A personal statement first. Celer belongs amidst the infrequent entities worthy of being regularly followed in the field of next-to-inert electronica (formerly known as “ambient”, but let’s not limit ourselves: this is valid for a lot of musical varieties). Will Long – as was his late wife Dani Baquet-Long – is a solid human specimen, differently from countless buffoons hiding behind cryptic monikers or pseudo-anonymity to generate interest and sell more CDs full of ever-identical snoozers, usually after having managed to produce a decent one. This art-killing process is systematically encouraged by the subtly devious organization created by superficially broadminded press members and bloggers (which those no-hopers always find a way to connect with, the ultimate ambition of their “artistic” quest finally accomplished, according to the following scheme: undeserving musician goes to gregarious blogger, gregarious blogger goes to official channel, undeserving musician becomes all the rage through the official channel). Back to Celer: sorting out the right people from the entangled threads of brainless button pushers is the foremost reason for my ongoing reporting on the duo’s past and impending releases, not to mention the sheer beauty of the music. Someone outside the deadline canon might actually see colours in these sounds.
CELER – The Die That’s Caste
Essentially a 17-minute cycle, this 3-inch CD starts with strikingly resounding lows generating a superimposition of abnormally affecting vibrations and throbs. After a short while the scene mutates: a simple harmonic progression repeats itself over and over, utterly misshapen in diaphanously hazy fashion, an undersea orchestra performing a requiem for buoyancy. This gradually continues until all we hear is – again – an impenetrable mass of sunken reverberations whose shades range from slightly metallic to completely oneiric. A woman asks a question to a man in the final seconds, the lingering lack of answers closing this brief and intense piece, destined to nonstop spinning. (Con-V)
CELER – Dying Star
Despite its more than partial dissimilarity from the genre’s originator’s sonorities, this CD would surely be approved by the very Brian Eno as a precious emblem of the influence of his actions on the new breed of artists inhabiting contiguous sonic districts. The Longs exclusively utilized an analogue synthesizer and a mixing board to concretize eight tracks of mind-comforting, daydreaming soundscapes whose depth is directly proportional to their structural plainness. The gentleness of these placidly wavering masses is priceless; mostly, they’re shaped by the layering of major chords with added hues that alter them just a tiny bit, leaving the fundamental texture perceptible. The music calmly establishes its incidence in the psyche, neither cheerfully not dismally. A suspended state that goes on for almost 50 minutes, the perfect complement for an environment of unspoken reflection or quietly meticulous activity. (Dragon’s Eye)
CELER – Cursory Asperses
Unforgivably, I arrived at this unsung masterpiece (released in 2008) only last Christmas, the reason being the thin sleeve of the promo causing its disappearance amidst piles of CDs still waiting for a review (think about it, musicians and label managers: cost-effective packaging can cause your music to be forgotten in the middle of nowhere). The type of mute sorrow elicited by this eight-part suite is a classic for Celer and for this reviewer, who’s re-listening to Cursory Asperses in a cold afternoon where a pallid light and a discolored sky get married, the sun rays incapable of really warming the surrounding atmosphere of silence, in turn highlighting the almost complete nudity of the trees around the house. The bulk of the album sounds very similar to a quiet lament by a choir of waning figures accompanied by fluttering blurs of harmonic dust, the effect all the more surprising when one reads that the sources include piano, strings, bells, Theremin, whistle and field recordings besides the voice. The track titles also seem to allude to a corporeal departure (“The Peregrine Birders Of Phantom Forests” and “The Impotence Of Decelerated Self-Importance” are private favourites). There are sections in which a sort of subterranean pressure appears, and others in which we feel like floating inside a dirigible; the hollow tails of hovering chords heard between the 25th and the 29th minute literally made my heart dissolve. However, excessively detailed descriptions won’t do additional favours to this splendid work. Trace a copy without hesitation: this is definitely a milestone of present-day etherealness, among Celer’s absolute tops. (Slow Flow)