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|March 16, 2007
"ANGKOR (Extreme Meditation Vol. 1)"
Neuronium Records / Animamusic
The music that Michel has created in this album springs in a straight, natural manner, from the feelings and sensations he experienced in the impressive temple of Angkor Wat, a remarkable reminder of the symbiosis of Man and Nature. As suggested by the subtitle, the CD "Angkor" is the first issue of a project that Michel has started: the creation of a series of CDs with meditative music inspired by his stays in various places with a high spiritual and cultural charisma in Asia, most specifically the southeastern area, with Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia and Thailand on the foreground. Michel has been regularly visiting these lands for over thirty years, since the difficult days following war and repression, up to the current times, with an improved situation. Throughout seven tracks with different acoustic approaches, brimming with calm ambiences and dreamy melodies, the synthesist takes us to a journey into the temple of Angkor as seen through the artist's soul. The lushness of the vegetation, the durability of stone and the oneiric breath exuded by this environment are somehow expressed by the textures of sounds, while the melodies flow slowly into the perception of the audience, as if they were subtle ghosts.
"NEUROWORLD VOL.1" (DVD)
The music by Michel Huygen and the pictorial worlds of Tomas Gilsanz's, a frequent illustrator of album covers by Neuronium, as well as his task in charge of the visual part in some of the concerts, fit perfectly well in this audiovisual show. As if it were the filming of fantastic dreams, in this DVD we witness an amazing creative display of unearthly landscapes, impossible metamorphoses and journeys comparable to astral voyages or dives into the melting pot of dreams dwelling within the subconscious of each human being. It can be easily seen that both artists are "tuned" into the same "frequency", together with the fact that best motivates them, namely to explore the unknown. Thus, in this production they guide the viewer throuhgout The Intangible, which, thanks to the spell of their art, becomes Visible and Audible. In short, a very much recommended DVD for those who are keen on new, daring sensations in the sphere of science-fiction and fantasy.
"THE TALE OF THE WARLOCK"
This album presents a cosmic epic narrated with the peculiar musical language of this artist. By making a lavish use of synthesizer orchestrations, and resorting to very effective combinations of chords, Gert Emmens succeeds in delighting us with a show of beauty and violence, like those inherent to Fire, Thunder or any of the other natural elements unleashed. The touches of Synth-Pop, Jazz, and melodic symphonism add warmth to a work inherently shaped by means of powerful feelings.
CRAIG PADILLA & SKIP MURPHY:
In this new collaboration between both artists, we witness a careful display of electronic architectures, wealthy in nuances of sound, where Space Music shines in full power. Melodies dyed with the atavistic emotions awakened by The Unknown within the human mind, unearthly landscapes as wondrous as they are disquieting, complex rhythms that propel us into a highly risky journey throughout natural wonders, technological deeds of epic proportions, and the unfathomable mysteries of the future, are but a few of the most remarkable traits that can be found in this magnificient album.
Symphonism, atmospheric Pop, and a suggestive grading ranging from the gothic to the most sensual side of the New Age, are here developed by this composer, vocalist and graphic designer. Most remarkable are her intense creative work in the development of the tracks, the suggestive voice she is capable of alternating between the angelical and the sinister, the plentiful graphic art accompanying the CD, and its careful construction of the mysterious architectures of sound. The entire work is permeated with exquisite touches of romanticism, influences from the cultural heritage rich in magic legends of the European culture, and references to stories of Sword and Sorcery, though through the personal prism of the artist. Priscilla does not shun this duality between Light and Darkness reigning in the entire approach inherent to her art, but rather makes such a duality into an important part of the personal traits she so rightly gives her artistic expresssion.
