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Powerful Electronics: the Ministry of Inside Things, Radio Massacre International, Syndromeda

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THE MINISTRY OF INSIDE THINGS: Everlasting Moment (double CD on Synkronos Music)

This release from 2003 features 120 minutes of superb electronic music recorded live in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, and Princeton during 2002.

The Ministry of Inside Things is: Chuck van Zyl on synthesizers and Art Cohen on guitar.

Atmospheric textures unfurl with amiable E-perc accompaniment. These snappy rhythms usher in the guitar for excursions into celestial territory and raw, almost bluesy, riffs. The penchance, though, is toward savage space guitar, soaring chords that scrape the ceiling of the sky in their efforts to confound gravity. These instances are ecstatic and enthralling. The notes are crisp and astral, ascending into the air like clouds of glittering stars that coalesce to form entertaining galactic swirls of passionate vibrancy.

The electronics are hardly passive, generating looping riffs that compound with each cyclic turn, growing more complex and engaging as they combine to form ambrosial harmonies. Such foundational passages provide a relentless propulsion for the listener, urging everyone's ears to experience velocity as a tangible condition without ever leaving their heads.

One can expect ambient intros to soothe the audience with their tenuous presence, relaxing everyone in preparation for the sonic launch into more sprightly tuneage. Meanwhile, these livelier passages undergo a slowbuild to more consequential pinnacles. The harmonies cluster, gathering momentum with each additional riff that emerges to join the flow. By the time the space guitar appears with explosive fury, the listener has been mesmerized into a state of receptive bliss.

While dedicated to pursuing the Berlin School of electronics, MOIT has evolved their own take on these historic influences. Their music reaches beyond traditional structure, exploring the universe with their individual perspective. These tunes display extreme dazzle with modern flourish, achieving rapturous instances that seem without end or exhaustion.

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RADIO MASSACRE INTERNATIONAL: Solid States (double CD on Northern Echo Recordings)

This release from 2003 offers 156 minutes of dreamy electronic music culled from the band's debut USA tour in late 2002.

Radio Massacre International is: Steve Dinsdale, Duncan Goddard, and Gary Houghton.

The music from this tour is separated on this CD's two disks, with West Coast performances on disk 1, while disk 2 contains selections from the band's East Coast gigs.

While the East Coast performances offer a stable dose of tranquil compositions, the West Coast gigs feature some music that is less characteristic to RMI's ambient legacy, delving into Krautrock roots with certain similarities to early Ash Ra Tempel (as explored on the band's "Greenhousing" release). There is still an abundance of atmospheric and lilting electronics laced with searing space guitar, but a few of these dreamy passages lead to grittier compositions comprising guttural guitar and raucous drumming stewing amid the surging electronics.

The familiar sonic stylings live up to every bit of RMI's popular reputation, with long intros that gradually accrete definition and power, reaching pinnacles of intensity that blister with stratospheric guitar riffs and cyclic E-perc rhythms. From seemingly minimal templates, RMI generates complex patterns of electronic textures that merge and mutate to become pleasantly crafted harmonics of cosmic proportion. Incidents of playful chaos appear, peppering the flow with genial surprises of gurgling diodes, moaning bass tones, and unpredictable percussive outbursts.

The space rock material is vibrantly energized, allowing RMI to explode with in-your-face passion that is not confined to drifting structure. Monumental melodies expand with blinding fervor, unrelaxing the audience's neck muscles and converting rapture into dizzying severity. Such eruptions do not unwarrantedly occur, however, and are judiciously prefaced and epilogued with slowbuild transitions.

More importantly, the band is investigating a fusion of these overt passages with their customary serene compositions, producing a brand of modern electronics that breaks convention by melding refined with raw to create music that reintroduces rock influences to the contemporary electronic genre.

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SYNDROMEDA: Creatures from the Inner (double CD on Neu Harmony)

This release from 2003 offers 140 minutes of exciting electronic music.

Syndromeda is Danny Budts.

Delicate keyboards escort the listener into a realm of subcranial deportment, where thought can become substance and affect externality. The electronics swiftly adopt force and authority. The textures sparkle with greater illumination. The harmonies expand to incorporate tangents with ingenious intent. The mood grows more intense emotionally as riffs furrow their sonic brows with serious disposition. The music becomes more insistent, demanding full attention and banishing exterior distractions. With every moment, the audience is driven deeper into their own consciousness.

The periodic addition of E-perc elevates this music with delightful rhythms, injecting a noble ebullience to the lilting soundscapes. By carefully introducing percussive cadence to the drifting electronic medium, Syndromeda forges a tension that livens the melodies without overpowering the serenity of those passages.

A balance between pieces of great exuberance and compositions of lavish atmospheric quality exists on this release. While some songs build to extrovert proportion, others remain suitably soft, inciting deep meditation with their smoothly crafted, icy tonalities. Laced with pleasant chords, brooding textures expand to the sonic horizon, generating an infectious optimism by applying uplifting tendencies to the contemplative crescendos achieved by these seemingly ambient tracks.

The melodies are richly defined. Dense nests of keyboards conspire to formulate engaging riffs as more threads appear at the periphery of perception to begin their inward integration. This music explodes with implied significance, as if each passage were charged with revealing a vital secret of cosmic importance.

Often, there is a sense of penultimate grandeur in Syndromeda's tuneage that is quite dazzling to behold. The dramatic music possesses a vital energy that transcends simple sound as it stimulates regions of the brain normally not associated with hearing.

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