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Groove Electronics: Can Atilla, Create, Gert Emmens, David Parsons, Frank van Bogaert

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Groove Unlimited is a wonderful Netherlands-based electronica label. Their releases strive to expand the boundaries of the EM genre.

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CAN ATILLA: Omni (CD on Groove Unlimited)

This release from 2004 features 79 minutes of exhilarating electronic music.

Joining Atilla (who plays keyboards, samplers, electronics and drumming) on this recording are: Turay Dinleyen and Ebru Davran on electric violin, Metin Paksoy on alto sax, Selcuk Sami Cingi on acoustic guitar, Murat Yucel on rhythm guitar, Berat Tekin on darbuka, and the Turay Dinleyen String Ensemble.

Uptempo keyboards are flavored by bubbling electronics and peppy rhythms, resulting in alluring tuneage that is resolutely enthralling and engaging. Atillaís style fuses contemporary electronics with a rollicking jubilation that is refreshing in a genre of over-serious approaches. The tempos captivate more than the audienceís tapping feet, while his nimble-fingered riffs dazzle more than just the appreciative mind. Surging aspects cascade with calculated intent, conspiring to generate tunes that entice as they mesmerize.

There is a uniqueness to Atillaís compositions that evades comparison. His music combines aesthetic and pop elements, producing a union that allows the songs to shine with a celebratory vivacity as they smolder with cerebral charisma.

Some tracks display a Middle Eastern edge, but these touches are immersed in the overall exuberance of the melody, ignoring geographic boundaries to create a sound that is pleasantly universal and nonpartisan.

The CD includes four bonus tracks, remixes that enliven the original melodies with a dancefloor flair of sparkling style.

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CREATE: Reflections from the Inner Light (CD on Groove Unlimited)

This release from 2004 features 78 minutes of languid Berlin School electronics.

Create is the brainchild of British synthesist Stephen Humphries.

Soothing electronic textures usher the audience from the real world into a realm of glistening unreality. As cyclic sequencing emerges, the harmonic flow coalesces with gentle substance. Sounds thicken without amassing weight, marshaling the appearance of an escalation of velocity and the introduction of a core theme. Additional patterns join the mix, some of them surfacing to function as cybernetic rhythms.

A shriller definition enters the flow, achieving a state of electrified puissance that pulses with an inner verve. Softly muffled percussion provides an understated cushion to support the manner in which everything else surges with tempered animation.

Waves of artificial surf gurgle and bubble amid a mounting harmonic, very reminiscent of early Klaus Schulze. This gives birth to a luxuriant structure of repetitious loops which eventually lose their redundancy and forge off to generate fresh patterns of lustrous design. Each new riff embodies its own radiance, and as these newborn specimens cluster, the melodies pursue collateral essences.

Interesting tidbit: although this music sounds like itís full of mellotrons and analogue synthis, Humphries generates everything using software.

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GERT EMMENS: Waves of Dreams (CD on Groove Unlimited)

This release from 2004 features 72 minutes of lively Berlin School electronics.

Exquisite sequencing provides a heavenly foundation for bewitching rhythms that mount gradually, accreting energy and velocity until they reach a state of cosmic caprice. This joviality is nicely tempered with a serious undercurrent that generates a devastating satisfaction with its well-rounded resonance. Cyclic patterns rise and flourish, evolving and exploring variations with crafty design. Deeply trembling chords become tinged with angelic airs. Tempos unfurl with resolute determination, twirling and propelling the melodies with a softly emphatic drive. Mellotrons produce rich embellishments to the densely layered electronics. Harmonics swarm and collide, merging to create fresh tonalities, all guided by nimble fingers into fascinating tunes.

Some of the tracks exhibit a distinctly romantic flair, becoming soundtracks for ardent lovers who lounge on their urban balconies and stare at a nocturnal sky filled with shooting stars. As night slips into morning, the music refuses to shed its dreamlike qualities, boldly ready to face the day with burgeoning exhilaration.

Emmens builds fascinating melodies that cavort amid a backdrop of astral ambience. Hints abound of the manís retro influences, but he has developed these roots into mature styles of his own.

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DAVID PARSONS: Vajra (CD on Groove Unlimited)

This release from 2004 features 63 minutes of ambient soundscapes.

New Zealander Parsons explores the Far East with his electronic compositions.

Vaporous textures drift into audibility, evoking slowly forming cloudbanks that gradually encompass the sky with their calming tonalities. Gently growling synthesizers season this slowburn with a seething undercurrent of anticipation.

With the third track, the music adopts a more substantial presence. Violin strains lend a mournful edge to the chugging tempos. Periodic e-perc mixes with ethnic percussives, generating an exotic flair that is enhanced by the lilt of a tranquilizing sitar. The violin and sitar interplay with soothing ease, injecting a mild urgency to the drifting pastiche.

After a return to minimalist ambience, the music takes another upward boost as lively rhythms patter away to generate a blend of contemporary electronic music with easygoing soundscapes. The percussion goads the melody along with comfortable effect, while violin reemerges to color the tune with a melancholy touch of yearning. The presence of ascending keyboard riffs gives the music a softly dramatic promise.

The CD concludes with a strictly ambient piece that makes diligent use of elongated soundscapes and surging puffs of steam-powered drive.

Resolutely aerial in nature, this music pleasantly connects far-flung lands with the heavens.

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FRANK VAN BOGAERT: Closer (CD on Groove Unlimited)

This release from 2004 features 64 minutes of masterful electronic music.

Belgian composer van Bogaert has a way of transforming synthesizer melodies into epic constructions that bristle with majestic proportion. Even his simpler compositions seem to evoke a grandeur that parts the clouds to reveal a panorama of optimism.

Stately keyboards dominate this music with a peppering of pleasant percussion. Serious piano and expansive electronics blend with heavenly atmospherics to create delicate passages that stir the soul with their tender melodies, imparting a gentle yearning with idyllic flair. For the most part, demonstrative outbursts play a minor role; this music flourishes in more sedate territory, exploring a gentler, more human side of electronic tuneage. Regal touches elevate even the most trivial excerpt, however, injecting a sense of importance to each note.

The emotional focus of this music examines nature and humanityís coexistence with the world. Van Bogaertís compositions evoke an innocence that softly merges mankind with its environment, often exemplifying the adage that observation makes one a part of the scrutinized circumstance.

Fans of classic Vangelis will enjoy this release.

One of the tracks utilizes a traditional melody originally from the Solomon Islands, the same one used by Deep Forest and Jan Gabarek on their popular recordings.

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