Javi Canovas - sequencers, Mellotron, synthesizers
The first track "Circadian Rhythms" is straight into business with upbeat rhythms, sequencing and an effective melody. This is dynamic Electronic Music that comes off as something like a cross between Tangerine Dream and the ballsy upbeat Laserdance! Froese & Co jamming together with Michel van der Kuy in hyperspace anyone? Can you imagine such a combination? I couldn't. Before I've heard this track, that is. I am sure this music will appeal to a wide audience, but it does demonstrate pure class! All the sounds, rhythms, melodies - everything is close to perfection. This is cosmic music of the highest order that I loved to death! |
- Circadian Rhythms [5:04]
- Radiometry [6:19]
- Conmutation Q [4:02]
- Cibercafe [4:56]
- Dark Memory System [4:26]
- Liquid Crystal [5:40]
- Circadian Algorhythm [7:26]
- Red Metal [3:46]
- Sphinx [4:02]
- Radar [10:20]
- Voices in the Space [5:06]
- Epilogue [3:04]
"Radiometry" is next. Bell-like melodic sequences cast their spell while undulating bass synth washes lure you into an electronic haze of sound. A slow rhythm appears, along with yet another sequence. Everything is kept to a necessary minimum and yet the music bears a richness rarely heard in any type of music, not just EM.
"Conmutation Q" calms things down with ambient washes of synth and hypnotic drones. This is one of those rare Javi Canovas tracks with no sequences.
However, "Cibercafe" soon "rehabilitates" this album with upbeat sequencing, electronic rhythms and a catchy theme. This is one of the most "commercial" compositions Javi has ever created (sounds very much inspired by 1980's Kraftwerk).
"Dark Memory System" starts with bell-like sequences that dance around the stereo spectrum, while bright synth pads play underneath. Soon more psychedelic sequenced keyboards are added before it all comes to an end.
"Liquid Crystal" takes us to a mysterious place, with its slightly abstract proceedings of melancholic notes. Reminds me on those early 1980's atmospheric pieces that Klaus Schulze played on his CS-80 and GDS computer.
"Circadian Algorythm" returns to the style of the first track, although in a more laid-back, less upbeat mode and with Tangerine Dream influences to the fore. Great Berlin School music ala early 1980's TD, with a rich sound and a spacey atmosphere. Some great screaming solos on this one!
The title track is next, with its mysterious synth-based drone. It's nice to see Javi trying a hand at more ambient styles of EM.
"Sphinx" surprises with quite heavy rhytms and nice melodic sequencing. There are some great melodies here and overall the track sounds like a mixture of Kraftwerk's "Computer World", Tangerine Dream and typical moody minimal synth music of the 1980's.
Next we get "Radar" that starts with a deep bass drone. Soon an excellent (and I mean it) sequence appears, with sounds jumping back and forth across stereo channels. Another (upbeat) sequence joins as a weeping lead line just floats on top. We then get a beautiful electric piano interlude with auxiliary synth backing. Towards the end, heavy synth drones return along with whooshy effects and various echoing sounds.
"Voices In the Space" has galloping sequences combined with digital pads. Another bleepy sequence joins the galloping one to form an infectious and curious electronic brew. Excellent psychedelic sequences and pounding rhythms are then added, making this an intense and driving track. Unfortunately, the track ends rather abruptly just when I started to "get into the flow".
"Epilogue" closes this album with ethereal synthesizer textures and heavenly pads. A moody piece and an excellent closer.
Overall, I think that "Red Metal" is Javi's most diverse album to date. He tried a hand at many genres here, sometimes with stunning results. However, the album as a whole feels more like a collection of songs or ideas and lacks cohesion.
Also, I did miss Javi's trademark long suites, "Red Metal" being a showcase for shorter, more compressed tracks that sometimes end all too abruptly or are not given time to fully develop. Having said that, I did find some of the tracks here to be utterly terrific.
