Review by Dragone Nervoso

Book of Illusions: Chapter I & II
Top Demo

The exasperated solipsism of VLE (which is the unique composer and musician in both the Book of Illusions chapters) have had a determining role in the whole creation of the work; from the raw quality of the recording to the huge simplicity of the equipment and the complicated concept that traces the whole opera, the first two works of this American based artist already got genius' chromosomes.  Surprisingly versatile, emphasised by a songwriting which alternates light and darkness in a very fashionable way, everything in this recording is pervaded by an undeniable charisma which leads to the constant desire of a never-ending listening.

All the compositions (quite brief in the second CD) capture tranches of Infinity with an approach to the instrument and to the evocative power of the sound which in several parts reminded me the first Nurse With Wound's opus (VLE also is totally self-taught); VLE's suites represent the piercing fleetingness of absolutely precious moments, chained all together in a concept constantly inspired, terrifyingly intense, impossible to classify under a determinate genre.  Dark-ambient influences, astral movements which may recall the first Brian Eno as well as Lustmord's finest works, freezing folk inserts which may determinate the pleasure of a Current93 in state of grace (Trilogy Of The I), breath-taking instants of reflection ideally linked to Steve Roach's opus, moments of austere contemplation of mental landscapes full of supreme emotions (Freedom to Fly's enormous magniloquence); all of this has been expressed with an approximation that, paradoxically, becomes the strongest quality of the whole recording.

The consciously raw production (a simple 4-way recorder to capture the essence of a sound which could easily deal with hollywood-budget's fantasy atmospheres) emphasises the simple geniality of all the 18 compositions, which could also be defined as mental notes of an extraordinarily evocative subconscious, able to give life to an entire universe in which shadows and lights flutter incessantly like ideal completion of a new-born world that we can imagine dark and impressive, immense and softly veiled by the imminent premonition of a shining Eternity.

Rating: 8/9