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.
BROEKHUIS, KELLER & SCHÖNWÄLDER : Musique des Machines (DL available from Musiczeit)
This release from 2005 offers 70 minutes of bouncy electronic music.
Bas Broekhuis, Detlef Keller and Mario Schönwälder are widely known for their lavishly crafted slow-burn electronic music. Here, a highly rhythmic presence infects that gradual accretion with remarkable and appealing pep.
There are two tracks on this release...
The first was recorded in 2003 at Broekhuis' studio during rehearsals for the Largenfeld Concert. A bevy of nimble pulsations swiftly usher the listener into a realm of cosmic profundity. Percussives rise to elegant dominance, providing sinuous rhythms of an imperious nature. The beats are intricate and often hyperactive. Meanwhile, those prior pulsations evolve into central riffs of glistening vitality. A sense of urgency is quickly introduced and continues to build throughout the 26-minute piece. Compelling tuneage is achieved as the electronics engage in seductive riffs peppered with insistent auxiliary effects.
The second track is 44 minutes long and was recorded live at the 2004 Alpha Centauri Festival. Luscious electronics create a bouncy milieu that is amply bolstered by nimble percussion. Haunting textures enter the mix, elevating the music to stratospheric altitudes, where things are allowed to expand to immense scope. Keyboard loops are generated and set to cycle as additional patterns creep in with steadfast regularity. Soon, the mix is a busy beehive of engaging riffs all meshing perfectly to achieve a heavenly commotion. Accentuating the overall frivolity, the rhythms swell with power and rapidity, reaching a state of overt locomotion that is euphorically mesmerizing. For a while, the intricately satisfying tempos overwhelm the flow with their sharp beats, producing a passage of infectious compulsions. The electronics mirror this accelerated pace, providing bewitching embellishment with squealing riffs and tension-mounting chords of shimmering character.
Contrary to the release's title, this music may be artificially generated, but it possesses rich organic sensibilities, communicating very human excitation to the listener.
KELLER & SCHÖNWÄLDER : Live at Jodrell Bank 2001 (DL available from Musiczeit)
This release from 2001 offers 108 minutes of superb electronic music, which effectively makes this the equivalent of a double album.
Part one features a 42-minute track. (Be prepared for things to build gradually, for that's the musicians' style.) It begins with a languid intro of temperate beats flavored with rising keyboards. Delicate loops are established, then layered with additional cycles until a lush density is achieved. Now things can progress from there, tweaking riffs with variations and introducing new tangents. E-perc evolves into mechanical rhythms which lend vitality to the dreamy pastiche. Electronic embellishments creep in with more regularity, nudging the melodies into increased complexity. The introduction of richly sonorous piano adds a classical touch to the modern resonance. The tempos vanish for a while, allowing the piano to flourish amid a host of heavenly textures. These atmospherics become more decisive, swelling with majesty and vitality, ultimately moving into a passage of sedate disposition in which each note sparkles with crystalline character. Synthesized violin provides a moodiness to the astral ambience as the music winds down for a serene conclusion.
Part two features two tracks...
First there's a 47 track that promptly mixes beats and loops to establish an attractive mood. More expressive electronics swiftly embellish that intro with pleasant chords and clarified rhythms. Keyboards generate enticing riffs that sway with a lively tilt, spreading additional definition through the melody. Soon, the music has become swollen with gregarious appeal as the riffs tickle each other with grand flirtation. After a while, the e-perc settles back and allows a host of fresh chords to gather and guide the tune into a dreamy passage punctuated in contrast by a synthetic chorus of astral sensibility and subtle noises of cetacean character. Eventually, the tempos resurface to urge the melodies into a grand ascension...that leads to a severely bouncy stretch of divine demeanor. Artificial strings lend auxiliary lift, carrying everything to astoundingly blissful status. A touch of strangeness is injected with alien scrapings and haunting gurglings that tastily increase the overall charm of what has now become a stellar anthem. Ultimately, the celestial journey settles into peaceful declivity. A soothing nature overtakes the elements as they wind down for the satisfying coda. Just before the conclusion, though, prior aspects arise for farewell delineation.
Then there's a 19-minute encore. Here, the harmonics swirl with nebulous preparation, paving the way for steadfast electronic loops to emerge. Beats surge and adopt frolicsome rhythms that elevate the fanciful keyboards to ecstatic expressions. Drama is induces as everything reaches an almost frantic pace, the chords sparkling with jubilant delight, the tempos chugging with motivational determination. Soon, this pinnacle gives way to a breathless pause, but the instruments are far from exhausted, seasoning the gentle finale with hints of past vitality.
All in all, a superb performance that will enthrall and gratify even the most jaded audiophile.
KUBUSSCHNITT: Kubient (DL available from Musiczeit)
This release from 2006 offers 55 minutes of serene electronic music.
Kubusschnitt is: Andy Bloyce, Tom Coppens, and Ruud Heij.
Here, we have an epic-yet-serene composition that runs for 55 minutes.
It begins with soft textures generating a heavenly firmament that is lightly augmented by electronic gurglings rising into prominence. The harmonics pass through a cosmic section which studiously evokes interstellar regions, complete with rogue emissions and astral ambience.
Gradually, the music's airy character ebbs as a mechanical presence enters the mix. The tones adopt a grinding disposition as they spiral toward more substantial expressions. Sedate layers grow darker, as if passing ominously close to a planetary mass. Tension is kept to a minimum, though, leaving the tonalities to crest and recede with terse definition.
Keyboard chords are generated and sustained, mimicking atmospheric flows. Creeping about in the distance are equally sustained guitar notes that lend a remote edginess to the cosmic ambience.
The extended finale maintains this cosmic ambience, flavoring the dreaminess with a hint of drama that swiftly turns into gentle melodics with softly twinkling keys and lazily structured guitar moans.
Lacking any rhythmic presence or strident riffs, this music luxuriates in a realm of gaseous quality, invoking a somnambulant predilection. Variation is constant, but drastically understated, mired in the type of slow-burning growth that eludes active perception and reacts primarily on the subconscious.
KUBUSSCHNITT: Nightshade (DL available from Musiczeit)
This release from 2006 offers 65 minutes of captivating electronic music recorded live at National Space Centre in Leicester, England (no date is given).
Kubusschnitt is: Andy Bloyce and Tom Coppens.
Airy textures establish a sedate opening. Space guitar takes advantage of this lull, diving in with smoldering notes. The guitar, endearing and soulful, explores a gentle melody for a while, paving the way for a rise of twinkling auxiliary effects and moody ambience.
Eventually, more demonstrative electronics enter the mix, bolstering the music's verve and velocity. Deep down keyboard loops surge into dominance, tempered by additional cycles of more lighthearted disposition. Gradually, these sonic threads intertwine to form a denser melody, one salted with livelier riffs. The guitar adopts more traditional expressions, belting out a pleasant undercurrent. Meanwhile, crystalline keyboard loops have conquered the mix with their sparkling definition.
The instruments enter a dreamy passage, with the guitar strumming chords of twilight demeanor, while synthesizers gurgle and froth in a closing periphery. The guitar slides into a harpesque sound, evoking a delicately romantic edge amid the rising tide of liquid electronics. Pensive keyboards lend a forlorn touch, as if yearning for the promise of dawn.
Shrill keyboards take the rudder now, generating an eloquent starscape that sweeps across the sky, flavoring the darkness with shimmering sparks. An elevation of darker chords reminds the music of its crepuscular mien. Without warning, the guitar returns like a fiery blazon, spawning molten astral chords that grip the soul and squeeze passion from the seething dusk.
Nostalgic riffs coalesce with futuristic harmonics, producing an urgency that saturates the night with portentous moods. Space guitar lends a searing punctuation that fulfills the highest expectations with a resounding crescendo of nimble-fingered expertise.
These compositions blend tasty doses of dreamy passages with escalations of pace and melody, resulting in a thrilling sonic rollercoaster ride that is guaranteed to mesmerize and titillate EM aficionados.
KUBUSSCHNITT: Phoenix (DL available from Musiczeit)
This release from 2006 offers 67 minutes of incredible electronic music.
Kubusschnitt is: Andy Bloyce, Tom Coppens, and Ruud Heij.
A waterfall of glittering electronics establishes an anticipatory opening which eventually leads to denser, more expansive harmonies. Roiling textures sweep in, establishing a solemn overcast. Keyboards enter the flow, first expressing elongated chords that pretend to be additional atmospherics but inevitably evolving into substantial riffs. Regal keyboards introduce urgency to the mix, goading the tuneage into advanced stamina with their cyclic presence.
A bevy of these keyboards cluster to form an appealing bulk. Nimble-fingered riffs belt out with assertive resolve, generating a lavish vitality with their insistent delivery. As things progress, these cycles merge to acquire breathtaking scope.
Cosmic guitar contributes bewitching pinnacles that persist in striving for frontier heights. Gripping chords, subjected to searing sustains, caress heaven's ceiling with their ecstatic outcries. Brilliant chords instill the music with a rapturous flair.
Percussion is utilized in only one track, injecting tasty propulsion to the dazzling union of celestial guitar and twinkling electronics.
These compositions are marvelous and captivating. A suitable level of verve is achieved and then augmented by passion. The tunes mesmerize as they invigorate, inducing a thrilling state of bliss. Listeners are guaranteed a stunning and alluring excursion to realms of interstellar wonder.
KUBUSSCHNITT: Journey through a Burning Cube (DL available from Musiczeit)
This release from 2006 offers 54 minutes of electronic music.
The majority of this release features selections from other Kubusschnitt albums (specifically "Kubient," "Nightshade," and "Phoenix"), exhibiting a cross-section of the band's electronic stylings, from astral ambience to stellar sequencing in which nimble-fingered keyboards unleash urgent riffs laced with tasty space guitar.
There is one 7-minute previously unreleased track ("Strontium") which revels in galactic ambience with wafting textures and bubbling tonalities, producing a serene mood that serves to transport the audience back to an earthbound vantage.
An excellent introduction to the band's music.
NEMESIS: Gigahertz (DL available from Musiczeit)
This release from 2006 offers 66 minutes of engaging electronic music.
Nemesis is: Ami Hassinen and Jyrki Kastman.
This release features four healthy tracks and a 38 minute opus.
The first piece displays the band’s predilection for dreamy melodies with bouncy rhythms, conspiring to uplift as they entertain. Sweeping textures are augmented by agile keyboards and clever auxiliary effects that nibble at the edges of the harmony like gaily equipped insects. The beats provide an upward mobility, driving the tune into vertiginous illumination.
The next track combines stately keyboards with pulsating tempos and a dose of celestial guitar of captivating depth. The tune oscillates from passivity into surging puissance with delightful progression, remaining thoroughly engaging with each expansion.
Track three explores moody territory punctuated by vocal snippets and beats that mount into a hyperactive rhythm. Piercing chords enter the mix to delineate passage through this bewitching escalation.
The fourth track features plodding tribal percussives that surface through a mire of sparkling effects. Pleasant keyboards emerge to command the stage with swaying harmonics. Deeper tones melodics season the flow, driving the tune from ground level to dizzying altitudes where clouds of chiming ice shards swirl.
“Evolution Suite” is the epic finale. The piece begins with an aquatic presence gurgling beneath a fog of fertile atmospherics. A pacific melody drifts out of the vapor, attended by clopping beats which soon attract quirky effects that coalesce into an anticipatory tension. A period of dreamy electronics that ebb and flow, giving birth to a stretch of cosmic ambience. Sultry rhythms rise from the textural humidity, accompanied by peppier electronics that evolve into a soothingly energetic melody of engaging properties. Pushing their way through the mist come new elements, reprising tribal tempos immersed in haunting atmospherics. Things grow harsher as aerial sweeps gain intensity and a throbbing presence shambles into view...only to be swamped by a celestial sea as the track seeps to a peaceful conclusion.
The brooding ambience of the last composition is excellently balanced by the nervous stamina exhibited by the earlier pieces, resulting in a well-rounded excursion through imaginary realms of contemporary EM.
NEMESIS: Stereofields Forever (Live Archive Vol. 2 (DL available from Musiczeit)
This release from 2007 offers 56 minutes of live electronic music culled from performances spanning 1997 to 2004.
Nemesis is: Ami Hassinen and Jyrki Kastman.
There are four sections to this audio archive:
The first four tracks come from a performance in Helsinki on October 28, 1997. Building from chugging loops, astral textures drift into the mix, seasoned with fanciful keyboards and bubbling effects. Seaside action embellishes a transition from atmospherics to more rollicking tuneage, complete with bopping percussion and swaying keyboard chords. Dreaminess collides with jubilant whimsy. The electronics cascade like a waterfall crashing into a frozen grotto, refreshing and tantalizingly mesmerizing. A degree of funk shines through here as the band infuses modern synthesizer cadence with a festive groove. The closing section utilizes an ambient foundation that is peppered with an ascending radiance swirling amid pensive rhythms. Cosmic guitar makes a starry and satisfying appearance at this point.
The next three tracks come from another gig in Helsinki, this one on November 24, 1998. After a distinctly celestial opening, the music adopts a lofty, almost haunted air, with burring sounds ricocheting off pulsating tonalities, coalescing with each passing moment into a transcendental exploration of the farthest reaches of the sky. Sweeping harmonics support an assortment of ponging keyboards that achieve a hypnotic cycle of expanding scope. Along the way, the tune accumulates intensity through the application of a more vigorous structure. There’s another taste of space guitar as the song enters a peaceful stretch with sustained chords and whirling oscillations of nocturnal character.
One track (a tasty rendition of “Gigahertz”) is a selection from a concert in Tampere on April 12, 2002. Here, more demonstrative percussion comes into play, along with a bevy of hyperactive auxiliary effects (severe blooping and skyrocketing zooms) that generate a crowded sonic spectacle. Throughout, the piece persists in increasing its allure with unexpected breaks and resounding returns of prominent vitality.
