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Electronics: Create, the Electric Golem, Nattefrost, Robert Simon Thoma

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CREATE: We Live by the Machines (CD on Groove Unlimited)

This release from 2010 offers 75 minutes of stately electronic music.

Create is Stephen Humphries.

A slow building structure is utilized to generate moody harmonics that gradually introduce melodic content as the music accrues additional riffs and achieves a delightful density.

The electronics are generally cyclic patterns that run for periods, establishing a mounting tension, until lead riffs slide into play, their twinkling notes providing an engaging focal thread as the tunes unfurl. The foundational harmonics constantly evolve, too, attaining their own penetrating charisma.

Percussion is unnecessary for this music. The pulsating nature of the structure supplies adequate propulsion as things surge along to dazzling climaxes. (Okay, one track features rhythmics, but it is little more than a ticking beat immersed in a very mechanical murkiness.)

These compositions pursue the concept of mankind living in tandem with machinery, not in some clash of polarized cultures, but the comfortable coexistence we all experience everyday. The electronic nature of the instruments tends to exemplify this union, but the tunes possess a further expression of the point in their sinuous balance of artificiality and humanization. The melodies are highly organic, very fluid. Very satisfying.

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THE ELECTRIC GOLEM: The Electric Golem (CD on Ricochet Dream)

This release from 2010 offers 55 minutes of ethereal electronic music.

The Electric Golem is: Trevor Pinch (on Moog Prodigy and home-made modular) and James Spitznagel (on Evolver, Mopho, Tenori-ON, Nintendo DSI, Ipod Touch and Orb sequencer).

Extremely soft ambience with a hint of mechanical intensity lurking within the brooding auralscape.

These electronics are particularly minimal, expressing themselves in faint tonalities that waft among atmospheric currents which often gurgle like grumbling diodes. Keyboards play a scarce role in this performance, the majority of the sounds being triggered and controlled by dials. Consequently there's a high ratio of "bloop" going on.

As each piece progresses, traces of melody coalesce from the streaming synthetics. These melodics tantalize with their gradual evolution. The delicate passages feature nostalgic touches of spaciness.

Two long pieces comprise this release, each track featuring compositions that wander through an evolution of harmonics. Any structure other than inventive meandering is too elusive to detect. The twinkling electronics establish an aimless posture, effects drifting in and out of the mix, yet somehow affecting a connective flow. This music displays a very primal character, an harkening back to the early days of experimental electronics.

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NATTEFROST: Dying Sun/Scarlet Moon(CD on Groove Unlimited)

This release from 2010 offers 48 minutes of bouncy electronic music.

Nattefrost is Bjorn Jeppesen. He is joined on a few tracks by Kathrin Manz and Michel van Osenbruggen (aka

Spry electronics are matched by bouncy tempos, yet the result is often understated.

A versatile array of electronics are utilized to generate lavish tunes that slide and swoosh with vitality. Strong lead melodies are created, then supported by additional riffs that give the songs a many-layered character. Agile chords glitter with appealing luster, combining to fashion songs that seethe with a relaxed energy.

Rhythms play a vital role here, whether the beats are produced by conventional e-perc or by the rapid succession of harnessed pulsations. Frequently, both methods are employed, producing a lush zestiness when the rhythms achieve a pleasant intricacy.

These compositions exhibit an attractive charm in their combination of dreamy pastiches with uptempo sensibilities. The songs possess a somber quality that is tastily seasoned by an undercurrent of soothing joviality, resulting in music that is as entertaining as it is at inducing contemplation. Mesmerization is balanced nicely with an active allure.

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ROBERT SIMON THOMA: Oberland (CD on Prudence Recordings)

This release from 2010 offers 50 minutes of easy listening electronic music.

A relaxing sonic travelogue of the Bavarian countryside. There's no cliche European folk nuances here; the music is presented in stately electronics with classical overtones.

The electronics are gentle and crisp. While some texturals are utilized to establish vaporous backdrops, the electronics are generally confined to soothing keyboard phrases which focus more on smooth melodies than on cyclic patterns.

Percussion plays a role in these songs, introducing a temperate locomotion to the melodies. There are also instances in which the beats provide a dramatic emphasis to poignant points in the music.

Romantic guitar contributes a soft flavor to a few tracks, excellently evoking pastoral landscapes and seasoning them with a human presence. At other times the guitar (or at least a synthetic approximation) adopts a softly searing voice to provide high altitude intensity.

A delicate character marks these compositions, one that generates a pleasant warmth with each floating passage. Majestic geography is superbly captured by the easy going tuneage, instilling an appealing restfulness as the music flows with comfortable dreaminess.

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