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Electronics: Andreas Akwara, Cadenced Haven, Gert Emmens, Nattefrost

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ANDREAS AKWARA: Reinheit (CD on Scare Records)

This CD from 2010 offers 75 minutes of gentle electronic music.

Delicate electronics serve to generate calming tuneage devoted to a state of mental purity.

Airy textures establish a gentle backdrop for equally gentle electronics. The atmospheric basis is soft and appealing, providing a suitable foundation for additional layers to achieve celestial beauty and instill in the listener a sense of cosmic serenity. Pleasant effects bubble just beneath the surface, hinting at activity to come.

When that activity arrives, its presence slides smoothly into play. Sinuous riffs emerge in tandem with mild rhythms, creating an appealing melody whose bouncy definition progresses with mounting charm, finally delivering the audience to a passage of understated churning, a way station that revitalizes with fragile tones and prepares one for the next ascension. This next stage smolders for a while in a realm of satiny minimalism that features portentous sparkles.

While keyboards are utilized, their presence is mainly felt through sustained chords that achieve sweeping tonalities which subsequently drift like tender breezes. When keys are fingered, they produce tranquil notes whose prolonged substance melt perfectly with the overall textural nature of the music.

For the most art, these compositions exhibit a striking ambience, creating stretches of gentle harmonics that incite relaxation. Rhythms play a rare role in the tuneage, appearing only sparsely and in drastically understated fashion so as not to disturb the music's main peacefulness.

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CADENCED HAVEN: Peregrination (CD on Groove Unlimited)

This release from 2010 features 79 minutes of dreamy electronic music.

Cadenced Haven is Laila Quraishi. She is joined on five tracks by Gert Emmens.

Delicate electronics achieve a flowing dreaminess that is given a pleasant oomph by glittering keyboards and subtle rhythms.

Texturals play a vital role in this tuneage. These tonal textures are atmospheric and tinged with an understated nobility, establishing celestial foundations for the rest of the electronics.

Calm keyboards generate rolling cycles that comprise the backbone of these songs. Additional riffs are layered in to provide soft embellishment, expanding the overall serenity with their temperate presence. A selection of effects season the flow with their inventive influence.

A variety of modes are used to provide the songs with rhythmic propulsion: traditional e-perc, quirky tempos, and the application of pulsations harnessed to establish a surging sense of locomotion.

Choral voices are employed to enhance the music's heavenly quality.

These compositions possess a sparkling purity and a distinct serenity. While a few tracks exhibit a more sprightly demeanor, the general tone is one of thought-provoking sedation, an intention that is very capably pulled off with gentle electronics that sneakily creep into the subconscious and settle in to induce a soothing calm.

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GERT EMMENS: The Nearest Faraway Place, Volume 3 (CD on Groove Unlimited)

This CD from 2010 features 77 minutes of stately electronic music.

For this release, Emmens is joined by guests: Jan Dieterich (on guitar), Tessa Asenjo-Fernandez (on child voice), and Cara Asenjo-Fernandez (on adult voice), and Cadenced Haven (aka Laila Quraishi) on keyboards.

Pleasant electronics produce tuneage of pacific serenity with a touch of subtle vitality.

The electronics are stately and versatile, blending delicate tones with softly shrill pitches to achieve a well-balanced resonance that seethes with high appeal.

Gentle keyboards establish lilting melodies that glisten with beauty as they drift overhead. Basic themes are set, then looped to run throughout, while additional riffs are then layered in to provide liquid embellishment.

There are a few instances of light e-perc, but this music generally has no need of strident tempos, relying more on a sense of fluidity in its structure.

Guest guitar is present in two tracks. The lush sustains of a slide nature contribute a haunting edge to the openings, then adopt a spacier sound as they offer languid jazzy riffs to the surging flow.

With this release, Emmens turns to other worlds for musical inspiration, although those "other worlds" may not exactly be of an extraterrestrial nature. These foreign realms could just as easily reside within the imagination of far-thinkersÉor the more desolate vistas of our own planet. Whatever the case, the resulting moods are ones of expansive detachment, isolation from the rigors of civilized society.

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NATTEFROST: Live in Germany 2008 & 2009 (CD on Groove Unlimited)

This release from 2010 offers 65 minutes of pleasant electronic music chosen from two live performances: one from Ambient Experience II at the Rex Theater in Wuppertal, Germany, on May 3, 2008, and the second batch from the electronic Circus in Bielefeld, Germany, on September 12, 2009.

Nattefrost is: Bjorn Jeppesen. He is joined on two tracks (in the 2008 material) by Phil Molto (aka Robert Schroeder).

The 2008 concert selection (which clocks in at 21 minutes long) starts with moody pieces drenched with pensive textures that support equally serene electronics. Hints of soft e-perc can be heard. Keyboards gradually come into play, contributing delicate chords that inject a pleasant joviality to the fluid passages. Then come two pieces that display somewhat more vitality. First, chugging e-perc compliments lilting keyboards that establish spiraling melodics. Things switch to a more bubbly disposition for the last 2008 piece, with blooping notes and Molto's astral guitar.

The 2009 concert begins with material that nicely blends a flowing calm with hints of restrained verve. As the gig progresses, that vitality emerges to cavort in the form of spry electronics laced with heavenly tones that leave behind a glistening residue. A return to a peaceful mood is adroitly seasoned by nimble-fingered keys, leading to an aerial vantage of genial scope that becomes sweetly agitated by a mounting riff that carries the audience ever higher. Vocodered voice is used to punctuate some pieces.

These compositions concentrate on achieving a mood of friendly tunes which are periodically peppered with instances of sprightly escalation. While rhythms are present, they are used sparingly, allowing the electronics to establish a drifting consistency.

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