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Dramatic electronics: the Glimmer Room, Navigator, Primitive Painter, Pulby, Dom L. Scab, Frank van Bogaert

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THE GLIMMER ROOM: 2 Up, 2 Down (CD EP on The Glimmer Room Music)

This 22 minute CD EP is actually a CDR self-released by England's the Glimmer Room (aka Andy C) in conjunction with his full-length CD ("Tomorrow's Tuesday" on Neu Harmony). (Go here for the review of that album.) This EP sports four tracks: one LP track, a brief sample mix, and two remixes by Gydja and Macondo.

The Glimmer Room's sultry electronic sound combines drifting atmospherics with fledgling energetics while more traditional instruments flesh out the sound by crossing yet another boundary. The result is a slick and modern form of trance music.

These remixes infuse even more liveliness to the dreamy music. The Glimmer Room's heavenly airs are still retained, though, carrying the audience far from the rave club into murky skies. This irresistible ascension becomes a journey of agitated revelation with Gydja's sampled ethnicity and bongo threads and quirky breaks, while Macondo's commercially oriented crispness and an undercurrent of swiftly grinding electronics accompanies the EP's final track which features lamenting lyrics.

Enjoyably clever wisdom is hidden in this music, like the sampled phrase "What if there is no tomorrow? There wasn't one today."

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NAVIGATOR: Oceanic Empire (CD on Groove Unlimited)

This 2002 CD offers 64 minutes of dreamy-yet-gripping electronic melodies. Navigator is: Kent Eskildsen, Jens Peschke (from Kubusschnitt), and Tony Andersen.

Delicate guitar ushers the listener into the first stage of this aquatic voyage, unhurriedly strumming an introduction that explodes with electronic fever as the guitar erupts with space aura and demonstrative electronics bustle their way into the mix. Whizzing and whirling sounds cavort to achieve flowing passages that submerge the audience, subjecting everyone to the glorious depths and the mysteries contained therein.

Synthesizers influenced by the Berlin School style generate drifting regions of clear liquid that waft gently at the edges of the attentive mind. Cyclic sequencers establish more energetic substance as those waters grow murky from lack of sunlight. More electronics burst into being, producing ample illumination with their urgent declarations and squealing chords. The pace grows more dynamic as the descent continues, flashing sounds that bewitch and calm as they invigorate. Space guitar resurges, wailing in praise of the incredible deep and its unconventional denizens. The melody becomes quite insistent, pleasantly demanding attention of all who find themselves within hearing.

No drums or E-perc are utilized in this music; indeed, such rhythms would only get in the way of Navigator's focused verve. Instead, electronic riffs are spun into repetitious patterns that function as a rhythmic presence to satisfying effect.

The CD's title track is a 24 minute epic composition that exposes the audience to aquatic depths of astounding complexity and ecstatic engagement. Familiar strains act as a sonic anteroom leading to regions of more haunting constitution. Periodically, the electronics will growl with ominous resonance, hinting at the immense barometric pressure that exists just beyond the bulkhead. These warnings are promptly followed by passages that celebrate the darkness with fluid structure and inspiring riffs. Hordes of bubbling bloops and quasi-Tangerine-Dream sequencing provide thoroughly rewarding nuances as the electronic textures merge and mutate.

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PRIMITIVE PAINTER: "Self Reference Hour" b/w PULBY: "Water from Different Falls" (7-inch vinyl on Dead Digital)

Daring to be nostalgic, this new label from Manchester, England, offers two new bands who perform with gritty electronic sensibilities.

Primitive Painter utilizes a succession of percussive oriented electronics to produce a harsh track that chugs along with ominous determination. Wobbly riffs of delicate quasi-accordion nature wander behind these rhythms while looped vocals inquire "Are you happy to just let your body do the talking?". While intended as an example of urban concrete, this track displays a particular dancefloor acumen.

Pulby employs a more traditional range of instruments and rock structure, producing a blend of mournful piano with clumping percussion and sighing vocal moanings. Guitars declare themselves with simple chords, lending the song a soft desperation. With the final seconds, the electronics surface, revealing their hidden presence.

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DOM L. SCAB: Analogical Confessions (CD on Groove Unlimited)

This 54 minute release from 2002 delivers dynamic and entertaining electronic music by Spanish Scab, whose style has evolved from the Berlin School into a uniquely cosmic realm of its own.

Complex keyboards establish a foundation that expands with a versatile range of synthetic sounds. Heavenly airs conspire with grand majesty, punctuated by impressive riffs that drive the audience far beyond ambience into an energized zone of pulsating melodies. Rich patterns become laced with temperate E-perc that adds strong rhythm to the compelling electronic harmonies. An element of frenzy is present in this music, barely sedated by dynamic sequences that leave the listener infused with stamina. Gurgling electronics achieve an edge of mystery amid these surging sentiments, creating dynamic music glowing with awe and esteem.

Blending high-end with deep bass, Scab's compositions are a superb example of controlled enthusiasm. His use of cyclic repetition becomes immersed in a bevy of innovative hooks, littering the melody with mercurial components. The repetition becomes lost in the flurry of fresh sonic factors, resulting in energetic riffs that conspire smoothly to form dazzling passages of lush proportion and accomplishment.

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>b>FRANK VAN BOGAERT: Human (CD on Groove Unlimited)

This CD from 2002 features 62 minutes of vibrantly dynamic electronic music.

Building on various European electronic influences, Van Bogaert has developed his own style that is both masterful and delicate. His chords are majestically epic, while his structure ranges from experimental to deeply classical. The music itself, though, is contemporary electronics of valorous proportion with a rhythmic presence and eloquent melodics.

Versatile keyboards belt out sequences and power riffs, melding with interlocking textural foundations and strenuously intricate (and often overpowering) E-perc to produce energetic tuneage that is capable of knocking the listener from their seat. This power lies not just in Van Bogaert's authoritative delivery, but stems from his powerful compositions which seethe with unbridled voracity and passion. This music fills the audience with inspiration and the promise of greatness.

Frequently enhancing the music's scope are non-lyrical vocal choirs, while other tracks feature steamy saxophone and wistful viola.

There's no spacey journeys here, nor drifting passages through high altitude cloudscapes. All of Van Bogaert's creative juices are channeled into interpreting the human condition in electronic melodies, a task that he superbly achieves with this CD. These tracks convey a richness of organic quality, communicating non-verbally with the inner psyche.

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