Composed, produced and arranged by Andreas Akwara.
Andreas Akwara, the space music specialist from Germany, is a quick worker. Not long after the release of his masterful space album "Quantum", the next cd is already released. If the quality is good, this doesn’t matter: than you may deliver ten albums each year. Andreas has a totally own vision on electronic space music. This has lead to a series of albums with a very personal and very special style of electronic music.|
- Blue velvet part I [10:41]
- Blue velvet part II [9:13]
- Blue velvet part III [24:01]
- Blue velvet part IV [4:06]
- Blue velvet part V [3:32]
- Blue velvet part VI [1:48]
- Blue velvet part VII [4:31]
- Blue velvet part VIII [2:56]
- Blue velvet part IX [7:39]
It can almost be called a style of its own. He has the ability to mix his spacesound with a more rhythmic approach on the album "Ambush" from 2004 that he has made with Björn Lutz. On "Quantum" he combined some elements of the symphonic grandeur of Vangelis in the music, "Blue Velvet" incorporates a diversity of styles: from experimental to ambient, Berlin School but also his recognisable spacemusic.
Andeas’ philosophy in the booklet goes deep, so does the music on "Blue Velvet". As we know from him, his music is divided into parts: in the case of this album nine, some short and one very long one of more than twenty minutes.
The first part opens with the sounds of children, church bells, effects and a big orchestral sample. This slowly moves into nice, warm and shifting sequences that call up a very relaxing atmosphere.
"Blue Velvet Part II" has a fine and modest rhythm, almost one that Andreas’ fellow countryman Klaus Schulze could have created. The central piece on the album is "Blue Velvet Part III". This long piece has a masterful sequence that dominates throughout the composition. Talking about Schulze: this track brings back all of the great elements of the Berlin School. This really is Berlin School at its best.
On "Blue Velvet Part IV" Andreas experiments with some stereo effects. Also, experiments are heard in "Blue Velvet Part V", moving into an almost Gary Numan-like heavy synthsound in "Blue Velvet Part Part VI". On "Blue Velvet Part VII" the slow spacesounds return in a relaxing track.
But "Blue Velvet Part Part VIII" is again rhythmic. Very cleverly, Akwara manages to use the historic speech of Martin Luther King, "I Have A Dream" into this piece.
The last composition "Blue Velvet Part Part IX" again has a space atmosphere but also with superb stereo sounds. This manages to deliver a certain feeling of melancholy.
2009. Paul Rijkens
This release from 2009 offers 68 minutes of noble electronic music.
A grandiose mood is generated by lavish texturals seasoned by heavenly chorales and harpsichord punctuations. Bubbling diodes sweep through the gathering soundscape, heralding the emergence of melody from this brewing pool of harmonic definition.
Coalescing into dramatic substance, keyboards guide the newborn melody into an ascension of resplendent glory. Electronic cycles unfurl, delineating compelling passages of mounting eloquence. Riffs sashay into prominence, expressing a delightful majesty, only to be supplanted by fresh threads which perpetuate the music’s uplifting direction. Clever variations generate a constant luster that captivates the listener.
E-perc plays a vital role in this tuneage. While maintaining a presence in equilibrium to the rest of the music, the rhythms provide locomotion for the electronics, injecting an urgency that dependably escalates into rewarding pinnacles of euphoric ecstasy. A regal demeanor marks these tempos. Despite their synthesized origin, they are skillfully generated to sound natural, resounding with emotional cadence and excellently fitting with the stratospheric qualities achieved by the electronics.
Numerous riffs are established, only to entwine with each other, transforming the gestalt into luscious structures of tenacious vitality. A sense of optimism is accomplished as these layers merge and evolve, communicating cooperation as a worthwhile ambition.
Deeply resonant tones are employed to conjure an oracular motif. These electronics blossom with amiable authority, describing inspired melodies crafted with divine intentions.
These compositions exude a powerful aura of demonstrative nobility. The bewitching melodies involved in their essence delivers a staunch rank of sonic gratification.
Matt Howarth / Sonic Curiosity
I listen to BLUE VELVET a lot and especially the first half of the CD comes along with a certain WARM -Melodic and majestic feeling, typical of many tracks from AKWARA. However, I still feel there is something missing on the last two albums. That certain "WOW!!!" effect hardly caught me (apart from Part II and maybe Part I). Large Portions are somewhat trance-like, certainly well done, though.
However, I listened to AKWARA'S new Album QUANTUM, and am looking foward to this release, as I felt a lot of spiritual energy while listening to the album.
Quantum seems to bring Akwara to a dimension were only few before have walked.
2009. P. Stelson / USA
This new album by Andreas Akwara offers 68 minutes of floating ambience and melodic electronics.
Part I starts with noises recorded at a playground. After a while a tolling bell is heard and an electronic soundscape is introduced. A fanfare is heard before a shadowy soundscape takes over. All kinds of effects and soft pads are what this section is basically about. It does create a special, relaxing atmosphere. There's also a soft melody played on top. It's all fairly New Agey, but nicely done. Towards the end the track becomes more melancholic and ethereal, albeit remains stressedly bright and uplifting.
The second part has some sharper sounds and an underlying sequence. A soft, steady rhythm starts, as various pads dominate the picture. If you fuse soft Techno, Space Music and melodic electronics, you'll get something akin to this track. Nice atmospheric stuff that just chugs along nicely and unobtrusively.
Part III is the longest track clocking at 24 minutes. Synth pads and noises rush on around the listener, before a steady but effective two-note sequence takes over. The floating nature of this track reminds a bit on "Bayreuth Return" off Schulze's "Timewind", although sonically this track is quite different, as Andreas uses a fair bit of digital synthesizers. But the idea is the same - a long, flowing and monolithic sequencer number with slight variations in key and sound. And guess what, Andreas pulls it off somehow. Although I wouldn't praise this track as the greatest achievement in the history of EM, it's still a pleasant and quality composition. The track ends with more pads and a percussive rhythm.
Part IV brings in a bit of funkiness, with its steady rhythm, Techno-like synthesizer sounds and a rolling bass line.
Part V, on the other hand, harkens back to Andreas' "Solar Eclipse" album, mostly because of similar sounds and mood. Some wilder, noisier synthesizer sounds appear in the second part, as a steady 4/4 rhythm adds a contemporary flair to this composition.
On the other hand, the short Part VI ventures a bit too far into "Techno". It still has some interesting sounds and arrangements but proved to be somewhat lacking to my ears.
Part VII is the darkest track here. It consists mainly of low pads and atmospheric effects. Some tolling bells add an extra touch of mystery to this nice, and very different, composition.
Part VIII effectively combines Martin Luther King samples with a lush synthesizer soundscape. It's a very solemn piece, a bit pompous but turns out to be one of the best pieces on the entire album. Sharp synthetic twitters conclude this piece as we transition into the last part. Dark sounds give way for a symphonic theme that sounds very soundtrack-like. A sequence bursts through, while the background pads are mostly of the darker variety. An excellent piece!
I enjoyed everything - the atmosphere, the sounds and the melodic content which is subtle and yet very effective. An excellent way to finish this album. "Blue Velvet" will be enjoyed by those who like their Electronic Music a bit on the relaxing side of things. If you enjoy genres such as Space Music and melodic electronics, "Blue Velvet" is an album for you.
2009. Artemi Pugachov / Russia