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Electronics: Create, Gustavo Jobim, Nattefrost, PicturePalace Music

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CREATE: Lost on an Island of Adventure (CD on Groove Unlimited)

This release from 2008 offers 71 minutes of pleasant electronic tuneage.

Languid electronics layered on expansive textural foundations generate a dreamy sonic excursion seasoned with a sense of hidden wonder.

Lavish atmospherics establish an airy mood that is then tempered by blooping pulsations and additional harmonics which guide the tuneage ever upward. This ascension seems to continue without ever reaching stratospheric heights, always remaining with the ground and human concerns in plain view. Gradually, keyboard loops enter the mix, seeping in softly until the riffs have fused with the harmonic flow and bolstered the gentle ambience with hints of more substance.

The keyboards are soft and underplayed, contributing through filtration instead of any dominance. They commingle with the celestial tonalities, mimicking the vaporous disposition but rarely rising to prominence. This overall pacific demeanor makes the music very soothing with a touch of anticipatory promise.

This is not to infer that the tuneage lacks any sense of power. The songs possess a subtle undercurrent of vitality that is meticulously kept in check. As the CD progresses, though, the keyboards exert more definition in the tunes, conjuring an elevated majesty.

While percussion is generally absent from this music, a certain rhythmic presence is present in some tracks, usually accomplished by the application of cycled non-impact sounds which approximate tempos as they slither along with the harmonic environs.

These compositions are pleasant and expertly crafted, evoking a dreamy temperament with their aerial passages. Apparently, these tunes were inspired by the TV show Lost; which explains their deceptive progression toward unrevealed revelations. That aside, the music achieves an engaging melodic character of lush ambience with hints of restrained puissance.

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GUSTAVO JOBIM & FRIENDS: Belles Alliances (free download album on Jobim Music)

This release from 2008 offers 76 minutes of electronic collaborations with various international musicians. It is available as a free download, in both MP3 and FLAC formats, with a PDF booklet.

Track 1 features Jobim and the Chorlton Radiophonic Workshop (from the USA). Delicately chiming electronics mingle with chittering noises and gentle guitar that rises into congenial prominence. Spoken words are included as the tune wraps up.

Track 2 features Jobim and That Hideous Strength (from the USA). At 16 minutes, this is the albumís longest piece. Moody electronics are accompanied by infrequent ponderous bass drums and twinkling guitar noises. A sense of power gradually builds as the instruments establish density and generate a constantly mounting tension. Before itís done, the piece achieves the demonstrative status of a rock song with urgent rhythms, searing guitar and savage electronics.

Track 3 features Jobim and Nathan Siter (from Finland). This track is quite ambient with minimal tones punctuated by eerie effects which create an abstract structure culminating in a peek at mechanical chaos.

Track 4 features Jobim and Conrad Schnitzler (from Germany). Strident piano meanders from melodic to hesitant expressions.

Track 5 features Jobim and Helder Correia (from Portugal/Norway). That piano continues here, supporting bashful tones and agitated effects, which eventually erupt into a cohesive rock piece with insistent percussion dogging the piano to greater velocity.

Track 6 features Jobim and Amyr Cantusio Jr. (from Brazil). Sparkling electronics and astral effects achieve a dreamy ascension.

Track 7 features Jobim and Robert Jaz (from the USA). Edgy electronics conspire with spooky sounds to achieve a haunted stroll in the night woods.

Track 8 features Jobim and Member (from Germany). Things get airy with this track as agile electronics ride temperate breezes with keyboard embellishment helping to keep everything aloft.

Track 9 features Jobim and Daniel Bordini (from Brazil). Grating synthetic beats are buoyed by vaporous tonalities--until stronger rhythms usurp control, transforming the piece into a lethargic rock instrumental.

Track 10 features Jobim and Leandro Theodorico (from Brazil). Piercing electronics provide a whimsical foundation for additional synthesizers that attempt to muddy up the tune with clashing aggressive effects.

