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Spacemusic Reviews

Category: Synphaera

K Markov: Interactivity

Interactivity

Interactivity

K Markov: Interactivity
Released: 24 September 2019
www.synphaera.com/exosphere

In playing Interactivity (65’33”) you are agreeing to listen to K Markov‘s story. Expressing a mood, an atmosphere, a tone, in a numberless variety of subtle sonic shadings, he travels through space like a rocketeer blasting past planets. Polished, rigorous and sober this release is influenced by the 1970s Berlin-School, yet it narrates from the present. Each of its five tracks emerge in a slow gathering of ominous growls – putting the audience inside the action. The amorphous texture of Interactivity initially fills out our space with dense forms. These timbre experiments provide an unexpected excursion. As drifting drones roll out their charged current, the potent, primitive force of sound itself expresses power. Above a storm of sequencer patterns, rushing synthesizer chords mix with lead lines and bristle with electrical current. These pulsing passages are spirited performances of melodic and rhythmic flight. Slow melodies hold forth above a venting mass, while echoing note cycles peal out amidst animated keyboard leads. With electronic harmonies rising and falling in passages of light and dark, an unexpected beauty emerges. Beneath the enigmatic cool of a deep space traveler, this musician generates heat. When tonal content melts into a muted metallic ringing, modulated effects bring on a darkening chill. Here too Markov captures angelic harmonies, amid mined subterranean frequencies. The structure of Interactivity sets the pace of thought. Out past the storms of Jupiter, the rings of Saturn, and the other gas giants, past where the planets end, we may find – among the stars – that there is a meaning to this work. It urges us to be more, not to just want more. Animated by the power of music to convey emotions it stands strong against the cynicism that tears at the fabric of modern life.

Chuck van Zyl/STAR’S END26 September 2019

Ascendant: Particle Horizon

Particle Horizon

Particle Horizon

Ascendant: Particle Horizon
Released: 7 November 2017
www.synphaera.com
www.ambientascendant.com

Particle Horizon (73’42”) shows a new confidence at the reunion of two coolly calculating minds. As Ascendant, music makers Don C. Tyler & Chris Bryant work well together at communing with our interior monologue. In touch with the current of creativity, by way of the current of electricity, here this duo provides ten harmonious compositions – each portraying ideas and feelings of magnitude. With its benevolent messages, drifting lost in the darkness of space, Particle Horizon is an intricate but effortlessly listenable album. From meandering melodic thoughts, to luxurious lead lines, Tyler & Bryant champion civility. Sounds shine spectacularly as synthetic sighs and whispering waves expand across note dappled soundscapes. Skittering electronic pulsations are woven into the music, yet refuse to establish a regular beat – as each piece on Particle Horizon turns like a system of intermeshed helical gears. Enhancing the sonorous aspects of this work its tonal material intricates a lofty character, and achieves a surface of equalized tension. Synths slowly crest, then recede into timeless cosmic serenity. Bass notes mark a slow time in potent dramatic holds, just as intermittent sonar chiffs signal an incoming message. But, for all its musicianship and production values, the importance of this music lies in the emotional responses of its listeners. In an apparent independence from terrestrial concerns, Particle Horizon has been designed to create and sustain a particular state of non-climactic thought. As its users grow ever wiser to its technology, one would think that this genre would eventually begin to sound conventional, and become tamed. Yet, it still has the capability to unleash latent creative potential in everyone who engages with it (musician and audience alike). The true wonder of Electronic Music is not that its reaches are so vast, but that its people continually attempt to touch that which will always be just beyond their grasp. In this spirit, the technological revolution will be proven to be not an unstoppable, unguided force, but a product of human creativity. As the authors of each advance, Mankind will always decide where technology will take us.

