a Electronics: Can Atilla, Stefan Erbe, Lord of the Ants
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Electronics: Can Atilla, Stefan Erbe, Lord of the Ants

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CAN ATILLA Hi-Story (CD on Groove Unlimited)

This CD from 2012 features 63 minutes of lively electronic music.

Lively electronics and spry rhythms create bouncy tunes of dreamy inspiration.

The electronics rely heavily on keyboards, as various riffs are crafted with tones ranging from classic keys to deep bass pulsations to reedy patterns to slippery cascades. The keys are nimble-fingered, generating melodies of spry character, rich with expansive expressions and invigorating moods. The keys produce numerous layers that embellish each other, coalescing to form appealing riffs.

A guitar wail is often present, lending an astral blaze to the music. The riffs soar with glittering glory, describing arcs of sound designed to instill the listener with a mounting sense of awe. There are instances of romantic plucking, injecting an organic affinity amid the surging flow of synthetics.

Percussion provides a constant propulsion with nimble rhythms of an uplifting character.

On occasion, Turkish stylings are applied to the instruments. Guitars, percussion, even the incidental effects adopt this disposition, a sentiment enhanced by the introduction of ethnic flutes; all of which establishes an exotic milieu for those songs.

These compositions exhibit a distinct majesty, albeit one liberally seasoned by animated melodies. The tunes are energetic, but in a stately manner. Each track flourishes with fresh and enticing melodies, crafted superbly and delivered with elegant mastery.

Comparisons to Tangerine Dream are apt, but ultimately unfair, for Atilla has forged a personal interpretation of that sound. However, fans of early, lively TD albums will find this release quite satisfying.

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STEFAN ERBE Emotion Design (CD on Erbe Music)

This CD from 2012 features 65 minutes of bouncy electronic music.

Bouncy electronics and lively e-perc generate some engaging dance tunes.

The electronics are amiable, quite comfortable, really. The pulsations unfurl with slippery ease, establishing riffs of sweet definition. While cycles are employed, a fair amount of keyboarding embellishes the flow with additional aspects, resulting in a lush state of melodic substance.

Erbe's nimble-fingered fashion delivers lovely melodies that are boosted with a degree of spry oomph. The tunes possess a comfortable degree of pep while refusing to rupture into frantic displays. The result is an engaging dose of easy-going songs dedicated to a celebratory spirit. The twinkling keys are nicely contrasted by the presence of more traditional piano tones lurking in the mix.

The rhythms are tastily understated so as not to intrude while they lend propulsion. The beats convey a relaxed level of animation. The tempos are engaging, their complexity derived from how they interplay with the chugging-along aspect displayed by much of the other keyboard passages.

These compositions maintain a fair balance between contemporary EM and dance music, a blend that flourishes in both styles with rewarding results. A few tracks adopt a dreamier temperament, but even this ethereal attitude is eventually influenced by an undercurrent of optimism.

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LORD OF THE ANTS Quantum Voodoo (CD on AD Music)

This CD from 2009 features 76 minutes of smooth music.

Lord of the Ants is Christopher Westcott.

Electronics and guitar are given understated animation with gentle rhythms.

The electronics are quite relaxed, smooth yet imbued with a subliminal puissance that shows up in the music's overall emotional impact. The texturals possess a gaseous density as they foggily waft in the background. More defined electronics generate lacey riffs that snake through the mix.

Piano sneaks in here and then, lending things the disposition of a smoky cafŽ. Other keyboards contribute liquid riffs.

There is some percussion, but the rhythms are notably submerged, relegating their influence to a sneaky subtlety, as these beats inject a soothing oomph to the tunes.

Guitar provides an interesting auxiliary presence, but not in the conventional space guitar way; here, the guitar's earthier sound lends a gritty edge to the tunes. The application of strummed guitars nicely compliments several fluid electronic passages.

Several tracks feature sampled vocal pieces, bestowing guidance during those songs.

These compositions exhibit a gently bewitching quality in their congenial flow. The temperament of this music is comfortable, brewing contemplative states while maintaining a smooth liveliness. As the album progresses, though, a dynamic enters the tunes, allowing the percussion and the guitar to muster more force, often enough to be considered "rock'n'roll."

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