Awakenings 2007

In 2007 there was
a full programme of releases - volume 1
and 1.5, then volume 2 and 2.5

To buy ALL the 2007 releases in one transaction click here

Price £24.95 for all 4 albums (6 discs)
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You can listen to samples of all 
the tracks on this MusicZeit page

At MusicZeit this album is also available
as an MP3 or lossless FLAC download


AWAKENINGS 2007 VOLUME 1
"New Worlds"
A double album of mainly Berlin School tracks.
With some different and interesting tracks too.

Tracks ...

CD1
1. Brendan Pollard - E-Live 2006 Rehearsal          20:00
2. Ricochet Gathering - Gaiole part 1                   16:09
    (Schroyder, Lawler, Nagle, König, Fox, Zygar)
3. Odyssey - The Space Inside                             7:43
4. Corporation - Aliens in Your Midst                     5:29
5. Chaos Research - Metropolis 2006                    3:53
6. Create - Choralis System                                10:28
7. Awen - Pink Oceans of Goom                           7:27
8. Chromengel - Dreams of the Old World              8:12
CD2
1. Xan Alexander - Storm Forge                            9:24
2. Stephen Palmer - Giza Rock                           10:25
3. Eppie E Hulshof - Three Moving Parts              12:56
4. Modulator ESP - Zeta Major                            10:26
5. Entity - Zoo (Live in London 10 Feb 2007)         11:46
6. Broekhuis, Keller & Schönwälder -
    Zeitreise Ambient Mix                                    10:36
7. Free System Projekt - Leicester Square 
    (Live 10 June 2006)                                        13:27
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AWAKENINGS 2007 VOLUME 1.5
"Ambient Worlds"
This album contains Ambient tracks, in a continuous mix.

Tracks ...

1. Xan Alexander - Rhodes to Nowhere                 9:04
2. Zeitlos - Black Hole Descent                            9:14
3. Modulator ESP - Zeta Minor                             7:17
4. Peter Challoner - Interpolation                         10:13
5. Ricochet Gathering - Gaiole part 2                   10:47
    (Schroyder, Lawler, Nagle, Spyra, Fox, Skrzek, König)
6. Russell Storey - Phoenix Lair                           7:34
7. Memory Geist - Peripheral Blur                        5:40
8. Nick Robinson - Awake                                   3:19
9. Phrozenlight - Left Behind the Borders of Space and Time  10:14
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You can listen to samples of all 
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AWAKENINGS 2007 VOLUME 2
A double album of mainly Berlin School tracks.
With some different and interesting tracks too.

Tracks ...

CD1
1. Brendan Pollard - The Neon Chamber              8:08
2. Peter Tedstone - Oscillator                            13:57
3. Xan Alexander - Dr Louis Brain Freeze and the Comet's Tale  10:53
4. Ion - Voyager (David Hughes)                          6:34
5. Eppie E Hulshof - Seq Maniak                       16:50
6. Phrozenlight - Sea On A Liquid Sun               14:47
7. Chromengel - Jovian Airbrake Manoeuvre         7:15
CD2
1. Von Haulshoven and AEM - Travelling Back to Point Zero 
          (Eppie E Hulshof and Frederic Wurtz)      18:49
2. Ion - Evensong (David Hughes)                        7:50
3. Create - Rohan's Journey To Belvedere           18:35
4. Rene van der Wouden - Soledad-5                   6:27
5. Mooch - Indian Persuasion                             8:18
6. Magnetron - The Road Without Cats Eyes       9:43
7. Modulator ESP - Grinder                                6:05
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AWAKENINGS 2007 VOLUME 2.5
"Star Map"
This album contains Ambient tracks, in a continuous mix.

Tracks ...

