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Electronics: Parallel Worlds, Conrad Schnitzler, Frank van Bogaert, Erik Wollo

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PARALLEL WORLDS: Obsessive Surrealism (CD on DiN)

This release from 2007 offers 63 minutes of haunting electronic music.

Parallel Worlds is: Bakis Sirros, with John Sirros joining in on one live track.

Languid electronics laced with haunting harmonics generate melodies supported by understated e-perc of a bubbling nature. Keyboards provide dreamy chords that are supported by airy textures which exhibit a nocturnal flair. The electronics are generally lighthearted and breezy; even the periodic denser tonalities bear a soft sonic caress.

A subtle illbient quality lies buried in this tuneage, but it is not prominent enough to disrupt the overall heavenly nature with any substantial edginess. This glitchy seasoning is carefully implanted in the music in a manner that is almost subliminal, enhancing the tuneage with a ghostly charge, crackling in a fashion that is sedate and unintrusive. This fusion of contemporary EM and crackling techno gives the music a highly intriguing sound that is quite appealing.

The rhythms are equally soothing, providing a calm propulsion rather than a driving beat presence. Some of the tempos gurgle as if resounding from underwater or perhaps deep inside a cloud of glutinous gas. It's almost as if the percussives were generated by organic machinery.

These compositions display a distinctly celestial quality, ethereal yet sturdily crafted with body. The melodies consist of keyboards thriving in a textural medium, gentle riffs surrounded by cottony expanses of bewitching disposition.

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CONRAD SCHNITZLER: Conviction (limited edition CD on Ricochet Dream)

This release from 2006 offers 60 minutes of bewitching electronic music.

Schnitzler's customarily quirky electronics undergo a stately, almost haunting transformation with this release. His erratic and urgent bloops and unexpected direction changes are present, but immersed in a fluid stream that enhances their eccentricity by placing them in stark contrast with flowing surroundings. Determination rises through the shimmering pastiche, resulting in tuneage of a compelling nature.

Cybernetic outbursts flutter through the mix with birdlike personality as auxiliary electronic pulses chitter and warble from all sides, dogging the harmonic nucleus with their diverse expressions. Muted percussives rumble from a far distance, providing an expansive feel to the churning foundation.

Keyboards are employed some of the time, but the majority of the electronics are triggered by dials, establishing an unpredictable motif for the music's temperament. These whimsical elements coalesce with remarkable ease, achieving a mesmerizing cohesion brimming with enchanting appeal.

Inventive diodes often provide synthetic rhythms, harnessing strange noises into non-impact tempos that waft just underneath the compositions' central threads. Synthesized cello and orchestral strings lend a classical undercurrent that roots the songs with a touch of humanity submerged in a sea of modern design.

While frequently uplifting and bouncy, these compositions possess a dire sensibility full of subtle portends and burgeoning tension.

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FRANK VAN BOGAERT: Nomads (CD on Groove Unlimited)

This CD from 2007 offers 58 minutes of glorious electronic music.

Van Bogaert's music involves an elevated degree of grandeur, and this release is no different. The electronics soar to dizzying altitudes, each chord resonates with epic proportions. The melodies are expansive and tastefully ponderous, provoking optimism and opening the audience's hearts to the promise of things bigger than everyday worries.

Propelled by masterful keyboards, the tunes pulsate with vast power. Each riff is a work of art, carefully crafted and delivered with a rich sense of drama. Electronic textures fill the sky with shuddering portends, establishing majestic vistas for the songs. The melodies throb with deep tones that evoke exhilarating panoramas (on this album, those spectacles are a travelogue of locations guaranteed to dazzle and captivate), and then those bewitching riffs continue to enthrall as they accrete more vitality, straining for rousing crescendos that defy even the wildest imagination. The use of grand piano only serves to escalate this considerable magnificence.

Percussion plays a vital role here, generating a monumental scope for the melodies. Instead of being frantic, the rhythms are poignantly designed to maximize holding the listeners' attention once the grand tuneage has latched its hooks into you. The tempos exude a distinctly regal demeanor, engaging and awe-inspiring.

These vigorous compositions excellently capture a sense of awe, communicating a tantalizing greatness that will linger long after the music had finished playing.

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ERIK WOLLO: Elevations (CD on Wanderings)

This CD from 2007 offers 65 minutes of airborne electronic music.

Atmospheric textures swirl and expand to generate a lavish firmament of immense luster and mesmerizing appeal. Pulsating tones waft into view, shimmering as they capture descending illumination. Delicate keyboards provide airy riffs that superbly embellish these lofty sonic sentiments. The chords slide into perfect harmony with the glistening tonal clouds, achieving a striking contrast of clarity in tandem with the vaporous mood. Environmental sounds (birds, wind) are synthetically created to inject a humble earthiness to the soaring tuneage.

A certain chill accompanies these tunes, stimulating the ears into a discerning sensitivity. Each note becomes an enthralling delight, while the combinations of these notes achieve a heavenly tingle.

Percussion is utilized judiciously, serving to enhance rather than enliven the music. These languid tempos lurk deep in the mix, seasoning the flow with their chugging beats. Often, non-impact sounds are harnessed to supply gentle rhythms that shudder softly, a sort of subliminal locomotion.

Crafted with meticulous attention to evoking a dreaminess, these compositions do more than sedate the audience. The vibrant depth of the music instills an expansive receptivity, attuning the listener to uplifting moods hidden in the flowing harmonics. The melodies snare the subconscious and guide synapses into enriching cohesion that leaves behind a distinct positivism.

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