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Perceptual Defence "Time Lines" 2xCDr
Perceptual Defence is a pseudonym of a Swiss-Italian sound constructor and psychotherapist Gabriele Quirici, who is based in Rome. As an owner of rather broad discography, during the last few years he releases his albums through German SynGate Records and its sublabel Luna. While looking back, the first self-released albums have been released at the beginning of this millennium, these are mostly soundtracks created for various Musictherapy Groups and Butoh Dance Performances. However, as mentioned by Gabriele Qurici, his first official album, "Sounds From Space" was released in 2004 on Gianluigi Gasparetti/Oophoi's label Umbra. Known as a frequent collaborator, the list includes fellow soundscapers such as Oophoi, Tau Ceti, L.E.M., Syndromeda..., "Time Lines" double album is no exception. Actually, firstly this album was planned as a solo release, but after shaping the first personal "Time Lines", Gabriele has decided to invite his kindred musical souls to participate on the second half of this ambitious recording. Out since February 2015 on SynGate, the album is packaged in a standard double jewel case with 4-panel front cover including additional 4-page insert, while the inside of the back tray card features poetry by Annemarie Borg, one of the guests on "Time Lines". Digital art credit goes to Kevin O'Neill, while SynGate's Kilian Schloemp-Uelhoff is credited for additional design.
The first half of "Time Lines", entitled "Personal Time Lines" and collected between 2010-2014, unfolds with nearly 9-minute "Dreaming Time", where enigmatic washes are counterpointed with invigoratingly pulsing sequences and mesmerizing cyber-biotic traceries. Extra euphorically tinkling enhancements sneak in towards the end, while distant longing blanket consistently rides atop. A very strong intro!!! The next, equally long piece "Time Travelers", is announced by droning overture, but soon the center stage is invaded by vigorously sequenced cascades and climaxes, intensely commingling high-spirited time-lapses with quieter introspective glimpses. The title track, "Time Lines", reveals with cavernous echoes, which are quickly perforated by expansive dronescapes. Then glimmering sequencer arrangements join the foreground and persistently hypnotize the ears along with glancing sonic pungency, while panoramic, yet serpentinely intriguing drifts guard above. "Meditative Times", with 12:43 the longest piece on "Time Lines", amalgamates liquid sounds with soothingly emerging sequencer patterns. Perpetually titillating pulses are safely backed by expressive sinuousness, but the journey is almost overrun by auxiliary cyber-tech intensifications. "Hypnotic Lines" is an 8-plus minutes long composition transporting the listener into futuristic sequencer-driven Eden, where nearly ear-piercing, briskly bubbling sequences relentlessly arise, percolate, shimmer, fascinate, culminate and evanesce. An aural bliss awaits here, bravo, Gabriele!!! "Walking Time" returns into more relieving terrains, sculpted with endless spirals of joyful flickerings, mesmeric chitters and airy melodic nostalgia. Heavenly choirs clandestinely join this tranquilizing laid-backness before seamlessly transmuting into insistently magnifying helixes. "Child Time" immediately attracts with its elated structure of commingling synth sparkles and celebrates the birth of Gabriele's second daughter Irene. "The Circular Sound (Healing Time)" Gabriele dedicates to Camilla, his little patient, who has finally found after many years of therapy his strength to live. It's utterly gorgeous, euphorically charged piece meticulously bridging blissfully ricocheting sequences with warmly embracing horizons. What a beauty!!! "Saluto Ad Una Persona Importante (Sad Time)" was composed at April 13th, 2013, at a sad afternoon, one day after the passing of Gabriele's cousin Gianluigi "Gigi" Gasparetti. Ambiguous dronefields are masterfully coupled with exquisitely eloquent tapestries, it's a gracefully drifting and grippingly obfuscated composition!!! Gigi/Oophoi was always Gabriele's spirited musical mentor and this composition is a truly embracing tribute to this unforgettable Lord of unfathomable drones. Molte grazie, Gabriele!!!
