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June 25 , 2019
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H.U.V.A. Network - Distances

 ( Ultimae ,  Apr. 2004 )

1. Distances 8:39 2. Access to the Long Fields 7:40 3. Rain Geometries 5:52 4. Symetric Lifes 7:11 5. Processing Lights 3:29 6. Indigo Room 6:46 7. Time Circles 8:28 8. Overload (putput mix) 10:24 9. Moon Town 5:45 10. Morning Call (dawn rmx) 7:27 11. Sunday Barbecue With the Neighbours 3:30

This is an interesting on-line collaboration between Magnus Birgersson (Solar Fields) from Sweden and Vincent Villuis (Aes Dana) from France. Both have released through Ultimae in the past and share the distinctive Ultimae sound. The outcome is another good Ultimae release, with velvet mellow, yet optimistic, atmosphere. The album's first half is a bit lost, though, and only in the second half it really penetrates.

It starts with the monotone kickless Distances, hypnotic and in a moody atmosphere, but doesn't carry enough for me. Access to the Long Fields brings in along with the beautiful funky bass a feeling of mystery, 40 seconds of jungly energy, but as the music fades out, so does the track. Rain Geometries next is a beautiful mellow piece with strong atmosphere and moving simple guitar chords by Magnus. A first ear catcher here. Symetric Lifes (T4) has a light emotional pre-dawn atmosphere, but doesn't really touch me, though it has some nice moments in the middle. Processing Lights is a short piece with dramatic echoing drums that leads to second part of this album for me, the much better one. Indigo Room (T6) starts immediately with overpowering atmosphere sucking you in and creating a presence all around you, the break relaxes you, but only for a while, till things hit you again right in your face. Beautiful. But this is only the intro to the amazing Time Circles with its mysterious atmosphere summoning you to other realms- "Where are you now?". An amazing track with an unbelievably powerful feel to it. Overload is next (T8), another powerful track, very trancey, with huge atmosphere and great optimistic old school feel. Moon Town takes things down, deep and dark with a strong dramatic immediate effect. The dawn remix to Morning Call (T10), originally on Ultimae's own Fahrenheit Project part III, is my second favorite here, another emotional gem that is just what it's name suggest- the perfect piece of music for your dawn. The finishing track doesn't offer much beyond the put-a-smile-on-your-face name.

Recomendation:  The whole album is very emotional (even dramatic at times), deep, with a mellow, even moody, streak going through it. It's very atmospheric as anyone familiar with the artists' previous releases could have expected. For me the first part is a bit weak, though the second makes up for it. There are some rare gems to be found here, and I feel that if the guys would have been more peaky and wait some more time this would have turned into a real classic.
Favorites: 3, 6, 7(!!!), 8(!!), 10(!!!).

Review by : Shahar

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