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Download Electronics: Arcanum, Ian Boddy, Bone Idol, Jim Kirkwood, Nullgrad, Rainbow Serpent

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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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ARCANUM: Alaska (DL available from Musiczeit)

This release from 1996 offers 72 minutes of impressive electronic music.

Arcanum is: Bernd Braun.

Being 21 minutes long, the title track is an epic composition that excellently captures the arctic environs and the heroic stamina of the people who inhabit that frigid region. Chilly bells usher the listener into a passage of deeply resonant chords that loop to set the dramatic foundation for the airier tones and the flutish notes which lend contrasting embellishment. This balance of earthy and lighthearted serves to flesh out the song's courageous flavor. While starting out soft, the riffs achieve an eloquent stature that is thrilling and enthralling. Percussives provide pensive locomotion, while choral arrangements ground the tune with human empathy. The steady escalation allows the audience to share in the grandeur of this frontier excursion.

The next three tracks average 15 minutes each, allowing them ample opportunity to exhibit their own splendor. In one, a stately textural flow approximates the expansive mood of the surrounding sea; noble drums inject a suitable sense of awe as auxiliary keyboards enhance the majestic flair. Another of these tracks displays a cathedral climate with passionate piano chords and choral backing. While the other piece evokes a pastoral grandeur with crystalline notes and sonorous ambience; dignified tempos add subtle vigor to the inspirational composition.

The last track may be comparatively brief at 6 minutes, but this shortness hardly belittles its solemn eminence. Xylophonic chords and languid rhythms wander through a medium of rich keyboards which effortlessly capture the overall grandeur of the northern landscape.

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ARCANUM: Man in the Mirror (DL available from Musiczeit)

This release from 1997 offers 73 minutes of outstanding electronic music.

Arcanum is: Bernd Braun.

Airy tonalities provide a shimmering backdrop for masterful keyboards and auxiliary electronics. Piano plays a vital role amid the plethora of keyboard roles found here, combining traditional and modern sensibilities to achieve a dazzling dose of superb melodies.

Agile fingers trigger extravagant keyboard chords which congeal into impressive riffs with skillful ease. A flush range of tones is employed to craft splendid melodies of great power. Reedy notes consort with bass rumbles to produce a well-rounded sonic palette. Pulsations ascend from foggy atmospheric pools to swirl and coalesce into demonstrative riffs.

Versatile percussion contributes driving propulsion for these gripping songs, from languid rhythms to spry tempos.

These songs build with bewitching dexterity, winding through pensive increases to outstanding eminence. Everything is perfectly balanced to evoke a constant state of incredible charisma. The structure remains stately and poignant, stimulating impressions of incredible stature. An assiduous sense of glorious zest is achieved, resulting in tunes that sincerely stir the listener's soul to aspired magnificence.

Besides their compositional virtue (which ranks extremely high in inspiration and delightful allure), these songs feature a wondrous assemblage of enchanting melodies, the type of charisma that lives on in the mind long after the music has finished playing. These memorable tunes exhibit a stunning array of expert delivery and imperial characteristics.

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IAN BODDY: Odyssey (DL available from Musiczeit)

This release from 1989 offers 48 minutes of calming electronic music.

Joining renowned synthesist Boddy on this release are: David Berkeley and Tony Tuddenham.

Airy textures generate a pacific mood that is tingled by relaxed guitar strains. Stately electronics enter the flow, injecting understated vitality. Hints of Eastern sensibilities lurk in these tunes, but nothing very overt. The songs possess an elegant character that conveys serenity seasoned with nostalgia.

The tone of the electronics is gentle and lilting, pursuing mellow resonance that evokes majesty without extreme volume or forceful enunciation. Reedy tones blend with flutish chords to produce a fragile sound of nearly weightless presence.

Percussion is present, applying a softly regal oomph to the melodies. The rhythms are hardly strident, and often appear as languid punctuations rather than any motivational sequence of beats.