Chuck van Zyl/STAR’S END14 December 2017

Fourth Dimension: The Core

The Core

The Core

Fourth Dimension: The Core
Released: 4 October 2016
www.synphera.com

At the beginning of this sonic emanation, a sound breathes in open space. Aural details come in and out of focus. Shape and texture coalesce in measured coolness. Vividly imagined, The Core (55’19”) avoids bombastic beats to support complex electronic textures and articulate grooves – and may even invite a few from the mainstream in for a warm chill. When falling on eager ears, the efforts of Fourth Dimension aligns the mind with higher thoughts. Maximum attention to this music brings glad understanding. The Core is a work of weightless flight by Strahinja Maletica, who (throughout eight tracks) manages to keep the listener’s intellect searching his subject matter. Luxuriously sweeping pads, full-throated melodic strokes and modulation-laden effects issue through this album – on the genius of subtlety. As three musical lines move in the same direction, rhythms discharge within vaporous reverb and twilight ambience. With soft percussives advancing our thoughts, pulsing patterns, and low-end throbs roll out beneath glimmering synthesizer tones – issuing an air of mystery into The Core‘s nocturnal realm. Technique never keeps us outside the narrative of its dreamy and steamy zones. We are the targets of this work, and our minds are requested to participate. The Core is a finely wrought album of subtle satisfactions. Fourth Dimension is capable of transmitting a substantial amount of expressive, arcane, and even philosophical information to us, provided that our antennas are up and receptive.

Chuck van Zyl/STAR’S END19 January 2017

Various Artists: Starseed

Starseed

Starseed

Various Artists: Starseed
Released: 9 August 2016
www.synphaera.com

Music can convey a wide range of expression, indicating the musician’s restraint, vigor, or willful abandon. On the anthology Starseed (66’23”) the fundamental force here is rhythm, but with serious attention to a lavish textural ornamentation. Equating a sonic action with the measurement of time, the ten tracks, by a range of potent electronic artists, create a body-based music which extends to the far reaches of The Cosmos. Traveling through the miles of circuitry of the brain the works presented on Starseed will fulfill the audience’s appetite for the exotic. Its most rapturous passages play out in the head in a hot-wired intensity – our cerebral states enhanced by a potent electronic sound. The aural appeal of Starseed never feels slight or superficial. Emotionally direct, it reaches substantial heights. The sensation of a deep throb of powerhouse bass is to feel lilting, airborne freedom. Drum loops stutter and stammer, while plush synthesized chords breath life into future movements. Under an atmosphere of space and exploration Starseed brings the listener into and out of a series of distinctive conditions. The pieces offered by Ascendant, Solaris and Transponder provide the greatest chill factor – while Chronos, Fourth Dimension, Germind, Martin Nonstatic, Motionfield, Omelic, and Subdream charge the hidden activity of our minds with dramatic climaxes, revelatory drops, and dreamy forward motion. With its beat machine energy, the music motors up – fully enjoys its peak, and eventually slows down for a smart gentle landing. Where do these amazing inventions come from? Answering this would take an explanation of the fertile inventive mind. The truth of this substantial journey is to show us, while the world and its heavens are immense, that we are bigger on the inside – that within our hearts and minds there is more… more substance, and more to be discovered.

Chuck van Zyl/STAR’S END25 August 2016

Ascendant: Meridian

Meridian

Meridian

Ascendant: Meridian
Released: 28 June 2016
www.synphaera.com
www.ambientascendant.com

Armed with synthesizers, laptops, software and their own friendship Ascendant conjures a private sonorous world. In an attempt to transcend language, Electronic Musicians Don C. Tyler & Chris Bryant make music remarkable for the power summoned from subdued shades of sound. The quietly exhilarating Meridian (86’57”) welcomes the listener’s thinking. These 10 deeply felt meditations of the mind are held within a meticulously detailed, gorgeously rendered music – which transfers their ideas past our ears and into our own thoughts and dreams. Dark days prime Tyler & Bryant for vivid sights of night, as electronic sound itself becomes a refuge. The pulse of their electro-arpeggio slowly soars, jumps and dives quite pleasurably in tender and deeply invested arrangements. Thinned out sonic pigments, from a palette of creamy purple tones, and abstract forms from a mysterious private realm, provide a particular etherized beauty. Beds of plangent electronics amidst fields of pink and gray, plus a wealth of amorphous soothing shapes, make Meridian seductive and velvety – while its slow shuffling sequencer patterns insist you give it more time. Ascendant’s cerebral notions of resolute motion act among vague forces and forms. Their thoughtful harmonies from electrically charged strings empower agile basslines and vaporous keyboards. Pastel colored moods help Meridian dither in aestheticized reverie, making your place in space so very lush. From its barren vacancy and atmospheric effects to grace notes of concord, Meridian delivers more to the listener than the musicians ever intended. Ascendant signals their individuality by rejecting what is popular, for us to simply savor their aural splendor. This album is a Spacemusical joy.

Chuck van Zyl/STAR’S END14 July 2016