Mercury Rising 3 by Rapoon

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Rapoon | Sol Laude: Mercury Rising 3
Winter-Light (CD/DL)

Part three of Rapoon‘s (Robin Storey) ‘Mercury Rising’ trilogy, Sol Laude. (after Sanctus Equinox and the previously reviewed Offworld OP1 Equs) the story continues…..

The replicants have followed a well known path. Disagreements and divisions began to grow and sectarianism proceeded to develop. Soon it was an all out war of religious intolerance. Fighting took place and many died. Quietly, and without being noticed, those who held no radical religious beliefs gathered their things and slipped away in small ships and set course for a new life somewhere far away from the division and hatred that had developed in what was once a united community. They journeyed for many years and eventually found somewhere new. An indigenous lifeform of primitive primates seemed to be the most advanced species on the warm planet with blue seas and green forests. It was almost Utopia. Some of the replicants sang a song of thanks for safe passage and arrival. A white moon shone down. 

But what does it sound like? The undelayed starting point really kickstarts from where we last left off via attack ships on fire. Storey really is insistent in the way his piece takes flight, with a levitating feel and plenty of whooshing entities passing, barely noticed save for the deep listener who can track a speeding bullet as well as Harold “Doc” Edgerton did back in the 60s. The drone is loose and the layers seem endlessly mirrored like an extended vortex corridor. Are we at hypersonic speed? Is this a future where only the select few have survived practical oblivion? Will the atmosphere ever be safe to breathe in ever again? This set-up is followed by the delicately approaching aftermath.

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Here we simply float in this quixotic space of between-ness. I’m actually not so sure how “simple” that is, but we are certainly off course, falling and rising in a dreamlike, weightless state of suspension. There is quite a blend between anthemic inclinations, ambient texture and other unexpected sci-fi flourishes planted all throughout this record – though if you have followed the trajectory of Rapoon for any length of time you’d come to realize nothing within the sound universe is off the table. He hints at hip-hop, at post-jazz, elevator music, classical, “dark” ambient, and minimalism here, but most of all finds a way to weave an exciting hybrid of these disparate elements in a way that comes out the other side like some fine polished gem. I really love the syrupy vocal treatments on a bell..far reaching, something I’ve never heard from him before.

This great expanse is a good example of a midpoint between a sweet lullaby and shadowy abstraction. It’s on two tracks at once, harmonizing between two voices attempting to find common ground, though there is a stunted sense of progression. The tonal values are mostly on the feathery side. This leads to the twenty-minute a new sun, a piece of dense mystery. The vaporous ambience is then shaped by a harmonic piano that is featured floating in between traversing layers. The airy drone continuously churning at a whispy volume in the distance. The keys are like fresh watercolors not yet dry, the surface with a sleight glisten.

To close a voice, then voices emanate on Incinio, they are stretched, vocoded perhaps, depressed like aerosol or exhaust. These monosyllabic vocal bits then become a play in tones that evanesce like particles that fade into emptiness. It’s an unusually restrained end to an inventive recording with lots of dynamics.

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