Rise is a highly cerebral and detailed work. Simple on the surface, complex in the making, bold in the delivery, it is designed to be consumed by it at every instant. It constantly overloads your brain with multiple details, presenting a hard puzzle to solve, insinuating itself until you are a mere captive of its schemes. Slow buildups create a somber tension, permeating the whole work with an unsettling feeling of both anguish and awe that cries desperately for relief and meaning. To reach its goal, Integral risks everything and abandons any shortcut. The result is an obscure work that takes you to a place strikingly familiar and new at the same time, like discovering the remnants of something that does not exist anymore but, somehow, you feel bonded to by some hidden connection. It is far from being cold and mechanical, but the fire does not come from a sense of humanity, but from trying to bring something human and recognizable to the surface. In several ways, it is a frightening spectacle.
It does not matter if you are familiar with this adynamic and abstract type of electronic music, Rise still comes out as a truly unique and sophisticated work that, unusually for IDM, feels alive and thrilling. It demands succeeding listenings before you can have a grasp of what is happening, being also its main weakness. Once the enigma is solved and the lonely hallways of this maze are no longer strange to you, all that will be left is an empty shell of a haunting and imposing place with no apparent purpose. Works of this rare nature are condemned to live and lurk in the dark, waiting to be experienced for the first time. It is worth every second of it.
I'm far from being an aficionado no doubt, but I stay vigilant. I'm listening to the openening track atm and I confess it's really not as accessible as most of the Jean-Michel Jarre nor Tangerine Dream stuff that I know.
Minor niggle #1: Simple on the surface, complex in the making, bold in the delivery, it is designed to be consumed by it at every instant.
What is "it" in that sentence, exactly?
Minor niggle #2: Review seems a little like it was written by a person who desired to play with words/write an essay, and not to convey an objective or practical opinion. Not to say that that's inherently bad or wrong - I just felt that as a neutral observer/reader, I didn't come away with the sense of knowing whether I should buy this album or not.