Acoustic and electric guitars play a vital role, providing a romantic edge to the tranquil songs. Their delicate chords wind through the mix like sailboats passing in the distance.

These compositions display a more sedate disposition than Boddy's later work. The tuneage is calm and soothing, yet possessed of a subliminal authority that sneakily woos the listener into its infectious spell.

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BONE IDOL: The Triumph of Entropy (DL available from Musiczeit)

This release offers 63 minutes of stately electronic music.

Deeply resonant electronics pour forth with a gentle urgency that becomes airborne and carries the tunes to dizzying altitudes. Demonstrative chords spiral with abandon, while airier textures establish a vaporous milieu for sonic elaboration.

The structure relies little on cyclic riffs, instead implementing lavish tonalities as background layers for compelling center-stage chords that define the melodies with a classical demeanor. When loops are used, they serve to generate a soft tension along the rising tide of understated grandeur.

Studious percussion provides suitable locomotion to these buoyant songs. A degree of e-perc lends an undercurrent of additional rhythms that chitter and rattle just beneath the surface.

Sedate passages are carefully placed, serving as moody meadows from which the music can resume its powerful ascension. These uplifting stretches generate mounting stamina with denser electronics. The climbs are intentionally soothing, which only enhances the peaks for which the music strives.

The compositions are elegant and unhurried, establishing peaceful panoramas that act as launching pads for more commanding passages of expansive puissance. Crescendos are worked for and reached only after a state of dreamy euphoria has been achieved.

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JIM KIRKWOOD: Talismans and Charms (DL available from Musiczeit)

This release offers 71 minutes of bewitching energetic electronic music.

A versatile array of electronics is employed, with strong e-perc providing masterful propulsion to the tunes. The music achieves a state of ecstatic density that rarely diminishes.

Dense textures are swiftly drowned by more demonstrative electronics. Keyboards activate a majority of these electronics, but an amount of the remaining sounds are triggered by dials and switches, littering the music with auxiliary effects, some of them haunting, even portentous, others sprightly and forceful. Shrill riffs pierce the tuneage, establishing emphatic punctuation to the surging sonic foundations.

A sense of grandeur dominates this music. Each development expands the scope of the piece, exposing invigorating surprises with relentless fervor. Passages flow with deceptive progression, often spilling the listener into surprising turns brimming with thrilling hooks.

The percussion is delightfully ample, resounding with unrestrained majesty, sparkling with emotional verve.

Of the 4 tracks on this release, only one fails to clock in around 20 minutes long, which would afford any musician the room to craft long-form melodies, but Kirkwood fills these long passages with inventively fresh diversions. Instead of dealing with gradual evolution, he pursues stimulating melodic leaps, effectively transforming each single track into a series of drastic and dramatic escalations that push the envelope of each melody.

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NULLGRAD: Ambient Daze (DL available from Musiczeit)

This release offers 75 minutes of lively electronic music.

Nullgrad is Stephen Frost.

A taste of moody tonalities establishes an elusive foundation, while spry electronics swiftly dominate the music. Keyboards deliver a variety of riffs that strive to maintain a constant level of frenzied sonics. A frantic velocity is achieved and maintained, producing a rapid dose of solidly exhausting fashion. The riffs are determined and forceful, losing stamina only when auxiliary melodies surface to bully their predecessors into submission.

As the music progresses, inventive sequences emerge to flourish and evolve and then give way to the next passage. Nimble keyboards play a constant role, keeping things energetic with cycles that seem to nibble at each other, finally merging into a singular density.

A few mellow stretches occur but they basically serve to connect more dynamic melodies.

Some percussion is periodically featured, but it rarely contributes very long. Propulsion is generally handled by the sprightly nature of the overall electronics.

Of the four tracks on this release, the last three are brief, while the initial piece clocks in at 63 minutes for an epic excursion that tends to regularly mutate into new melodies, making it actually a series of compositions fused together.