The last piece (aptly entitled “Finale”) comes from the band’s performance at the Pauanne Ambient Happening in Kaustinen on July 17, 2004. A calming composition of languid tones, stark beats and pensive piano that superbly captures the advance of brooding dusk and infuses that imminent darkness with a palpable hint of organic illumination.
A delightful glimpse at the band’s on-stage acumen that will leave you wishing the album was longer.
UNDER THE DOME: Dome Roots (DL available from Musiczeit)
This release from 2003 offers 73 minutes of retro electronic music.
For this release, Under the Dome regulars Grant Middleton and Colin Anderson are joined on one track by Ciaran Rooney and David McGibbon.
As inferred by the title, this release features a selection of the band's early and rare tracks, most of which originally appeared on "The Earth" limited edition CDR.
Agile electronics conspire with space guitar to produce delightful tuneage which combines spacey airs with searing energetics. Dense textures are laced with emphatic keyboard riffs. Deep-toned chords establish an authoritative foundation for lighter, more sprightly electronic expressions. Certain passages embody a touch of ambience, but the serenity is swiftly pummeled with strident vigor that elevates the music from contemplative calm to mercurial agility.
Astral keyboards muster invigorating melodies with steadfast determination. The general pace balances just shy of frantic, maintaining a constant level of liveliness while rarely straying into excessive velocity. Loops are generated and left running, while additional elements are layered into the mix to deliciously increase the overall complexity.
Space guitar lends a splendid edge to some of the songs, delivering haunting riffs that are searing and passionate.
Percussion is not employed. A few rhythmic instances are accomplished through the cyclic application of synthetic sounds.
While these compositions are firmly rooted in the Berlin School sound, the band strive (and succeed) in devising their own touch to these hallowed influences. Modern sensibilities are applied to create lavish tunes that bristle with vitality and self-confidence.
UNDER THE DOME: Colin Woz Ere (DL available from Musiczeit)
This release from 2006 offers 69 minutes of nimble electronic music. Of the twelve tracks on this release, seven were recorded live at The Gathering concert series in Philadelphia on September 13, 2003, three were live on September 17, 2005 (location unspecified), and two are studio tracks.
Under the Dome is: Grant Middleton and Colin Anderson.
While there's some textural backdrops, they are actually sparse. The music relies heavily on establishing a relentless panorama of dexterous cycles and spry loops which continually mutate into surging melodies seasoned by sharp guitar.
Keyboards initiate a delightful series of melodic riffs that cavort with sprightly fervor, establishing a lively mood replete with deep Berlin School influences. Lavish keyboard layers are unfurled to twist in the air and entwine with each other, producing a lush density.
Guitar contributes conventional strings and searing space demeanor. In some pieces, the guitar pursues a dreamy, almost bluesy direction. Other times, the guitar explores an astral quality, belting out riffs of fiery disposition with exuberant passion. The latter style tends to fling the audience beyond the atmosphere for cosmic excursions, while the former injects an earnest humanity to those tracks.
No percussion here, for the rapid-fire delivery of the electronics often fulfill a rhythmic function, amply propelling the energetic tunes.
These compositions are sincerely rooted in the popular retro EM style, but the band has fashioned their own particular spin on that sound, generating tuneage of a thrilling and engaging manner. Although these songs often possess a dreamy undercurrent, the emphasis is on vivacious structure with entertaining results.
UNDER THE DOME: Over the Pond (DL available from Musiczeit)
This release from 2003 offers 74 minutes of electronic music culled from the band's on-air concert on Star's End in Philadelphia on September 14, 2003.
This time, Under the Dome is: Grant Middleton and Colin Anderson.
This music is noticeably more sedate than the band's normally energetic fare. Keyboards produce dreamy chords that waft with soothing disposition. The electronics follow the same suit, replacing Berlin School influences with celestial serenity. No percussion is utilized.
Delicate keyboards generate textural flows that fill the air with cloudlike structures of harmonic beauty. At times, the keyboards stray into a more substantial demeanor, evoking anticipatory moods, but the tone remains understated and relaxed.
There are instances of ponderous sobriety in which the melodies retract into stately structures reminiscent of subterranean grottos.
Although no rhythms are employed in this music, there are times when paced keyboard notes approximate a lazy tempo, not unlike an artificial heartbeat.
Despite this release's ambient nature, a few instances exist in which the music promises to swell into full-bodied vitality, but no vigorous eruptions occur. Instead, these tunes hold the listeners on the edge of their seat with expectation that delivers only a descent into peaceful bliss.
These compositions superbly display the band's versatility, as they craft enduring melodies of crystalline tranquillity, caressing the audience's spirit like fondly recalled pacific breezes.
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