BLUTIGER FLUSS: Dawn on Mars (CD on Sonneneruption Music)
This release from 2008 offers 70 minutes of harmonic electronic music.
Blutiger Fluss is: Jeff Hutchison and Jim Duede (both on keyboards, synthesizers, and effects).
Drawing on influences from the early works of Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze, Blutiger Fluss craft moody electronic soundscapes that explore waves of tonal harmonics. With only four tracks to this album, the tunes are allowed ample room to flourish in a relaxed mode.
In track one, texturals establish an expansive foundation of pulsating electronics. Bubbling diodes provide an energetic counterpart for that lavish vista, while dreamy keyboard cycles lend sweeping embellishment.
In the second piece, atmospheric layers converge to produce a spacey disposition, while shuddery electronics inject an eerie edge to the dense flow. Auxiliary keyboard threads, consisting of harmonic sustains, thicken the mix. As the song progresses, a sense of mobility is conveyed by the shifting tonalities, carrying the listener across kilometers of barren Martian landscape.
Next, the music exhibits more complexity as several sonic tangents unfurl to define an undulant panorama of throbbing oscillations. A droning foundation provides a canvas for other threads, one an escalated cybernetic pulse, another a cascade of glittering unrhythmic e-perc, while keyboards introduce a series of gurgling chords to approximate the advent of light spilling across the crimson terrain.
The final track displays a more somber demeanor. The undercurrent has a deeper voice, while the embellishments are distinctly reminiscent of those featured in the earlier tracks. Sweeping keyboard sustains, sharper pitched tones and pulsating chords oozing through the mix. A growling temperament prevails as the piece culminates.
While there is little variation among the sounds used to make the music, this similarity becomes a thematic device. The sterility of the Martian landscape is crisply captured and communicated. Pensive moods are evoked by the textural arrangement, layering harmonics to achieve a pacific demeanor tinged with otherworldly character.
GERT EMMENS: The Nearest Faraway Place, Vol. 2 (CD on Groove Unlimited)
This release from 2009 offers 72 minutes of spry pastoral electronic music.
Augmenting Emmens’ electronics are voices (in Spanish and French) provided by Cara, Natxo Asenjo-Fernandez, and Eline Feldbrugge.
In Volume 1 of this series, Emmens explored industrial “nearest faraway places.” Here, he focuses his sonic interpretation on more romantic scenarios, like verdant Spanish gardens.
This time, the electronics express a more endearing mood. Foundations are achieved with lush texturals, while the lead melodies abound with pep and pastoral beauty. Keyboards drive the threads, generating sequences that are then looped and left in play while additional riffs are created to run in tandem. Auxiliary electronic effects provide sparkling punctuation like beams of daylight falling through gaps in the garden’s canopy of vibrant foliage.
Guitarsy riffs lend a certain aerial boost to some tunes. Although the searing strings are probably synthesized, the end result is one of soaring vitality.
Percussion provides a suitable propulsion. The uncomplicated rhythms do an excellent job of energizing the already majestic melodies. In one track, pseudo bossa nova tempos support a dreamy excursion.
Synthesized orchestral airs lend an aristocratic edge to certain passages. At other times, chorales provide a heavenly lift to the music.
The vocals are spoken word recitations, during which the music goes softly delicate, resuming its puissant delivery once the voices are finished making their statements.
The last track is a 20 minute divergence with a more passive temperament, exploring a relaxing evening sitting in the garden.
These compositions abound with sprightly animation. Their emotional content conveys a glorious fascination for comfortable environments. Luxurious homes and their attendant gardens are the focus. Shorn of all these allusions, however, the music stands strong with its own vigor and charm. The tunes possess a tasty flow flavored by spry aspects that can be quite enthralling. Emmens has a way with regal music, and that tendency is in full play here.
LABRATHISATTVA: The View from Down Here (free DDL on Earth Mantra)
This release from 2009 offers 72 minutes of ambient electronic music.
Labrathisattva is Mike Metlay and Darrell Burgan (aka Palancar).
The music on this release is a combination of two internet broadcasts (from the summers of 2007 and 2008), during which the musicians collaborated live from different geographic locations.
Ethereal textures provide dreamy foundations for additional electronics which are a mixture of equally ephemeral and more substantial electronics. Growling diodes establish punctuation, while keyboards generate delicate chords that linger like a morning fog.
For the most part, the music is an assembly of pensive harmonics which blend with auxiliary effects to produce a mysterious realm of gradually blossoming discovery. The temperament remains soft and ambient with a focus on mysterious, progressively accruing strength until a melodic state is achieved toward the end of the set, wherein substantial riffs and staccato tempos emerge to express a revelatory culmination.
Strings are utilized in scattered instances to provide astral overtones.
Some percussion is present, but rhythms are used sparingly, usually as tenuous emphasis for the flowing electronics. These beats are faint and blended with shakers to create a tribal demeanor.
These compositions evoke a haunting moodiness that churns underfoot, outlining the tale of a pair of laboratory rats who use their implanted electrodes to achieve a higher state of consciousness. The tunes chronicle the rats’ intellectual voyage as they escape their cages and explore a subterranean world of mystery.
SYNTH.NL: AtmoSphere (CD on Groove Unlimited)
This release from 2008 offers 71 minutes of pleasant electronic music.
Synth.nl is Michel van Osenbruggen. He is joined by Hans Landman, who plays most of the lead lines in one track.
A study of the planetary atmosphere, voyaging from the ground to outer space and examining the various cloud formations and weather conditions that dwell within that gas envelope. One might expect this music to be airily ambient, but it possesses a suitable degree of rhythm and lively melody.
The electronics exhibit a chugging quality, comprised of cyclic pulsations that churn amid a foundation of atmospheric textures. Keyboard triggered riffs float with undulant disposition. What seems to be an elegant simplicity in structure is actually a pleasant complexity achieved as the sonic threads intermingle and merge into a pacific flow.
Most of the sounds are light and airy, excellently conveying a sense of gaseous certification. There are instances wherein deeper tones are employed, injecting a touch of drama to the fanciful whimsy.
E-perc defines languid rhythms which provide soothing locomotion to the melodies. The beats are soft and understated so as not to disrupt the music’s delicate character.
Environmental samples of a meteorological nature are utilized to lend the electronic pastiches a terrestrial flavor.
These compositions manage to be simultaneously spry and calming. The activity found within these songs displays a meticulous restraint, never going overt or reaching a hyperactive pace, while the passivity is deceptively lush, exploring melodic realms too substantial to be considered ambient. The result is a selection of affable tuneage crafted with delicate intentions.
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