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Olyam (Chile / France) - 2002 - "Crystal Reveur"
(55 min, 'Olyam' / "Dreaming", a division of Musea Records)

Track List:

1. The Awakening 4:37
2. Between Earth & Sky 5:00
3. Mineral Memory 5:38
4. Volcano 5:23
5. DNA Consciousness 6:09
6. Sacred Geometry 7:00
7. Lunar Instant 5:10
8. Crystals Dance 4:58
9. First Contact 5:08
10. Cristal Reveur 6:20

All tracks: by Olyam (Saavedra).

Solo Pilot / Commander:

Olyam - varied synthesizers, guitars, & percussion

The Crew:

Jean Buchet - bass
Annabelle Martinez - flute; (+ vocalize on 7)
Cyril Billiard - trumpet
Christian Martinez - cello
Sebastien Martinez - violin
Gaelle Poirier - accordion
Hernan Saavedra - panpipes; kena; charango

Engineered & mastered at "Faure" studio, Chatou, France.

Preamble. According to the press kit of this CD, "Cristal Reveur" (Crystal Dreamer) is Olyam's fourth solo album. I don't know whether the number of Olyam's solo albums includes a collaborative effort by him and his brother Hernan, whose name you can see in the line-up of this album as well, or not. In any case, the review of that (good) album, called "Attacama", is available on ProgressoR. If you wish to read it, click > here.

The Album. There isn't a sugary monotony, typical for most of the works of Ambient, on this album. Quite the contrary, even though the dominant theme of "Cristal Reveur" is melody, and not intricacy, most of the tracks here contain those magical features that make music especially attractive, which, of course, is regardless of whether it's a complex Progressive or just a simple Hard Rock, etc. On the album, acoustic structures are excellently intermixed with electric ones, though most of the central soloing parts were here performed with acoustic instruments. Most often, the solos and passages of acoustic guitar are 'at the head' of arrangements, though those of bass, flutes, panpipes, and violins are also very active. The bright solos of synthesizer are featured on about a half of the tracks on the album, those of trombone and passages of piano - on a few ones, and those of accordion - only on Crystals' Dance (8). Even though Annabelle Martinez is presented in the CD booklet as a singer, "Cristal Reveur" is an all-instrumental album, and Lunar Instant (7) is the only track here that the female vocalizes (and not vocals) are present on. Here are the other four compositions that feature some distinctive features: Sacred Geometry, Volcano, DNA Consciousness, and First Contact (6, 4, 5, & 9 respectively). The first of them contains the tunes of music of the Mexican Indians and the bits of music of the East. The heavy guitar riffs that are heard on each of the other three pieces are certainly nothing else but the elements of Prog-Metal. Finally, it must be said that all compositions, presented on "Cristal Reveur", are either of a romantic or dramatic character, both of which, in their turn, are of very touching nature.

Summary. Stylistically, there is much common between "Cristal Reveur" and "Attacama", though the presence of several guest musicians on this album makes the musical palette of it much richer than that on another. Furthermore, thanks to the active use of an acoustic guitar, various flutes and violins, etc, the new Olyam album just breathes with 'live' sounds. So it's quite difficult for me to call the music on "Cristal Reveur" just Ambient. It's a real progressive Ambient, though I'd better define it as an original, truly inspired, acoustically electric Symphonic Art-Rock, which, while instantly accessible, is yet, very tasteful and impressive.

VM: February 13, 2003

Related Links:


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