Track 11 features Jobim and Ronny Waernes (from Norway). Agitated effects conduct a sonic duel in a soup of glutinous electronics which reaches a cacophonous long-lasting crescendo.

Track 12 features Jobim and Justynn Tyme (from the USA). Erratic electronic effects support a spoken word recitation.

This collection offers a variety that runs the gamut from abstract noise to endearing melodic tuneage. The common thread is creativity unfettered by commercial concerns, and in that regard the selection succeeds wildly with inventive pieces exploring uncharted realms of bewitching sound.

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NATTEFROST: Transformation (CD on Groove Unlimited)

This release from 2008 offers 56 minutes of lively electronic music.

Nattefrost is Bjorn Jeppesen. Joining him on a few tracks are: Phil Molto (on guitars), and Ute Stemmann (on vocoder). Two tracks feature contributions by Robert Schroedor-Trebor.

Bouncy electronics generate tunes of lively disposition.

A bevy of tonalities generate lush foundations which are heavily seasoned with energetic keyboard melodies. Blooping diodes inject a quirky flavor that enhances the musicís overall dance factor without interfering with its serious character.

Keyboards produce chords that are looped into a constant presence, while nimble-fingered keys spawn energized riffs which serve to provide pulsating embellishment to the already hyper sonic tapestry.

Although some e-perc is used, rhythms are generally provided by utilizing electronic pulses, which effectively softens the sound of those tunes. Ah, but ďsoftenĒ is a deceptive term, for the songs flourish with stamina and a vivacious buoyancy. The beats are sharp and crisp, bestowing a vigorous pep that is impossible to avoid.

Vocoders are employed throughout, but not to provide lyrical content, manifesting instead as verbal punctuations buried in the mix.

These compositions are relatively short, between 4 and 6 minutes each, forcing each melody to do their thing without undue delays. The result is a dose of tastily uptempo tracks that blossom with vitality and bewitching cadence. Each piece possesses a glittering aspect that is jovial and uplifting.

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PICTUREPALACE MUSIC: Symphony for Vampires (CD on Manikin Records)

This release from 2008 offers 67 minutes of powerful electronic tuneage with a spooky edge.

PicturePalace Music is: Thorsten Quaeschning (on synthesizers, guitars, drums, flute, piano. memotron, and voices), Sascha Beator (on synthesizer), Thorsten Spiller (on guitars and synthesizer), Stoppel (on voices), Vincent Nowak and Kai Hanuschka (on drums), Don (on guitar), Elisabeth Kietz (on clarinet), Thomas Beator (on Irish bouzouki and bass), and Bjorn Sjollruud (on bass). The music inspired by Friedrich Wilhelm Murnauís film Nosferatu

Dense electronics operate with luxuriant rhythms and astral guitars and haunting whispers, all conspiring to achieve a spectral sonic presence possessing a tasty hint of oomph.

The electronics display an airy quality that is frequently cast into darkness to establish an eerie moodiness. Deeper synthesizers enhance that noir feeling. Meanwhile, versatile keyboards provide fanciful riffs that soften the general creatures-of-the-night milieu. Gloomy chords are counterpointed with lively passages that sparkle with life-affirming resonance.

The guitars provide instances of softly searing fire that enlivens the musicís demonstrative demeanor. At other times, acoustical strumming lends a lilting flair to the pieces, creating islands of relief amid the ghostly tuneage.

The rhythmic presence is generated by e-perc and traditional drums, the latter bestowing the songs with a restrained rock-out flavor, the former injecting an unnatural cadence to the material. Both contribute strident character to the tuneage with complex and engaging propulsion.

While there is no lyrical content, the music features heavenly choral layers and spontaneous mutterings, which respectively generate positive reinforcements and uneasy undercurrents.

These compositions are an excellent combination of contemporary electronic music and rock, fusing the two genres with satisfying ease. Despite the musicís overall shadowy nature, a sense of optimism is conveyed with bouncy melodies rising from gloomy passages. The tunes strive to infuse the audience with an uplifting aftertaste lingering long after the haunting soundtrack is finished.

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