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NEMESIS (SYNTH BAND) - LIVING STATUES (2013 ALBUM/MULTI-FOLD CARD COVER)

NEMESIS (SYNTH BAND) - LIVING STATUES (2013 ALBUM/MULTI-FOLD CARD COVER) video
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Finnish synth trio’s album of atmospheric landscapes, infectious melody & rhythmic currents packaged using amazing “Wow Spiral” Card Sleeve parts!

‘Living Statues’ is a sort of themed album inspired by the life and work of Veijo Rönkkönen (1944-2010), one of the most legendary outsider artists in the Finnish art scene.
The CD comes with a Card Sleeve and 12-Page Fold-Out Booklet, and the disc itself is packaged in an amazingly elaborate and eco-friendly “Wow Spiral” Inner Card Cover, the likes of which I’ve never encountered before – and it’s incredible - so much thought has gone it no it!.

The music is brilliantly executed, classy electronic music that strikes the perfect balance between pictorial atmospherics, textural colour, wistful melodic themes and rhythmic patterns that are used both as added effects and driving forces.
The whole album is well constructed, played, performed and produced by the Finnish trio, and, both musically and visually speaking; it is quite an unbelievably well put together piece of art.
The amazing blend of atmospheres and melody in the music, coupled with flowing rhythmic currents and grooves that, while being different at times to many of those associated to the “Berlin School” way of thinking, are none-the-less just as addictive, and have a great feel. This is improvised synth music designed to stimulate the listener’s imagination and evoke images that draw you into new and different mindscapes.

All tracks were recorded in 2012 by the NEMESIS line-up of…
Ami Hassinen (digital & analog synths / violin on track 7),
Jyrki Kastman (analog & digital synths / sampling / effects / electric sitar on track 2) and
Joni Virtanen (soft synths & hard keyboards / sampling / effects / kantele on track 1).

Psychedelic Prog fans might also notice a familiar name in that line-up… Ami Hassinen, the keyboards player from another Finnish band that are big news at CDS Towers right now: MOONWAGON, and although the common link between the two bands is “improvisation” there are only small glimpses of what they do in the music produced by the NEMESIC project!

Here’s our track-by-track review of ‘Living Statues’…

‘Shepherd’ opens the album in a shroud of atmospheric picture building - a track full of soft textural sounds and percussive effects that crosses over directly into…
‘Yoga Park’, where atmospheric dreamy washes with spacey feel meet some tinges of eastern improvisations.
There’s another crossover into the fifteen-minute title track: ‘Living Statues’ - a slow builder where the picture painting continues initially with added gongs, percussion effects and bell-like sounds, but as the track develops melodic synthesizer and ethereal spacey choral sounds start to emerge and layer over the spacey backdrop and the track takes on a sound a little similar to classic Kitaro with the high-register synth melodies sweetly soaring over a heavenly chorus of choirs and strings. As the track draws to the close it reverts slowly back to atmospheric and the core rhythm occasionally punctuated by the bell sounds and chilled cosmic winds.
‘World Pole’ is basically the sound of chilled atmospherics merged with looped electronic effects to prepare and introduce the dizzy heights about to be reached by the track it crosses-over into the nine minutes plus of…
‘Airborne’ is where the old “Berlin School” styles emerge right from the word go, with synth rhythms and electronic percussion getting into a flowing current under a sky of phased cosmic effects and improvised building melodic keyboard runs that layer and intertwine into each other in classic ‘EM’ style. Just at the half-way mark a beautiful high-register synth melody soars in and strikes up a heavenly solo that, as the titles suggests, forms the impression of being on an exciting “airborne’ excursion, then as it reaches Earth’s upper atmosphere we head off through the clouds and into the wonders of the cosmos with a really nice passage of space music, then crosses-over into…
‘Nightmare’, where an atmosphere of cosmic winds and effects bring us to an entirely different place where dark clouds and murk reside, and a pulsating synth seems to be roaming over some dark alien-like landscape.
Another cross-over and we are into ‘Silent Conversation’, a near seven minute piece of vision inducing space music with distant echoed effects and deep background sounds hovering around above, giving the impression of a craft hovering and reviewing the landscapes below and looking for somewhere to land. As the track draws to a close a strange contorted synth twists and turns and prepares to cross-over into…
‘Garden Paths Of The Cosmos’ open with the sound of a steady, almost metronome-like, yet haunting electronic rhythm with synth / keyboard melodies drifting airily and lurking all around. More melodic synth textures are layered in as the track starts the real building process that sees the music take flight and glide gracefully through the cosmos with new melodic synth fragments leading the way forward. Other synth effects coming in at various points as the flight progresses in an almost dream-like state, and as it draws to a close it becomes almost Vangelis-like as the melodic synths chime away over a backdrop of space-strings and undulating rhythms.

This is one of those “put it on, dim the lights and close your eyes for an hour” style albums where NEMESIS deliver an audio soundtrack to whatever your imagination can conjure up with. The packaging sleeve notes may well explain the band’s own source of inspiration for the music on the album, but what you get from it might be entirely your own, as the sounds atmospheres and themes will guide you on your very own personal trip.

There’s a lot of atmospheric sound painting going on here, with less than normal of the vibrancy of extended rhythmic and “tune” parts to get into, but the fact that these are used subtly and sparingly means that when they are there, they are extremely effective! Although most of this music is I’m sure improvised, there is also a strong sense of structure to the album, and as a result, it is for me, one of the best of the “sound painting” style releases I’ve heard in some time.

Also available by NEMESIS: GIGAHERZ - Stock # 1592820


NEMESIS: LVING STATUES Track List:

01. Shepherd (2.56)
02. Yoga Park (6.49)
03. Living Statues (15.50)
04. World Pole (3.24)
05. Airborne (9.39)
06. Nightmare (3.56)
07. Silent Conversation (6.55)
08. Garden Paths Of The Cosmos (9.51)

TPT - 59:16