so-called therapy music, even if the underlying rules Tim Risher, Tom Deplonty and Claus Gahrn (on mixer and ebow guitar) tried to severely stick to, based on the recursive repetition on a particular number of chords and the slow changes on rhythm as well as on the wise alternation (and in some moments of the record, we could more properly speak about a fusion) between sound and silence, could remind the canonical rigour of a classical ensemble. On the other side if you don't consider just the technical aspect, it could be easy you'll find yourself in an imaginary picaresque novel, wandering about a maze of mental alleys while listening the intricate piano daintiness of tracks like "Lord Of Stones", the muted metallic sticks and plops of "Still Morning" and "Concern With Language" (a track with a whimsical extract from Near and Random Acts by Charles Alexander, recited by an estranging voice), the enveloping natural soundscape of "Still Day" (whereas you could imagine yourself in the middle of an enchanted forest, inhabited by fairy lighting creatures), the sonic alembics inside which the sound seems to be electrochemically treated in "Tafelmusik" and then liquefied in the whispering bliss alchemy of "Stilhed I Spejlet", the entrancing sonic interpretation of the ode "To One In Bedlam" by Ernest Dowson (a poem I didn't can just imagine my enthusiasm when reading verses saying "Half a fool's kingdom, far from men who sow and read/All their days, vanity? Better then mortal flowers/Thy moon-kissed roses seem: better than love or sleep/The star-crowned solitude of thine oblivious hours!"), the stifled tolling in "Quietude" and the sweet hypsnosis of the final "Dreaming". The vague sense of bliss, peace and stillness impregnating the ground of this record could let think about it as a possible soundtrack for a Buddhist sutra, but I could warmly reccomend to listen to it while driving your car surrounded by the colors of dusk or dawn!

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