Running time: 0:55:51
Substance - 16:51
Amalthea - 10:23
Coal Sack - 10:07
Faraday - 7:13
Distance - 11:17
If asked about the key elements which contribute towards a sensational EM album, I could do worse than to point at this stunning example to help explain. Brilliant sequencing and infectious melody, both portrayed with a skilful ear for how synth voices should sound, will always make me revisit an album with growing admiration. With ‘Pointless Reminder’ the admiration curve is rising exponentially.
‘Substance’ opens the set. Originally released on the single CD-R of the same name, here the track has been completely re-recorded and it is not a disappointment (a massive feat in itself considering the quality of the original). Sound quality-wise it is simply breathtaking (though the CD-R was not shabby either). The blistering sequencing is all picked out with new voices and from new angles. Even better, those “all too fleeting 30 seconds” (as I described one particularly infectious melodic section in the original review) has been reworked and lengthened. The synth voice used to pick out the beguiling theme is absolutely scintillating. The track is close on 17 minutes in length, and every nuance stands up to the closest scrutiny. A gem.
‘Amalthea’ follows, this piece originally appearing on ‘Gold Tri Vol 1’. If sequencing is “your thing” then pin your ears to this. The pulsations blister and mutate in all directions, especially when you clamp the ear-phones on when it’s true “blow-darts-through-the- ears” stuff. And again those searing lead lines are there to complement and gravitate the whole piece. The voice filters are manipulated across their full range creating an ebb-and-flow movement all of its own. The closing minutes amply demonstrate that even when the sequences are rested there’s still more than enough to entertain. Witness an ominous synth-swept landscape with lonesome piano perched atop.
’Coal Sack’ follows, a new piece I believe (I think I may have remembered the title had I seen it before!) Weird effects and mellotron- style chorals open, and again they are strong enough to deserve attention of their own rather than focussing on the (inevitable) pyrotechnics to come. I don’t mind inevitability when the outcome is an FSP sequence run. Again it’s a “belter”, and again the pads and subtle themes transcend proceedings even further.
Next up is ‘Faraday’. This piece originally appeared on ‘Gold Tri Vol 2’ and again here is has been revisited. Sumptuous mellotron flute heralds multilayered sequencing of the highest order. And again, oh the melodies. Simply breathtaking, picked out on all the right synth voices. Another sensational piece.
Finally, another new track closes the album. At the risk of repeating myself more than I usually do, ‘Distance’ is another emphatic masterpiece which no fan of pulsating Electronic Music should be without. And to top it all it closes with the most sublime electric piano pastiche which brings to mind Spyra at his best. The only slight disappointment is that it runs 5 minutes shy of the advertised 16:30 - but 11 minutes of this outshines any 17 minute slog.
If you like Electronic Music in its purest and most exciting form, here’s the CD for you. It’s the type of album which will make your fingertips quake in anticipation as you hit the play button. Forget alphabetic order and file next to your recently acquired Can Atilla album. (GG)