2. Intermezzo 1
3. Cyclus 2
4. Intermezzo 2
6. Intermezzo 3
7. Cyclus 4
8. Intermezzo 4
9. Cyclus 5
Genres: Ambient, drone, indie post-punk, instrumental post rock
For Fans Of: Hakobune, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Mogwai, Dirk Serries
Belgian Stratosphere (Ronald Mariën) returns with what could be his deepest album yet. Cyclus, his first full solo release since Rise (2016), “…is a brilliant piece of work,” says critic Serge Timmers of luminousdash.be. “It’s a powerful drone-ambient album with a dreamy post-rock feel to it. The magic that this man can create with his guitar, his bass and his pedalboard is quite stunning.”
You could say Cyclus is a concept-album based on recurring themes, infinite delays, everlasting soundscapes and the strange and unsettling times we live in. This crisis-after-crisis atmosphere is very present here. Stratosphere’s five main themes (interspersed with short intermezzos — bridges between the tracks) represent the variety of crises we’ve lived through the past few years in which one is not completely over before another one comes bursting in.
You could also say absolutely nothing, just close your eyes and allow yourself to immerse in the sonic world of Stratosphere. With his elaborate soundscapes, here and there supported by minimal arpeggios, Ronald has created a fascinating ambient album. Not only does Cyclus contain both Stratosphere’s shortest and longest track, it also contains loads of emotions. Gloomy emotions. The whole album feels like a musical representation of a grown man quietly weeping.
Of course, Ronald Mariën is an absolute master in his trade. This is a magnificent Stratosphere record which each fan of his work will immediately recognize and appreciate. It contains one of Ronald’s most impressive pieces of work so far. The massive closer “Cyclus 5” which could even please fans of bands like Wang Wen and Godspeed! You Black Emperor. Why? Because it’s absolutely stunning and absolutely immersive.