PETER MERGENER: Creatures 2020 (double CD on Prudence Records)
Originally released in 1989, this 2014 remastered reissue features a bonus disc of new electronic music.
Disc one is 61 minutes long and contains some classic pleasant electronic music.
Winsome electronics conjure passages of alluring gentility.
Keyboards are heavily used to generate a profusion of bewitching melodic threads. From spry keys to reedy chords to sweeping surf to regal sustains to dramatic expressions to xylophonic rolls.
Guitar plays a role here and there, contributing luscious riffs to the flow. The guitar can also go cosmic with note-bending chords. There are several occasions in which the guitar flaunts some dazzling astral passages.
Percussion is also present, but relegated to a supporting vantage, never swamping the music with vexatious tempos. The rhythms adopt a nice range of cadence, from crisply sweet beats to bopping bongos.
While this 1989 album was Mergener's first solo release, he had previously recorded several albums with Michael Weisser under the name Software. The difference found in Mergener's solo work is his interest in conveying a humanistic emotion through electronic music, and the music here excellently shows that dedication.
These compositions exhibit a clear devotion to life; they shine with an easygoing reverence. The melodies are tender, pleasing, offering bouncy tunes that exude a strong dreamy character.
Disc two is 56 minutes long.
Where the first disc displayed Mergener's debut talents, the music on the second disc exhibits what those talents have grown into two-and-a-half decades later.
This new material is sprightly and slick. Fanciful keyboard patterns undulate alongside twinkling chimes. There are some deliciously growling guitar outbursts. Carefully delivered rhythms lend subtle oomph to the tunes. Airy electronic passages evoke pastoral landscapes.
Mergener's music was pretty good to begin with, and the years have been very kind to its maturity and growth.
PETER MERGENER: Passage in Time (double CD on Prudence Records)
Originally released in 1991, this 2014 remastered reissue offers a bonus disc of new electronic music.
Disc one is 57 minutes long and contains some classic gentle electronic music.
The electronics are still soothing and pacific. Instead of generally employing texturals to always establish an atmospheric foundation, soft keyboard tones are sometimes used to achieve that vaporous backdrop. Conversely, a few instances do exist in which tonalities coalesce from the void to form atmospheric passages, leaving auxiliary electronics to the task of delineating the main melodies.
Additional keys supply the lead and secondary layers, merging together to form pleasant melodic threads. Nimble fingers generate tender chords that flow into endearing melodies, touching the heart as well as the ears.
While percussion is often present, these rhythms play subordinate roles, politely coaxing things along instead of blustering with any dominance. Whether subtle or overt, though, these tempos remain submerged in the music, their beats on an equal footing as the rest of the instrumentation.
Other instruments are utilized in making this music. Like delicately fingered guitar, creating lilting strains with a contemplative flavor. Or harp, injecting a tender touch of romance to the tuneageŅor saxophone, seasoning the same track with a touch of regal posture.
The same loyalty Mergener applied to his debut solo release concerning his expression of organic sentiments is prevalent in these compositions. The tunes flourish with a gentle beauty, unfurling stately melodies that are rich with optimism and a dreamy demeanor. A distinctly jazz influence lurks in Mergener's style of contemporary electronic music.
Disc two is 47 minutes long. Again, this music originates from now, in contrast to the older tuneage found on the first disc.
Regal electronics describe languid melodies rich with compelling affability.
The general pace of this new material is relaxed, conveying easygoing sentiments with each flowing passage. A variety of other instruments (like softly churning saxophone in one track) embellish the electronic melodies. Some percussion is present, but not always; many of the songs express fluid beatless vistas.
One song features whispery female vocals.
These new compositions pursue the same languid calm found in the main disc's music. This tuneage celebrates life, but does so in a sedate manner, communicating a spiritual bond between all life-forms and their environment.
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