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Electronic Music by Brendan Pollard & Friends

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BRENDAN POLLARD & MORE: Collection Volume 1 (CD on Acoustic Wave)

This CD from 2013 features 76 minutes of retro electronic music.

Featured are numerous tracks from collections, radio IDs, and unreleased tracks, all of them excellently crafted electronic pieces. Guest musicians include: Ramsey, Adrian Dolente, Michael Daniel, McCarrol, Ruud Heij and Marcel Engels (the last two from Free System Projekt).

The electronics pursue a distinctly retro sound, deep-voiced sequences combining with reedy tones to generate luscious passages of looping sonic beauty. A crispness is dominant here, imbuing the tuneage with a crystalline character. The notes shimmer with stately presence. Gurgling diodes contribute a churning agitation that nicely suits with some dreamy passages.

Keyboards contribute much to this music, triggering a variety of electronic sounds and guiding them into rolling patterns of enticing allure. Sweeping tonalities establish airy embellishment for the surging cycles, while other. more demonstrative chords inject a regal character to the entrancing gestalt.

While most of the electronics sparkle with vibrant verve, a certain percentage of grittier sounds are mixed in to balance the flow, lending a guttural bottom to the otherwise soaring chords.

The presence of guitar in a few tracks lends an astral edge to the tunes. In one piece, an arid desert air is achieved with steel guitar.

No percussion is employed, although much of the looping electronics approximate rhythms through rapid repetition of non-impact sounds.

These compositions are refreshing and vibrant. The cyclic nature of the music's structure makes for long stretches that pulsate with puissance, building to thrilling crescendos of twinkling charm. Once these cycles are produced, they intertwine to create depth and a variety of slowly-changing melodics.

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BRENDAN POLLARD & MORE: Collection Volume 2 (CD on Acoustic Wave)

This CD from 2013 offers 76 minutes of retro electronic music.

Featured are tracks from compilations, radio IDs, live and unreleased songs. Joining Pollard on some of these tracks are: Sherwood, Adrian Dolente, McCarroll, and Ramsey.

More of the same: cyclic electronic sequences meshing to produce quality tuneage.

The electronics are diverse, but tend to lean toward the old retro Berlin School arsenal of sound. They are put to able use, concocting melodies of a somewhat urgent nature. These rolling keyboard loops are supported by various background tones, sometimes functioning as foundational atmospherics, other times simply embellishing the ongoing riffs.

While normal percussion is not utilized, some rhythmic passages are generated by the rapid application of non-impact electronics. Although, at times, the synthetic beats sound more conventional, stately enhancements rather than guiding tempos.

Astral guitar features heavily in one track, in which the captured sustains soar and glitter with molten fervor.

These compositions are often dynamic, offering mounting passages that build in intensity to wondrous pinnacles. But some of the pieces explore more pensive moods with dense clouds of pulsations and controlled drones and bass tones contrasting the reedy chords. While most of the pieces pursue a directly melodic model, some tunes explore more random sonic vistas, wandering through electronic temperaments with novel result.

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BRENDAN POILLARD & MORE: Collection Volume 3 (CD on Acoustic Wave)

This CD from 2013 features 70 minutes of slick electronic music.

Featured are numerous tracks from collections, live tracks, a radio ID, and unreleased tracks, all of them engagingly crafted electronic pieces. Guest musicians include: Ramsey, Adrian Dolente, Michael Daniel, McCarrol, Ruud Heij and Marcel Engels (the last two from Free System Projekt).

Again, the electronics are versatile and skillfully played. Rich pulsations swoop through the music, celestial tones drift about, piercing diodes punctuate the flow, all the while with atmospheric texturals generating lavish vistas of dreamy tuneage.

And then there are softer pieces, delicate structures of lilting tones and sashaying keyboards and whispering oscillations.

Astral guitar plays a crucial role in several tracks, delivering cosmic sentiments through loving sustains, investing the music with transcendent properties.

There's one 27-minute-long track that displays a stunning mastery of retro electronic music...with its ever-escalating sequencer loops dogged by auxiliary riffs designed to flesh things out into a grander melody. The intensity builds with each passing cycle, until the tension erupts with the introduction of a guttural guitar belting out space blues riffs with wild abandon. This progresses to a melange of pulsations seasoned by reedy keyboard strains. A squealing guitar contributes to a crescendo of mounting electronic threads.

As these compositions run the gamut from agile bouncy pieces to gently dreamy songs, they cannot be lumped together, but they do all share a common aspect: their bewitching splendid nature. Soft or driving, this music exemplifies a slick presentation of contemporary electronic music at its finest.

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POLLARD/DANIEL/BOOTH: 5 (CD on Acoustic Wave)

This CD from 2013 offers 70 minutes of surging electronic music.

Here, Brendan Pollard, Michael Daniel and Phil Booth offer material recorded live at Radial Velocity in Bedford, UK, in September 2009 and one piece live from E-Live Festival in the Netherlands on October 17, 2009.

