IsraTrance Full Member
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Posted : Nov 29, 2012 12:48:01
Spacey ambient with occasional downtempo grooves.
Steps into Space is a far-reaching double album of highly immersive electronic expanses designed in such a way as to lead the listener through a journey to the far reaches of the cosmos. The music is mostly beatless and elevating: dark and obscure intergalactic regions warmed by faintly choral pads or distant shifting colour; weightless, meandering atmospheres given evocative narrative touches through well applied effects and speech samples; arpeggio structures that burble or flicker against sighing washes of tone. That said, there are downtempo passages of lulling beats that provide measured regularity within the vastness of the spreading universe. Both light and velvet darkness arise within the passage of this aural odyssey: for the most part, the tone is one of hypnotic shadow dipping at times into tenebrous depths; yet the darkness is always touched by varying degrees of luminance. Sometimes the subtle ambient textures do little more than tint the emptiness; sometimes amorphous forms glow or gently coruscate; but at times the whole expanse positively beams with heavenly rays.
The album opens with a ponderous, rubbery bass pattern that steps tentatively across a lustrous ambient void. Astronaut voices, crisp with static, mouth technical matters as a rippling sequencer rhythm opens up - suggestive of motion, synthetic structure or unseen active mechanisms. Track two has a brooding, drifting introduction with a brief section that plays out like overheard music from another place - nostalgic, afar off - a baby's cry pierces the reverie. As the album progresses the sense of an immense journey underway is very powerful: we are awestruck passengers experiencing the wonders of space, at times noting flight details as crew, technical equipment or machinery make their presences felt. The final track of the first disc features a gorgeously soft programmed groove that seems to somehow intensify the cinematic dreaminess of the music to even greater heights - the tinkle of chimes, sonic winds and layered drones rising gradually to the fore as the track ends. The second disc takes the willing traveller further afield, continuing the arcing trajectory of the first - the ship's computer system revealing that "The captain is not on the ship" and "The automatic pilot system is not functional" - so we are adrift. Indeed the sense of floating thickens; the soundtrack soporific, inspirational, wide and open. Some delightful moments of sleepy beauty here turn the eye inward as astronauts blur into psychonauts.
Steps Into Space is a double digipack release featuring an eight-page booklet which of accordion style. To the fore is a gleaming multi-faceted, many coloured 'Camera Painting' - intriguingly spacey and attractive to the eye. Titles are all together on the rear and external artwork presents a dedication and thanks. Apart from the front cover, imagery luxuriates within a smooth, eternal black field displaying the luminescent 'Camera Painting's of Masashi Kitazato to best effect. These images are photographs taken through a mysterious transparent polyhedron object that has a holographic structure. Track titles for disc one and disc two have their own panels inside the booklet, little kaleidoscopic jewels of colour alongside, but the greater part of the booklet is given over to the mesmerising visuals.
Sol Tek delivers his latest twin disc album via the independent UK Electronic Soundscapes label. Originating from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Albert Borkent is a seasoned musician with over two decades' experience - a fact evident in the excellent production quality of Steps Into Space. Previous Sol Tek albums Lightscapes I and II as well as a pair of EPs also came via Electronic Soundscapes, but assuming other musical guises over the years such as Lingua Lustra or Dodecahedron, or with collaborative projects Albert has appeared on numerous other labels: Practising Nature, Databloem, Speedsound Records, Baksish Music and Spiritech music. Here we have a total of sixteen recordings that range in length from the brief two-minute-fifty-three-second disc two opener Calisto through to the The Light Pours Out Of Us at just over thirteen minutes. Steps Into Space can be discovered on release via the Electronic Soundscapes Bandcamp page or the Electronic Soundscapes portal where purchase and download information will accompany further background details.
1. Superposition Of Stars
3. Infinity's Tapestry
5. Field Of Eternal Flower
6. Deeper Into The Heart Of The Cosmos
8. The Light Pours Out Of Us
11. Starry Eye Fold
15. Dock Atmosphere
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