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Electronics: Alpha Wave Movement, Astrogator, Hemisphere, Stella Maris

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ALPHA WAVE MOVEMENT: Beyond Silence (CD on Harmonic Resonance Recordings)

This release from 2005 offers 63 minutes of lively electronic music.

Alpha Wave Movement is Gregory Kyryluk.

AWM usually delves in ambient soundscapes, but this latest release explores a realm of demonstrably sprightly tuneage.

Keyboards sparkle amidst a bevy of vivacious electronics. Crystalline riffs gyrate and cavort, defining a rather jubilant mood that is highly infectious. Gurgling cybernetics surround several simultaneous melodies that combine to achieve a remarkably buoyant sonic experience. Chugging patterns set a brisk pace for the rest of the harmonics. Sounds seem to hurry along, eager to fulfill their spry purpose. Employing a full range of sonic density, the tunes vibrate with power and authority. There is a distinct intention of fun to this music, though, conveyed through mercurial riffs that glisten with contagious optimism.

E-perc abounds, producing energetic propulsion to the uptempo flow. Standard synthetic rhythms are expanded with inventive tinkering, producing novel impacts that give the tempos an otherworldly air. Sometimes the keyboards themselves provide additional rhythms, rapidly looping notes to expand the rhythmic presence with softer beats.

While often spacey in their overall sound, these tracks contain a solid humanity that infuses the swift compositions with an accessible charm.

The songs are brief, producing a straightforward development of the melodies. Kyryluk packs a lot into these 4-7 minute stretches, maximizing enjoyment and delivering rewarding satisfaction for the audience.

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ASTROGATOR: The Darkness Between (CD on Astrogator Music)

This release from 2005 offers 58 minutes of elegant electronic music.

Astrogator is: Steve Humphries (aka Create) and Jez Creek.

Astral squealings lead the audience into an interstellar medium where sonic textures approximate gaseous nebula resembling the cerebral folds of the human brain. Gentle tonalities bend and slither through this vaporous territory, encountering more demonstrative harmonics along the way. Stately keyboards emerge, guiding the flow in a more melodic direction. Soft e-perc enhance this sonic evolution, providing amiable rhythms for the looping riffs and intertwining sequencers. A density is generated after a while as these threads establish themselves into a thick cloud of electronic pulsations and sweeping textures. The music takes an energetic turn once it has reached the proper density. The tempos roll faster, adding peppy propulsion to the frolicsome keyboard patterns.

The music streams from this gentle dynamic into majestic soundscapes and back again with steadfast regularity, as if seeking its own breathing space before launching into another ascent to grandeur. Each atmospheric bridge delves deeper into psychic realms where the void possesses hypnotic properties riddled with restrained power.

Long-form structure dominates the three tracks on this CD, granting each piece ample duration to explore variations on the themes generated by the pair of musicians.

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HEMISPHERE: Rambling Voyage (CD on Groove Unlimited)

This release from 2004 features 76 minutes of airy electronic music.

Hemisphere is Ralf Knappe Heinbockel and Thorsten Reinhardt. Petra Huschle provides luxurious vocal effects on a few tracks.

Languid electronics expand to fill the sky, and once that cloudcover is complete, relaxed percussion enters the mix, fueling the music with steadfast rhythms. Shriller tones waft in and out of the fog, embellishing the flow with spacier elements. Similar interplanetary ambiance is permeated by softer textures that drift into the mix like a nebulous velvet field.

Guitar appears quite frequently, sometimes churning the lower region with muted snarls, other times rising to generate dazzling prisms of radiance.

The rhythms maintain an unhurried pace, providing beats that never intrude or force the tuneage into harsh terrain. A constant dreaminess prevails.

While most of the tracks possess a strong melodic disposition, there are a few pieces that moodily explore harmonic soundscapes.

The voyage is only “rambling” in that it takes the audience to a variety of ethereal locales. High altitudes, outer space, oceanic expanses, even the depths of an introspective heart.

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STELLA MARIS: To the Promised Land (CD on Prudence Records)

This CD from 2005 offers 57 minutes of spiritual electronic music with vocals.

Stella Maris is: Dirk Schlomer, Carsten Agthe, and Timothy Campling, with guest vocals by Alquimia, Maria, Louisa John-Krol, Kerstin Blodig, and Matore.

After a tantalizing intro of flute and acoustic guitar swimming in a luxurious sea of electronic textures, this release’s dominant sound surfaces with durable percussion and choral voices, emerging with stately grace from the liquid soundscape. The guitar goes electronic, providing subtle agitation.

Lyrical vocals start appearing, elucidating spiritual quests and glorifying the rainbow results of those searches. Here, the guitar turns flamenco with soft twangs. Schlomer’s voice mixes with his female guests, achieving a simultaneous duet quality that manifests a heavenly demeanor. The percussion gets softer, employing ethnic drums that lend a global perspective to the lilting tunes.

A traditional folk milieu winds throughout these songs, making excellent use of modern technology in the overall sound of the pieces.

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