1. Architexture - Shores of Orion                     12:46
2. 4m33s - Picoseconds                                 11:11
3. Phrozenlight - Starkraut                              17:03
4. Russell Storey - Carinae                             13:08
5. Rene van der Wouden - North Sea Ambient    9:19
6. HyperEx Machina - Dead (JS mix)                 6:41 
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REVIEWS

Awakenings 2007 volume 1

Brendan Pollard donates his awesome twenty-minute 'E-Live 2006 Rehearsal' to get this double CD set 
underway. The initial sounds are as if vast objects are being hurled into the sea accompanied by all sorts 
of weird whooshes and twitters. A superb combination of sequences emerge from the aquatic depths. 
These meld rapid melodic runs as well as bass pulses. It is all underpinned by some wonderful mellotron. 
In other words Berlin School Heaven. More sequences are added accompanied by a flutey lead line. In the 
seventh minute things subside to more thick analogue sonic effects, coming out of it with a decidedly 
'Ricochet' sounding collage of sounds. Very impressive indeed. More sequences emerge including a 
sedate but wonderful three note one then an amazing one hundred mile an hour scorcher before things 
quieten down again and we get an exquisite moody finish.

More flutey synth, mellotron and twittering effects once again transport us to a blissed out mid 70s 
electronic Utopia as 'Ricochet Gathering - Gaiole Part 1' gets underway, featuring, amongst others, 
Paul Lawler, Paul Nagle and Steve Schroyder. It's another superb track that bounds forward with an 
infectious bouncy bass sequence then as the melodies come in it starts to take a rather Arcane twist 
on the early eighties Tangerine Dream sound. Very gradually the pace quickens and the excitement 
builds. Odyssey donate 'The Space Inside'. I hadn't heard of this act before but he can sure knock out 
moody atmospheric stuff. It is a very welcome return for Corporation (it must be a decade since I last 
heard anything from them!). And what a fantastic track they have given us with 'Aliens in your Midst 
(First Contact mix)'. After some very dark atmospherics we get sampled text then in comes a wonderful 
infectious beat and sublime little melody. It's a real body mover that hits the spot perfectly. If you like 
Intelligentsia, T Bass UK, Asana or Synthetik you should most certainly go for this.

Chaos Research give us the slow moody chugger 'Metropolis 2006'. It's a bit of a strange one mixing 
contemporary beats with classical leanings. Very clever. Create come up with 'Choralis System', one 
of his more atmospheric tracks which for me worked best before the slow sequence came in at about 
the half way mark but interesting throughout. Awen's 'Pink Oceans of Goom' begins with a vast wall 
of electronic twitters. A sequence fizzes and shimmers through the backing. It's all rather mesmerizing 
and trippy.

'Dreams of the Old World' by Chromengel is initially all rather cosmic but then a steady rhythm starts up. 
Acoustic guitar colouring provides contrast and fits in nicely with a tinkling sequence. There is nothing 
wrong with the track though I couldn't help feeling that it was more a sketch of ideas that could have 
been worked on a little more. I'm sure others will think differently though. 

The second disc opens with 'Storm Forge' from Xan Alexander (member of the Omega Syndicate). 
All very brooding and malevolent it is too. A rapid high register sequence contrasts the backing nicely. 
The foot is firmly put down in the second minute as an insistent rhythm drives us forward. Things reach 
euphoric proportions as an anthemic lead line soars above it all. It's one of those tracks which just begs 
to be played live - devastating stuff!

Stephen Palmer changes the style completely as we delve Space Rock realms with 'Giza Rock'. Eastern 
sounding percussion is underpinned by a dark drone out of which emerges an intense urgent sequence. 
It morphs this way and that as a vibes type lead mixes with the drums creating quite a groove. Things 
become even more exciting as some fairly heavy electric guitar rips over the top. At around the five minute 
mark the sequence starts to spit venom but this is softened a little by another gentle percussive lead. 
A similar style is maintained in 'Three Moving Parts' by Eppie Hulshof which is quite surprising as this 
is nothing like his most recent Berlin School album 'Besucher aus dem Kosmos'. A jaunty rhythm mixes 
with all manner of cosmic whooshes and an excellent bass line. A tinkling sequence takes over the 
rhythm then we slowly subside into more stellar effects and quiet relaxing drift (the second 'Moving Part' 
I presume). A new sequence emerges as we enter the rather tasty final part. Modulator ESP gives us 
'Zeta Major' and quite an eerie place it seems. Gradually some sort of structure materialises, solidified by 
a lonesome meandering lead line. Sequences start to emerge but overall its all rather trippy and laid back.

