Galerie Stratique

Horizzzons

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AllMusic Review by

Galerie Stratique's second album sees Charles-Émile Beullac leave the melancholia-laden fields of IDM to pursue nostalgic horizons. Is the title an attempt at self-derision? Horizzzons is by no mean as ambient (or boring) as those three Zs suggest. The previous album focused on air and water symbols. The 16 titles on this opus relate to travel, something that is reflected in the music, more eventful and varied. Once again, Beullac's strength resides in the conciseness of his tracks -- ideas are expressed, developed, and brought to conclusion without wasting time, thus adopting a pop song philosophy. Even though digital textures are never far behind, it is the analog feel of the album that catches the ear. Beullac frequently alludes to the big names of '70s electronica. To this reviewer's ear, "Cyclotourisme" is a tribute to Tangerine Dream circa Tour de France, while "Éclaircie" evokes early Jean-Michel Jarre, pinned down to his naive melodies and cloudy background synthesizer sweeps. Other highlights include "Jolie Cycliste Sous la Pluie," a tender snapshot, and "Horizons Lointains," the most evocative track in relation to the travel theme. Horizzzons keeps oscillating between the past and the future, adding unexpected textures and tonal changes to pretty melodic sketches, always keeping the music comfortable. Its charm is detectable on first listen, but the reasons for its appeal are revealed only after a few more spins. Recommended.

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