Spacemusic Reviews

Tag: Redshift

Various Artists: Cosines and Tangents

Cosines and Tangents

Cosines and Tangents

Various Artists: Cosines and Tangents
Released: 18 October 2019

For those contributing tracks to Cosines and Tangents, music is a more precise way to communicate. This volume, the third in the Tone Science series, presents nine works – every one made using a unique modular synthesizer system. Each component within these cases and cabinets is a discrete part chosen and arranged according to the taste and direction of the individual artist. Filters, oscillators, mixers, ring modulators, envelopes, and other even more esoteric pieces provide an unprecedented flexibility in sound design and music making. They are systems that are not fixed in the way conventional instruments are, and attract an interesting mix of musicians and engineers. Represented on Cosines and Tangents are a compelling cross-section of talented people from out of this body. From the raw power of Berserker by Redshift, to the intellectual vigor of Cyclosporum by Robert Rich, then down to the unpeople space of En-Edge by Radek Rudnicki, on up to the gentle mental popping pulse of Round #2 by Benge, this collection, in turns, offers the feeling of coming home, followed by the sense of leaving Earth. Overtly synthetic, these realizations all confer a particular electrical power – in hopes of awakening possibility in listeners. As there is no one perfect way to perform this music, we are well served by the select imaginations uplifting this group. Threading between the forces of chaos and order Cosines and Tangents produces a fascinating energy – a trait which has yet to be fully explained. However, what may be explained is why the field of Electronic Music has over these many years remained so innovative, so ahead of its time. This is plainly so because its practitioners have not forgotten the first principle of their work… the expressive manipulation of timbre – and remained true to a faith… that just as the soul animates a person, so timbre animates a sound.

Chuck van Zyl/STAR’S END10 October 2019

Redshift: Life to Come

Life to Come

Life to Come

Redshift: Life to Come
Released 12 October 2015

It takes a certain kind of guts to be seen as old school in contemporary music these days. In possession of such fortitude, UK Electronic Musician Mark Shreeve keeps putting it out there in a way more circumspect artists have never dreamed. His work under the name Redshift is rarely less than enthralling, and the album Life to Come (64’11”) is one of the year’s most engaging releases. Each of its seven tracks unfold with the simplicity of a fable, and the drama of a psychological thriller. Time after time Mellotron harmonic skirmishes give way to the locomotive power of pumping sequencer runs. Rising to nearly assaultive levels these lines of mechanically ordered notes ratchet, echo, transpose, expand and retract in frequently spectacular demonstrations. The plaintive voice of Shreeve’s melodic synth leads falls in with the string and choral chords hovering above the steadily cranking arpeggio. Life to Come approaches the redline of its adrenaline quotient as the pulsing and heaving behemoth sequencer patterns head toward a point outside of our galaxy. Aural apparitions excite the imagination as ghostlier demarcations reveal deep, dark, secluded sonic recesses. The characteristic movement in Shreeve’s music is ascension. As night moves over us clouds of ethereal flutes come in to relieve the weight of Life to Come‘s disquiet – the calm after the storm offering a measure of sublimity. The assuredness of tone reflects the theme of each realization, and show Shreeve’s powers of evocation to be uncanny. Here he seems to be in his glowing prime. This electronic spirit knows about Spacemusic’s secret heart. Far more than just stylish minimalism, his music is complex – not reducible to just an idea or two. Life to Come will have us stepping back, then moving in to inspect the details. But, the analysis is optional. The thrill is not.

Chuck van Zyl/STAR’S END29 October 2015