Richard Vimal - "Aquarythmies"
(Deimos Music 2001, 505378-2)
From Aural Innovations #19 (April 2002)
This is actually a compilation of two complete albums by French electronic musician Richard Vimal. Aquarythmies was originally released in 1980, and Migrations in 1978. Included also is one track from his rare 1977 album Transparencies (an album that, unlike his later work, was more pop oriented and included vocals - though the track culled for this compilation is instrumental), and one new track recorded in 2001.
Vimal's music is of its age, and can be compared often to other popular electronic artists of the time, especially fellow countryman Jean-Michel Jarre, and Vangelis. The analog synths at the time were still fairly primitive, and required a bit of experimentation to get the kinds of sounds the musician was looking for. While Vimal's sound never gets quite as daring or far out as the other artists mentioned, he does create a soothing kind of music that perhaps presages the new age music boom of the 80's. Some of his pieces have an almost classical feel (in more of a chamber sense than a symphonic one) like the lovely Arcanes, the gentle Pavane, and the melancholy and mysterious Metaporphose D'un Bal (the new track recorded in 2001). But he does get a little more rhythmic and spacey, experimenting with sequences on pieces like Elixir and Itineraire, and the weirdly futuristic Les Litanies des Animaux Cybernetiques. He even includes some nice acoustic guitar on several pieces, including the plaintive A Cloche-Pied and the bright and airy Nuance.
If you're looking for some relaxing and enjoyable instrumental electronic music, that's not too challenging, but isn't cloying either, Vimal's album may be your ticket. It's been very nicely digitally remastered for pristine clear sound and features the original Aquarythmies cover art.
I should add that it's also fascinating to listen to this music from a historical perspective. As a long time fan of electronic music, this was an intriguing "piece of the puzzle" to put into place. Apparently, Vimal is recording a new album for release this year. It will be interesting to see how he puts all the new technology that has been made available in the intervening years to use.
For more information you can visit the Deimos Music web site at: http://www.deimos-music.com.
Contact via snail mail c/o Deimos Music; PO Box 14 66; 38604 Gosiar; Germany.
Reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald