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Download Electronics: Arcane, Paul Lawler, Binar, Paul Nagle, Syndromeda

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Banding together several British and European labels, Musiczeit offers affordable pay downloads of excellent EM releases. Several are classic albums which are out-of-print, some are wholly new releases available exclusively from this online source.

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ARCANE: Alterstill (DL available from Musiczeit)

This release from 2001 offers 50 minutes of epic dark electronic music.

Arcane is Paul Lawler.

Authoritative electronics are boosted by percussion, producing dramatic tunes that laced with a hint of auspicious peril.

Twinkling keyboards deliver energized chords that pierce a thunderhead of moody tones. Dense layers of textural character coalesce, establishing an eerie foundation in support of the more nimble electronics. The fanciful riffs are compelling, often gripping, commanding vitality and puissance. Dark sentiments flourish among these central melodies. Waves of ominous sound crest and spill over the listener, instilling a sense of memorable trepidation. The turmoil is intentional, under expert control.

The keyboards frequently express themselves with dire resonance, exploring sinister moods with ponderous sweeps and then stirring the portentous pot with melodramatic riffs that communicate great power.

The rhythms are earnest and meticulously crafted. The tempos bestow a suitable grandeur and provide tasty propulsion to the melodies.

Lurking at the heart of these haunting tunes is an attitude of vibrant optimism. These compositions are cleverly structured to mix dread with salvation, agitating the audience and then affording the opportunity to rise above any threat. This balance of darkness and deliverance is masterfully generated.

The last track, recorded live at the Mount Festival, displays the same expertise as the studio pieces. Tension abounds. Threat is counterpointed by heroic passages that elevate the spirit, empowering the audience with the stamina to survive earthly obstacles.

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ARCANE: Pulse (DL available from Musiczeit)

This release from 2007 offers 75 minutes of darkly grandiose electronic music.

Arcane is Paul Lawler.

A host of auspicious electronics generate a dramatic tension, while e-perc provides locomotion and space guitar contributes appropriate instances of searing pinnacles.

The electronics are diverse and lush. Atmospheric textures establish moody backdrops for numerous keyboard driven melodies. Portentous effects linger at the periphery, smoldering and jittery and smoothly fitting into place. While the emphasis might be on shadowy melodrama, a balance is regularly struck with the presence of lighter tones, ranging from pleasantly airy to emotionally shrill.

The percussion is suitably edgy, often increasing the tension with momentous rhythms of grandiose proportions. A mien of great expectation is generated through restrained tempos that hint at urgency without undue hyperactivity.

The incidence of astral guitar is frequent, augmenting the tuneage with a constant presence of gripping intensity. These riffs are often epic, soul-stirring and outstanding.

Even the more sedate passages exhibit a potency that elevates the pulse rate. The melodies have a propensity for escalating into monumental structures of great power.

While this music serves as a film soundtrack, the compositions possess a wondrous durability on their own. The melodies are engaging, the riffs memorably epic and compelling. A feeling of dark anxiety is achieved and maintained with resolute dedication, yet each track harbors a nobility that often transcends the darkness with the promise of dazzling confidence.

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PAUL LAWLER: Bronze Age (DL available from Musiczeit)

This release from 2006 offers 58 minutes of powerful electronic music.

A versatile array of electronics operate in conjunction with e-perc to produce stirring tuneage. Many of the sounds are keyboard triggered, but a percentage are textural in nature, yet flow with greater puissance than a normal atmospheric demeanor. This generally stalwart character infuses the music with a vibrant authority, escalating the importance of each chord to incredible proportion.

Keyboards generate a wide variety of sounds, from delicate to sparkling to darkly ominous to robustly demonstrative. This full range of temperament provides the music with a delightful potency that is excessively applied to produce tantalizing tuneage.

An amount of sampling is employed, further fleshing out the melodies with different horns and other instruments, expanding the music to a comprehensive level.

The percussion is powerful, throbbing with evocative command and lending ample propulsion to the already vigorous melodies. The rhythms are complex, multitracked to boost their verve to awesome scope.

Lawler's compositional expertise is remarkably capable. These songs pulsate with bouncy vitality and captivating charm. They resound with prestige and portentous appeal. At the same time, the melodies convey strong emotional content, stimulating a diversity of moods.

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BINAR: Ambient Space Monkeys (DL available from Musiczeit)

This release from 2003 offers 54 minutes of smoldering electronic music.

Although the band is listed as Binar, this was originally a release by STDM (Spank That Damn Monkey). Both bands comprise the same personnel: Andy Pickford and Paul Nagle.

Spacey moods are prevalent here, while ambience gets monkeyed with until it exhibits a decidedly energized disposition. The electronics are a mixture of swirling atmospherics tempered by more agile keyboards and cosmic effects.

As shimmering textures fill the sky, more demonstrative electronics generate luscious layers that cascade through these tonalities like a pleasantly agitated surf. Initially, relaxation is induced, then quirky electronics surface to perturb the tranquillity with brisk riffs and noodling chords. Chittering noise creatures scuttle through a few tracks, bestowing an eerie peripheral temperament.

Space guitar serves to lend fervid punctuation to one tune, oozing out molten riffs that scorch everything in their way.

Although percussion is generally absent on this release, one track features haunting rhythms produced by thumping pulsations lurking amid a horde of inventive effects. While another track sports actual drums injecting a fervent locomotion to the wavering tune.

Most of these compositions are serene pieces, exploring gentle harmonics that tickle the backbrain with their pacific presence. A few tracks, though, apply a touch of vitality to this ambience, often boosting the songs to blazing altitudes where the melodies smolder and seethe with enough dazzle to be detectable from ground level or outer space (depending on the listener's vantage). Notably, many of the tunes possess more pep than one expects from the ambient genre.

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BINAR: Binary Motion (DL available from Musiczeit)

This release from 2004 offers 73 minutes of bouncy ambience.

Although the band is listed as Binar, this was originally a release by STDM (Spank That Damn Monkey). Both bands comprise the same personnel: Andy Pickford and Paul Nagle.

A long passage of moody ambience builds to a piercing level, then synthesized harp strings enter to prepare the audience for an escalation of keyboards into melodic stature. Bass tonalities counterpoint shriller tones as the pace steps up. The music grows dreamy with portentous hints, then dips into another calm stretch which again builds with substance. Much of the structure is like this, soothing passages bridging instances of vitality.

Actually, there's much more going on than that simplified description. Each passage flourishes with pronounced individuality, pursuing atmospheric expressions in diverse manners. Sometimes the melodies are heavenly and crystalline, other times the temperament is more somber, almost dark. There are occasions in which the mood becomes quite peppy, almost hyperactive with densely compressed notes producing lively activity.

Keyboards produce a plethora of lush sounds, melodic cycles floating through textural fogs. Frequently, the sequencing gives way to nimble-fingered riffs that exhibit stately inspiration. There are periodic traces of synthetic rhythms immersed in the harmonic flows. The scope of sounds utilized is wide, from previously mentioned ambience to astral guitar sustains to mechanical vestiges.

Compositionally, the tunes embody a mesmerizing serenity seasoned with emotional peaks of stirring character. The result is a serious attitude peppered with moments of celebratory ardor.

Six of the seven tracks on this release were taken from a live performance on September 27, 2003 (no venue or location data is given).

The studio track (which launches the release) is 17 minutes long and follows the structure of the rest of the music: moody passages leading to more demonstrative melodic eruptions. Sampled voices lend this piece an organic disposition as the layered riffs increase in zest and complexity until achieving an ecstatic state that is then swamped by rising ambience.

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BINAR: Solipsism (DL available from Musiczeit)

This release from 2004 offers 61 minutes of dreamy electronic music.

Although the band is listed as Binar, this was originally a release by STDM (Spank That Damn Monkey). Both bands comprise the same personnel: Andy Pickford and Paul Nagle.

Spacey textures establish a celestial atmosphere in which the tunes creep into definition and commence their own individual cadence. The main electronics embody a wide range of sounds, from soft to shrill, from delicate to demonstrative, from lush to gritty.

Sweeping tonalities cascade across the sonic palette. Meticulous chords drift into view, beginning as languid stretches that invariably build into hypnotic panoramas of narcotic charm.

Strong guitar generates lovely peaks as outbursts of astral fire blaze forth, lacing the music with powerful incidents that burn their way into the listenerís memory.

Some percussion is featured, but these occasions are infrequent and the beats are subdued, immersed in the puissant electronic mix. Most rhythms are generated through the rapid cycling of synthesizer patterns, which attributes a softer, more sensuous edge to the tempos as they wind their way through the dreamy flow.

Sampled vocal snippets punctuate the songs, providing verbal cues that help lend specific meaning to the fundamentally astral mien that characterizes this music.

These compositions are a tasty series of dreamy foundations seasoned with more energetic embellishments. While the velocity never becomes too frantic, a subdued dynamic runs strong in the pieces. Passages of looped riffs lead to thrilling pinnacles as auxiliary threads merge, increasing the musicís overall complexity and intensity. This balance between fragility and strength results in a marvelous melodic selection.

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PAUL NAGLE: Cyberdiver (DL available from Musiczeit)

This release from 1999 offers 60 minutes of softly bouncy electronic music.

Versatile electronics energize a foundation of somber atmospherics with sparkling augmentation, lending softly bouncy punctuation to the music.

Keyboards provide a slippery presence that injects gentle oomph to the nebulous harmonies. Melodies emerge with hesitant velocity, oozing into the mix and generating constant variations of the overall flow. The keyboards adopt a variety of identities, from stately piano to crystalline synthesizer expressions. In one instance, a heavy mechanical breathing provides an eerie backdrop for a very classical passage of tenderly evocative piano notes. At another point, shrill electronic chords tease the piano romanticism into willing submission, allowing a foggy ambience to swell and infect the tune with astral longing.

Sometimes, the rhythms start out as surging bass pulsations, sneakily growing into demonstrative e-perc. Other times, the beats are crisp and unfiltered. While other times, the tempos prefer to lurk rather than to propel.

Growling guitar makes several appearances, flavoring the electronics with fiery support. In one track, the guitar achieves a blazing pinnacle with hyperactive notes that threaten to permanently sear the listener.

These compositions combine pacific sensibilities with galvanized animation. A quirkiness is present in some pieces, while other songs flourish with captivating melodies of inspired character. Generally, even the moody atmospheric strains fall victim to an invigorating demeanor, resulting in steadfast level of attraction.

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PAUL NAGLE: Waiting for Clouseau (DL available from Musiczeit)

This release from 1999 offers 68 minutes of modern electronics.

On seven of the eight tracks, Nagle does everything; on the eighth track (a live one), he is joined by John Hickey.

Initially, there are six short tracks. The first exhibits Nagleís nimble sense of melody with strong keyboard sweeps and the masterful embellishment of bouncy rhythms. Next is a moody piece with burring tones and somber piano. Followed by a song that explores pastoral flairs with fanciful chords and stately percussion and even a touch of synthesized strings. The next track delves into mysterious turf with marching tempos sedated by deep-toned electronics. The fifth piece applies a cerebral touch to dancefloor fare, mixing squealing tones with hyperactive beats. The sixth track allows piercing notes to spiral into ecstatic riffs while frenzied beats and jubilant melodies flourish with rewarding results.

Then there is the title track, a 31 minute epic of delicate character. This ambient composition epitomizes dreamy resonance as fragile textures entwine with crystalline notes to produce an engaging descent into relaxation. The melody wanders through numerous variations, rarely repeating itself while retaining its gentle fashion. Gradually, a sense of expectation creeps into the flow, but the anticipation is muted, expertly mixed into the swaying melody. Flutish chords enter for the long closure, bringing a taste of satisfaction that rises above the fact that Clouseau never arrives (probably off club-hopping with Godot).

