Di Evantile – Infrared Clock (2008)
Monday, June 30th, 2008
How I Feel About It :
We reviewed Di Evantile’s Inertia last December and I remember thinking that Beatrice Clarke went a little easy on it. It seemed a little too Animatronics, too machine-like and the keyboard sounds seemed too cheesy and overused. Even if it was superbly orchestrated (and some of it well-played) it sounded a bit hollow and soulless to me. So imagine my surprise when I drew Infrared Clock to review. I thought, “Here’s an excellent chance to set the record straight.” But Di Evantile changed some things, and for the better. This album is dreamy and trance inducing. It’s the perfect music to go to sleep to, without actually inducing sleep. There’s something at once modern and primeval about it, and it urges the listener to dream on an epic scale without requiring epic amounts of energy to do it. This isn’t a work that I will ever feel passionately about because it’s only interested in the passion of dreams, which are usually distant from the dreamer, somewhat aloof and impersonal. Infrared Clock is something of an opiate.
What I Think About It
Where Inertia had tightly knit arrangements with club-ish drums, Infrared Clock meanders. It meanders in the same way Peter Gabriel does with many of his songs and keyboard parts. It also has a world music feel because the drum tracks (especially track 8, Hidden Element) have a world beat tinge to them that Inertia lacked. It also has an element of Pink Floyd, especially the beginning of Shine of You Crazy Diamond, on the album Wish You Were Here. Last but not least, it shares some qualities with Vangelis’ Blade Runner soundtrack and I even hear a touch of Jan Hammer in the mix. The best part about this album is its pacing, the same pacing the Blade Runner soundtrack has, the same pacing as Shine on You Crazy Diamond, and Di Evantile rarely departs from it. If the pace changes on this album, it’s only for a very brief period of time. The pace, along with a wide variety of keyboard sounds, creates a fantastic sense of space that is hypnotic. Admittedly, some of the keyboard pads are obvious, like the female choral pad at the start. It’s distracting sometimes from the music when you hear a canned sound and you know what keyboard it comes from. (Personally, if a band is going to use a preset, I’d prefer it if it was at least disguised with some effects. Presets are for trying the instrument out in the store! It’s important for musicians to make each sound totally their own.) The pace is what makes this album great. The slowness of it takes the edge off that part of the album which is obviously programmed. It makes it feel more human, and it has to be said that some of the playing on this album, especially the piano, is high caliber. I especially like the piano on the fist track, Intuition. The part doesn’t require great dexterity, but to brush the piano languidly over some pads and draw the listener in takes great taste, and Di Evantile’s broad taste in music is evident on this album. This album should appeal across demographic lines, more so than Inertia. Its appeal is so obvious and Di Evantile’s skill so apparent that I’m left to wonder why no one from film or TV has explored Di Evantile’s capacities. I have no doubt that the mind behind this act could score a movie or contribute heavily to a TV show.
Steve Perry (no relation)