Neu Harmony NH011
The participants in this project are Jens Peschke and Andy Bloyce from Kubusschnitt. The first thing you hear on this album is a rumbling sequence which leaves you in no doubt that the territory to be explored is decidedly retro. There are Tangerine Dream references but they are mixed in equal part with Klaus Schulze and Ashra influences. The opening track title 'Klaus to the Edge' (!) makes the Schulze reference even more obvious. The guitar when used is very subtle giving colour rather than dominating as a lead instrument. The sequence provides the backbone but the accompanying atmospherics and effects are just as effective. Some of the sounds used will make you go weak at the knees. We are just six minutes in to this album and I'm already captivated.
Flutey synth introduces 'Schaltzeit Nachtweit' then a guitar picks out a beautiful gentle melody, sounding a little like Manuel Gottsching. At two minutes another perfectly crafted sequence begins to pulsate with supporting sequences brought in to accompany it. '9VFE10M' begins with an exquisite combination of sounds and little melodies but we soon get into the sequences and rhythms. This is like a storm seen from a distance creating havoc as it goes but slowly coming closer and closer. Both power and beauty combined into one. An awesome track. After a short introduction 'Tiefenfluss' treats us to the most bass laden sequence so far. A brighter sequence starts to build over it and the guitar takes the lead threatening to let rip but never quite being allowed to. Of all the tracks on the album the next one 'Manuel Gearchange' hardly surprisingly has the greatest Ashra influence (get it- Manuel Gottsching?). A version of this track was first released on Gold Tri Vol 1 but here we have the 'La RD Remix'. Cosmic twitters give way to optimistic rhythms and restrained almost happy guitar licks, close your eyes and images of the master cosmic guitarist will fill your mind. We now move on to the twenty-six minute title track. Slow pulsations and guitar as well as synth melodies set the scene, bubbling along nicely up to the eleven-minute mark when strident sequences join in. At thirteen minutes rhythms are added, at fourteen minutes we move into weird territory and dive into an atmospheric pool. The images created from now on are very dark and ominous, whether the pictures are of deep space or dark subterranean landscapes the one constant is a brooding malevolence which is never far away. At twenty-one minutes a deep slow rumbling rhythm pounds out as though the devil himself is marking out time on some vast drum as tortured souls do his bidding. 'Ausklang' follows on in similar dark territory then a melancholy piano melody makes an appearance, beautiful in its sadness and takes us to the end.
To sum up this is a truly incredible CD mixing many different elements of the “golden era” of Electronic Music. Sequences are used for much of the time but they are never allowed to just run, they come and go and are constantly shape shifting. The guitar at times provides the lead line but just as importantly it adds an extra dimension to the overall sound in just the right places. The music ranges from upbeat and optimistic to dark and hellish particularly on the second half of the title track. Recommended without hesitation. (DL)