Awakenings 2010            

In 2010 we have released volumes 1 and 1.5

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A double album of mainly Berlin School tracks.
With some different and new tracks too.

Tracks ...
1. Peter Tedstone - Meta  
2. Blue Lily Commission – Vishnudub Summer of Love Mix  
3. Rene van der Wouden – Les Reves Americains  
4. Xan Alexander – Through the Ruins  
5. AEM – Landscapes: Holy Island  
6. Mooch - Garryland  

1. AEM – Landscapes: Stac Poly  
2. Ion – Mariner (with Hashtronaut)  
3. Paul Collins – Nebula Vision  
4. Peter Challoner – Carried on the Wind  
5. Phrozenlight – Ghosts Running Around  
6. Stephen Palmer – Luftgesang Klavierstuck 78 Mix  
7. David Gurr – Visitation to Overton Hill  
8. Entity - Plod  
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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
"Ambient Heritage"
This album contains Ambient tracks, in a continuous mix.
Over 70 minutes of drift-away bliss.

Tracks ...

1. Spiraleye - River Rain   10:14
2. Analogue Kid - Live Science (excerpt)  
3. Ethereal Electric Elixir - Excerpt from The Ritual  
4. Phobos - Decaying Mind  
5. Edge Effect - Cemepka  
6. Phrozenlight - Human Heritage Buried Deep Inside  
7. Russell Storey - Bastion Against the Mists of Time  

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Volume 1

So we enter the sixth year of the Awakenings series and as usual we get a mix of tracks by relatively new acts as well as those 
by more established artists. As far as I can tell all the music here is unique to this album. Swirling sounds and wind blown percussion 
get Pete Tedstone’s ‘Meta’ underway. A gorgeous flute melody weaves its mystical spell over a subtle shuffling rhythm. A more forceful 
lead adds extra bight, almost like a call to arms. Mellotron imparts a little softness. A heavier sequence enters and the rhythm also 
cranks up a gear. A flashing lead adds to the excitement still further- great air keyboard track! Blue Lily Commission is a new one to 
me and even though there are many of the usual electronic music elements it also harks back to the Canterbury scene with a hint of 
Space Rock. It has more in common with the likes of Mooch (see later) than the more traditional approach of the opening act. 

Rene van der Wouden gives us ‘Les Reves Americains’. After a lovely dreamy start a sequence arrives, calving through the early 
morning mist. A second line of pulsations falls into formation with the first creating quite a hypnotic brew. Xan Alexander from 
The Omega Syndicate is in a laid back mood for ‘Through the Ruins’. Distorted birdsong mixes with flutey synth in a hazy sort of way. 
This is ideal music for just chilling out to on a warm summer’s day. Next up we have the first of two tracks by AEM. This is an act that 
first came to my notice through earlier Awakenings albums and has continued to develop ever since. ‘Landscapes: Holy Island’ sounds 
like it might be a bit New Age like but no fear; it is nothing of the kind. Initially it is dark brooding stuff until we get a soft lush section 
out of which slowly emerges a wonderful sequence. It stays just long enough to make an impact then we descend momentarily into 
atmospherics which act as a bridging section for an even better sequence than the first. It morphs nicely from one pattern to the next. 
Loads is crammed into just this one track so the attention is kept locked in throughout its duration. There always seems to be a sense 
of humour around the music of Mooch and ‘Garryland’ is no exception. Little melodic bleeps ring out over a sea of acid drenched swirls. 