"SECRET VOICES FROM THE DARK"
Prudence / BSC Music
This album is a careful selection of themes from diverse artists who converge within the suggestive and disquieting realm of dark fantasy. The contents of the album are as follows: Achillea: "The Monks Of Lindisfarne". Bernd Scholl: "Farewell At Midnight". Mergener et Amici: "Endless Night (Nox Mystica)". TYA: "Why". Alquimia & Gleisberg: "Aileen". Tyndall & Scholl: "Mysterious Traveller". Stadler & Rule: "L'Pavane". Karmacosmic: "Himalaja-Home Of The Gods I". Alquimia & Gleisberg: "The Beauty And The Beast". Art Of Infinity: "Passing The Pulsar". Mergener et Amici: "te deum". Stella Maris: "Miserere". Bernd Scholl: "Celtic Prayer". Mostly within Atmospheric and Gothic Pop, though also including tracks of a symphonic orientation, this collection of themes will appeal to the fans of these musical trends, especially if they enjoy the Sword and Sorcery genre.
"THEATRE DES VAMPIRES"
Witches on the Radiowaves Records
An architect of The Oneiric, Psicodreamics succeeds within each work in getting us back, awake, into the universe of fantasy that we visit in our dreams. With its successful combination of instrumental symphonism, Atmospheric Pop and the suggestive ambiguity of the twilight separating the Bright from the Sinister, in this work the artist enters the mythology of vampirism, plays with the eroticism of the relationship between humans and vampires, the conflictive, impossible love between beings of opposite worlds,the attraction of nearing the Abyss, and the atavistic instincts associated to Life, Death and Love. The right use of orchestrations, at times ethereal, at times starkly earthly, and the inspired skills to choose the perfect palette of sounds that will be best for each moment, emphasize the expressiveness of the music. Also remarkable is the collaboration of musicians Ramon Mendigorri and Nestor Mora (Rotsen Jim), as well as the model Tatiana Narducci characterizes as a female vampire in the graphic art accompanying the CD.
Petruchelli makes a kind of Atmospheric Pop beaded with Latin touches and Jazz. Nice melodies and warm rhythms constitute the main tools the artist uses to express his musical ideas. The general style of the work, also with subtle traits of World Music, and subliminal winks to "Urban Folk", displays self-assurance, happiness and vital strength. Petruchelli moves with ease and elegance throughout the entire musical path of the album.
This project by Peter Sauleda can hardly go unnoticed, due to its original way of creating architectures that will reveal new shades of the always fascinating music by Bach. For "Gothic Chillout", as suggested by the title, the artist creates versions in a mysterious key of the arias by Bach that have most motivated him, in which Sauleda boosts the dimension of dark sensuality that can sometimes be perceived in the music of this genius, and shapes it all into full consistency. Thus, the album becomes an exquisite, disquieting journey throughout the ambiguous intersections among the Ambient, the Gothic Pop and the Classicism of cosmic airs. Likewise remarkable are the impressive vocals of soprano Maria Sala and mezzosoprano Pilar Vazquez, as well as the arrangements and the impressive treatment of sound developed by Sauleda.
Elements of a fresh World Music, rich in Hindi airs of an urban hue are combined with ease and elegance in this album with powerful rhythms and sophisticated electronic textures. The global frame for this refreshing, attractive architecture is an aesthetic format near to Atmospheric Pop. As if it were Urban Folk inspired in great measure by the city of Bombay, where some of the sound elements were recorded, we are offered a fresh, entrancing journey, not devoid of sensuality, to a peculiar fusion East-West more inclined towards modernity than to the traditional.
sampler PIANO ZEN
Joining performance dominated by the piano together with the most romantic side of instrumental music, this collection of 19 pieces constitutes a suggestive window towards our deepest feelings. The selection includes the following tracks: Run 2: "Machinery of Live". La Crem: "Icaria". Nadia: "Mozartiana". Suzanne Ciani: "Full Moon Sonata". Nadia: "Prophecy". Suzanne Ciani: "Celtic Nights". Constance Demby: "The Winding Path". Brenda Warren: "Blue Island". Brenda Warren: "A Paris Day". La Crem: "From Dawn To Dusk". Paz Del Castillo: "Bolinas". Paz Del Castillo: "Cuevas del Mar". La Crem: "Thrive". Paz Del Castillo: "Despedida". Brenda Warren: "Ancient". Suzanne Ciani: "Turning". Nadia: "Breath". Run 2: "Sense of Beauty". Constance Demby: "Mother of The World". Listening to the 75 minutes the CD lasts, without repressing the spontaneous flight of the mind, is diving among emotions under the skin and caressing the beauty of the music.
