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Electronics: Eloy Fritsch, Joel Krutt, John Rose

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ELOY FRITSCH: Atmosphere (CD on Rock Symphony)

This CD from 2003 offers 70 minutes of symphonic electronic music.

Eloy Fritsch is the keyboard player with the Brazilian progrock band Apocalypse. "Atmosphere" is his sixth solo release.

Lavish electronics produce a symphonic air that is peppered with orchestral touches and powerful keyboard passages of inspired majestic disposition. Synthesized horns mix with heavenly choirs, lending an empirical altitude to the music. Complexity merges with emphatic delivery, creating expansive sonic tapestries that sparkle with thrilling cadence and engaging embellishments. Fritsch uses thunder like a punctuation, injecting a cosmic eminence to the music. His dedication to the global ecology is clearly evident as he generates a sonic portrait of the atmosphere that supports life on this planet. It is far from a detached examination; the music seethes with raw power and holistic empathy.

The compositions are firmly rooted in a strong classical template, building from fragile openings to momentous pinnacles of heart-wrenching enthusiasm. Delicate passages of romantic appeal lead to epic crescendos that gather awesome thunderheads and harness this splendor into dazzling synthesizer explosions. This music accomplishes a distinct magnification, promptly expanding to fill the sky with its luxurious resonance.

With strong influences from Vangelis (specifically the "Heaven and Hell" album) and Rick Wakeman, Fritsch delivers heavenly compositions that achieve a grander and luster that unites fans of EM and progrock. Music of this caliber and style has not been adequately explored since the late Seventies, and Fritsch does the forgotten genre proud with his epic compositions and passionate performance.

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JOEL KRUTT: What Next? (CD on Joelkru Music)

This CD from 2003 offers 43 minutes of abstract minimalism.

For the last fourteen years, Joel Krutt has hosted the "Pushing the Envelope--Music Decidedly Left of Center" radio program on WHUS, the radio station of the University of Connecticut. With the advent of sound editing software for the common man, Krutt has decided to express his own minimal electronic urges. This debut CD is the result of that.

The majority of these pieces exemplify a minimal spliced-together style, utilizing focused sensibilities and sticking to those parameters within each track. The songs vary in content and style, from the first track's elongated examination of an orchestral tune-up, to the hesitant surging of "Gamelgone", to the guitar overlays of "Riff 4", to the looping harps that merge with piano chords of "Jig". A variety of voices are heavily treated, then merged with atonal electronic textures, creating a turgid atmosphere wrought with a slow-building tension.

The ethereal voice of Jim Cole is featured on one track, where these vocal drones fuse with cyclic electronics to generate even eerier moods.

This recording displays the formative stage of someone who has filtered such influences like Philip Glass and Brian Eno into a musique concrete selection. While the songs meander, there is a sturdy technician flair going on that can be engaging at times.

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JOHN ROSE: Cosmogenesis (CD on Space for Music Records)

This CD from 2001 features 62 minutes of comfortable electronic music.

Kentuckian John Rose is a founding member of the EM band Spacecraft. This is his debut solo release.

Blending delicacy and grandeur, Rose achieves an earthly form of space music, with melodies rooted in the soil but facing the heavens with optimistic regard. Mixing synthesizers with dulcimer and nature sounds, his compositions unify traditional and modern styles, producing a sound that is luxuriously fertile and tenderly evocative.

Resonant dulcimer tones filter through electronic textures, creating tasty tuneage that is pleasant yet edgy. A degree of tension exists, but it is muted, tempered by a romantic outlook that lends the melodies a congenial appeal. Processors enrich the mix, adding an otherworldly feel to the music. Meanwhile, piano accomplishes a grounding effect, reminding the audience of their terrestrial origins while conveying them through stratospheric regions to gaze with soothing wonder at the outer cosmos.

This union of earth and sky gives way to daring explorations of galactic territories as Rose employs discordant elements immersed in drifting ambience to capture the great void and the awesome promise of mystery that lies beyond our solar system. This subtle cacophony oozes in a strongly atmospheric medium, repeatedly falling prey to the resurgence of melodic dominance.

This release is an engaging excursion into outer space that retains a tether-line rooted in earthly sentiment.

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