The first three tracks are from the Bedford performance; each song is extremely long (roughly 20, 13, and 28 minutes respectively).

Track one offers a reasonably lively opening, diving right into things with undulating keyboards augmented by streaming tonal threads. These sequences run for a while, interacting to generate variant harmonics...until guitar enters the mix with its twangy resonance, elevating the sound stage to realms beyond our atmosphere. Initially, the guitar issues tender notes, establishing a passage of soothing temperament embellished by dreamily twinkling keys. The guitar continues to express languid chords, gentle despite their astral edge, as electronics of a reedy nature match this sedate demeanor.

The second track from the Bedford performance has a blooping intro wherein several space-age oscillations cavort in tandem with a fragile keyboard thread that winds throughout them, delicately supporting these seemingly unconnected effects as they persist in firing off or swinging their orbits back into the sonic spotlight. This languid interplay continues to the end of the song.

Track three continues in the same vein for a while, until additional melodic threads emerge, creeping into the mix and focussing things into a dreamier pastiche. The introduction of gutsy guitar chords lends a cosmic flair to the ongoing realm of pacific pulsations. As things progress, the keyboard threads muster puissance and delineate more compelling melodies that swamp the blooping space-age effects, until the music seethes with the molten flow of these vivacious keyboard riffs. A majestic mood is achieved and boosted by an outburst of snarling space guitar.

The final piece (from the E-Live 2009 Festival) is shorter (at nearly ten minutes long) and consequently gets to the point more promptly—with surging keyboard riffs and peripheral tonal sweeps. This tension continues to build in complexity and intensity, leading the listener to a breathless pinnacle decorated by some savage guitar growls.

Some extremely satisfying electronic music here.

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POLLARD/DANIEL/BOOTH: 6 (CD on Acoustic Wave)

This CD from 2013 features 73 minutes of fluid electronic music.

With this release, Brendan Pollard, Michael Daniel, and Phil Booth conspire to produce some tasty tuneage culled from live studio sessions at Bedford from 2009 to 2010.

The music is presented in three long tracks (25, 24, and 24 minutes long respectively), which allows the elements to gather slowly and sneakily accrete into luscious electronic flows of a stately disposition.

In the first piece, ethereal effects lure in the listener, who is soon caught up in an insistent keyboard loop as peripheral effects whoosh and blurp in the background. An additional, gentler keyboard riff surfaces, meshing with things to achieve a softly mounting tension. This placid environment is sustained for some time. Sawing sounds whirl through the mix, but the serene mood remains dominant.

The next piece offers some crisp guitar licks right off, while fluid keys establish a sashaying backdrop. Gradually, a more strident keyboard riff settles into play, gaining prevalence with a melody tinged by urgent implications. Some eerie effects slide into the mix, generating a touch of mystery to the surging flow. The guitar resurfaces to contribute some wicked riffs. The piece ends with a peculiar descent into twinkling chaos.

The final piece pursues a more moderate model of similar ilk. Deeply resonant pulsations (very reminiscent of retro Berlin electronics) establish a central thread, while additional keyboard chords flitter in proximity, fleshing the amalgamation into a supple flow. An extended interplay ensues, during which these layers vary their notes while maintaining a fluid accord. After a while, things simmer into a soothing passage of sparkling keys accompanied by dreamy organ sustains. Glittering effects punctuate this lull, slowly coaxing forth even more mellow dispositions. The keys slide into fragile structures of pastoral influence which adopt a celestial flair as the song slithers to a conclusion.

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BRENDAN POLLARD/JAVI CANOVAS/ADRIAN DOLENTE/MICHAEL DANIEL: Two Roads (CD on Acoustic Wave)

This CD from 2013 offers 65 minutes of energetic retro electronic music.

Pollard plays modular, sequencers. mellotron, Rhodes, and synthesizer. Canovas plays synthesizer and guitar. Dolante plays Rhodes and synthesizer. Daniel plays synthesizer, guitar and glissando guitar.

Surging electronics blend with searing guitar to produce alluring electronic tuneage of an energetic nature.

The electronics are versatile, but mostly confine themselves to rolling keyboard-generated sequences that are stretched out and allowed to evolve during a song's duration. Set several of these sequences going and you have some rather lush sonic structures, manifesting as undulating layers of sinuous electronics.

The keyboard presence is augmented by some texturals, but they are only discernable during the music's few lulls.

The guitars provide a masterful touch to the otherwise flowing melodies. These astral strings shine with soaring pyrotechnic manifestations. The guitar riffs are crisp and rich with cosmic undercurrents. On other occasions, the guitar chords lurk within the dense mix, provided subliminal weirdness.

And all done primarily without the use of percussion (but then, the rapid succession of notes often approximates a rhythmic presence). On one occasion, actual e-perc is utilized during a song's wind-down conclusion.

These compositions utilize retro Berlin school influences to craft delightfully gutsy tuneage that mesmerizes as much as it dazzles. The music exhibits a certain enthusiasm with mounting chords. These melodies are majestic and captivating.

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