There are pros and then there are amateurs. It’s pretty clear that the musicians on Switzerland-based label Dead Vox fall in the former. Goodbye Ivan is a project run by Arnaud Ivan Sponar, a French multi-instrumentalist who has twenty-five years of extended musical experience. His recent release The Lost Tape bursts with so much emotion that it makes a large percentage of popular music seem like a joke. Throughout the album he seamlessly combines pro production techniques with organic and electronic elements. None of the sounds seem disjointed or separated from the whole. The instruments whether it’s a guitar or a glitch-like effect create a symbiotic relationship with each other.
Sponar starts off with a twelve-minute epic that morphs, dissolves and evolves over its length. He creates moods with the warmth of pads as arpeggiated patterns create the rhythms and movements of the music. It’s an impressive song but he is just getting started.
The next track “Fantasme” is a musical manifestation of solace and has an emotional weight that compares to a band like Sigur Ros. It’s a song the slowly rises, hits its peak and then slowly dissipates. A combination of guitars, bells and bass create the sonic landscape.
“Douceur” is a track that drips with melancholy. A guitar and orchestral-like string are the main ingredients here, which carry the song. “Disparition” sort of sounds like the musical inner workings of hospital. The subtle nuances and glitch-like effects of the songs are great for active listening as the warm synths provide the melody and emotion beneath.
“Déception” backs off the emotional heaviness a bit in favor of a more immediate, off-kilter song you could dance to. The kick drum drops with authority, as Sponar makes sure to keep you captivated with the layers of sound working together as one.
“Cercle vicieux” is a certified closer that like the opener evolves and devolves into different soundscapes. At one point it sounds as if we are undertaking interstellar travel but a transition that feels fluid takes us to a place with rumbling sub frequencies and anomalies. The production for this song is jaw dropping.
I really can't recommend The Lost Tape enough. Take a listen – I’m pretty sure you will be glad you did.
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