ALBAN & CEDRIC THEYS
(2019 - Mad Ducks Records - USA)
An exciting mix of interwoven patterns, minimalist fringe, descending, and tasteful progressive rock instrumental works, that chain link themselves to the explorations of celestial journeys that build majestic structures. Some may find a few common elements from their long ago debut album 'Re-De-Generation' (2007) but new ideas are added for this much more mature and inventive sophomore project titled 'Sirius' (the brightest star in constellation of Canus Major, and in the entire Earth's sky). Being named after this star, which guides all travelers, the concept of the recording is about adventures throughout the world.
Despite the now vanilla label of electronic/ambient classification, the Theys brothers have created music far beyond this genre. Alban (drums, percussion, sampling & programming) , Cedric (U8 Touch guitar, bass, soundscapes, solos, & effects) and special guest Adrian Benavides (sound design) make quite a lot of variety happen in the six pieces. Some songs are exotic , some in fast forward motion, and all full of exquisite touches and sometimes mystery. Alban's percussion isn't just any old percussion, it is a vast collection of world gems, both tuned and untuned, gathered over many years, and from multiple countries, therefore the more colorful sounds that enhance the project. Cedric is an outstanding fret man, with a complete skill set on touch guitars.
Some of the music on 'Sirius' recalls the first two brilliant Francois Breant albums ('Sons Optiques' - 1978) and ('Voyeur Extra-Lucide' - 1979). I am still a fan of those classic treasures, so a giant compliment to the Theys. And add Adrian Benavides (whose fantastic solo 'Same Time Next Life' - 2012, I reviewed back while at Prognaut magazine) and you have a trio making music that has many fine influences, with a timeless and infinite quality. I often got imagines in my mind during the listening, of multi-colored grains of sand drizzling thru a large prismatic hourglass, which was sitting on a beautiful white sand beach- with only the surf and cottony clouds floating past. The music keeps that dream-like atmosphere, as if everything is just outside the Garden of Eden, all in full bloom.
Not only is this album a great listen with headphones, but an aural delight on a large audiophile stereo system, that allows plenty of air in-between the speakers and your ears. Nearly two years in the making, each piece has the earmark of perfection. There is no doubt that attention to detail was made, and great care given to the final edition. The compositions have a keyboard oriented format, however it is with software, treated and untreated fretwork, percussion on many levels, and electronic know-how, that this glossy and immortal achievement was put down for everyone to buy and hear. Let yourself be taken off into nirvana with many twists. Take the journey with them. RECOMMENDED.
©Reviewed by Lee Henderson 8 - 24 - 2019