Tambour (Simon P Castonguay) returns with his third EP. Constellations (ou comment arrêter le temps) / (or how to stop time). His style mixes evocative piano, yearning string arrangements and a lush ambient soundtrack of synths, noises and effects.
‘Orion’ opens the EP with celestial grandeur. The piano rocks your mind to sleep and allows the sweeping strings to swell and burst over synth voice hums and distant piano keys that echo out like windchimes. It sounds familiar yet unique at the same time because you have a main melody and arrangement playing in the foreground and something else hidden in the background. This style plays out across almost every track.
It’s this ambient background that takes the shape of ‘Vela’. I liken this tracks first half to the flecks of a painting. You can hear the echoes of a song but not the actual song itself and it gives you a flavour of the undercurrent. A sombre but warming piano and string arrangement timidly unfurls in the second half. That clears the darker tones away for the beautiful ‘Ursa Minor’ which feels likes a sci-fi motif in waiting. Malos Milonakis fans will lap this track up as the drum loops usher in a glittering finale.
‘Cassiopee’ is the ambient drone piece for the album. It’s a shimmering neon light with vinyl spits, a nod to country music with its melodic section and a near-spiritual piano outro. That then brings us to the closing track ‘Lyra’ which is the most classical of the collection. It’s speed, passion and taut nature give it a very Eastern European and Russian feel. That’s helped by the fact the swelling strings and rolling piano carry a radio static effect behind them like the tail of a comet.
Then just as it bustles in, Constellations carries on by. Each track feels unique and different yet when played as an EP they seamlessly merge into each other. It’s a beautiful journey and one I recommend classical and ambient lovers to take with Tambour together. It is one of those releases where you discover new sounds on your third listen through and form different opinions on each track and their subtitle (which I’ve purposely not named here). A new gem for cinematic contemporary classical music.
Recommended track: Ursa Minor
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