The 6th album from the Belgian artist Godfried Stockmans aka STOCKMAN is suitable for listeners who like industrial ambient. It describes an ecological desaster of incredible extent after a failed experiment having consequences for the entire civilisation. The music mirrors doubts, confidence and suspension during the experiment. After its failure and extensive conatmination despair, grief, rage, hope and resignation are expressed in different varieties. But the world keeps changed and empty...
Review Sylvain Lupari:
There are some of these surprises which burst in our ears and Stockman is quite a big one.
Musical winds and rustles of metal get involved in chirpings of tiny extraterrestrial bugs. The intro of "Experiment 545" floats in a broth
of lively tones when a soft movement of sequences make ring its keys like a wind blows on carillons. And a splendid down-tempo infiltrates our ears. The rhythm is smooth, soft and very suggestive. It waves by the strength of the percussions on this bed of gleaming arpeggios which sparkle in a shower of white noises. And 83 seconds later, no more rhythm. The ambiences of the intro are returning haunting our ears with a more experimental collage of samplings which calls a world of distress or an ethereal life purpled by quirky tones. It is
according to our imagination. And the rhythm returns about 3 minutes later. Rolling on its percussions and bursting out of thousand prisms, it lasts beyond 150 seconds before taking refuge in the iridescent breaths of a more serene finale. "Experiment 545" is the 6th opus from the Belgian musician Godfried S tockmans who is active on the label SynGate since 2003 with the album The World of Azquan. An experienced musician who composes music since the beginning of the 80's, Stockman stands out as a figurehead in the art of the abstract music, from where the release of his 5th album on SynGate's subdivision label Luna. "Experiment 545" presents about 58 minutes of experimental music from which the down-tempos with nasal harmonies remind me the sequenced movements of Software. But before embracing these rhythms, it is necessary to decode the electronic messages which float as threats for the hearing everywhere around these mislaid movements. Ill-founded threats, because "Experiment 545" turns out to be as much beautiful as a shower of Percidae in the abstractions of an aurora borealis crushed by some weird magnetic singings. "Contamination" presents a slow intro blown by beautiful lines of a synth which releases its perfumes of old organ. The tenebrous ambiance covers itself of a veil of discomfort with a pleiad of tones to the tastes of white heat metal which roars of an abstract voice. It's little like to hear the singing of whales through a dome covered with broken glasses. Some graver tones make flee these esoteric singings, entailing the carcass of "Contamination" in a high level of radiation. Small sequences begin to flutter at around the 5th minute. We know that there will be rhythm, but we ignore the shape. The sequences waltz and jump like rabbits in emptiness while that other more black sequences burst out of a circular movement. Felted percussions and another more craggy line weave a clumsy rhythm which moves forward furtively on the sweetness of a melody which has difficulty in filtering its harmony. This segment of rhythm of 4 minutes evolves with finesse, freeing beautiful fragments of electronic melodies which fit so well to the nuances which wrap this impressive abstract work which is "Experiment 545". "Toxic Atmospheres" is the only title to present a constant rhythm. And what a structure of rhythm! It's a superb down-tempo that Stockman offers to our ears with a rhythm
skipping in harmonies carbonized by abstract chirpings. A line of bass adopts the cadence of the percussions which take a few moments of respite to glean most of the sound elements which will fit to the sound decoration of "Toxic Atmospheres" from which the cosmic
atmospheres à la Jarre get in without restraint as well as a charming James Bond passage tinted of an oriental flavor. Superb and completely unexpected! Gurglings cover the quiet and cosmic intro of "Genetic Code" which quietly derives towards an ambient rhythm with some quite shy jingles which click such as cymbals of silk skins before that a slow down-tempo bites to the bait and establishes a smooth hobbling rhythm. The ambience is oniric with some breaths to the intonations of oracles which whistle and float as caresses of ether while that quietly, the more pronounced rhythm helping, the gurglings resurface and chase away the poetic mood which floated in the mysteries of "Genetic Code". The more I move forward and the more I like. "The Last of its Kind" makes nothing to cool this lightning strike with its splendid melody strummed in a heap of percussions to the jingles overflowing liveliness and of its shadows of synth which float as bereaved tears. It's a great track where the black and the white live in a surprising harmonious symbiosis. The hummings which introduce "Strange Reflections" get split and are transformed into a strange clamor of a captive crowd. These breaths which blow such as the breezes of Vuvuzela are rolling like a vertical tornado on a mid-tempo multicolored of heterogeneous tones. Still then, Stockman seduces with a structure on the whole in appearances very commonplace but of which the seduction passes by this meshing of eclectic tones which shape as much the ambiences as the parallel rhythms. And you have to hear this surprising symbiosis bites our ears until the very end, rather abrupt by the way, to seize all the dimension of Stockman's last opus. A very favorite! That arrives not often and when that arrives, we have to underline it with promptness. I feel bad to have forgotten "Experiment 545" from Stockman on the corner of my desk. The name, the title and the label frightened me a little. And as the years of experiences in listening taught me so well; you can't judge a book by its cover! "Experiment 545" is a brilliant album where the down-tempo is really soaking into steams of psychedelism and abstract soundscapes without ever poured into a universe without flavors nor attractions. If the first noises seem suspicious, let pass the first minutes and you will hang on the first rhythms of the title-track. The rest is only formality. A great album which gives me the taste to discover
this artist who seems to be at ease and love these kind of ambient rhythms pierced by psychedelic aromas.
Sylvain Lupari (July 4th, 2013)