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Indie Electronics: the Amnis Initiative, Praguedren, Runningonair

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THE AMNIS INITIATIVE: Distant Dreams (CD on Amnis Music)

This release from 2010 offers 65 minutes of gentle electronic music.

The Amnis Initiative is D.F. Lodewijks.

Pleasant keyboards create organic tuneage that captures Nature.

Keyboards dominate this music, tracing melodies of gentle disposition and often injecting a touch of majesty to the songs. While the electronics show a distinct versatility, the emphasis remains on the softer aspects of each melody, crafting each song with meticulous reverence.

A degree of percussion is present, infusing the music with a nobility. In most of the tracks the rhythms are not constant, but appear in an orchestral manner, providing accentuation at appropriate points to generate a mood of sober esteem. A few tunes feature conventional tempos to achieve a congenial pep.

These compositions succeed in capturing the peaceful wonder of the world around us, concentrating on Nature's presence as a thing to inspire awe and respect. The tunes evoke a certain gentility while often expressing a sense of grandeur in an understated fashion. A soothing pace increases this holistic demeanor, allowing each track to comfortably offer its relaxed mood.

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PRAGUEDREN: Mission to the Sun (DDL single on Dank Disk)

This digital download song from 2010 offers 8 minutes of processed electronic music.

Material for this song was sourced from The Rocket Thing, a release by NYC improv trio Stress Test, and was remixed by Tomas Effiger and Sector Seventeen in East Prague.

Haunting tones waver and undulate, punctuated by an undercurrent of chittering effects. The nucleus of the music possesses a very interstellar quality with shuddering pulsations that evoke outer space travel. After this spacey intro, things enter a more conventional passage with natural drums and rumbling basslines and growling guitar, all of which become alterred by looping electronics; the conventional rock aspects are mutated into something one might hear in a cafe on Mars. After a period during which the treatments flourish, there's a sedate reprise of some conventionality before the song's conclusion.

Taking rock music and transforming it into space electronics is a challenge, but Praguedren succeed at the task with engaging results. The song retains just enough club rock aspects to hook in the listener, then plunges everything far beyond the planetary atmosphere where the tune metamorphoses into a creature of entrancing character.

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This release from 2010 offers 41 minutes of experimental electronic music.

Runningonair is Joe Evans. He is joined on one track by Fiona Richardson (on saxophone).

While Runningonair's current music runs more to dub electronica, this material exhibits Evans' growth in that direction. The tunes here are often dark and moody, displaying formative structure and more minimal elements.

While generally sparse, the electronics possess a density that is achieved by the manner in which the threads are arranged in conjunction to each other. Growling tones are tempered by light e-perc, while immersed in a pool of shuddering pulsations. Twinkling keyboards are overlaid by buzzing diodes and pounding percussion. Nocturnal auralscapes produce eerie evocations. Jazzy structures clash with techno pop.

Evans has an engaging way of transforming experimental associations into attractive tunes.

These compositions fuse aspects of contemporary electronics with ilbience and a variety of influences (classical, jazz, improvisational), resulting in quirky tuneage that simultaneously exhibits techno sensibilities transformed into moody soundtrack pastiches.

There is a bonus disc (Unselected Works '94-'97, featuring material of an airier nature) that is only included with the CDR edition of this release; it is not available with the digital download version.

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