'Live at Guerilla Zoo 10 Feb 2007' by Entity is straight into a lovely chugging sequence that reminded me 
a little of 'The Nightcrawlers'. A piano(ish) lead is placed over the top but I didn't think it was as effective as 
the sequence. It seems that no compilation album is complete without a Broekhuis, Keller & Schonwalder 
track and on this one we have 'Zeitreise Ambient Mix'. I thought because of the title that it might be a 
complete drifter but no, there is a nice steady rhythm and bass line. The rhythm develops- sure it is laid 
back but not what I would call ambient. Little vocal colouring is added. A lovely piano line adds that touch 
of class. We finish with a track from Free System Project's National Space Centre concert of last year 
(10th June 2006) called 'Leicester Square'. It shows the band in dark brooding mood. As you would expect 
the sequences are masterful, nicely bass heavy but with a sort of arcing energy quality to them. 
Absolutely brilliant and a stunning way to finish the album.

David Law / Synth Music Direct


Awakenings 2007 volume 1.5

'Rhodes to Nowhere' by Xan Alexander is full of metallic shimmers and solar flare type whooshes. 
A lovely delicate melodic sequence emerges like a soft rain on the water. A simply exquisite, beautiful 
lead line drifts from the speakers shifting as in a gentle breeze. What is more, further melodies keep 
coming each as sublime as the last. The is one of the most wonderful tracks I have ever heard from 
Xan, probably even better than his opener to the second disc on Vol 1 but very very different. Tracks 
like this and the other I have mentioned would provide the perfect balance on a future solo album. 
Following the similar concept to its earlier sister album (Awakenings 2006 Vol 2.5) we flow straight 
from one track into the next without a break.

Zeitlos was a new name to me but his 'Black Hole Descent' is the most wonderful collage of sounds 
and effects. Modulator ESP, having already given us 'Zeta Major' on Volume 1 now showcases its 
companion track 'Zeta Minor' and actually it's not too dissimilar to the previous number by Zeitlos,
music to submerge yourself in and let your thoughts take you where they will. Peter Challoner donates 
'Interpolation'. Yes, initially it's another floater but this time it's not as aggressive as its two predecessors. 
The sounds are much softer, ethereal even. In the second minute a laidback rhythm starts up and then 
a sequence is added but it is all rather tranquil.

'Ricochet Gathering - Gaiole Part 2' features Paul Lawler, Paul Nagle, Steve Schroyder, Spyra and 
others. Piano and a nice squelchy lead line meander creating quite a lazy summer afternoon feeling. 
Electric guitar is added but the gentle licks just emphasise the dreamy feel. The guitar fades away 
and a sequence does emerge in the seventh minute which seemed to be working its way up to 
something major but instead it subsides into watery effects. Russell Storey's 'Phoenix Lair' is back 
to the spooky stuff. Long decays to dark brooding touches of sound add to the feeling of unease. 
Things become more bass laden and rumbling as we progress until we get to a really nice crystalline 
ending. 'Peripheral Blur' by Memory Geist (another new name to me) is initially more of the same, 
using an excellent sound palette but there is a delicacy and precision here that makes it one of the 
best truly ambient tracks on the album. Nick Robinson donates 'Awake'. A slow undulating throb 
forms a base around which drones are added. Detail is provided by various and contrasting effects 
including lovely female Asian type chanting. Another good one. We finish with 'Left Behind the 
Borders of Space & Time' by Phrozenlight. It's a track which is predominantly made up of solar 
winds, with just the faintest touches of other sounds. Rather fitting to the subject matter I suppose.

