The fifth full-length Nettwerk release from Vancouver-based duo Bill Leeb and Rhys Fulber, Nuages Du Monde (Clouds of the World) continues the evolution of Delerium from creators of predominantly instrumental filmic sounds capes to a fully-fledged vocal group. Featuring an array of renowned singers, Nuages Du Monde neatly combines the more overtly commercial pop of previous album Chimera (2003) with the lush sensual ambience and cloistered harmonies of 1197s Karma, a meld that bridges the gap between world music, new age electronics and modern classical.
The album features a number of collaborators new to Delerium, including the accomplished Juno award-winning Punjabi singer Koran Ahluwalia, who dominates one of the more dancefloor friendly album cuts, the heady Bollywood meets 4/4 beats of Indoctrination. Meanwhile, Isabel Bayrakdarian is a highly esteemed Armenian-Canadian soprano with a wonderfully expressive voice, who recently opened gala night at the New York Metropolitan Opera opposite Bryn Terfel in Mozarts Marriage Of Figaro and proved a huge hit in the same role at Londons Royal Opera House. Her acclaimed collection of Armenian liturgical songs, Joyous Light, pricked the ears of composer Howard Shore and led to a personal invitation to contribute to his multi-million selling Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers soundtrack. Baryakdarian, whose wordless, almost muezzin wail adds dramatic tension to album opener Angelicus and the darker tones of Lumenis, is a singer searching for something very personal in her music. What Im most interested in is beautiful singing something that speaks to me, she says Thats my main guideline to everything that I sing, whether its opera, recital or concert a sentiment you can be sure that Messrs Leeb and Fulber agree with wholeheartedly.
The album also features contribution from a host of Delerium regulars; Faithless vocalist Zoe Johnston, Kristy Thirsk (a stalwart since their 1995 Nettwerk debut Semantic Spaces), and sessions virtuoso Kirsty Hawkshaw, whose CV is a veritable whos who of electronic music, including Orbital, BT and Tiesto. However, fans of Deleriums more cinematic moments will not be disappointed by the grandiose Tectonic Shift, a slow-building storm cloud of an instrumental, augmented by sweeping John Barry-esque strings courtesy of arranger Chris Elliott (Moulin Rouge, Rufus Wainwright), whilst the haunted Apparition provides Nuages Du Monde with a suitably elegiac conclusion. On the other side of the coin, the Jael fronted Lost And Found is a radio friendly vignette of lazily seductive pop that taps a more commercial vein, while English vocal group Mediaeval Baebes add a dose of religiosity and sophistication to Extollere and the pretty Sister Sojourn Ghost.
Nuages Du Monde proves another notable milestone on the ever-metamorphosing musical landscape of Leeb and Fulber.
Previous Delerium recordings for Nettwerk have included Semantic Spaces (1995), breakthrough album Karma (1997), Poem (2001) and Chimera (2005). The band have sold over a million albums in North America alone, but are also known for a string of successful singles, including the worldwide dance smash Silence (featuring the vocals talents of superstar Sarah McLachlan), which sold over 300,000 copies in the UK alone. Other hits have included After All, Innocente, Falling In Love), Underwater and Heavens Earth.
Leeb and Fulber have a number of other highly regarded musical collaborations under their belt, most notably the influential industrial act Front Line Assembly, while Fulber has found solo success as a producer and more recently with his celebrated ethno-ambient pop project Conjure One.