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Electronics: Can Atilla, Stephen Parsick, Conrad Schnitzler, Robert Schroeder

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CAN ATILLA: Concorde (CD on Groove Unlimited)

This release from 2005 offers 80 minutes of epic electronic music.

Joining Atilla on this recording are: Mustafa Cihan Aslan on saxophone, Murat Yucel on guitar, Cagatay Akyol on recorders, and Katia Dzjbaicha, James Watkins, and Faria on vocals.

Highly expressive electronics are initiated and guided into gripping melodies by nimble-fingered keyboards. High end timbres are superbly blended with bass tones to achieve a remarkably well-rounded resonance. There’s a constant stream of exemplary melodies that mesmerize and thrill without fail. Chords flash by with vibrant delivery, making visceral impressions, only to make way for the next barrage of delightful riffs.

Majestic rhythms imbue the tracks with even more vigor. Although only appearing in one track, the guitar displays an astounding presence, searing the heart with its astral pyrotechnics. The saxophone is featured in two tracks, lending a fervent passion to those pieces.

The most notable aspect of Atilla’s music, though, is his meticulous dedication to awe-inspiring riffs couched in enthralling melodies. He is definitely blessed with an abundance of topnotch creativity.

The music on this release all centers around observations dealing with the Concorde airliner, from dazzling velocities to stratospheric voyages to humble passengers to flights that serve to reunite lovers.

There’s a particular deep vibration that Atilla utilizes that tickles the soul, evoking inspiring altitudes filled with ghostly mechanical bees. He mixes it into his compositions with playful abandon, invariably adding a touch of grandeur to his already grandiose music.

Atilla is pursuing a sound forged by Tangerine Dream during the Nineties, and frankly he is doing a far better job with it than they did.

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STEPHE PARSICK: Hollenengel (CD on Doombient)

This release from 2005 features 73 minutes of very dark ambience.

Besides being a co-founder of the German electronic band, ‘Ramp, Stephen Parsick has collaborated with Cosmic Hoffmann, Mind over Matter, Marcus Reuter, Mark Shreeve (from Redshift).

Pensive textures, evocative of remote wastelands, rise like an eclipsed moon. Airier keyboard chords surface and spread ethereal tendrils across this soundscape, increasing its overall ominous nature. A sense of dark drama emerges, growling with power and slithering like a metallic serpent.

Gradually, more defined melodics appear, sweeping into the trembling backdrop and invoking a glimmer of hope amid the dire tonalities. But these optimistic sonic rays are soon overwhelmed by an apocalyptic resonance that frequently pinnacles with shrill outcries and remote diode burblings.

Some pieces embody a lighter flair, tracing ephemeral routes of vaporous consistency that vibrate softly with languid pulsations. While seemingly calm, these passages inspire a mildly forbidding disposition.

While other tracks unfurl more demonstrative expressions of desperate vigor. Liquid riffs conspire to produce a valiant defiance toward the encroaching night...but they invariably fail, becoming prey to rising tides of perilous textures.

Thoroughly steeped in ominous implications, this release is designed to instill an uncomfortable dread. This music luxuriates in the creation of dark environments which seethe with a sedate intensity devoted to embracing mortality and entropic impermanence.

This music was generated live and improvised without the use of any computers, sequencers or MIDI equipment.

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CONRAD SCHNITZLER: Conal 2001 (CD on Submergence Records)

This release from 2001 offers 61 minutes of experimental electronics.

The grandfather of modern electronic music delivers an enthralling excursion into synthetic realms with this CD. Three tracks are featured, the first two recorded in 2001, while the last one was recorded in 1981 and mixed two decades later.

Track 1 begins with a high velocity dose of rolling electronics, crisp and eerily vibrating, punctuated by rising chirps and computer squeals. Harmonics rule here, as a variety of textures converge with emphatic determination, each striving to dominate while contributing cadence to the rest. The least expected ones end up victorious--only to provide a backdrop for ascendant bell-tones and quirky chords of buzzing disposition. This dueling parade continues, progressively giving way to newer riffs.

Engaging surges usher in the second track, while erratic keyboards pitter away and ethereally whirring sounds circle the audience. A bevy of insectoid noises begin to flock, immersing the flow with their frenetic expressions. Bass tones provide a constant tempo like the beating of a mechanical heart. Sparkling synthesizers sound off amid a xylophonic frolic. Lulls occur very briefly as the next array of sound marshal for their entrance.

The last track bears a distinct historic perspective for the listener, illustrating how Schnitzler’s music has changed over the years. Pensive tonalities are peppered with bubbling and ricocheting noises, but the basic foundation is allowed more definition, more authority over the plethora of innovative embellishments. A grinding machine-like mien creeps in, swamping everything and goading it into a compressed spiral that is quite dizzying.

A compelling exposure to electronic music that defies retro trends, remaining inventive and fresh.

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ROBERT SCHROEDER: Brainchips (CD on Spheric Music)

This release from 2005 features 74 minutes of utopian electronic music.

Joining master synthesist Schroeder on this release is Moroccan vocalist Rahal Brimil, whose ethereal voice filters throughout the music like a sinuous creature.

Atmospheric textures radiate with stately eloquence. These foundations are heavily overlaid with melodic keyboards that burn and burble and crackle with versatile timbres. There’s a mixture of cyclic loops and lead riffs, producing a lively variety of charismatic melodies.

Meanwhile, guitars (well, they sound like guitars, but they may well be synthesized, not that it matters) wail and snarl, injecting a fiery flair to the tunes.

E-perc rhythms abound, propelling the music without overly intruding on the audience’s serene appreciation. There are instances where the drums evoke a restrained drama, tantalizingly conveying expectation.

A touch of trippiness creeps in every once in a while, as the riffs fall prey to catchy grooves that stray beyond any conventional dreamscape terrain. Hints of techno sentiments are confirmed with uptempo beats and chugging electronic cycles. Deeper keyboard tones keep a firm foothold in cerebral roots, though, generating a pleasing blend of retro and modern elements.

A fun dose of peppy German electronics.

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