Awakenings 2006 volume 2 by Awakenings

Awakenings

Awakenings 2006 volume 2

14 tracks

Running time: 2:28:52
Released: 12/2007

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  01   CD1 (Xan Alexander) Omnicron - 12:23
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  02   CD1 (Brendan Pollard) Modac - 7:28
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  03   CD1 (Rene van der Wouden) Mountain Steamer - 7:06
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  04   CD1 (Create) Saturn Dreaming of Mercury (part 1) - 11:36
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  05   CD1 (Broekhuis Keller Schonwalder) Another Mysterious Concert Tape chapter one - 20:15
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  06   CD1 (Entity) Space and Time - 7:22
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  07   CD1 (Vietgrove) The Oligarch - 8:39
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  08   CD2 (Awen) Clone - 5:23
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  09   CD2 (Mooch) Flow-Thing (Flute Thing mix) - 10:46
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  10   CD2 (Modulator ESP) Time Running Out - 9:07
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  11   CD2 (Nattefrost) Near UFO - 12:31
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  12   CD2 (Altres) Black Point - 7:27
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  13   CD2 (The Glimmer Room) Fields Full of Poppies (live at Awakenings) - 6:51
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  14   CD2 (Terje Winther) Green Light Intervention - 21:58
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More Info

Also released in 2006 is this Awakenings release. Once more you get a double album for the price of a single.
Featuring tracks by many artists including ...
Broekhuis, Keller & Schönwälder
The Glimmer Room
Brendan Pollard
Terje Winther
Vietgrove

Review by David Law

We start with two of the best pieces of music. First up is 'Omnicron' from The Omega Syndicate's Xan Alexander. Lovely bright tones hang in the air gorgeously fading into the distance, as if reaching out. They are answered by an echoing sequence which just gets better and better as it develops. A fantastic slow melody rises from it like a gentle mist from a waterfall. The pace starts to quicken with the introduction of another superb sequence and rhythm. The lead line gains extra bite as we go. This is wonderfully composed stuff- no meandering waffle. I am very much reminded of a cross between Chris Franke's 'London Concert' and 'Pacific Coast Highway' albums. Yes - it's that good!

Brendan Pollard from Rogue Element gives us 'Modac'. We start with windy 'War of The World' ('The Weed' I think) sounds. A bright sequence emerges from the excellent atmospherics accompanied by mellotron, in classic Berlin School fashion. This really is a stonking piece which gets even better with the introduction of a high hat line
and subtle little melodies.

We keep in sequencer driven mode for René van der Wouden's 'Mountain Steamer'. The sequence itself is decent enough but we have to wait until just a couple of minutes from the end before it is given any real support, this time in the form of bouncing rhythm and lead lines. Excellent they are too, I just wish we they had been introduced earlier.

Create contributes 'Saturn Dreaming of Mercury (part 1)'. We get a beautiful mellotron start and it is no surprise when a high register sequence enters in the second minute. Another sequence joins the first and they both seem to increase in pace as if racing each other through the ether, the tron still doing its own wonderful thing. Lead lines join in the fun. In the sixth minute the sequences seem to stutter as if decaying only to regroup and surge forward again accompanied by more lead lines.

Broekhuis, Keller & Schonwalder are represented by a unique twenty-minute track called 'Another Mysterious Concert Tape - Part 1'. To me these guys are some of my favourite Electronic Musicians on the planet. Soft pads are punctuated by ticking percussion. Flutey synth adds to the serene atmosphere. Gradually we are brought to wakefulness as a slow delicate sequence rises to the surface. By the ninth minute a drum line in introduced and the sequence starts to increase in pace as the excitement builds. A wonderful delicate piano melody adds a contrasting softness to proceedings, its juxtapositions with the ever more energetic pulsations being devastating. B,K & S must have been on more Various Artist albums than any other EM musician but I would reckon that this track is better than any of the other tracks they have donated. Absolutely stunning.