David Law / Synth Music Direct



Awakenings 2007 volume 2

Brendan Pollard kicks this latest volume off with 'The Neon Chamber'. With Brendan sequences are never
far away and a lovely skipping bass one propels the track forwards within the first few seconds. The most
gorgeous of tron melodies floats over the top providing a little softness. We then get a pastiche of one mid
seventies Tangerine Dream sound after another but also with some of his own inventiveness.

The enjoyment from the opener continues through to Pete Tedstone's 'Oscillator'. Ethereal wordless vocal
pads drift through the air. A subdued organ type sound adds to the gentle mood then a slow loping rhythm
sets up some structure around which a sequence starts to develop. A second sequence is deployed and
we are soon hurtling along. The initial sequence comes and goes within the ebb and flow of the track until
after the half way mark, when everything is thrown in. With such an opening brace of tracks it is hard to
believe that the quality can be maintained but it most certainly is with Xan Alexander's (from the Omega
Syndicate) curiously titled 'Dr Louis Brain Freeze and the Comet's Tale'. Xan has a real feel for melody
as is displayed by the initial stabbing lead line and sequence combination. Infectious beats and yet more
wonderful lead lines come one after another reminding me (not for the first time with his work) of Wavestar.
Maybe the track should have been edited down a little but nevertheless it is still excellent.

'Voyager' by Ion continues the sequencing excellence over some really nice backing, a melancholy lead line
providing a bittersweet moodiness. Eppie E Hulshof is currently making quite a name for himself after his
re-appearance on the Electronic Music scene and his sixteen-minute contribution to this project 'Seq Maniak'
can only heighten his profile. A slow hypnotic four-note loop provides a base over which a lonesome lead line
ploughs a moody furrow. A sequence replaces it just before the third minute giving a more aggressive edge
to proceedings. The track is stripped down to silence in the sixth minute only for a rapid two-note sequence
to pick up the baton along with some quite curious harpsichord flourishes. This section is quite brief however
as a deep bass pulse soon becomes the main focus. Another sequence emerges, this time accompanied
by a really nice lead full of attitude. The pace quickens increasing the excitement almost until the end.
Phrozenlight's 'Sea On A Liquid Sun' is very different to anything I have heard from them before as instead
of their usual slowly evolving ambient soundscapes, it features a sedate and fairly melodic ten note (I think!)
sequence over as fine an atmospheric backing as I have ever heard from them. The sequence slowly morphs
as we go, sometimes disappearing altogether. This is subtle and enjoyably crafted stuff and my favourite track
by Phrozenlight so far (though it probably could have been edited down slightly). Chromengel round off the first
half of this two album set with 'Jovian Airbrake Manoeuvre'. Most of the tracks on this disc are sequencer and
mellotron dominated and Chromengel continue that legacy with just as much enthusiasm. Quite a driving
rhythm joins the pulsations as well as sonic blasts like a spaceship hurtling across the horizon. Things
become even more intense as another sequence skips amongst the mayhem. There is also some fairly
upfront lead lines that give the whole thing a faintly prog rock feel.

