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The Second Decade of Manikin Records

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For the first decade of their existence, the German label Manikin Records pursued the Berlin School of Electronics (aka "retro") sound. They even released a few albums by the maestro Klaus Schulze.

With their second decade, Manikin explored more adventurous sonic territory, building upon the classic retro sound and forging new styles of electronic music.

This collection of unreleased tracks exhibits the range of those explorations.

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VARIOUS ARTISTS: Manikin Records--Second Decade 2002-2012 (double CD on Manikin Records)

This release from 2012 features 143 minutes of diverse contemporary electronic music.

Featured are previously unreleased tracks by a wide variety of electronic musicians who've contributed to Manikin's rosterÉ>/p>

On disc 1:

"Prelude" by Raughi (aka Olivier Raughi Ebert). A short piece consisting of delicate acoustic guitar accompanied by rhythms handled with a reverent flair.

"Snap Shot" by Fanger and Schönwälder. A bouncy tune of airy electronics tempered by pulsing tempos and versatile keyboards, whose engaging melody progresses into a delightful stratospheric journey.

"Saint Paul's Cathedral Chorus Girl" by Picture Palace Music (aka Thorsten Quaeschning, from Tangerine Dream). Sparkling electronics, spiraling guitar, and temperate percussion create a song rich with playful dramaÉand delightfully shuddering peripheral keyboard effects.

"Sun Gate" by W.A. dePHUL (aka Ralf Wadephul, who has played with Tangerine Dream). A somber beginning explodes into a familiar Tangerine Dream song, with snarling (and nimble-fingered) guitar and dreamy keyboards.

"DE 7208" by Kagermann & Fanger. A fascinating excursion of electronics, rhythms, and spry violin, crafting a tune of endearing quality.

"Schone Landschaft" by Thomas Fanger. An aquatic tune of shifting electronic pulsations, propelled by steadfast tempos.

"Improvised Music" by Rainbow Serpent (Gerd Wienekamp & Frank Specht). A rather fluid piece whose coexistent electronic threads interweave and evolve to achieve a mesmerizing pinnacle.

"Vienna Calling" by Broekhuis, Keller & Schönwälder. A fine example of the standard material found on Manikin releases, in which long-form compositions gradually evolve through a series of inventive variations, often (like here) seasoned by different elements (in this case, tender piano riffs that give way to supremely agile rhythms).

"Guitarmoon" by Cosmic Hoffmann. An astral mood is accomplished with layers of guitar chords, some semi-natural, others processed into shimmering fogs of radiance. They blend to generate a lavish tune of heartfelt beauty.

"Zeitmaschine" by Filterkaffee (Frank Rothe & Mario Schönwälder). Here, a bevy of electronics conspire to create an air of eerie mystery.

On disc 2:

"Nazareth, PA" by Broekhuis (with Kagermann). Intricate rhythms churn a pool of electronic patterns, while violin embellishes the piece with exotic strains.

"Track for Michael Hoenig (Excerpt)" by 'Ramp. A darker dose of electronics--melodic and pulsating with non-percussive rhythms, building with each passing moment to a majestic climax.

"Forgotten Places" by Keller & Wienekamp. A wistful electronic collaboration featuring ascending oscillations, snappy e-perc, and bubbling diodes.

"Moab-Jam" by Lutz Graf-Ulbricht. Undulant electronics provide a backdrop for spacey guitar melodies, while sultry rhythms pitter away.

"Philadelphia" by Broekhuis & Schönwälder. A lovely piece comprised of lilting textures and sweeping electronics and pensive keyboard sequencesÉall generating an inspirational ascent to glorious sonic heights.

"Elements 18" by Rainbow Serpent, Isgaard, & Kagermann. Again, chugging electronics and winsome violin are combined, this time augmented by female vocals.

"Metropolis Part 2" by Keller & Schönwälder. The music appropriately adopts a mechanical edge for this piece, countered by heavenly airs of a beatific nature.

"A Rainy Day" by Spyra. Stately keyboards punctuate a cerebral electronic flow, while snappy e-perc establishes appealing rhythms, as the piece mounts in understated drama.

"Winterland" by Mario Schönwälder. A melancholic construction of sighing textures and blooping notes and noble piano.

An excellent selection of electronic music indigenous to the Manikin label.

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