1. Calling 8:52
2 Switch Off 8:30 (Feat. Aes Dana)
3. Second Shape (part I) 9:02
4. Risky Nap under Blue Tree 6:35
5. Hanging Masses 01:48
6. Vapor 8:32
7. Second Shape (part II) 8:59
8. Universal Sunrise 11:13
Hanging Masses is the work of Alexandre Scheffer, aka Cell. Alex is a Downtempo/Chill Out/Ambient artist from Paris, France, and this is the 38th release of Ultimae label, which I believe it shows the quality of the company.
The Calling (T1) and Switch Off (T2) tunes are simply amazing. They open the album in a sublime mature preface. Both tunes are minimalist, but both bring some vigorous energy with some percussion starting around the middle of them. Switch Off is produced along with Aes Dana, another artist that needs no introduction, and on this one, right before the introduction of beats, the tune develops from almost an inversed fading position, to a restrained apex of sounds. I just love the building of music to that point. Second Shape (part I) (T3), is beatless, just pure emotion with the leads of sounds, which overcome, one after another, in a sober way. The name of the track, may slightly suggest it, but I am sure no one will sleep while listening to this tune, or at the minimum, those who try it will have a Risky Nap Under Blue Tree (T4) and once more we are delighted with a minimalist atmosphere, with great work with the bass on the background, here and there some guitar notes, or so it seems, and few percussive instruments. To spice it up some angelical sounds make it top notch! Hanging Masses next is the track that gave its name to the album. This track is a little bit more “aggressive”, in the sense that we are surprised with a hecatomb of sounds in certain periods of the tune, almost like waking up the disposition of the earlier mood of the previous tunes. The piano notes are a cherry, they fit like a glove. Vapor (T6) fusions the glitch electronic effects with the more analog side of the instruments, creating an introspective tune of inner self reflection and self awareness. Part two of Second Shape that follows is more monochromatic than the first. It flows very little from a line of sound, although it develops in an interesting way, and reaches a climax of reserved sounds. Universal Sunrise ends things and even though it runs in the same mood of the whole album, I feel it explores other boundaries with the experimentation of other sonorities and tricks.
This album surprised me a lot, since I didn't know what to expect. I know Ultimae usually means quality, and my hopes were not defrauded, this is quality music indeed. Spatial, analogue, relaxed, smooth, stress free, introspective, tranquil, there were a lot of adjectives to qualify this album, but they will not be sufficient, since the way the music flies through the speakers, words are fail to qualify it. It may not necessarily please the Ambient and Chill Out fans looking for relaxed music with beat on the background, but it for sure will please Cell fans, embrace new ones, like myself, and captivate the more experienced listeners. Play it a few times and let you be surrounded by the energies the album unleashes!