Aleph Zero is my favorite label, and has never let me down. It is clear from the artwork to the music itself, passing through webpages, e-flyers, sticks and everything else, that this label really has a compromise with quality.
Inside my original copy I found two different and very beautiful sticks, one of the release itself and the new Aleph Zero stick. The release comes with a 6 pages booklet displaying implausible surreal images, the kind of art very few releases present today. This artwork was created by Almacan and re-wired by Yaniv Shulman himself. As expected Shulman also is responsible for the mastering and it couldnít sound better.
I canít find another way to review this release than a track-by-track release, because each track attach its own qualities to this fourth Shulman album, and Iíll avoid to commenting on the collaborators we have on each track, most tracks have their own special spice, like bass and guitar players, violin, alto and soprano saxophone players, and some other instruments I didnít even knew to exist. All info regarding these special guests can be found inside the booklet.
As if a 6 pages booklet, splendid artwork and the sticks were not enough, those who actually got an original copy of this masterpiece will also get a beautiful high quality thick paper protection for their jewel case.
Retroscape (T1) set the pace of this journey into the realms of the never heard before sounds. An incredible good taste and careful handcrafting of each and every little sound makes this unforgettable track something near to perfect. It has a pinch of everything inside, from twisted spoken samples to faster passages, without loosing the focus and always delineating another aspect of the big picture. Years of feelings squeezed into a little more than eleven minutes. Simply essential.
Transmissions in Bloom (T2) is even longer than the previous track, almost 13 minutes... It posses an overall feeling of tranquility, and has the psychedelic aspect a little more developed than the previous track, with small details all around my ears, stabbing my heart every now and then. The atmospheres in the middle of the track, as well as the turn it causes in the whole universe, reassure my certain that Iím just a brain diving into a sea of feelings... This is a favorite track for sure, and when it comes down to elicit the emotional aspects of the introspective trips this is a really strong poison, that sort of poison that cures.
Odd Reflections (T3) is difficult to describe, at the beginning some sounds are just echoing, a pattern emerge and soon become surrounded by a deep bass. This is the canvas in which well chosen sounds will paint a complex panorama. The atmospheres in the middle bring back simplicity and tranquility, serving as intro to an almost beatless part. Many instruments, melodies and effects pursue us till the ending. Good one.
At the first times I listened to One Step Closer (T4) I had the impression that it could be performed by a band, because of the characteristic drums and percussion work. It added lots of diversity to the album, of course it has its own personality and vibe, but when seen in the middle of other such strong tracks it adds more to the whole release than it do as a stand alone track. It ends in a very peaceful way, a perfect match to the next track title.
After Silence (T5) is one of the short tracks of this release, clear it is that sort here means around seven minutes. This complex track is another example of good taste, it is mostly beatless, but possesses discreet atmospheres and an intense slow ending. Tremendous track.
Invention (T6) is an awesome effort which combines organic and electric vibes. Saxophoneís sounds right on spot, out of this world atmospheres and much more. Another favorite of mine, you should definitely check this out. I donít know why, but the end of this track really transmit the idea of a new invention to me, something special and still mysterious.
Mia Nihta Mono Den Ftani (T7) is a funny track. Interestingly enough, every women to which I played this track started to danceÖ It is one of my favorites to home listening, nice atmospheres, all instruments in the perfect place, and a strong positive feeling all over it. Splendid work!
Eternal Bliss of the Grateful Souls (T8) closes the album stamping a smile in the listener face. Stripped of beats and bass, but still strong enough to squeeze a tear out of the eyes, this track delivers a deep end to this sonic journey.
Once again Shulman and Aleph Zero deliver more than what the expectatives demanded. I have listened to this album many times, and still this attempt to review it seems quit poor compared to the complexity of the music presented here.