Soft, melodic Ambient, exclusively achieved by means of acoustic guitar and a treatment of sound with electronic filters that provide it with a greater width yet without distorting the essence of its sound, this proposal is truly original, and the result attracts the attention of the audience from its very start. The atmospheres are soft, wealthy in layers of sound, as if it were an orchestra of guitars, and the textures offer us the freshness and spontaneity so characteristic of the acoustic guitar.
FRANK VAN BOGAERT:
Frank van Bogaert is an artist with a special sensitivity to develop warm melodies and combine them with rhythms of a vital, optimistic air. In this album he shows us once again his mastery, building music that drinks from Synth-Pop and symphonism, shaping impressive architectures, brimming with emotions. Most remarkable are his successful orchestrations and electronic textures. The composer spares no means and provides his pieces with everything necessary to be able to perfectly express the sensations he wishes to transmit with his music.
sampler SYNTONIC WAVES VOL. 9
In this ninth installment of the series of samplers Syntonic Waves there is once again a careful selection of tracks that will appeal to the lovers of Synth-Pop, Space Music, and adjacent musical trends. The artists and themes gathered in this album include: Skylander: "Strange heart". Startle B: "Hold your head high". Miroslaw Mirocha: "Nachdenken". Joh & Marvin: "Bedrock". Christian Zander: "Sinusrhythmus v1.0". Descon-Mission: "Memories". Alien VS: "Watching TV (crying aliens)". Reuter / Nies: "Follow me". Hajo Liese & Till Kopper: "Le reve numerique 22". Lambert: "Trance move". Bay: "Desert". Dayflight: "City night". Traumklang: "Kleiner Tiergarten". Ralf Weiden: "Die plage". As is predictable, there is a remarkable variety of styles derived from the presence of various artists as well as different ways of making music. Nevertheless, this wealth of approaches does not contradict the homogeneous nature of the album, inherent to the philosophy of the sampler, and all the compositions fit together well.
The skills displayed by Indra to provoke emotions and sensations in the listener are truly noteworthy. In this album, from the very beginning of the first track, it already is possible to feel this mesmerizing call which opens unknown windows into the imagination and allows us to enter worlds alien to daily reality. The way Indra utilizes the sythesizers and sequencers, with complex orchestrations and electronic textures, provides a great impressiveness to the melodic and rhythmic architecture of "Signs". Between Synth-Pop and Space Music, the style of the music made by Indra also includes captivating symphonic structures where the most romantic aspects of music are underlined. In short, a magnificient work.
"BRAINCHIPS (Instrumental version)"
An artist with a wide trajectory and well deserved merits, Robert Schroeder flies over musical continents, as suggested by the title of this work, inspired by the capacity that the human brain has to imagine. The music flows from Synth-Pop, to a kind of Trip-Hop with an electronic taste, and Space Music. The pieces have complex orchestrations and electronic textures. Rhythms are plentiful. The melodies tend to be bright, brimming with vitality and optimism, although they also enter areas of mystery and subtle melancholy during some of the passages. Brainchips, in conclusion, shows us a Robert Schroeder who has embraced new musicial trends with ease and confidence, although without abandoning the essence of his very personal style.
FOOD FOR FANTASY:
"THE SECRET OF DREAMIN'"
Once again taking up the artistic concept that in the mid 1980's led Robert Schroeder (Dreamstar) to create, together with guitarist Charly Buchel (Charly McLion)the duo Double Fantasy, Schroeder has tackled the creation of Food for Fantasy, with the album "The secret of Dreamin'". The first album by Double Fantasy, "Universal Ave.", which was tremendously successful, especially in the United States, where it reached the top hits lists, unfortunately had no continuity, as it turned out to be the last album up to now. Accompanied by guitarist Phil Molto, Schroeder has recovered the thread of his musical ideas in this particular style. The new album, "The secret of dreamin'", includes twelve tracks of Atmospheric Pop, with shades of Ambient and Space Music, developed by means of warm electronics.