Entity gives us 'Space and Time'. A rapid sequence / loop does its energetic thing, starting to morph this way and that in the third minute but remains fairly aggressive throughout.

We finish the first disc with 'The Oligarch' by Vietgrove. If you like your EM with a heavy dose of prog then you will no doubt be well aware of the band already. Real sounding drums (though I am sure they are not) mix with a lovely lead line then blistering guitar. All a bit like instrumental early Yes maybe but mainly it reminded me of Sheffield band Haze. Whatever, if fairly heavy prog is your thing I am sure you will love it. I know I did (took me back to being 17 again!).

The second disc kicks off with 'Clone' be Awen. There were some humorous vocal samples at the beginning telling me that I would now probably find it harder to become pregnant! We then get a cacophony of noises then an explosion out of which surges powerful dance rhythms. It certainly covers a lot of ground in its five minutes duration. Probably the most in ye face and non compromising track on the whole double album.

I have always had a soft spot for Mooch but they have never been a big seller for SMD because they plough a somewhat different path to that followed by our core customers. 'Flow-Thing (Flute Thing mix)' is initially rather abstract and full of various percussive elements A four note loop becomes the main focus before things take a more Eastern tinged, well out there, psychedelic turn. Sounded all rather Gong like to me.

Modulator ESP has been refining his craft for some time now and is getting better all the time (he is also one half of
Astrogator- along with Create). 'Time Running Out' begins with some rather melancholy drift. Indeed it keeps a rather moody, even menacing feel throughout. A sequence can be heard very low in the mix. A bass one comes to join it but both are rather restrained, biding their time. Rhythms then tron are added to the slow build up. It is certainly an impressive track but needed more than its nine-minute duration to really blossom.

Nattefrost is represented by 'Near UFO'. He goes for the big epic massed strings type heavy drones over which meanders a brass melody. A sequence is unleashed as laser fire sonic blasts flash above. Both stylistically and sound wise it reminded me very much of Synergy or even the first album by Tontos Expanding Head Band. Then in the fourth minute it is all change as we descend to an abstract organic gloop. From that we move to twittery computer communication type effects - then back to a sequence! Wow, what a trip! The string pads return to join the pulsations - then back to abstract realms. No chance of getting board here. Yet another sequence is brought into play accompanied by echoing high register embellishments. The sequence seems to gain extra oomph all the time only calming down again just before the finish.

Altres is up next with 'Black Point'. They create quite a complex collage of often seemingly structureless sounds and
effects. Nearer the end things become more conventional with gentle plucked strings.

The Glimmer Room is a real class act as is demonstrated by 'Fields Full of Poppies'. From a gently syncopated beginning the most beautiful and heart rending melody emerges. This is a stunning composition that is as ample a proof as any that Electronic Music can be anything but cold and unemotional.

Terje Winther finishes this collection with his twenty-one minute 'Green Light Intervention'. It starts with the most wonderful deep reverberating throb. Twittering effects surge then break. Sonic whooshes explode almost like a warning siren. It is certainly an uncompromising beginning! Buried very deep in all this is a sequence. You really have to strain your ears to hear it at first, but slowly. Oh so slowly, it emerges though never rises to the top of the mix. A lead line is brought into play but to me it spoilt the brooding mood somewhat. In the fifth minute it is all change as some sonic stabs herald a full on rumbling sequence. By the tenth minute another sequence has been added and we are belting along in fine fashion. The lead lines are again slightly oddball but if you liked Tim Blake's 'Crystal Machine' you might quite like them. In the fifteenth minute we return to spooky atmospherics only for normal sequencer driven business to return soon after and blast us forward right to the end. There is quite a variety of music to be found on this 2 CD set, some real gems included.

Artwork

Please note that the artwork for this album is designed to fit a portrait DVD case with a 9mm spine.


Physical

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http://www.ambientlive.com/albums/awakenings2006v2.htm
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