"Friends Time Lines", the second half of the double set, reveals with "Inner Space Time", on which Perceptual Defence is joined by Syndromeda, a Belgian solo project by Danny Budts, who has already collaborated with Gabriele Quirici on two SynGate/Luna albums "Fear Of The Emptiness Space" (2014) and "Wormhole" (2015). Deeper drones are soon pervaded by sharply oscillating electronics with some rawer elements thrown in, all together blended with ethereal meridians. Additional high-piched crescendos ascend as well. A quite mindscaping beginning!!! The next guest joining the line-up is Dutchman John Valk Heslinga aka Waveman, who is, except being a synth player, probably better known as a host of EM radioshow. "Friends Time" is the title of a 9-minute piece blending perpetually winding intangible hypnotics with guiding cathedral flavored arpeggios. On "Metaphysical Time" Gerd Weyhing, a German progressive rock and ambient guitarist steps to the stage and adds his quite experimental, weirdly nuanced and piercingly buzzing electric guitar riffs to Perceptual Defence's insistently sparkling synth peripheries. This piece really drives my ears nuts!!! And this rather bizarre journey continues also through "Ricochet Time Lines", a track hosting another guest from The Netherlands, René van der Wouden, who acts under the moniker of Rewo. More minimal, slightly cavernous timbres melt with coiled hallucinogenic signals. This alloy inconspicuously transforms during the closing quarter into warmly sweeping panoramas percolated by yearning sequences. "Subway Time To Castro Pretorio Station", featuring Ian Keely aka Kilian Schloemp-Uelhoff, the boss of SynGate, unfolds, as predicted, with urban subway sounds, which are soon substituted by calmly revealing hidden oscillations, while glimpses of eccentric fragments appear here and there. Piero Monachello from Italy, who acts as Alluste, adds his soundscaping talent to "Silence Time", the second longest composition on "Time Lines". On the overture more mysterious, when commingling expansive vistas with translucently filigree tinkles, but later this scenario is infiltrated by tranquilly illuminating rhythm paragons. This one rules, bravissimo!!! Sylvain Mazars, the French sole protagonist behind Pharamond, ventures together with Perceptual Defence into infinite spatial emptiness entitled "Cosmic Time", where unfathomable drones pair with poetic, flute-like passages, before fresh electro cadence steal the show, with some 1970s synth evolution thrown in. On 11-plus minutes long "Rainy Time" prolific German soundsculptor Michael Brückner enters the scene, where meandering and tiding sequences are blended with gorgeously memorable rural sceneries, filled with showery authenticity, rapturous breeze and glorious euphoria. Certainly one of the pinnacles on "Time Lines"!!! On "Reflection Time" Enrico Cosimi, known as Tau Ceti, Gabriele's companion on Umbra/Penumbra labels, takes the spot and together deliver perplexingly droning and weepingly waving spectacle reinforced by elusively hypnotic rhythm currents occasionally augmented by cyber-biotic ephemerons. Another top-notch synergistic performance!!! This flamboyant journey is closed with "Moments Frail", on which Perceptual Defence is joined by French (with Swedish background) artist Annemarie Borg, the founder of Antara Project based in London. An exquisitely celestial odyssey guided by Annemarie's graceful choirs and spoken poetry fortified by intermittent cyber-tech subtleties crafted by Perceptual Defence brings this accomplished project into its finale. Enthrallingly balsamic conclusion!!!
"Time Lines" double album offers 153 minutes of emotionally driven and abundantly flavored collection of personal and shared, mostly touching moments. A quite massive gathering of like-minded spirits with soundforging talent showcasing variety of distinguishing insignias. Sure, quite broad array of styles is explored, especially on the second disc, but that's quite obvious due to its wide line-up of diversified guests, although still linked to its principal creator. When turning to the most recent activities, a third collaborative album between Perceptual Defence and Syndromeda is on the way, "The End Of The Universe" should be out on SynGate, the release date is still unknown. And the latest news also speaks about a double live solo album entitled "Life Lights In The Shadow", this one is scheduled on Dutch label Databloem. So stay tuned!!!
Richard Gürtler (May 28, 2016, Bratislava, Slovakia)