Expansion by Brendan Pollard

Brendan Pollard

Expansion

5 tracks

Running time: 1:00:53
Released: 06/2005

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  01   Tegula - 19:10
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  02   Toxic Blue - 24:55
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  03   Nebulous - 7:07
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  04   Valve - 7:12
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  05   Aquarius - 2:29
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More Info

Brendan is one half of Rogue Element and what we have here could very well be a continuation of their first album 'Premonition'. It has all the Berlin School / analogue excitement of that album but shows a honing of his talent to produce a more consistently excellent CD. We begin 'Tegula' with subterranean sounds. Little water droplets drip from high above as electronic twitters shimmer from the speakers. Mellotron 'choir' effects give rather gothic overtones. We then get a section of 'cosmic' winds which lead to more mellotron but this time of the flutey variety which take us to the first brace of sequences, one an awesome bass laden monster and the other a rapid high register pulse chaser. This is absolutely superb stuff containing elements of a host of TD albums from 'Rubycon' to 'Force Majeure'.

Not sure how many sequencer lines are going as new series of pulsations seem to shift in and out of the mix all the time. There are lead lines but these tend to be subtle, like wisps of steam rising from a lake of lava as it bubbles and boils over. In the thirteenth minute everything seems to morph and evolve now seeming like a steam train hurtling down the track into the distance. 'Toxic Blue' initially sounds as if we are by the side of some fizzing power source- the engine of a spaceship perhaps. The mood then changes and the images are of a swamp with some lovely moody flute lead lines. This has a most definite 'Sorcerer' feel to it. Softer, really lush pads herald the next chapter. The tron is never far away however, making a brief return to take us to a windy moorland. A cello gives a rather melancholy feel to proceedings.

Every sub section of this track is extremely effective but never left to outstay its welcome before moving on to the next. The 'next' in this case is represented by the appearance of a slow brooding sequence. Then another- and another as the excitement starts to build to ball breaking intensity in the sixteenth minute. The sequences now spewing forth are of the very best bass laden ground shaking variety. The tron is brought back yet again providing the lead role as unbelievably the sequences are cranked up yet another gear. This is Berlin School heaven. 'Nebulous' is appropriately cosmic, full of sonic twitters, weird spooky sounds and whooshing effects. Ideal music to portray an alien graveyard in a sci fi movie.

'Valve' starts off in similar territory but at just over forty seconds in first one sequence then another surge forward. Both rather rapid stunning examples of their breed they are too. A wonderful track but at only seven minutes long it just didn't give them long enough to fully reach their potential. We finish with the very short 'Aquarius', a lovely little watery gently melodic number that calms us down just in time to steady the hand so it can press the play button once again! What an amazing album this is. (DL)