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Electronics: Mazmoneth, Polaris/Krzysztof Horn, Dan Pound

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MAZMONETH: Music by Mirrors (CD on DiN)

This CD from 2011 features 59 minutes of guitarsy electronic music.

Mazmoneth is: Nigel Mullaney (on keyboards, guitars, drums, bass and vocals), and Ray Sherwin (on guitars, mandolin, Tibetan singing bowls and vocals).

An assortment of guitars conspire with electronics and rhythms to generate tuneage of delightful allure with a tinge of cybernetic flair.

The electronics are generally secondary in this music, establishing churning backdrops with inventively hissy foundations seasoned with rotary sounds. These provide an atmospheric edge to the songs that is unobtrusive, allowing the rest of the instruments to flourish. Some keyboards are utilized to introduce spry passages within the mix.

Guitars occupy the spotlight in this tuneage. Certain guitars offer a sparkling array of chords that shimmer like the spray cast off by a waterfall, while alternate guitars embody a more conventional guitar presence with their strummed notes. Inevitably, though, these conventional contributions become swamped by the rest of things and thus provide a subliminal undercurrent of familiarity buried within a web of futuristic elements. The different guitars are layered to generate a lovingly contrasting resonance.

The percussion is often synthetic and its artificial sound fits nicely with the flow, providing a gentle crunch in contrast to the radiant beauty of the strings. At times the beats adopt an authoritative stance, marshaling command as they lend punctuation. While the percussives are often sparse, their complexity balances this minimalism with inventive structures. Some of the rhythms that move the pieces along come from the rapid application of non-impact sounds.

These compositions exhibit a luminous quality with their melodic ebb and flow of slushy waves. Relaxing tunes with a touch of smooth pep are keynote here. They energize the listener, but do so in a sneaky manner.

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POLARIS & KRZYSZTOF HORN: Collision (CD on Ricochet Dream)

This CD from 2011 features 52 minutes of thrilling electronic music.

Polaris is Jakub Kmiec. He is joined by Krzysztof Horn for this music, which was improvised live at the Ricochet Gathering in Rathaus Schoneberg, Berlin, on October 15, 2010.

Inventive electronics are accompanied by artificial percussion, resulting in dreamy tuneage.

A versatile array of electronics are employed to generate sounds of every which sort, from deep bass rumblings to celestial airs to grinding rotors to sweeping textures. These assorted electronics are layered to spawn fluid passages of twinkling beauty.

While a distinct percentage of the electronics are created by manipulating knobs, a fair amount of keyboard-triggered passages are prevalent in the music.

Cybernetic rhythms contribute novel beats, some of which establish tempos, while others simply lurk in the mix on an equal basis with the electronic riffs.

There's some astral guitar, too, although whether it's natural or synthetic is immaterial. These threads sparkle amid the blooping noises and flowing chords. With the brief appearance of acoustic guitar, one suspects some of the strings are conventional.

This music possesses a delightfully fresh sound, blending retro Berlin stylings with a modern esoteric approach. There's even a touch of peripheral ilbience thrown in to jazz things up. Everything merges to produce an enticing flow. While the majority of this tuneage falls into the auralscape model (slow-building sonic structures that gradually coalesce into blissful pinnacles), a few pieces pursue the more traditional "song" approach (with lead riffs and rhythms, both mounting in puissance to bewitching crescendos).

Releases like this leave the listener eager to hear more by these musicians.

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DAN POUND: Cocoon (CD on Pound Sounds)

This CD from 2011 features 65 minutes of pleasant electronic music.

Pleasant electronics are used to create tunes that cleverly balance between contemporary electronic music and ambient music.

The electronics are gentle, yet tinged with a degree of crisp animation. Textural flows occupy the background, providing atmospheric drones for the auxiliary threads which delineate the melodies.

Keyboards drive a percentage of the electronics, crafting melodies of a sedately relaxing nature. Many of the chords possess a hint of spry pep, just enough to elevate the tunes from the status of an auralscape and provide them with a tasty proportion of substantiality.

Flutes are employed to flavor some of the tracks with a wistful dreaminess.

A few pieces feature stringed instruments which contribute delicate enhancement. Non-lyrical vocal tones also punctuate some of the tracks, injecting a human presence. The periodic presence of a didgeridoo seasons some pieces with a haunting edge.

Some percussion is present. These gentle rhythms lend beats without forcing any propulsion upon the tunes.

These compositions are designed to facilitate contemplation. There is a balanced offering of longform pieces (wherein the music is afforded suitable chance to unfurl at an unhurried pace and generate lavish vistas of peaceful sonic tapestries) and shorter pieces (in which the music's progression is compressed to a honed state). The music evokes a soothing disposition occasionally tempered with traces of amiable activity.

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