We start disc two with the second track by AEM ‘Landscapes: Stac Poly’. It doesn’t take long to stoke up the Sequencer, as a couple 
of lines bound forward in fine fashion. There is a similar pattern here to his earlier track. Just as soon as one sequence has run its course 
another replaces it. This time there seems to be four distinct sections. David Hughes’ is joined by Hashtronaut (this guy seems to be 
turning up all over the place at the moment- very welcome too!) on his Ion project for a fine live version of ‘Mariner’. Little blissful guitar 
touches float over subtle percussion. A gorgeous melody hovers around it all like a gentle breeze. The guitar does snarl from time to time, 
adding just the right amount of angst but never over dominating. Rhythmic flourishes increase the excitement. What a superb version of 
an already excellent track. Paul Collins donates ‘Nebula Vision’. The fist couple of minutes are spent with some blissed out drift. 
A sequence then comes in, bubbling along nicely. Peter Challoner’s ‘Carried on the Wind’ has a rather warm, comforting, heat haze feel 
to it. A little melodic motif is looped to provide a feeling of movement. The prolific ‘Phrozenlight’ comes up with the sequence drenched 
‘Ghosts Running Around’. All the pulsations weave round each other (there must be at least three separate lines) in a mesmerizing 
shifting barrage of notes. At around the half way mark things momentarily settle down to two sequences, a bass one and a higher 
register bouncy one, before returning to an ever changing state of flux as new note patterns come and go. Things become increasingly 
moody as we get closer to the end. Now we get a solo track, ‘Luftgesang Klavierstuck 78 Mix’, from Mooch man Stephen Palmer. 
Initially the main feature is a rapid looped piano melody though there is quite a complex backing of percussive effects. It’s all rather 
exciting but also hectic and exhausting. It’s the musical equivalent of trying to cross a road in a busy city during rush hour! 

Dave Gurr’s (also from The Omega Syndicate) ‘Visitation to Overton Hill’ is a huge surprise, as I haven’t really experienced this side 
of his work before. This is no stonking sequencer epic but instead a superbly crafted sensitive and quite emotional masterpiece. 
Initially it is full of very deep reverberating drones. Little tinkling sonic effects give things a rather cosmic feel. In the third minute the 
most gorgeous sighing melody strikes up, augmented by a heart-rending lead line. More delicate leads come and go as if answering 
each other. Beautiful and sublime, simple and profound. Impossible to do justice to in a review, it just has to be heard. The best track 
on the album. Entity wind things up with the charmingly titled ‘Plod’. Two distorted ringing tones do indeed sound like a slow plodding 
walk. There is an interesting combination of sonic textures here, I would imagine self-created. A moody guitar type lead hangs in the 
air like a brooding presence. A much more interesting track than I expected from the title. An excellent compilation. 

David Law

Volume 1.5

For those who don’t know, the idea behind volumes1.5 and 2.5 of the Awakenings series was to concentrate on the subtler ambient 
end of Electronic Music. Volumes 1 and 2 however dealt with the more dynamic end of the genre. All the tracks are cross-faded into 
each other to form one long uninterrupted listening experience. Spiraleye was one of three acts on this album that were new to me. 
‘River Rain’ is an excellent piece of Picture Music which sums up its title very well. It’s all rather soft and serene as overlaying tones 
come and go, fading into the distance. Everything is punctuated by little guitar note droplets that are as soft and delicate as you could 
hope for. Sampled rain does arrive but it is soothing rather than storm like. A high hat rhythm enters in the sixth minute and the guitar 
takes a greater role but this is still fairly relaxed stuff. ‘Live Science (excerpt)’ by Analogue Kid features a soft rhythm and lovely gentle 
tinkling sequence which slowly mutates from one delicate pattern to the next, increasing and decreasing in intensity. We get little piano 
touches to finish. 

‘The Ritual Live (excerpt)’ is by second new name to me, Ethereal Electric Elixir. It is a dreamy piece that mainly seems to be made up 
of guitar textures, both as backing and lead flourish. The final name I hadn’t heard of before was Phobos. ‘Decaying Mind’ is rooted in 
dark ambient territory. It’s all to do with mood and textures created by multi-layered drones swelling, subsiding and mutating as things 
progress. This is not happy stuff; instead it is spooky and somewhat sinister, though it does lighten up a little for the second half. 
Edge Effect’s ‘Cemepka’ sees the return to more obvious structure, as faintly melodic bubbling pulses are the main focus. ‘Human 
Heritage Buried Deep Inside’ by Phrozenlight is full of solar winds, subtle percussion and a two-note pulse very low in the mix. It is as 
if the bedside alarm is sounding but we are still so deep in sleep that we can hardly hear it. There is then the faint sound of what could 
be traffic. The pulse disappears and the swirling windy effects become more storm-like. On the edge of it all, more notes can be heard. 
There are just too many subtleties here to mention. It is a track which demands quite a lot but is well worth the effort. An excellent piece 
of music. Russell Storey’s ‘Bastion Against The Mists of Time’ has a somewhat metallic and crystalline sound to the pads and thus 
possesses a rather cold though not unpleasant feel. A nice way to finish the album.

David Law