The CD finishes up with an ominous live piece that explores the darker depths with electronic gurgling and roiling waves of inventive effects, all of which spills unexpectedly into a lively tune with a fair share of techno undertones. Frantic pulsations are matched by synthesized beats, while airy keyboards sigh and piano establish a regal direction for the compositionís swelling urgency.

The dose of bouncy tuneage is superbly counterbalanced by the ambient title track, providing the listener with a bewitching glimpse into Nagleís diverse expertise of both sonic sentiments.

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PAUL NAGLE: Wilderlands (DL available from Musiczeit)

This release from 1999 offers 63 minutes of relaxing electronic compositions.

On this release, Nagle (on keyboards and percussion) is joined by: Mick Armistead (on fretless bass), Lee Dowthwaite (on flute), Simon Dowthwaite (on guitars), Jay Lloyd (on clarinet), Ian McManoman (on fretless bass), Tim Mercier (on drums), and Dave Thorpe (on tenor sax). Most of the tracks were recorded in 1987.

An assortment of other instruments are found on this release, rounding out Nagleís compositions and lending a certain pastoral touch to the music.

Winsome flutes bestow a fairy edge to the melodies, while earthy saxophones establish the presence of trolls under the bridge. Basslines contribute a subliminal jazz character that fits nicely with the overall expansion quality.

The electronics are delicate, almost fragile, generating crystalline structures of sound that encapsulate the listener in a congenial cocoon of relaxation. Keyboards describe moods of pensive dedication laced with twinkling embellishments. Deeper tones are featured in excellent juxtaposition with the ephemeral harmonics.

Restrained percussion provides subtle rhythms to a few tracks, subdued to the point of a ghostly demeanor.

Strummed guitars approximate a harp-like presence that serves to accentuate the musicís fanciful disposition.

These compositions display classical inclinations that suitably fuse with the airy flavor of the contemporary electronic music. The result is an endearing dose of mysticism which creates an idyllic quality that has romantic overtones. This release evinces a more accessible charm than Nagleís other, more adventurous recordings.

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SYNDROMEDA: The Resurrection (DL available from Musiczeit)

This release from 2006 offers 70 minutes of auspicious electronic music.

Syndromeda is Danny Budts.

Emerging from portentous textural vapors, demonstrative electronics unfurl and commence their bewitching melodies. Keyboard-triggered chords cycle to generate a lush foundation of deeply-toned punctuation, seasoned by tenor loops and auxiliary effects of sparkling character. The union of these elements produces a haunting tension immersed in lavish astral environs.

The gradual accretion of these layers accumulates into a dense structure of remarkable charisma. A plethora of majestic riffs serves to keep the melody not just vital but to constantly inject fresh allure to the flow. The passages tingle with vibrant anticipation, fashioning celestial moods of expansive stature. A heavenly choral presence lurks in the music, further establishing a sense of awestruck euphoria.

A severe density dominates this tuneage, evoking a sonic grandeur that builds to pulse-pounding proportion. New sequences enter the mix on a regular basis, continuing to thicken the music with ascending drama.

Actual percussion appears in only one track, and then only to tantalize the melody rather than to drive it. Meanwhile, the last piece features rhythmics crafted from pulsations, achieving a surging agitation amid the busy electronic layers.

With track lengths spanning between 20 and 9 minutes, each song is afforded ample opportunity to formulate into luscious epics of slow-burning rapture. While the pace remains steady and gradual, there's never a dull moment as the harmonies coalesce with skillful mastery, growing in enormity and auspicious consequence.

These compositions are exceptionally dramatic while retaining a dreamy disposition. The union of mesmerization and vigor is wondrous and enthralling, bolstering the listener's emotional and cognitive state of mind.

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