Quadra - First Contact
 
Quadra came about after Brendan Pollard (Rogue Element) invited some friends around 
for a jam at the Rogue Element Studios one fine and sunny weekend in February 2006. 
The participants were Brendan, Steve Humphries (Create, Astrogator), John Sherwood
(4m33s, Entity) and Jez Creek (Modulator ESP, Astrogator). The jam turned into an
improvised recording session, the fruits of which are now available for release. In the
meantime the participants decided they enjoyed getting together so much that they
would like to repeat the experience, both in the studio and on stage...
 

Listen to extracts at Soundcloud



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This item is in two slim jewel cases

 
Disc 1
1. Convergence 41:27
2. Pastorale 10:20
3. Starbirth 6:17
4. Heritage 11:01
Disc 2
1. Emergence 44:19
2. Astral Plane 11:41
3 Callisto 5:45
4. Take-Off 12:20


Reviews:


Quadra comprise four of musicians: Brendan Pollard, Steve Humphries, John Sherwood and Jez Creek. 
Deep reverberating drones and a bass throb provide a very atmospheric introduction for 'Convergence'. 
Little melodies shimmer over the top accompanied by soothing mellotron. A rapid sequence nestles 
perfectly amongst the other instrumentation. A second comes to join it and we are soon motoring along 
in energetic, head nodding, fashion. In the eleventh minute things wind down to soft tron. A little melody 
shines above it all, echoed by the mellotron. Soft meandering tinkling piano adds to the gentle atmos 
still further. The track then seems to spend the next few minutes searching for direction. A sequence 
can be heard low in the mix but that is where it stays whilst various lead flourishes come and go but 
without really making their mark. In the twenty first minute a more substantial sequence surges forward, 
mutating this way and that only to subside back to tron and piano a couple of minutes later.

We then get a section of pleasant atmospherics which gradually becomes more metallicly percussive 
and sparse sounding. Images of dank rat infested dungeons come to mind. A heartbeat sound can be 
heard, soft drones lightening the mood which becomes brighter still as wordless vocal pads give an 
ethereal presence. The heartbeat fades away and is replaced by a tinkling sequence, slow rhythm then 
more sequences as things surge forward nicely once more. In my opinion this track was good for two 
thirds of its over forty minute duration, it just had a bit of a dodgy middle section where things became 
a little aimless. Initially 'Pastorale' is wonderfully soothing, with gentle tron and flutey synth combining 
beautifully. A tinkling sequence emerges in the second minute, then a rhythm starts up skipping along 
nicely. Flute sounds are particularly effective but the other leads aren't bad either. Sequences become 
more prominent as things get increasingly energetic. 'Starbirth' acts as something of a fest for mellotron 
and string pads. A faint beat low in the mix gives a hint of structure rather than any driving force, which 
in the context of the track is a good thing but I thought the track lost its way for the last three minutes 
as layers of percussion etc were added that weren't really necessary and only resulted in the track losing 
its focus. 'Heritage' starts in a similar tranquil way to the previous track, dreamy vocal samples adding a 
little detail whilst a slow strangely comforting throb can just be heard low in the mix. A gorgeous way to 
finish the first disc.

The second CD starts with 'Emergence'. The first few minute or so are a little like 'Epsilon in Malaysian Pale' 
but then we get lots of twittering effects. A slow bass sequence starts up and I found my head gently nodding 
to it. We descend to electronic twitters once more in the eighth minute. Whining drones go up and down the 
sonic spectrum like an alien craft swooping high into the air then plunging Earthward. In the thirteenth minute 
a brace of sequences pick up the pace. They bounce off each other nicely, various 'melodies' coming and going 
over the ever-present tron. The sequences mutate beautifully but the lead lines were maybe a little over done. 
This stage of the track finishes at about the twenty-minute mark. Mournful plucked strings lead to a slow 
sequence (backed by more mellotron of course) then restrained drums and yet another sequence. Things 
quickly build to quite a head of steam before just as suddenly subsiding, allowing the musicians to regroup 
for the next sequencer based section. The swirling pulsations work well enough but the leads seemed a bit 
directionless to me. 'Astral Plane' is a slow dreamy track, the atmospherics working wonderfully along with 
a subtle bass line. From around the six-minute mark the pulsations become more prominent and things chug 
along very nicely. 'Callisto' is a lovely track featuring soft tones over fizzling pads. There's something rather 
melancholy, even spooky about it all. 'Take-Off' creates tension with the use of choral pads. The sequences 
slowly start to build developing into a strange sort of manic groove. It's like listening to some bizarre satanic 
ceremony! 

Review by Dave Law of SynthMusicDirect