Eppie Hulshof returns alongside Frederic Wurtz (together known as Von Haulshoven and AEM) to start the
second disc with 'Travelling Back to Point Zero'. This is really cosmic stuff full of sighing drones punctuated
by crashes and whooshes. It isn't destined to an ambient number however as in the second minute a rapid,
though rather simplistic, sequence surges forward. We return to the cosmos just before the six-minute mark.
Two moody but rather tasty sequences (accompanied by mellotron of course) emerge from the tranquil backing
only for us to return to atmospheric realms once more. It is as if the track is separated into distinct sub tracks,
each framed by ambience. The third sequencer passage is the most melodic but also quite driving. Ideal for
travelling down the motorway. There is a short interlude in the middle before sequences return again but to me
it seemed more of a variation of the same theme rather than a completely new section. The final section is just
beautiful, as gorgeous pulsations mix with moody lead line and more tron. Really lovely stuff. The second offering
by Ion, 'Evensong' continues with more sublime melodic sequencing then ups the pace nicely giving it added oomph.
If you haven't checked out the album from which it is taken yet ('Future Forever') I recommend that you do. 'Create'
contribute 'Rohan's Journey to Belvedere'. We get a fairly standard formula start of rapid tinkling sequence emerging
out of atmospherics. By the fifth minute it has departed and we enter a gently pulsating meandering section. By the
tenth minute things have returned to pure atmospherics out of which emerges the returning initial sequence joined
by a nice bass line. I really thought it was about to take off, and yes things became more energetic but it still never
quite reached the heights I had been hoping for. Rene van der Wouden donates 'Soledad'. This is very different to
anything I had heard from him before as previously I had thought Rene was much better at atmospheric numbers
to rhythmic ones but here he really cranks up the sequences and drums and it's superb. A real blast done very
well indeed! 'Indian Persuasion' by Mooch doesn't initially start off as Eastern sounding as I was expecting though
it is certainly all shimmering and dreamy. When the drums arrive I suppose they did have a faintly ethnic quality
but that wouldn't have been the first thing that had come to mind if the track had been titled differently.
A very pleasant track nonetheless. Magnetron combine Steve Humphries (aka Create) and Xan Alexander.
'The Road Without Cats Eyes' is the first collaboration I have heard by them. I couldn't really detect much of what
I associate with Xan's work as it came over much more like a very good Create track to me with lightly skipping
sequence and gentle synth washes but whatever, I found it very enjoyable. Modulator ESP comes next with
'Grinder' And a very impressive start it has too with a superb heavy sequence along with quite aggressive sonic
whooshes and power plant type effects. A further rapid sequence carries things forward as the track continues
on its blistering journey.

In my opinion this album contains some of the best music in the series so far. With a running time of over two
and a half hours and yet priced as a single album (at the time of writing this) it has to be a bargain!

David Law / Synth Music Direct / MusicZeit

Awakenings 2007 volume 2.5

Alpha Wave Movement's 'Subtle Circuitry' is a very fine opener combining lovely contemporary sounding
ticking rhythm over a superb understated melodic lead shimmer. Another pulsating lead line comes to join
the first and even though much of this track comes over as rather understated it is also deceptively complex
and absorbing, drawing you in. It's the sort of track you can play time and time again without ever getting
bored and is thus a wonderful way to get started. The end of this track is cross-faded into Architexture's
'Shores of Orion'. A very nice acoustic guitar type lead shines over some drifting whooshing backing.
A repeated melodic motif creates a rather hypnotic focus as the track just continues on, providing a
sedate soothing atmos.

The pace quickens a little for 'Picoseconds' by 4m33s. A rapid staccato sequence (a nice melodic one at
that) bounds forward from the very first second. Other note droplets fall then echo like a gentle rain falling
on a puddle. The sequence fades away leaving the droplets but soon other echoing sounds, almost like a
train as if heard from far away, become the main feature. The initial sequence re-emerges as the track runs
its duration. Phrozenlight's 'Starkraut' is well named as it is all rather 'stark' and dark, being a montage of
windy and eerie sounds. Very much a piece of music in the truest ambient tradition as is Russell Storey's
'Carinae'. Quite a storm of electronic rumbles and whooshes is served up. A pulse, almost like a warning
beacon, rings out then disappears. Things start to become calmer but still with an uneasy edge to proceedings.
Rene van der Wouden's 'North Sea Ambient' on the other hand is a much warmer and lusher affair.

HyperEx Machina's 'Dead (JS mix)' is a track which will divide EM fans as it is basically a monologue about
the inequalities of the planet set over melancholy synth backing (good guitar solo too). Must admit that the
text really ain't bad at all but some people will just reject any vocals in their music out of hand, which in this
case would be a real shame.

David Law / Synth Music Direct / MusicZeit