NEW-AGE, LOUNGE, WORLD, ELECTRONIC, AMBIENT, SPACE AND RELAXING MUSIC
When I count to ten…
I have listened to and enjoyed many Thierry David albums before, but this is my first review. His New Age, electronic music is singular and so unique that I had a difficult time giving it interpretation. Yes, it is that remarkable. I put all the albums I had into the player to look for a common bond and found it easy to discover. Thierry David’s music is placid, flowing, and highly rhythmic. His latest release Hypnosis is all that and much, much more. Think onomatopoeic. On this album, David pays piano, synthesizer, and does the programming.
Thierry David was born in Paris, France. He became familiar with classical and jazz music at an early age. He attended the Berkley College of Music in Boston, (the Cultural Center of The Universe). A stint in the world of advertising thrust him into the world of music and here he is, one of the most noted composers of Electronica music today.Some call his music experiment al. I call it genius.
The recording opens with the shimmering track “Freedom’s Alluring Call.” David composes a tune with a smooth flow and bell-like elements. These elements echo, they summon, and they invite the listener to take steps. Bells usually call a person to do something. The song is a call to action, a signal to begin, but cautiously, as a bell can also toll out a warning.
I have always entertained the idea that music conveys physical moment and my theory is proven by the tune “Mesmerizing Spirals.” The percussion in the song provides a somewhat stop motion beat and I imagine movement with every blink of the eye. This song is not about a slow, death-like spiral, more like gears in motion, more positive and grand.
“Labyrinth of the Unconscious” has some jazzy undertones in it and the melody slithers like some serpent on the hunt. It tests, it twitches. It feels and it touches everything. Perhaps that is what the psyche does and we are blatantly unaware. How do we end up from point A to point B and not recall the journey? How do we remember? How do we forget? David captures the musical progress as we supply the questions.
There are transgressions and there are transgressions. Thierry’s final cut on Hypnosis is called “Nothing to Forgive.” I am a firm believer in giving forgiveness whenever possible. There is a burden to the spirit whenever we carry hate around like a backpack. Let us forget about the slights, the misunderstandings and live in the now. J'ai été impressionné avec les nuances de cette chanson, la clarté, la quiétude. Pour moi c'était entièrement trop court.
Sometimes Thierry David’s music is referred to as lounge music, but I think it needs and deserves more attention than that. Sure you can play any of his albums in the background and set a mood that is unconscious and ambient, but then there are songs that call to your spirit and you just have to give it more thought, more value. Hypnosis is an entire album like that. You want to know what the song is saying to you at that given moment, or better still, you want to build your mood around it. I for one was mesmerized.
Internationally-known French electronic music composer and ambient recording artist Thierry David has released numerous recordings over the years, including four on the San Francisco Bay area-based label, Real Music. His latest for this highly-regarded company is entitled Hypnosis and is described as: “soft rhythmic patterns, recurrent loops, and subliminal echoed notes that capture the listener with the essence of sound.” I must say that, true to this description, from the first track I was absolutely entranced by this mesmerizing music, as atmospheric synthesizer textures float ethereally over subtle percussive grooves, bells, shakers, and more. I particularly appreciated the balance of ambience and animation so the beats did not overpower the track, as is often the case. Thierry, who performs on synths, samplers, percussion, piano, and programming, has an exquisite feel for this kind of soft space music that should appeal to fans of Jonn Serrie. This album is high on my list of new favorites!
Sonic layers of intrigue are a signature mark of this soothing and interesting new recording by Thierry David. Appropriately titled Hypnosis, it features a soft rhythmic mix of ambient sound that encourages deep contemplation. Bells and shakers, along with other instrumentation, add an exotic flavor, resulting in a listening experience that is relaxing, meditative and, indeed, hypnotic.
Thierry David returns with another musical endeavor that simultaneously expands the mind and soothes the soul. Hypnosis is ambient in style, with free-flowing synths, loops of sound and reverberated rhythms that are joined to create a serene, hallucinatory atmosphere. Keyboard tones trickle like drops of water amidst dreamy layers of synthesized mood and subtle percussion, while trippy techno effects blend and twist in the backdrop. Besides the musical elements, David also utilizes subliminal echoes and rhythmic patterns to add to the entrancing effect. The music was designed for relaxation, contemplation and reaching hypnotic states. Press play and let the journey begin.
Hypnosis will take you deep into relaxation and surrender, with magical grooves that pull you into stillness, into peace.
I first heard about French synthesist Thierry David around 1993 when another electronic musician, Robert Rich, played some of David’s music for me. It turned out, David had been recording electronic music for several years already, but he was about to make a musical shift from the earlier music he’d released on his own own K-Vox label in Europe.
He used to be a “chops” player, more inspired by Jan Hammer than Tangerine Dream, and he jumped on world music grooves early on. But he had an epiphany in the 1990s upon hearing Robert Rich and Steve Roach, artists who were forging the early sound of Techno-Tribal music. That transition brought David to his album called Stellar Connection, a spacious electronic landscape that was an Echoes CD of the Month in 2012. Now he returns with Hypnosis, an journey that picks up where Stellar Connection kept flying.
Hypnosis is a darker, more sensually probing album than Stellar Connection, with a heavier groove, although the dancing is still strictly in your head.