"SOFT HAND FEEL"
Agile melodies, warm rhythms and imaginative textures of sound are the master lines where the structure of this work is based on. The general style trend of the album flows along the path of Atmospheric Pop though it also includes elements from Ambient and Electronic House, which provide the tracks an important part of their personality. The CD is accompanied by a DVD with videoclips and information on the band.
By suggestively combining elements from electronic music with others typical of the rhythmic World Music with an Hindi taste, as well as Jazz, besides some subtle touches of Ambient and experimentation, well-known composer and trumpetist Franco Baggiani creates an entertaining collection of pieces where the rhythms turn out to be very fresh, and melodies evoke journeys to exotic places. In this album, Baggiani has enjoyed the collaboration of Madhava Das.
"SERENE LIFE OF MICROBES"
The use that Richard Bone makes of synthesizers in this album turns out to be very adequate to shape the dense, imaginative Ambient compositions we find in "Serene life of microbes". As suggested both by the title and the graphic art, the artist has been inspired by the fascinating world of microorganisms to create "organic" music, with textures that emulate the biochemical environment, and architectures that avoid easy approaches. The result is a fascinating work of exotic Space Ambient which will no doubt appeal not only the followers of this synthesist but also the lovers of this kind of music.
"THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED"
Straugh House Publishing
Starting from an approach based on the most romantic side of current instrumental music and with the piano as the protagonist, Michael Straugh incorporates most adequately classical elements, influences from such musicians as George Winston, as well as subtle shades of the most melodic side of Jazz, thus shaping a work with great expressiveness. Melodies that connect at once, rhythms at times calm, at times more lively, yet always fresh, and a quite personal focus, allow the artist to display his creativity without obstacles.
"STATE OF GRACE III"
Paul Schwartz, whose artistic career is solid indeed, is also well known for his albums of the series Aria, amongst other works. In "State of Grace III", he provides us with a careful collection of compositions that could be labelled within Atmospheric Pop, a work that nevertheless has strong airs of romantic Classical Music, where we can appreciate the beautiful voice of singer Lisbeth Scott and a large group of musicians mostly playing string instruments. The result is a CD of unarguable beauty and an impeccable production, something, on the other hand, which is very often found in Schwartz.
In "Quiet Beauty", composer and cellist James Todd creates, accompanied in his performance by pianist William Morse, a delicious collection of melodic pieces dominated by a kind of romanticism with a classical flavour. This is an album where we can clearly appreciate the special sensitivity that Todd has as a composer for melodic instrumental music. Contributing his own vision of the genre, where he incorporates the majesty typical of the soundtracks for movies within the genre of drama, the composer impresses us with a display of deeply artistic sensitivity.
In "3000 Days" we have a refreshing collection of compositions we could label within the genre of Romantic Instrumental Music, including elements that range from Atmospheric Pop to New Age to World Music, as well as some subtle elements of Jazz. The arrangements, and in general the staging of every track, boost the emotional nature of this work, although without causing an excess of sentimentalism. In short, a nice work for listeners who love melodic instrumental music.
"LAST KIND WORDS"
In this album we find an intriguing excursion into regions sited bewteen avantgarde Jazz and conceptual experimentation in adjacent areas. The approach shows a will clearly aimed at the search for new paths in melodic expression, far beyond a simple incursion into the alchemy with electroacoustic sounds.
As suggested by the ironic contradiction implied in the title, "Humanitarian War", this is an album created as a protest against "preemptive" wars. By means of a musical approach framed within the electroacoustic music, yet rich in ethnic sonorities, Andy Hass builds surrealist pieces, disquieting, suggesting images of the chaos and the injustice inherent to any war.
"LOOKING AT THE STARS"
Interweaving with unsurpassed skills elements of Synth-Pop and Contemporary Instrumental Music with others coming from Ambient, Vitaly shapes a series of pieces and soundscapes where the most remarkable trait is their expressiveness, beaded with romantic sparkles, at times melancholy, at other times crowing as well as oneiric in certain moments. Throughout the entire album the listener can appreciate the creative freedom the artist utilizes in order to develop each composition, never allowing conventional traits to influence any part.
