möbius by Twilight in VersaillesRelease date: July 17, 2017
Twilight in Versailles is a collective music project lead by Ryan Moser, who is based out of Los Angeles. I was first introduced to Ryan Moser’s music a few years ago via the 2013 release, Capsule. I’ve been a fan ever since. This latest release is quite incredible. It is an eighty-minute continuous composition. I don’t think I’ve ever come across a track of this length, notwithstanding pieces found in the classical genre. In my listening experience, only Mogwai with their track, ‘Music for a Forgotten Future (The Singing Mountain)’ coming in at twenty-three minutes and nine seconds or Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s track, ‘We Drift Like Worried Fire’ coming in at twenty minutes and seven seconds, come remotely close and only by a quarter of the time.
When it came time to write this review I was momentarily lost. I usually write about each track on the album. It’s my way of showcasing the work of the artist, since each track is as important as the whole. How would I be able to capture every wonderful nuance and feeling? Then it hit me, I would approach it in movements.
The first movement in the composition is a slow build. A couple of minutes into the piece a jazz style drumming begins. The bass line here is quite nice as well. There are wonderful ambient synth layers here. An organ is introduced too; a great contrast to the guitar being played. At the 11:17 mark, the first climax of the composition hits. The change overwhelming hit me in the chest, took my breath away and brought tears to me eyes.
The second movement in the piece begins at the 13:17 mark. Again, a slow ambient soundscape with layers of sound. Around the 17:00 mark a guitar riff starts and repeats. More guitar layers are introduced. A tremolo style picking with melodic waves. Then at the 19:45 mark, distorted guitars join in, like waves crashing against the shore.
At the 20:39 mark, the distortion is gone and melodic guitars come back. A slow build, that gets really quiet, with only the bass playing. It’s an eerie turn of events which quickly fades at the 23:13 mark. Guitars come back with an uplifting melodic riff and a funky drum beat gets introduced. The panning is wonderful, like fireworks between the ears. It’s a groovy turn of events. An ominous drone begins then fades, bringing back the bass riff. Now it’s just the bass and guitar with different sounds playing in behind. The guitar riff from the 17:00 mark comes back. This time there’s a drum beat and a crunchy sound texture. A siren like guitar plays in behind that gets louder and closer to the main riff being played.
The next several minutes are filled with diverse layers of sounds and textures. Then like a shock to the system, that literally made me jump, drums come in at the 47:03 mark. It was a great and unexpected change. Up to that point I was so entrenched into the melody that the change caught me completely unawares. Then at the 52:22 mark, the drums stop and we are left with only the guitar and bass. I love the reverse effect used here. From there the riff and bass line are repeated, continuing to use the reverse effect. The piece continues to move, adding and removing layers as it progresses.
At the 1:07:52 mark, there’s a total euphoric orchestral change. Heavy bass drum, guitar swells and layer upon layer of sound creating this wall of sound that quickly drops to a quiet rhythm. The piece then ends as it began, with a guitar and layered synth sounds.
Listening to this composition is definitely an investment in time but most definitely worth every minute. Ryan Moser is a modern-day composer who has created a composition for our time. I don’t believe I can do it complete justice in this review. You’ll just have to listen to it and then you will understand how wonderful and beautiful it is.