Alchemy 2016



Final chapter in a tremendous trilogy of progressive ambience designed to lure the listener away from gloom.

A finale of sorts, this album finds guitarist Jon Durant and PORCUPINE TREE’s bassist Colin Edwin further exploring experimental riches of sound and reaching out to its blissful edge. So if you’re looking for cathartic trip, “Emergent” might be exactly the experience you need.

The album’s title track can go some way to separate Edwin’s bottom end and Durant’s floating lines, yet its slow, pseudo violin-vexed, vortex is impossible to evade, and there’s euphoria in “The Confidence Of Ignorance” where rich, if rarefied, harmonies cautiously yield to tribal rhythms as if to evoke cosmic consciousness, so escape would be the last thing on the listener’s mind. A sensation of delicious enchantment descends with “The Bubble Bursts” even before chthonic bass is trying to shatter the piece’s serenity whose Bali-scented synthetic flute and rippling piano breathe with hot humidity only to be disturbed by funky rage and sprinkled by acoustic guitar, all without losing their blissful drama.

There’s no cooling it with “More Snow” as Vinny Sabatino’s one-man gamelan beats seep through an Eastern melody to spice up the electric slither born in the unison of fretted instruments, and the heavy, labyrinthine, almost orchestral “Turning Torso” excitedly vibrates in a space disco kind of manner. Elsewhere, “Until The Stars Go Out” is almost devoid of groove, the number’s minimalistic licks measuring the gloom which is stricken with glockenspiel-like splashes once decreasingly nebulous patterns are revealed. More energetic, if somehow languid, “Language Of Movement” has meandering strains of strings woven into a sunlit tapestry, but the lucid flutters of “Ghosts Aquatic” solidify in a crystalline elegy.

Somewhat unexpected if approached with a clear mind, “Emergent” is an ultimate realization of a dream.


March 10, 2017

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