"DIESEL & SMOKES"
Busted Flat Records
This instrumental album ranges from Folk, to US Contry Music and to Rock, with some subtle influences of Jazz. Dan Walsh knows how to shape his music in a convincing manner. He gives his artistic ideas a personal focus which makes his compositions sound free, independent. Likewise remarkable is the careful performance of the artist with the guitars.
"MYSTERIA, AN ELECTRONIC JOURNEY INTO SOUND"
"Mysteria" is a magnificient triple CD by M.A.S.S., the artistic name of Stephan Kaske, a founding member of the mythical band Mythos, created in 1969. This album joins Space Music with Synth-Pop in a very imaginative manner, which proves why the artist succeeeded in becoming a musical visionary at a time when shaping risky concepts of sound was by no means as technologically easy as it is now. Kaske, who since then has been developing an intense musical career in various recording projects as well as being the author of soundtracks and music for television advertisements, displays an excellent combination of artistic creativity and mastery in his skills with the electronic medium, which means in fact that this work is a true jewel for the lovers of innovative electronic music, with a remarkable beauty, while at the same time avoiding arid experimentation or commercial formulae which are repeated ad nauseam.
Ian Boddy is one of the few artists who have been able to create their own style, fascinating, unmistakable, within electronic avantgarde associated to Space Music, melodic Ambient and to Synth-Pop. In this album, he once again displays his skills with an impressive collection of pieces. In the slow ones, surrealist atmospheres, almost Dalinesque, shape the path for ambiguous melodies, flowing from the Dark to the grandiloquent. In the fast ones, powerful, complex rhythms, that sustain brilliant architectures are intertwined with melodies that swing between the enigmatic and a romanticism beaded with melancholy. "Elemental" is the work of a dreamer, far from any fashion or commercial constraints, an ideal music for those who look for this "something more" that does not exist in conventional music.
"THE CIRCLING HOUR"
Open Sky Records / Voiceprint
The band Iona has a peculiar style, flowing through Melodic Pop, Celtic influences and Progressive trends, Folk and an exquisite symphonism not lacking in sonorities typical of Ambient. The music by Iona is rich in shades and hues, ambiguity of sound and lyricism. In this album we are offered a selection of beautiful melodies,a careful mise en scene and the best of their talent, all that applied to 11 themes, of a diverse orientation, yet all within the versatile style of the band.
Shaped within the darkest chasms of Industrial Ambient, "Empty City" is an oneiric album, nocturnal, projecting in the listener a waterfall of shapeles sounds that evolve step by step, treacherously, towards more and more complex structures, within an architecture dominated by dense sounds, metalized, yet never falling into shrill noise, and succeeding in painting this imaginary panorama of a deserted city which the title of the album refers to with skilled precision.
"Yule" is a striking album of Industrial Ambient, not lacking in melodic atmospheres, inspired by a ghostly vision of the cultural elements associated to Christmas, and recognisable, among other things, by acoustic elements, the cover and the words in several vocal pieces. Coldness and loneliness, like those in an abandoned office building, empty on Christmas Night, the murmur of the wind and the snowflakes falling in utter silence, are some of the sensations this work can evoke on the listener.
Daniel Tagayet expresses his musical ideas with remarkable clarity: Starting from a fresh, spontaneous approach near to the World Music, yet with electronic textures as well as Ambient traits, and also adopting focuses typical of Atmospheric Pop, he weaves a suggestive tapestry full of exquisite ambiguities, deep ideas and intense images of sound, all that within a scheme that displays a careful task in its creation and mise en scene.
A precious collection of soft instrumental tracks, wealthy in romanticism and not lacking in sensuality. The contents of the album is as follows: Govi: "Embrace". Gandalf: "Take Me Gently Across the Water". Paul Machlis: "At the Wooden Bridge". 2002: "Timeless". Kevin Kern: "Remembering the Light". Peter Sterling: "Dance of the Dakinis". Bernward Koch: "Touched by Love". Sayama: "Drifting Through Time and Space". Govi: "Sailing Away". Kevin Kern: "Pastel Reflections". Hilary Stagg: "Feeling It All". Gandalf: "Sacred River". Bernward Koch: "Evoking Wonder". In a few words, the musical selection gathered in "inSPAration" leads the listener into a journey to the most intimate, relaxed aspects of the styles developed by the different artists.
