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Electronics: Richard Bone, Vic Hennegan, Paul Lawler, Diani Beach Lounge Compilation

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RICHARD BONE: The Reality Temples (CD on Spiralight Recordings)

This release from 2004 offers 54 minutes of pleasant electronic music.

An intriguing blend of keyboards and e-perc generates a versatile assortment of delicate melodies that are both appealing and engaging.

Crystalline tones swim in conjunction with tenderly crafted basstones, resulting in a lush but fragile sound. Keyboards mimic a variety of conventional instruments, increasing the scope of the music's global range. Congenial chords waft on ethereal breezes, coalescing into fresh textures that function as generous backdrops for the serene interplay of those highly adaptable keyboards. Whether approximating breathy horns or seductive zithers, the keys remain inventive as they convey a solemn tranquillity.

Understated percussion provides tasty rhythms that flow in harmony with the undulating melodies, remaining unobtrusive yet peppy enough to lift the pace ever so slightly. These subtly interweaving tempos establish a durable liveliness that tickles rather than pummels.

Far Eastern sensibilities are often applied to the tuneage, bestowing a glorious spirituality that infects the music with a reverent humanity.

These easygoing compositions fuse soft jazz with contemporary electronic music. The result is a pleasant dose of tuneage that soothes as effortlessly as it inspires.

This CD features a bonus pair of MP3 tracks.

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VIC HENNEGAN: Desert God (CD on Space For Music Records)

This CD from 2005 features 58 minutes of ethereal electronic music.

Densely layered atmospherics conspire to lend this music a heavenly quality. Textural flows are established, then coaxed to roil into pensive clouds that stir the subconscious soul with flashes of somber majesty. Waves of soft electronics gently cascade overhead, immersing the audience in a pleasant fog of tantalizing resonance.

Delicately glistening keyboards urge a touch of substance into the moody sonic tapestry, defining fragile harmonies that gradually accrete into a turbid presence. Amiable tones spread like luminous air currents, laced with timbres possessing a hint of verve that remains sedately understated.

A sense of impending power creeps into the flow as crystalline keyboards emerge to delineate lavish riffs of aerial melody. Tenuous rhythms flavor these passages, never achieving demonstrative presence, remaining tastefully soft and pleasant. When literal beats appear, they are languid and dreamy, like courtly bongos pittering away amid clouds of synthetic strings that evoke an optimistic melancholy. High altitude resonances filter in to provide a lofty temperament.

The compositions radiate a smooth grandeur that is quite engaging. Vaporous harmonics tranquilize while even more vigorous elements tickle the subconscious to a similar calm. Yet the result possesses distinct authority, the type of command whose effects are subliminal but heartfelt.

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PAUL LAWLER: Bronx Shadows (CDR on Ricochet Dream)

This release from 2004 features 75 minutes of dramatic electronic music. The bulk of this music was recorded live at the Electric Cafe in 1998.

Sampled storm clouds usher in a superb dose of highly rhythmic electronic music that swiftly achieves grandeur with sweeping harmonies and complex structure. Majestic keyboards generate lavish riffs that dazzle and glisten with verve, while intricate e-perc lends a delightful dash of propulsion. Gritty chords surge in tandem with sparkling keys, producing a richly balanced measure of demonstrative tuneage.

Eerie textures blend with these melodic waves, creating an edginess that delivers a solid mysticism to the strictly technological mien. Hints of forlorn violins flavor the epic compositions with a romantic subtlety. Delicate keyboard cycles emerge, promising jovial intent that is delivered with a serious flourish. Chests fill with anticipatory breaths as the music grows more immense with each progressive minute, dwarfing any external distraction. This music has a way of claiming the audience's undivided attention with little force.

A strong humanity prevails throughout these gripping tunes, lacing the monumental moods with accessible tangents and optimistic threads. Catchy hooks manifest frequently, infusing the breathtaking tension with appealing mannerisms that are wholly enthralling. Nimble-fingered keys attribute peppy riffs amid a bevy of stratospheric majesty, injecting a spiritual flair that stirs the soul.

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VARIOUS ARTISTS: Diani Beach Lounge (CD on Prudence Records)

This CD from 2005 offers 72 minutes of modern music compiled together by Peter Mergener.

Featured are several tracks by: Peter Mergener, Drum'n'Space, Roykey, Zingaia, Yluara, and one by Jeff Greinke, all culled from various Prudence Records releases, with the exception of a new composition by Mergener which caps off this tasty sampler.

Each of these bands provide tracks that are basically world music blended with contemporary electronic stylings, fusing tribal beats with technological fancies. Layers of pulsating rhythms flow through pools of crystalline keyboards, punctuated by sultry saxophones and sedate guitars. Sometimes those guitars snarl with subdued ferocity, other times they lilt with sweet refrains. Ethnic chants bestow an earthiness to the otherwise heavenly tunes. Often, the percussives are treated to resonate with an eerie timbre that gives the beats an atmospheric quality.

Besides being an excellent introduction to the featured musicians, this release stands on its own as a tasty fusion of styles. The tuneage flows nicely, defying the reality that these tracks were never intended to flow into each other. Mergener's choices and mix are a testament to this unifying cohesion.

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