Artemi Pugachov / Encyclopedia of Electronic Music
‘Circadian Rhythms’ gets straight into an infectious groove that should get your whole body moving to the wonderful beats. Things get even better as the strongest melody Javi has come up with on any of his albums so far weaves through the wonderful pulsations.
A rolling percussive sequence provides a rather reflective start to ‘Radiometry’. Slow drums take up this mood. A second sequence comes in, upping the pace a little but even so there’s still an edgy moodiness to it all.
‘Conmutation Q’ quietens things down a bit as shimmering drones bring up images of sunlight reflecting from gently undulating water. Sequences return with a vengeance for ‘Cibercafe’ as two blast forward wonderfully, heavy bass pulses shaking the floor. The pulsations themselves are quite melodic but are also accompanied by subtle lead lines. The sequences surge forward from time to time in increasing waves of devastation.
‘Dark Memory System’ features an appropriately moody swirling sequence. This is underpinned by another, this time full of rumbling bass. There are so many pulsations flying around here that it is all rather mesmerizing. Fantastic stuff!
We journey through the dark and brooding ‘Liquid Crystal’ to ‘Circadian Algorhythm’. It only takes about 30 seconds before a melodic high register sequence and awesome earthquake of a bass sequence strike up. A laser sharp lead line flashes over the top and a real kick ass rhythm makes those foundations shake even more. The sequences dive this way and that like cruise missiles darting over enemy terrain, one awesome lead after another joining the mayhem. What a brilliant track- one of the best, if not the best, Javi has ever composed and probably the most exciting piece of music I have heard all year.
The title track uses deep swirling drones to bring up images of an early morning fog shrouded landscape. Crashing heavy rhythms and sequences burst onto the scene again for ‘Sphinx’. A sublime little melody contrasts all the power, leading the way for other lead lines to weave their wonderful spells. The ideal combination of force and beauty.
A very low reverberating drone, almost like a snarling animal gets ‘Radar’ going. Sequences emerge forming a wall of notes; with a subtle beauty all of their own, like a waterfall scattering spray as it lands in the lake below. In the third minute things subside to a delicate bell chime melody. It’s simply gorgeous stuff but with a moody twist near the end.
‘Voices in the Space’ features yet more superb ballsey sequences. They morph wonderfully, another lovely melody skipping amongst the pulsations. Things become more syncopated as we reach another pinnacle of the album- very nearly as good as the incredible ‘Circadian Algorhythm’.
‘Epilogue’ finishes things in a pensive, slightly melancholy mood. Ideal for steadying the racing heart just enough to get up and press play once more.
Yet another excellent album by Javi that from time to time reminded me a little of Rainbow Serpent.
Red Metal and Strange Vision from Javi Canovas, whose CD releases Impasse and Light Echoes I enjoy very much. Those featured lengthy Berlin school excursions, whereas these two releases have a little more variety, going for shorter tracks with stronger themes and melodic structure.
The difference in style is evident immediately on Red Metal’s opener, "Circadian Rhythms," a piece of modern electronica with a shuffling dance beat. Not my thing, but well done.
"Radiometry" is more my speed as crystalline sequencing starts us off. A fat synth lead eases its way in, and the track is really allowed to breathe before the beats come in, softer and slower this time. More synths and sequencers are layered in and this one gets a thumbs-up.
"Commutation Q" shimmers with ethereal tones, warm and bright.
Bouncy sequencing and thumping beats return for "Cibercafe" in a winning combination as well.
Also very good is "Dark Memory System," another bit of fun synthesizer synthetic sounds. The emphasis is on a futuristic electronic sound, no synth guitars or oboes or even flutes.
Mostly upbeat, there are occasional darker moments such as "Liquid Crystal", a subtler, more dramatic piece.
The title track is completely devoid of rhythm, with warm synth timbres, very nice.
"Radar" is my favorite, a complex number that weaves at least three distinctive, varied movements into its 10-minute time span.
2007. Phil Derby / Electroambient Space