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Electronics: the Glimmer Room, Hemisphere, Otarion, Rey, Barbara Zielinska-Van

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THE GLIMMER ROOM: Tomorrow's Tuesday (CD on Neu Harmony)

This 2002 release offers 62 minutes of rhythmic electronic music.

Dramatic keyboard washes usher the listener into a sonic snapshot of emotional longing and eternal hope. E-perc attributes stately beats to the journey, stirring the melodic flow to promise better tomorrows. Choral sweeps lend heavenly ramifications to those promises, delivering the music from maudlin ruminations into a realm of uplifting beliefs.

A sense of urgency winds through this tuneage, conveyed by fanciful keyboards and often dense electronics. Riffs swarm out of dark skies, coalescing around synthetic percussive tempos that connote desperate urges vanquished by sensible application of restraint. Immutable barriers are scaled by the brooding melodies, lifting the listener to face solutions from great distances with an objectivity restricted by hazy perceptions. With each track, comprehension grows more crystalline. With each peak, emotional success comes closer to attainment. With each wisdom, the illusion of personal individuality melts away, revealing the need for coexistence and interdependency.

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HEMISPHERE: Attachment X (CD on Groove Unlimited)

This 2002 release features 77 minutes of densely structured electronic music.

Hemisphere is: Ralf Knappe-Heinbockel and Thorsten Reinhardt, with Petia Huschle providing lush vocal harmonics.

Concrete walls of dark sound waver into view, eclipsing the night with their powerful bulk. Grand sweeps of electronic rushes blend with dramatic percussive elements, achieving impassioned expressions of ultimate fulfillment. Rapid-fire sequencing flows like savage electron rivers, bombarding the void with mysterious effect, elevating vibrant pulsations into a realm of perpetual crescendo. The cosmic wail of space guitar appears frequently, adding fiery enhancement to the surging sonic ecology. Tension runs rampant, tempered with a reverent undercurrent that tingles the hairs at the back of the neck. Symphonic textures demonstrate scarce restraint as they expand to fill the air, crowding out all hesitation or uncertainty. This music demands attention, delivering a solid dose of melodic thunderheads that soar through stratospheric heights on their way to epic resolution.

Sourced from compositions created between 1995 and 2001 (including one section generated in 1991), this dramatic soundscape is a monument to the type of electronic music that instills awe in even the most dubious skeptic. This music is rich with inspiration, and much of that sentiment intentionally spills over into the audience's head.

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OTARION: Creator (CD on Neu Harmony)

With this 2002 release, Otarion (aka Rainer Klein) produces 72 minutes of powerful electronic music.

Plunging immediately into a cosmic pool of sparkling electronics, this music strives to interstellar regions to witness and sonically decipher the miracle of creation and existence. The birth of primary molecules is documented with drifting atmospheric background punctuated by deep-bass tones and delicate keyboards that launch into nimble riffs, overlapping to generate complex patterns that ooze with interesting melodies. Although E-perc is used periodically, deeper pulsations generally function in a rhythmic sense, propelling the tunes with softly non-impact beats. There is a recurrent presence of thunder reminding the audience that they are listening to Nature in its unbridled form.

As befitting the topic, these composition are grand and expansive, evoking massive forces that underlie our very reality. While partially ambient in demeanor, this music possesses an intense majesty without resorting to shrill or aggressive sensibilities. Uplifting and entertaining, the music displays complexity and inventiveness, constantly injecting surprising elements that keep the tunes interesting.

Heavenly perspectives become superimposed on scientific assessments, producing a close approximation of a Unified Field Theory.

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REY: Hidden Vibrations (CD on Tele Sound Recordings)

This release from 1999 features 59 minutes of rather exciting electronic music.

Rey is Ulrik Rey Hennignsen from Denmark. Samples by electronic legend Conrad Schnitzler are utilized in two of the ten tracks.

Techno and rave techniques abound in this contemporary electronic recording. Electronic textures and sequences are peppered with numerous rhythmic elements that propel the music with sinuous effect. Keyboard riffs unfurl to liven the atmospheric foundation and creating a dynamic sonic countenance that removes any chance of the music remaining a background presence. Cavorting in full view, these sonic flows interplay with the rhythms. This gestalt is attractive and intensely melodic.

Although some voices (heavily filtered by treatments) occur, this music can be considered generally instrumental.

Rey's compositional capacity is quite complex, fusing ambient sensibilities with nimble riffs that do more than flesh out the soundscape--they create passages of ecstatic resonance, tuneage that vibrates the air and stimulates the brain. The sweep of keyboards and the tempo of synthetic beats conspire to produce rewarding and engaging entertainment that is appealing to ravers as well as fans of contemporary electronics.

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BARBARA ZIELINSKA-VAN: Secret Garden (CD on B&T Records)

This release from 2002 features 48 minutes of lively electronic tuneage by this Polish musician.

Synthesizers generate lavish melodies here that uplift as they dazzle. While textural flows are employed, the body of the music is conveyed through nimble keyboards that swirl and swoop with engaging melodies. E-perc introduces a pleasant pep to many of the tunes, giving them active (but not frenetic) rhythm. The atmospheric pieces soar despite their delicate nature, reaching into the audience's soul with evocative chords.

The presence of bass guitar and pan flutes add an earthy edge to this ethereal music. Meanwhile, the synthesizers are mimicking numerous other instruments, such as lighthearted keyboards twinkling like an acoustic guitar.

With her music, Zielinska-Van is pursuing a conjunction of outer space and terrestrial nature. The tracks move between earth and sky, examining the differences of these realms and developing a commonality to the two locations. Her tribal demeanor in "African Dreams" is rich with an interstellar edge. While "Andromeda's World" displays a pastoral quality amid the cosmic panorama.

This CDR also features a four minute nature video with accompanying soundtrack by Zielinska-Van.

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