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Fall Therapy - S/T (n5MD)


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Ambient music is a happening trend, this eponymous album, Fall Therapy, is something that takes advantage of that genre but has the capabilities to fulfill cinematic and wider popular palettes, Eymeric Amselem is going to amazing places! This is not just art music, this has the melodic whimsy that can probably attract a wider audience, employing fresh electronic and acoustic mixtures layered with textures and flavors that contain his unique secret sauce of snappy beats, sliding through various tempos and velocities bringing us through emotional electronic landscapes.

A dancing-stumbling rhythm pattern, quite engaging, visits from time to time through the tracks. Constantly flowing, impatient with sustained patterns, things change into new directions and there are layers of textures, and sometimes with very sparse vocals, all in English with a sexy French accent. Multi-instrumentalist (strong keyboards and violin, plus some acoustic guitar) Eymeric Amselem, is based in Grenoble (of the Alpine views—while you are there check out the cable cars), often returning to the tempo of a relaxed, graceful dance done in soft-soled shoes made popular in vaudeville, with high kicks, and complex African rhythms and steps such as the old smooth shuffle.

The listening starts off strong, I hear the sounds of a crackling turntable, textures melting into an instrumental hall of mirrors, with a mixed weave of tempo and instruments, keyboards, strings in melodic cycles, peppy complex gatherings between breaths that expand. And that is just the first track, “At First Whiff” (7:38).

Constantly flowing, impatient with sustained patterns ::

Keyboards that grab without excessive complexity, textural vibrations over a slow keyboard in a big echoey place, “Of Vertigo” (2:36) delivers a sensation of movement, perhaps surrounding objects that are moving, spinning and swaying. Begin by stepping forward with your left foot and shuffling forward and diagonally with your right foot then step with your right foot, to produce intricate, rhythmic patterns and phrasing, “Please Fall” (7:29) has a very engaging nervous beat, always keeping the toes tapping, jumpin’ in the dream worlds with vigorous hopping, flinging of the legs, and clicking of the heels, swirling around and around, risking dizzy collapse but always keeping the beat. This is a full surge of gambol atmospherics.

Preserving the mood in this next new chapter, track four adds a series of layers to the parfait, emerging from cold blackness with what I would describe as a ping pong beat, adding the back and forth sounds of paddle blows to the complex shuffle, with a lovely female vocalist singing in English. “Forward” (5:47), the effect is full elegiac complexity.

This music is from another planet (a good one), a splash of electronic arpeggiation, gentle nervous glittering in the periphery, the action is in the main chamber, framed in a huge echoey place and the stumbling rhythm takes over creating the effect of very interesting transitions into slower darker moods, “Float Through” (3:56) and the groove slows down. Only to open up!

“Whatever Remains of Your Comfort” (9:43) adds some field recording textures, passing back through that big open room while the stumbling rhythm captures the attention and keyboards ripple in, lots of tricky subtle complex melodic waves. The sequence of rhythmic patterns is engaging, it keeps changing while our dancer shuffles in and out, layers of very playful light melodies and patterns, nostalgic colors interweaving in eclectic ecstasy.

Now it is time to break out the guitar, fingers plucking, add violin strings, smooth violin breezes, delicate melodies “And Fragile Hopes” (3:04), creating a new mood, very sweet and sad. This song illustrates how versatile Eymeric Amselem is, taking his listeners into new places while keeping the general groove of the album.

Back into the flying machine for some sky dancing, “Soar Away” (12:06) assembles some odd pieces that fit together, some fast and some slow, to make a blurry mixture. Some bits are in focus and some keep moving, creating a whole that keeps changing, field recordings decorating a place for the tunes to frolic and that beat, the ping pong game beat in the middle and extending into new places. We are floating about and then comes the beats for a spell. This is a long track, at times it opens up and just soars, ending in darkness.

Swimming in the cetaceous expanses ::

“Far Enough” (6:57) emerges, string plucks and gentle synthesizer elevators, open and floating, a male vocalist dolefully puffs interesting ideas, and the listener’s thoughts have room to wander in and out. The closing track, “To Be Whales Again” (4:47) visits some field recordings at the beach with some small kids enjoying the sound of the waves, layered with emerging melodica, only to swoop, submerging into the green and blue depths, swimming in the cetaceous expanses. Here is the nostalgia, a playful simple melody floating on the breeze right on top, where the whitecaps gather gently, easing out and fading into the edge of the world.

Doing my homework when encountering a new (to me) talent, insights which float in easily on the googlewind, I found some established descriptions which I thought were spot on, and which might help further illustrate what Fall Therapy provides for the ears: “glitched up UK Garage-inspired beatwork,” and something about being “halfway between IDM and ambient with interwoven stringed instrument tablecloths, organic beats and  nervous synth patterns at the crossroads of Plaid, Clark, Burial or Mad Hatter.” This I gathered from local Grenoble sources, Retour de Scene and Minizap. On my own, I would attempt to somehow characterize this album as probably unmatched for ingenuity in creating new steps, an excursion into pop beats and clever sliding of the feet and occasional ping pong tabletop percussion, clasped by warm romantic intentions, telltale rhythms, and unexpected harmonic kicks.

Igloo says things.

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