“New Horizons” is the 2nd album of Luna Firma, a Canadian-American duet made up of Kuutana (Ron Charron) and of the New York guitarist Eric "the" Taylor. Inspired by the spatial mission of the same name which explored the planet Pluto in the summer of 2015, “New Horizons” surfs on the influences of Vangelis. Master on board of his sonic shuttle, Ron Charron who multiplies the big diversity of his label Borders Edge Music, puts in synthesis the collection of field recordings amassed by Eric Taylor, plunging “New Horizons” in a universe of meditative music which fits to its heterogeneous source of sounds, so giving this impression to feel Brian Eno's atmospheres. Except that the very Vangelis approach of the duet Luna Firma creates this necessary balance between the abstract music and the music as such. In this respect "Albedo 0.6" is simply wonderful. But before...
"Angular Distance" binds itself in our ears with dark and frail breezes of which the delicate indecision is gobbled up by good impulses of cosmic drones. Crystal clear chords get scatter through the chants of astral flute, drawing an inevitable parallel with the universe of Vangelis. Oblong sighs of synth amplify this hold of Vangelis on the influences of Luna Firma, whereas our ears perceive a carpet of metallic murmurs which whisper in the background. These slow morphic embraces are transformed little by little into momentum of ambient rhythm which implode in the majority of the phases of “New Horizons”.
Yet the influences of Vangelis enclose the slow movement of "Chandra X" with synth layers to the perfumes of the apocalypse which progress like inked hands over knockings of which the brightness become lackluster as the intensity rises. The title-track breathes on the atmospheres of "Chandra X" and runs away with a nice oriental lullaby to set ablaze a nervous and spasmodic structure of rhythm which sweeps the sweetness of “New Horizons”, up to here very peaceful, for a good small minute which even brushes the borders of Electronica.
After the slow and intense orchestrations of "Albedo 0.6" which reveals a wonderful lunar melody to makes cry a solitary synth, "The Frozen Fields of Hydra" borrows the paths of "New Horizon" with an opening misted by synth superimposed in different colors in order to take the shape of an increasing rhythm which drives again towards another kind of Electronica. As improbable as unexpected, this structure of rhythm melts in a paradisiac environment haloed by beautiful astral voices and by chirping of birds still unlisted.
"Charon" is a very aerial, very celestial, title with a guitar more than Floydienne which sheds its tears over a bed of buzzing drones. "Snowcaps on the Edge of Darkness" is the most beautiful example of the delicate balance between the universe of the metallic murmurs of Eno and the soft morphic embraces of the oxygenate cotton hands of Vangelis.
It is as much beautiful as the face of the unknown can be misleading. The dark breezes and the jingles which surround the atmospheres of "Sputnik Planum" is worth of a Robert Rich and Steve Roach collaboration. The same goes for "The Drifting Hills of Pluto" and the very intense "LORRI" with its guitar which makes a too short appearance at the very end. We definitively reached the threshold of the intensity of “New Horizons” with this title and the oriental moods of "Krun Macula" which explodes of a stunning tribal rhythm at about the 4th minute before the sedative atmospheres try to calm the sleeper awakened suddenly by this temporary rage.
In the end, “New Horizons” is above all for the music lovers of deep cosmic atmospheres, rather intense at times, with beautiful implosions in the impulses of intensities which perturb the soft orchestrations and the delicate reverie of the synth layers to the fragrances of Vangelis. Some fragments of rhythm can disturb the musing of the night nomads, but there is enough sedative space to reroute them near Morpheus’ doors. The crossing between the antipodes (yes, yes) Eno/Vangelis is more attractive than disturbing because of the processing of synthesis made by Kuutana. Thus, an album which has the qualities of its defects, is to make too much place to the influences of Vangelis and of his various visions. But when it’s just that, it’s not so bad after all!