David ventures into Jah Wobble-style dub terrain on “Mesmerizing Spirals” with a throbbing reggae-soaked bass line underpinning layers of Hawaiian guitars along with Middle Eastern percussion from the masterful Steve Sheehan. David trawls through a dark Blade Runner terrain here, echoing a bit of Robert Rich’s work with lap steel guitar, as glissando wails arc towards a neon-lit horizon. In fact there’s a lot of lap steel sounding guitar sliding on other Hypnosis tracks, such as “Labyrinth of Unconscious,” which puts a slightly jazzy edge in its ominous piano chord and trap-set style percussion.
Percussionist Steve Sheehan plays a large role on Hypnosis, as you can hear on “Exploring Boundaries.” It’s another dub injected track with Sheehan’s percussion grooves even more present, with hard stereo left & right shakers, udu drums and scrapers creating an alley through which David pours electronic cascades. But Sheehan really gets it on with the last two tracks: “Beyond Attraction,” with rolling tribal drums and marimba recalling Les Baxter or Martin Denny in a fever dream; and “Nothing to Forgive,” a full-on tribal percussion dance.
But excepting those tracks, the rhythms are more of a slow pulsation on Hypnosis. “Into the Shimmering Mantra” is a trance dance dream walk, orchestrated by David and Sheehan, laced by some more of that Hawaiian-style guitar. “Code Magnétique” recalls some of Steve Roach’s Techno-Tribal dervishes, but with a dramatic arc and melodic contour you never hear in Roach’s music.
Hypnosis isn’t music for turning off your mind or opening it to auto-suggestion. Instead, it spins you into a world both primal and ethereal, a trip of roiling imagery and shimmering dreams Thierry David is an artist late in his career, making music that sounds like it still has the bloom of new exploration and adventure.
“Freedom’s Alluring Call” is a trance-infused instrumental composition that deftly links together natural and artificial elements into something that is brooding, expressive, and carries a narrative richer than any vocal effort.
“Labyrinth of the Unconscious” is a track that uses just as much empty space as instrumental arrangements to establish the effort’s overall sound. This chiaroscuro between dark and light, fantastic and mundane, is something that David threads through the entirety of Hypnosis. “Into the Shimmering Mantra” furthers this theme, with booming elements that are offset by sleigh bells and sandy percussive elements. The treble, bass, and space between keeps the momentum high while allowing David ample time to craft an effort that is wholly unique from the other compositions on the disc.
Hypnosis ends with “Nothing to Forgive,” the album’s shortest effort. At two and a half minutes one may presume that David would not have enough space to establish a fulfilling and compelling track — the efficiency of time that David uses here means that one will have to unravel all the different twists and turns presented here. As the album’s ultimate track, “Nothing to Forgive” is simply a must-listen, an emphatic exclamation point to a superb album. “Beyond Attraction” is the second to last effort, and it inserts a funky, tribal twist to the album — there is a sense that David tries his hardest on each effort no matter where on the album a listener might be. In doing so, he has a hit on his hands. Top Tracks: “Labyrinth of the Unconscious,” “Into the Shimmering Mantra” Rating: 9.2/10
It takes a special talent to make a series of albums that are dreamscapes and soundscapes for the mind and David has the uncanny ability to do so. Taking his time between releases might be one of his secret weapons. A lovely set of musical vignettes for the over-burdened mind that may have forgotten how to let go a bit, the electronic maestro comes through again for adults that want to chill, whether on the massage table or not. Do not attempt to use heavy equipment while listening. Check it out.
Robert Steven Silverstein mwe3.com
REAL MUSIC - Having released four albums on Real Music, France-based New Age maestro Thierry David returns with his fifth for the venerable label. The 2014 CD release of Hypnosis marks the latest and greatest Real Music release to date from Thierry and, start to finish, it’s a real winner of an album. Although clearly adept in a number of musical genres, for the 2014 CD release of Hypnosis, Thierry puts his musical wisdom to work on an album that can be described as one of the most adventurous New Age instrumental albums of the year. The Hypnosis album is kind of similar in scope to Group 87 founder Patrick O’Hearn’s albums—cutting edge and atmospheric, complete with dreamlike electronica blending with romantic melodies and a myriad of musical moves. Thierry handles all the synths, sampling, percussion, piano and all forms of programming, while additional percussion is handled by Steve Shehan and there’s also guitar sounds here from Claude Samard. Speakaing to mwe3.com about Hypnosis, Thierry explains, "For the Hypnosis project, most of the tunes were built on ancient percussion sessions I did with Steve Shehan a few years ago. These rhythmic patterns served as the basis of my work, adding on bass, synths layers, guitars and atmospheres without forgetting some piano interventions. I did the mixing like for the other albums but I did the final mastering with Pierre Jacquot, a French engineer I am used to working with and who has a long experience with many French artists and among them Deep Forest". Although Real Music excels in meditative and therapeutic sounding albums that contain elements of healing music, Thierry’s Hypnosis album sounds more like a soundtrack to an imaginary movie that also blends in chill-out and groove sounds, complete with ambient music overtones. In other words, Thierry David’s latest Real Music adventure is literally all over the map and it’s all the better for being so adventurous musically. Thierry David’s Hypnosis is a masterful, progressive album of exotic sounding New Age listening pleasure that gets better with each spin.