For many, Node's first album (released in 1995) was a milestone in the electronic genre. The personnel was a collective of notable figures whose presence had previously only occurred behind the scenes, as producers and engineers. The release was more than well-received by aficionados of electronic musicÑit was a thrilling gem of superlative beauty.
Seventeen years later, a slightly revised version of the band re-enters the studio to produce a second album.
NODE 2 (CD on DiN )
This release from 2014 features 72 minutes of majestic electronic music.
This time, Node's line-up consisted of: Dave Bessell (on synths, keyboards and guitar), Ed Buller (on synths, sequencers and keyboards), Flood (on synths, sequencers and keys), and Mel Wesson (on synths, sequencers and keyboards).
Vaporous texturals waft across a tapestry of twinkling cosmic effects, seasoned by denser tones that grind and churn in conjunction with astral guitarwork. Gaseous clouds of synthetic drones coalesce into moody pastiches, serving as first intros then backdrops for more melodic electronics. These latter threads emerge to throb and pulsate into structures of highly engaging demeanor as they slide into compelling riffs of a dreamy character.
A versatility of sounds are achieved via the array of synthesizers, ranging from bell-tones to oscillations of a cosmic nature to gritty keyboard tonalities to sparkling chords rich with darkness. Cycles are established, then tempered by additional patterns, mounting to form shimmering vistas of breathtaking grandeur.
Swimming amidst these undulating electronics, the guitar introduces a spacey edge with chords of heavenly delineation. At other times, the guitar growls with a subdued force that verges on hostility.
While traditional e-perc is generally absent, controlled pulsations provide sinuous rhythms. Frequently, basic sequencer riffs converge to define tempos of gentle texture.
These compositions seethe with a somber nobility that often transcends normal electronic music. Their majesty is haunting, often evoking vast metallic castles that loom against a radioactive sky. While the majority of the tracks exhibit a certain pensive quality, there are some instances of unbridled and delightful intensity. Many of the pieces show a distinct blend of eerie majesty fused with a sense of uplifting optimism.
While more abstract and ethereal than their debut realer, this album is a thorough delight.
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