This album is supplied in 3 slim jewel cases
not in the dvd case as shown
This 3cdr set is a perfect blend of tracks, many of them unreleased, by heavy hitters like Radio Massacre
International, Ron Boots, and Airsculpture, alongside plenty of strong new material by lesser knowns and unknowns.
Case in point is the excellent Berlin school frenzy of Awen’s “Ko”, which closes out disc one in energetic fashion.
The synth solo threatens to spiral out of control, the pounding beat will get your foot tapping, and the end result
will be a smile on the face of most any EM fan. Awen, as well as several other newcomers, have two contributions
on this set – others include 4m33s, Ganzfeld, HyperEx Machina, and Modulator ESP, none of whom I was familiar
with before listening to this collection. Each offers something worthy to add to the mix, as do others.
For example, Vietgrove’s “Saragossa II” is a soothing blend of ambient textures, Teutonic musings, and hints of
guitar here and there. Completists will surely want to grab this collection for items like Airsculpture’s “Untitled So Far”,
a different take on their usual moody improvisations, as it has a steady throbbing beat that is rarely found in their music.
A simple repeating bass line, high metallic sounds, and a soft but active lead synth make an effective combination.
Likewise, the dreamy dark soundscapes of “Sherwood’s Special” will be a must for the serious Radio Massacre
International fan. Most of the material is in easily digestible chunks ranging from 5-10 minutes, with the exception
of disc three. The highlight there is Create’s “Slipstream” a 24-½ minute epic that develops much like Steve Humphries’
heroes, Airsculpture. Beginning with dreamy reverie, it segues seamlessly into crisp percussion and sequencing, thick
synth pads, and a fluty lead line.
It is just one of many highlights to be explored on this extensive collection.
Phil Derby / Electroambient Space
Well, three CDs containing
over three hours forty-five minutes of music can't be bad! We have tracks
provided by well
known favourites such as Binar, RMI, Skin Mechanix and AirSculpture plus
some of the more successful new kids on
the block: The Omega Syndicate, Create and The Glimmer Room. That is not
all though as this collection also provides
an opportunity for some of those artists who are currently just 'bubbling
under the surface' to be heard. Binar are
represented by 'Curious Things Inside the Snowmine' combining nice body
moving beats with fitting samples and
melodies. It's a good track but there are much better ones on their recent
The track by Create 'Surface
Control' on the other hand is probably the best track I have heard from
him - a wonderful
sequencer driven piece. Unfortunately I was not as convinced by much of
the rest of his first solo album though I am
certain that future albums could be belters. His other track here
'Slipstream', for me just confirms my view. Again, there
is nothing really wrong with the track, it hints at great things to come
(as I am sure there will be) but it isn't quite there yet.
Hyper Ex Machina is one of the newer names here and 'The Pulse Quickens'
is a pleasant piece combining at least three
different sequencer lines with subtle melodic touches. From just after the
half way mark a relatively heavy rhythm is added
and we bounce forward in a very enjoyable manner- nice one. Their second
track 'Divine Flow with Cold Joy 4' begins with
a long vocoded intro to be followed by a series of melodic / rhythmic
loops. Vietgrove can hardly be said to be prolific but
they are kind enough to give what I assume is a non-album track 'Saragossa
II'. Guitar and synths are combined beautifully
with a fair dose of gentle prog rock leanings to create a lovely sunny
Sunday afternoon atmosphere.
In complete contrast we get a new
otherwise unavailable track by RMI called 'Sherwood's Special' which
delves the darker
ambient side of their character. Modulator ESP are represented by the
gently pulsating drifting number 'Transpatial' but even
better is the far longer 'Dark Star Voyage' which is initially a much
moodier, atmospheric, spaced out number. In the sixth
minute sequences are developed followed by some lovely lead lines. It does
have rough edges but all in all is one of the
better tracks on this triple CD set certainly marking them a potentially
(like Create) very exciting act to watch for the future.
I would love to hear more of their stuff. 4m33s comes up with
'Atmosphere', a slowly evolving piece built round a tinkling
sequence. The Omega Syndicate's first offering 'Mission 11' is an example
of their more sensitive, subtle side as dark
atmospherics give way to an excellent sequence. More sequences are added
as well as a lovely synth flute lead line.
The track builds beautifully but without ever getting too OTT. When we add
their second offering 'Rave-O-Lution' it amounts
to over half an hour of new music by them. It has to be said though that
this second track is by no means typical TOS as
it deploys a bass dance beat pretty much right from the off! It is
certainly still an exciting track but I am sure it will raise
a few eyebrows. I would love to hear what current fans have to say about
Awen was a new name to me. 'Ko' is
a piece very much in two halves the first being almost orchestral /
as the second half develops into something of a dance number! Their other
track 'Ocean of Joy', however, is much more
Eastern tinged with appropriate wailing vocals to start it off, soon to be
joined by some more excellent rhythms. All the
elements go together really well and if Asana was still around I can
imagine this being the sort of music he would be coming
up with. Nice one- I hope we will hear more of Awen. AirSculpture's
imaginatively titled new track 'Untitled so Far' shows a
rather different side to their character in that mixing with their more
typical sequences is a much more contemporary beat
along with a sawing lead line doing its stuff lower in the mix. The
Glimmer Room's '707' is yet another new piece and is full
of the Eastern characters around some lovely laid back rhythms, exquisite
lead lines coming in especially after the half way
mark. Simply gorgeous. Skin Mechanix donate 'Ultravista' a very
representative track from their album full of infectious beats
hissing like a steam engine and catchy little melodies. Second Thought
give us a relatively contemporary sounding slow
rhythmic number ideal for simply chilling out to and the even more
relaxing 'Rooftops'. The latter starts with a delicate guitar
melody followed by strings but for me, unfortunately, it didn't seem to
work as it developed.
Ganzfeld's 'We Are Your Audience'
and 'Test Object' on the other hand did work being superb upbeat tracks
melodies- another act to look out for. Ron Boots donates 'Spherics', a
nice enough chugger that I suppose could be said to
be quite hypnotic but on the other hand it probably could have done with a
little more development- depends on the mood of
the listener I suppose. Joint Intelligence Committee (aka Paul Nagle) give
us the otherwise unavailable track 'Hot: Pot; Supper
which is a lovely spaced out number full of appropriate little psychedelic
effects. Now, this is a track that develops well. The
beat becomes more insistent as we go and one melody after another are
brought into play, some gentle and others with real bite.
David Law / Synth