ANDREAS AKWARA: Occult Sanctum (CD on AA Music, distributed by Groove Unlimited)
This release from 2007 offers 71 minutes of majestic electronic music.
Haunting tonalities churn in the background, while more strident electronics establish a pulsating frontal presence that gradually slides into a melodic flow of piercing notes and rich chords.
As the music progresses, soothing rhythms enter the mix along with bouncy sequencing that gets things tastily moving. The introduction of choral voices lends a cathedral touch to the tune. A passage of saxophone contributes a striking diversion, giving way to cascading water drenching the choir.
The third movement introduces chirping diodes to the heavenly melody. Remote strings are ponderously strummed, creating a pleasant tension that hints at even greater ascensions to come.
Buzzing keyboards and portentous drum beats lend the next passage an escalation of melodrama. A certain hesitancy overcomes its reluctance and the music swells with astounding stamina. Conventional percussion rises from the thick electronic miasma to capture attention with a strong rhythmic presence.
Peppy tempos further enliven things with the fifth movement. The velocity of the music is increasing, accumulating power with each passing moment. The rhythms gather vigor and volume as the electronics coalesce into a demonstrative melody of ultimate conviction.
The sixth movement is brief and temperate, acting as a recuperative rest stop.
In the seventh passage, wavery electronics prepare the audience for a stratospheric expansion.
The 16 minute finale is soft and moody, allowing ambient soundscapes to flourish as a foundation for the pensive reprise of many previous elements in a sedate structure. The end is tender and reassuring.
Akwara displays a distinct reverence in his compositions, evoking spirituality untainted by religion, stirring the soul with dramatic music. A richness permeates these tunes, injecting a density to the airy flow that remains delicate despite its serious devotion.
FRANK KLARE: Digitalic (CD on Groove Unlimited)
This CD from 2007 features 71 minutes of densely sequenced music.
German synthesist Klare is joined by Ron Boots on the CD's last two tracks for a total of 24 collaborative minutes.
Retro electronics produce urgent chords that are looped to generate a lavish density. Additional keyboard-driven electronics are layered in, increasing the sonic depth. These auxiliary patterns possess a more crystalline character, nicely contrasting the prevalent bulk. As the tracks progress, Klare employs a nimble-fingered complexity that increases the music's overall appeal.
E-perc rhythms provide suitable propulsion for the music. These tempos generally remain submerged in the dense sequencing, enhancing the tunes from a secondary level.
For the majority of this music, basic patterns are created and allowed to run in repetitive cycles. Variations are achieved through the introduction of collateral patterns. Operating in conjunction, these elements attain a rich melodic presence that communicates an ascendant drama.
The electronics exhibit a classical undercurrent, one that harnesses an expansive quality and revels in modern expressions of hypnotic demeanor. The notes are deep and vibrant. The use of airier tones in the complimentary riffs results in a balanced range of sound.
The two collaborative pieces manifest a more subdued mood. These tunes still maintain a vivid density of layered electronics and motivational rhythms, but a distinctly organic quality is present, attributing the tuneage with more humanity. Light-hearted auxiliary riffs imbue the last track with a decidedly bouncier mood than the rest of the CD's pensive music.
Fans of Klaus Schulze will enjoy this release.
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