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Electronics: Galactic Anthems, Mani Neumeier, Remy, Smoke & Mirrors

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GALACTIC ANTHEMS: Abstract Circuitry (CDR on Galactic Anthems Music )

This CD from 2004 offers 59 minutes of pleasant electronic melodies.

Galactic Anthems is Glenn Adams.

The title track mixes pulsating rhythms with dreamy keyboards, generating a mildly energized voyage through a realm where exposed circuitry stretches through the interstellar void. A sense of urgency permeates the tune, achieved with surging diodes expressing a pattern of non-impact beats that exude a pleasant tension. Textures purr like churning stars in the distance.

Most of the other tracks exhibit a more ambient demeanor, as relaxed chords drift with comfortable ease through atmospheric tonalities. Percussives punctuate these melodies, lending some immediacy, but the overall temperament is sedate and soothing. Harmonic tones blend with glistening synthesizers, swooping from the sky to circle the audience at an even pace, peppered with mildly chugging rhythms coaxing the songs from an ambient passivity into a state of diffident velocity.

Even the tunes that break their calm restraints, though, remain cultivated in their gentle intensity. Harshness is muted by elegance, enthusiasm gives way to awe. Electronic textures grind with humane expressions, choosing mesmerism over dazzle. The E-perc maintains a steady presence throughout, but these rhythms prefer to remain subservient to an enticing lassitude.

The intent of this music is not to fill space, but to illuminate the void with potential. Its success in this is quite entertaining.

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MANI NEUMEIER & FRIENDS: Terra Amphibia--Deep in the Jungle (CD on Prudence Music)

This CD from 2003 features 53 minutes of worldbeat electronic music.

Neumeier's "friends" on this recording include Luigi Archetti and Hans Reffert on electric guitar, Werner Goos on acoustic guitar, Eiko Yamada on flute, Tara G. Zintel on vocals, Jude, Marc & Matthew Lane on didgeridoo, and Glommy on frog chant.

Expect a variety of percussion here, ranging from ethnic instruments to traditional drums to E-perc. There's also a profusion of nature sounds utilized as lush backdrops for the languid melodies.

Guitars add a human touch to the songs, from twanging electric strings to lazy acoustic chords. These strains churn amid the environmental mix like a touch of civilization entrenched in the exotic wilds, providing an engaging diversion from the chittering beasts and chanting tribal presence.

The nimble patter of percussives is the dominant core of this tuneage, though. While generally exploring tribal tempos, the rhythms sometimes express themselves in reasonably urban modes, defining a compelling presence of modern man in the jungle pastiche. Whether earthy or urban, these rhythms are more than just hypnotic; they establish motivational patterns that tickle the backbrain, inspiring a mildly energized meditative state. The listener loses themselves in a lush climate where verdant foliage obscures the blistering sun and congenial beasties fill the humid air with their pleasant chittering.

The flute, arid and ethereal, lends a ghostly medium to the mix. Filtering through the relaxed percussion, these flute strains evoke a wistful warmth that fits nicely with the rhythmic propulsion. While the didgeridoo generated a slow growl that expands to permeate the music with a friendly but moody atmospheric disposition.

Although lyrical vocals appear only briefly, there are passages in which non-verbal vocals decree an emotional resonance.

These compositions exude a soothing agitation intended to sedate the body while invigorating the mind. A few of the tracks exhibit a celebratory mood, but never anything intrusive or overt. The overall condition is one of introspection, generating a unity between humanity and its unindustrialized environment.

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REMY: DisConnected (CD on Akh Records, distributed by Groove Unlimited)

This CD from 2003 features 75 minutes of energetic electronic music.

Remy Stroomer is joined on one track by Curly Quazar on guitar.

Delicate keyboards describe playful melodies cut in a fusion of contemporary electronic and classical music styles. Lilting chords prance with congenial pride, laced with crisp E-perc that almost functions as auxiliary notes instead of rhythms. Slowly, the beats adopt their position as tempo guidance, allowing the synthesizers to escalate into more lavish cycles. These cycles deviate with satisfying variations, questing for more velocity and alternate direction. Earlier patterns return to dog the ongoing sonic evolution, goading the flow to more energetic vibrancy. And that's just the first track.

Wavery chords usher in the next tune, rising and falling like a chugging piston. The pattern expands, widening its scope across the keyboard as if questing for a larger sonic panorama. Crystalline notes enter the flow, peppering the melody with sugary embellishment like glass chimes dancing in a languid breeze.

The next track explores the use of deeper sounds, notes tinged with a romantic edge (and highly reminiscent of early Nineties Klaus Schulze). The tone is sober and pensive for a while, gradually gaining girth and power. Shimmering sequencing emerges to dominate the flow. Distant textures strive in vain to commandeer the mix, but the main thread remains steadfast and victorious. Eventually, E-perc rises to assist these invading riffs, coaxing pep into the melody with snappy rhythms. Enter the electric guitar: its soft squeal accreting body until its outcry is searing with rock-out sensibilities.

A soft piece follows, generating a heavenly starscape with twinkling notes amid a somber texture.

Swooping electronics evoke a descending mist of mystical demeanor for the next track. Comfortably durable rhythms creep in along with shrill chords that sustain with mysterious potency. Slowly, these sparkling tonalities saturate the melody.

The harmonics possess a lively bounciness that persists undaunted in these long-form compositions, and Remy makes excellent use of this upbeat ambience.

A companion CD called "Connected" exists, featuring more of Remy's enticing compositions.

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SMOKE & MIRRORS: Deities (CD on Aural Fixation Records)

This release from 2004 offers 79 minutes of luxurious electronic music.

Smoke & Mirrors is: Michael Ely and Spider Taylor.

Pleasant electronics combine with stately percussives and moody guitar for this second release by Smoke & Mirrors. A symphonic presence permeates the tuneage this time, embellishing the melodies with a heavenly flavor that excellently compliments the CD's subject material.

Delicately synthesized textures formulate overhead like a elegant cloudbank seething with the promise of inspired music. Relaxed percussion filters into view, conveying a reserved dynamic designed to stir but not agitate. Arid guitars ooze across the ethereal terrain, rich with desert sensibilities and slide sustains of glistening metallic disposition. Versatile sampling provides a plethora of auxiliary sounds, from tubular bells to lush orchestral swells. The unified meshing of this variety can be quite compelling while rarely straying from a rhythmically mellow mood.

The desert guitars add a tasty flair to the congenial percussives, evoking midnight vigils atop desolate mesas. Meanwhile, the electronics provide a grand skyscape punctuated with glittering effects that conspire with engaging riffs to immerse the listener in an uptempo transcendental experience

The deities explored in this music belong primarily to Eastern religions, while the melodies are often rooted in Western rapport, giving this release a very global feel. Imagine a philosophical cowboy's perspective on Eastern theology delivered in a dust bowl mode.

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