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Sizzle “Natural Elements”

The Ceiling (Ca.) webpromo, Winter 2001 :
The follow-up to LTDA finds Sizzle compacting the experiments into easier bite-sized pieces. Catchy, moody, yet nonetheless very strange, Natural Elements may be the best place to start with this French group.

Metamorphic Journeyman (Bel.) e-mag, June 2002 :
When I first put this CDR on, I almost groaned at the opening piece – a plodding, ponderous piece of music which should have heralded the most dire of post-New Wave Art efforts. Thankfully however, this was merely a ruse to throw the listener off the true scent. For when SIZZLE fade the slowed to drugged dreamstate voice in, with rich warm bass, shimmering metal-coloured sequencer and harmonic layered keyboards, the true journey through this changeable wonderland begins in earnest.After the cumbersome opening, you might wonder if NICK BULLEN had not signed his divorce papers in the blood from that beer glass, this track may indeed have been where post – “Evanescence” SCORN may have been heading – less intense in structure, with a strong Jazzy undercurrent and a hypnotic insistance.From here the journey heads into machine-like Industrial loops which manage to blend the harsh with deep sonics to make this by turns cold & harsh, and seductively passive. There are definite moments where HAMPSON’s MAIN seem to be present in spirit – a sense of imminent change – a potent potential hangs in the air – the possibility of sudden change taking us to new and exciting places.SIZZLE take us on an odyssey of the imagination – unafraid to blend machine-logic with warmth of layered instruments, they come up with a music which transmutes from beligerant intensity to a lulling calm. More often than not this is rather simplistic, reducing the composition to one core sound which is nevertheless complex within itself.

Red Neon website (Be.), February 2004 :
Here is a perfect example of an album unacheived : there are good ideas but there is too much times when you said to yourself, that nothing’s hapening. A new and rerecorded version can be interesting. Sounds and concepts are interesting but i must say i didn’t like it in it’s actual format.

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Chalung-gra “Kalonga Incantations”

Red Neon website (Be.), February 2004 :
Ladies and Gentleman… Your attention ! If you like dark-ambient here is a masterpiece. Nice sounds, slow evolving music. A record with a deep soul… Not too short and not too long (a very important thing). Graphism and illustrations are very nice. Please, grab it before it’s too late. Limited edition of 50 copies. The dream is an edition on good old vinyl but i am dreaming…

Fear Drop (Fr.) magazine #11, Summer 2004 :
Pour retrouver les éclairages ambiants, il sera indispensable d’écouter le nouvel alias de M.Reina, Chalung-gra, qui reprend en les multipliant, les qualités bourdonnantes mélancoliques des précédents disques de Sizzle. En plein territoire ambiant industriel, il suit les exemples édifiants de Robert Rich et Final, il parvient À se ménager des zones de flottaison sans cadavres lustmordiens, ni aucune autre pépite difficilement assimilable. Profitant plutôt de gestes introspectifs, Reina expose la texture granuleuse et le cœur lumineux des nappes qu’il chevauche, des plaques émues par l’archet. Superposant les couches harmoniques qu’il dénude, il fait de sa concession un jardin en terrasses. Étages plus ou moins denses, à la luminosité tantôt matinale tantôt crépusculaire, les longs étirements des deux morceaux (en moyenne une vingtaine de minutes chacun) sont autant de mouvements souples et vigoureux d’une mélancolie orangée, grisée d’échos métalliques figurant peut-être un artisanat assidu, une sincère apnée dans des champs encore prodigues pour qui sait les fertiliser.

Connexion Bizarre (Por.), September 2005 :
Chalung-gra has created timeless music of meditation and solitude on “Kalonga Incantations”, a limited edition, two-track release of 50 copies. It is music for coastlines awash in fog and filtered light, for glacial granite lakes, glass-surfaced with cold, deep serenity. It is music of reverberating colors and atmospheric wanderings – the music of the Aurora Borealis – equally haunting and mysterious. “Kalonga Incantations” lends itself to imaginative displacement; typical for the dark ambient genre it follows. From mellow, syrupy tones to vaguely grinding drones, “Kalonga Incantations” ressonates abstraction in a rather predictable fashion. However, with the extensive “Cari Cali” and “Kahloubhra,” Chalung-gra succeeds in rekindling interest in these banal dark ambient tones and drones with a show of quality and masterful competence. One might imagine landscapes of billowing clouds, moving in various distinct layers through the stratosphere, as “Kalonga Incantations” moves through its metamorphoses of airy synths and quivering bass. Nothing is sudden, no sound is unexpected, no pulse misplaced, and everything flows with a calming sense of majesty. Before long, the better part of an hour has stealthily slipped by unnoticed, and perhaps a portion of worldly stress and exhaustion has gone with it. This music is meant to transport the listener to no destination in particular, except simply beyond. [7/10]