sábado, 4 de febrero de 2017

Ascension of the Lyre - Review

I've been listening to Michael Levy's latest release for a while now and it is slowly sinking deeper into my psyche. It works very well as meditation music and sounds great on headphones too. What distinguishes this one from his other works is his use of modern studio effects to give the lyre a sense of being an instrument of the far future rather than the past. These effects give the tracks an even more deeply calming vibe, and the song titles help to evoke certain sensations and mental images of the vast extents of our Solar System which intensifies the mood even further. Most of them (Monolith of Phobos in particular) have an eerie effect that does very well to transport the listener. This all adds to the contemplative aspect of the lyre's sound. My own use of Michael's music is as a constant background mood setter and the lyre's timelessness seems to make it fit any activity or moment of the day.

I particularly love the up and down swoopings of the reverb. This could be seen as one of the record's main strengths as if you lose yourself in the mood, it gives you what the lyre has always promised, to take you on a deep journey. These tracks all sound well produced and professionally mixed. It's hard to imagine that something of such depth was created on a single track recorder, which is a testament to his virtuoso double handed playing skills.

An interesting track that seems to stand out from the others is Transcendental Tapestry which heightens the mood of the more chilled out vibe of the album, by its use of Michael's innovative percussive technique which works well as the album's penultimate track just before its epic 10 minute finale. Transcendental Tapestry tells of things yet to come, with Michael now experimenting further thanks to his unique lyre audio capsule that allows him to plug his lyre into amplifiers directly and create more of these looping soundscapes in a live setting. Indeed, this album seems to draw to a close an era of his early experimental works, and leaves me wondering at where he will go next in his lyre projects, as the limitless possibilities which cutting edge technology provides, have now laid out a new phase in the lyre's exciting renaissance. It has been a fascinating journey so far, but just like Nasa's voyager spacecraft itself has recently found out, there is much beyond the limits of the Solar System yet to explore.

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