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RAINBOW SERPENT: Futuregate (DL available from Musiczeit)

This release from 1995 offers 70 minutes of sedate electronic music.

Rainbow Serpent is: Gerd Wienekamp and Frank Sprecht.

Expansive tonalities generate a divine vista out of which swim electronic melodies of a sublime nature. Keyboards describe fanciful riffs that cavort and spin with vivacious stamina. The demeanor remains comfortable, laced with a mildly seething vigor. Auxiliary electronics provide excellent support; most of these glitter with luminous zest, some utilize deeper tones that never descend to guttural conditions.

Keyboards unfurl with lustrous radiance, establishing congenial passages comprised of looping riffs. Meanwhile, additional chords expand on these melodies with serene grandeur. The general tone is light-hearted, optimistic. The tunes establish uplifting moods that bolster the audience with their inspirational allure. The result is infectious, saturating the mind with peaceful clarity.

Although appearing infrequently, percussion provides easygoing locomotion that never overwhelms the stately nature of the music. These rhythms remain immersed in the overall flow, becoming coexistent contributions.

These compositions combine contemporary fashion with a spiritual resonance, flourishing with hope shrouded in dreamy timbre. Enthusiasm runs high, but it is tempered with skillful restraint, keeping the tuneage gentle but invigorating.

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RAINBOW SERPENT: Mosaique (DL available from Musiczeit)

This release from 1997 offers 74 minutes of stately electronic music.

Rainbow Serpent is: Gerd Wienekamp and Frank Sprecht.

Regal electronics achieve a heavenly presence with languid textural flows seasoned with rising keyboards of stately disposition. Piano lends a classical touch that grounds the ascendant melodies with an endearing humanity. Demonstrative electronics are triggered by keyboard activation, producing riffs that swell with majesty.

Although several tracks explore harmonic ambience, some of the pieces pursue more lively tangents with peppy melodies. Energetic chords snap with tasty devotion, generating riffs that radiate pleasant vitality. There are instances in which the ambience evolves into sprightly animation.

Percussion is present in a few tracks, but the rhythms are understated, used to accentuate rather than propel the tuneage.

A sense of glorious reverence dominates this music. The compositions possess an organic quality that focuses their mood on the spiritual rather than any galactic scope. These tunes are designed to infuse the audience with confidence and optimism.

One serene 12-minute track ("Silence") was recorded live at Cosmovision in December 1995, and two other pieces ("Virtual Emotion" and "Mental Mosaique", totaling 18 minutes) were recorded live at the KLEM Festival in April 1997.

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RAINBOW SERPENT: Pulse (DL available from Musiczeit)

This release from 2000 offers 78 minutes of luxurious electronic music.

Rainbow Serpent is: Gerd Wienekamp and Frank Sprecht.

Vaporous tonalities again provide an atmospheric backdrop for more articulate electronics to emerge and prosper. Cycles are established and set to run, while adjunct riffs surface to attach themselves to the streaming harmonics, gradually achieving elegant new variations on the central melody. Pulsations are teased to conform with these newborn sonic threads, resulting in a lushly soothing aggregate.

Luxurious electronic patterns unfurl with steadfast evolution, starting simple and accreting substance until they shimmer with gentle complexity. Blooping sounds conspire with more sinuous effects to achieve a delicate balance of spiritual enlightenment and cerebral stimulation. Whiffs of heavenly choral tones wind through the mix, enhancing the music's euphoric resonance.

Vivacity is definitely present, with bouncy chords providing a sensuous ebullience to the calculated serenity. One piece employs slushy tempos to reinforce a quirky stream of serpentine harmonics.

Again, percussion plays a secondary muted role in only a few tracks, adding oomph but not disturbing the pacific flow.

Sumptuous compositions serve to generate a sonic panorama that vibrates with subtle vitality. Mellow passages are seasoned with a bewitching verve that captivates in a sneaky manner, communicating magnificent wisdom with effortless ease. The mounting intricacy of these tunes spawns a dreamy authority of holistic character.

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