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Antiklimax - 2011 - "Green Largo"

(50:29, ‘Antiklimax’)



1.  Abandoned Places 2:33
2.  Halo 2:53
3.  Dreary Culture 6:21
4.  Paradigma 5:34
5.  Tribulation 4:36
6.  Green Largo 16:00
7.  Pariah 8:30
8.  Tim's Song 4:02


Vincent Benesy – all instruments

Prolusion. ANTIKLIMAX is a project initiated and led by French composer and keyboardist Vincent Benesy. For the first three productions this was a band set-up containing other musicians from various parts of the world contributing to a lesser or greater degree, but on the most recent album, "Green Largo", Vincent has chosen to do everything himself. As with the previous Antiklimax effort, "360 Degrees", Benesy has opted for a digital release, the physical copies of this work limited to the ones used for promotion.

Analysis. Benesy describes "Green Largo" as something of a minimalistic creation, given the overall description as "A journey through dead city landscapes; elements of Technology overwhelmed by Nature". A setting which in my mind would call for music a tad more challenging that what's provided in this particular case. Then again, with hundreds of science fiction books on my list of novels read, my expectations for such a setting will be a tough one to fulfill. That the music explored on this creation is of a minimalistic nature is very much true. Not in terms of following in the footsteps of the so-called Berlin School of electronic music, however. Instead we're treated to compositions of a singular nature, pretty much crafted with a similar approach and utilizing a select few dominating effects. The main and most prevalent of these are dampened, slowly moving, fluctuating textures, with a bleak and slightly ominous presence always hovering in the background in an almost drone-like manner – a gentle wall of sound, so to speak, warm in timbre yet also barren and lifeless, a sound that would be a fitting backdrop for scenes of deep, empty space to my mind and imagination. Relatively simplistic melodic sounds with subtle rhythmic qualities are then placed on top, frequently with a carefully resonating quality and in a wavelike pattern, and mostly contrasting the darker backdrop with tones of a lighter timbre, with occasional inserts of fragmented patterns and sounds catering for variety. While not the most positive and joyful music I've encountered, I generally found this album to be a pleasant experience. A bit too close to what most would describe as new age on several occasions: most of these electronic journeys venture back and forth on the boundary between this type of music and the more innovative territories of progressive electronic music. The final three pieces are probably the most refined seen in that context, where the addition of surging textures, layers of sound of a more distorted and offbeat nature and the subtle addition of sounds with somewhat more of a rhythmical nature combine to expand the compositions as a whole to a plane more sophisticated and innovative, frequently giving me associations towards Tangerine Dream, although not to the most challenging parts of that band's repertoire.

Conclusion. If you generally enjoy instrumental electronic music and if minimalistic creations of a bleak and melodic nature sounds like something you might want to investigate, Antiklimax has crafted an album you'll most likely enjoy with "Green Largo". The music is somewhere in between Vangelis and Tangerine Dream in expression, with an emphasis on minimalistic melodies of a singular nature. Of a pleasant rather than challenging nature I might add, so those who prefer music of this kind to be distinctly challenging will have to look elsewhere.

OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: October 16, 2011
The Rating Room

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