"iRELAX DURING A BUSY DAY"
Real Music / iRelax
Realising about the positive psychological influence that a beautiful, soft music has on the state of mind of a person, especially when the person has been withstanding the stresses of a whole working day, stresses unfortunately inherent to the lifestyle of most people on our planet, the label Real Music offers us a selection of instrumental pieces nice to listen to, rich in romantic melodies. The artists and tracks selected are: Govi: "In Wonder". Kevin Kern: "Sundial Dreams". Russel Walder: "This Moment Now". Michael Hoppe: "Song for Sarah". Peter Kater: "Summer Prelude". Back to Earth: "When Angels Smile". Bernward Koch: "Following Stars". Paul Machlis: "Nightblossom". 2002: "The Sea at Night". Karunesh: "The Conversation". Hilary Stagg: "Inspirations". Danny Wright: "Angel Voices". Gandalf: "Morning at the River Bench".
Real Music / iRelax
The selection of instrumenatl tracks that constitute this album share as a common denominator their soft nature, almost sensual, rich in melodies of a romantic air and sweet atmospheres. The contents of this album is as follows: Johannes Linstead: "Mi Angel". Danny Wright: "Hayden's Spirit". Paul Machlis: "Greenwoods". Frank Steiner. Jr.: "Touching Silk". Bernward Koch: "Close Your Eyes". Peter Kater: "Autumn Prelude". Gandalf: "Rhythm of the Tides". Jim Chappell: "Gone". Russel Walder: "Holding the Space". 2002: "Even Now". Frank Steiner, Jr.: "Bells of Himalaya". Johannes Linstead: "Ilusion". Hilary Stagg: "Forever and a Day". Although the CD includes different styles, the tracks show us this aspect that music can have to calm down the state of mind when it is disturbed by the usual daily stresses afflicting our busy lifestyle.
"THE LIGHT IN THE SHADOW"
Spotted Peccary Music
In this album, Craig Padilla develops a deep Ambient, dense, beaded with cosmic dreamscapes. Listening to this music, it is easy for the listeners to imagine that they are floating weightless in the immensity of intergalactic space. The well-pitched architectures and the tonal structures are perfectly combined and constitute a basic ingredient of the cosmic nature of the CD.
Spotted Peccary Music
Avoiding easy approaches, the artist shapes an entire continent of twilight sounds, oneiric, autumnal,which are streamlined with a suggestive ambiguity on the choir of electronic tonalities. The Ambient dense, solitary, dominating the album, and complemented with some traits of Space Music, suggests grey skies, grounds full of autumnal fallen leaves, to which the title of the album refers, the half-light of the increasingly shorter evening showing the coldness of factories silhouetted against the horizon, and the letargy of a good part of nature before the coming winter.
"ANALOGY VOLUME 2"
A magnificient collection of compositions within the Space Music with analogic sounds. Using the magic of certain classical synthesizers that have left their imprint in electronic music in the same way as the Stradivarius have done in Classical Music, the artists in "Analogy Volume 2" take us to a journey towards the other shore, that of dreams. The contents of the CD is as follows: Rogue Element: "Mellowtronthoughts". François-Pol Cornec: "Tole Ondulee". 4m33s: "Sunrise On Cyderia". Gert Emmens & Ruud Heij: "Velvet Sky". Russell Storey: "Cosmic Kiwi Ii Part 1". James J Clent: "Black Tails". Craig Padilla: "Improbability Drive". Kees Aerts: "Branch Hopping". Zen Paradox: "Creation Garden". Stephen Parsick: "Electromagnetic". Create: "Reaching Out". Altres: "Dusktreader". Russell Storey: "Cosmic Kiwi Ii Part 2". Remotion: "Sonar Vision". Remy: "Expectations". Em2: "Where Two Worlds Meet". Ron Boots: "Sneak Preview". A very commendable album for the lovers of that kind of electronic musical avantgarde less related to conventionalisms and commercial constraints.
The re-release of this legendary album of Space Music from 1984 that made the duo Wavestar famous, it includes an extra piece, from a concert given in 1988. John Dyson and David Ward-Hunt were the members of this duo. After some years of fruitful collaborations, they separated and took different paths. Dyson developed an intense solo career for some years, with excellent albums. Ward-Hunt worked in soundtracks and passed away in 1999. In "Mind Journey", both geniuses were full of vitality and illusions, and this can be appreciated in their music, which is brimming with powerful rhythms,grandiloquent melodies and impressive atmospheres. This is a cult album amongst the fans of Space Music and this re-release has been very much appreciated.
"JAM CAMP LIVE!"
The band Jam Camp practise a refreshing mixture of psychedelic Rock and avantgarde Jazz, within a structural approach which can be labelled within instrumental progressive. In this CD, rcorded during a concert, we can listen to them with the full strength of a live performance. Ignoring conventionalisms and giving free rein to their creative impulse, the musicians offer us, throughout 11 tracks, a good show of what they are capable of doing.
"THE COMING OF THE SNOW"
Dancing Cat Records / Windham Hill / RCA Victor
In this album, we can enjoy an exquisite selection of melodic classical themes performed with Hawaiian guitars by legendary Hawaiian artist Keola Beamer. With arrangements by Daniel O'Donoghue, the versions that Keola Beamer performs with his personal style give new shades to the more romantic side of the music by Satie, Ravel, Stravinsky, Mendelssohn, Rimsky-Korsakov, Dowland, Piazzolla and others. Also included are two compositions of a typically Hawaiian air. In conclusion, this is a beautiful album that will appeal to the lovers of the most melodic side of Classical Music, as well as the fans of Keola Beamer and the followers of romantic instrumental music.
"MEMORIES FROM A DREAM"
The soul of Honest Touch, a band from Athens, Greece, are composer Samy Elgazzar and pianist Fofi Maniadaki. They are joined by varios musicians at the string and percussion instruments, as well as singer Marita Paparizou. The music, as can be appreciated in this wonderful album, is of a romantic approach, mostly instrumental, with airs of a Pop ballad and symphonic touches, at times even classical. With a careful production, which includes the collaboration of two orchestras and a choir, this is a high quality work that will no doubt appeal to the most demanding aficionados to contemporary instrumental.
THE SPIRIT GIRLS:
The Spirit Girls are an interesting band born thanks to a Rock opera created by the versatile artist Marnie Weber, about the ghosts of five girls. The band is constituted by Marnie Weber, Tamara Sussman, Debbie Spinelli, Tanya Hayden and Dani Tull. The image presiding the cover of the album, the first one by the band, where five girls appear in the image of corpses, fits perfectly well with the music, a kind of Gothic Pop-Rock, with mysterious female vocals and dark electronic textures.
DEL REY & THE SUN KINGS:
In this interesting album, Jackson Del Rey pays homage to the director of mythic silent movie "Battleship Potemkin", as if it were the soundtrack for the movie. It is soon appreciated that this project has been given the best of creative energy, taking care of even the slightest details, all that in the spirit of this legendary film, and taking into account the artistic guidelines of Sergei Eisenstein. The result is no doubt impressive. The album is overflowing with very original instrumental music, with classical and industrial reminiscences merging in an absolutely natural manner, as well as a great power in all compositions.
"13 BLACKBIRDS / 13 LOTUS"
The band 17 Pygmies, which became a thorough success in the 1980's, has returned after 17 years of silence, with this new double album. In the new stage of the band we find Jackson Del Rey, Jeff Brenneman, Louise Bialik, Meg Maryatt, Jean Sudbury, Tanya Haden and Jacquie James. The work, displaying a careful presentation which includes graphic art with an impressive effect of weathered photograph where only true mildew is missing, tends towards a Pop-Rock with Gothic trends, but we also find experimental touches, dark electronic textures and a suggestive orientation toward neofolk and romanticism.
"NOTES FROM THE WOODS"
Starting from an approach typical of Contemporary Instrumental Music with Classical touches and Pop shades, in this album composer Sharon West offers us a wonderful collection of compositions with a romantic air, inspired by the beauty of the forests she has enjoyed walking through. A great lover of nature, her basic approach in this CD is complemented by the personal focus she knows how to implement to all the compositions she creates, a personal touch that makes them emotionally more incisive for the listener.
LYNDA COLE & JAN MICHAEL LOOKING WOLF:
Starting from an approach peculiar to Contemporary Instrumental Music, dominated by a melodic romanticism with reminiscences from the traditional music of the North-American Native Peoples, flutist, harpist and singer Lynda Cole, together with flutist Jan Michael Looking Wolf, weave elements from this and some related trends, shaping pieces in which the melody is remarkable at all times. A work that will be agreeable to a wide variety of listeners.
In this work we find a nice collection of melodic themes dominated by the guitar, flowing through Rock Ballad, Contemporary Instrumental music, Jazz, Folk and soft Pop. In many of the tracks the listener can clearly appreciate the personal style of the artist, well polished after years of exploration, collaborations with other musicians and some influences such as that of, for instance, Acoustic Alchemy. In conclusion, this is a beautiful album, intimist and melodic as well.
Ambient lento hipnotico
In this work, synthesist Rudy Adrian explores areas little trodden of Ambient, discovering unreal worlds of contrasting sounds to our ears, which the author knows how to skillfully braid in kaleidoscopic textures. The music is mostly of a cosmic personality. The evolution of the pieces tends to be slow, hypnotic, and it makes our imagination fly to other planes of reality, at times evoking the same sensations of dreams.
In this album, Markus Reuter appears as a born shaper of oneiric Ambient, slow and not lacking in melody. As if it were a sort of modern alchemist, he mixes textures of sound and chords in atypical ways, producing unexpected combinations, which give his music a great personality. The tracks flow along different registers and gradings. Some are cosmic and crystaline. Others turn out to be mysterious.
Cold Blue Music
This CD gathers the interesting excursions into sound by Michael Fahres, most specifically into deep Ambient. Each track has its own, remarkable history. "Sevan" explores resonances and echoes, and includes the collaboration of Armenian musician Parik Nazarian. "The Tubes", the piece giving its title to the album, combines, among other things, the textures of didgeridoo and trumpet, played by Mark Atkin and Jon Hassell respectively, with the kind of sounds similar to those of human breathing, produced by sea waves as they strike against some peculiar volcanic rocks from the island of El Hierro (in the Canary Islands), and it also includes the collaboration of well-known synthesist Michael Hoenig in the mixing of the album. Last but not least, "Coimbra 4, Mundi Theatre", whose title refers to the Portuguese town of Coimbra, was recorded during a live event there.
"A SWEET QUASIMODO BETWEEN BLACK VAMPIRE BUTTERFLIES FOR MAYBECK"
Cold Blue Music
Charlemagne Palestine is a remarkable experimental musician and visual artist whose performances and concerts from the late 1960's have shaped him as a singular figure, very difficult to place, and obviously quite far from almost any contact point with commercial music. Defined as a minimalist in the 1970's, and in some occasions compared to LaMonte Young, in this CD he experiments with the piano according to his peculiar, dark personal technique.
Out to Lunch Recordings
In this solo album by Dean Dennis (Nohno), an ex-member of legendary band Clock DVA, the artist makes a warm Techno, even soft, with touches of Atmospheric Pop. The freshness of the compositions drinks from the very personal focus that the artist uses in order to compose, following at all times the impulse of his creative vein.
Book (in English) MUSIMATHICS by GARETH LOY
The MIT Press (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
A very interesting book on the mathematics inherent to music. In 482 pages, the author explores the mathematical ins and outs underlying music. This art, so ancient that no one can establish its origins with certainty, has a mysterious inner structure, a mathematical architecture starting from which it is possible to determine, in theory, what the follower of a given musical trend will or won't like. Unraveling this mathematical universe in its entirety, with ramifications that fully enter the field of psychology, is not possible at the moment, but no doubt the current status of research in this respect is quite promising. In his book Loy makes a complete technical journey through the physical basis of sound, the musical scales, the geometry of sound, the psycho-physical perception of organized sound, the principles of acoustics and the methods of composition supported by mathematics.
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