Songs from the "leaving to nothing" concerts and studiotapes|
- Opener [2:17]
- The Entrance (part 1 - 4) [11:11]
- Dogs Around [3:36]
- Coloured Flowers are Destroyed Before Time-Expansion [5:59]
- Spiral Shine [4:22]
- Me and Marks Over 7 Meadows [5:15]
- Lord is a Trademark [4:41]
- Watching my Psychedelic Girlfriend [6:46]
- Leaving to Nothing [6:10]
- A Different Exit [5:06]
Composed, mixed and produced 2005 by Thomas Bechholds
On this album, Valleyforge is Thomas Bechholds, Michael Seitz, Jurgen Winter accompanied by guest musician Bernd Kistemann. Although the title might suggest something else, "Live and Session Tapes" is not an album filled with leftovers.
It captures various tracks from the "Leaving to nothing" concerts and studio tapes from the band. Most of the tracks are live takes, of which itís a pity that a short blank spot at the start of each new track separates them. Overall, the music is melodic and full of atmosphere, and, at times, it even has a progressive rock-like outburst. The album closes with a quiet soundtrack like piece featuring marimbas and light synthesizer textures.
This is another strong effort next to their album "Leaving to Nothing", so make sure you grab your copy.
Composed, mixed and produced by Thomas Bechholds and taken from live or studio sessions.
'Opener' starts with radio waves, voices and the simplest of melodies interspersed with brief radio extracts before 'The Entrance' Part 1 begins with lush melancholic orchestral chords with sporadic percussion effects, and guitar, added to the mix.
Parts 2 to 4 undergo changes in pace and atmosphere with a dramatic sequence of guitar chords, drums and synths and receives an enthusiastic response from the audience and deservedly so.
'Dogs Around' starts with some atmospheric storm effects and some barking dogs and is followed by a strong bassline and synth lead, an ideal soundtrack for a supernatural thriller.
'Coloured Flowers are Destroyed before Time-Expansion (Observed by Scrambled Eggs in Geostationary Orbit)' does not quite live up to the promise of the title and is more soundtrack fare with subdued electronics interspersed with plaintiff guitar lines and strings.
Cross fading into 'Spiral Shine'. Slowly building on a simple synth sequence with pads, the guitar adds colour and bite with controlled distortion and sustained vibrato, here a little reminiscent of early 80's TD soundtracks like 'Thief'.
'Me and Marks Over 7 Meadows' starts with marimba effects before drums and dramatic sustained synth chords are added but don't quite rescue the piece.
'Lord is a Trademark' starts promisingly with strong metallic rhythms, church-like organ and eventually choral/symphonic tones and it's a successful track, as the crowd gratefully acknowledges.
'Watching My Psychedelic Girlfriend' is another interesting tone poem, with simple, clear piano set against subdued sequencing with a few cackling voices thrown into the mix before a stronger rhythm emerges. An interesting piece.
'Leaving to Nothing' starts very quietly with sequence, effects and strings which seem to prequel a lift off of some kind which materializes at 4.35 with rock drums, voices, guitar and synth lines. However, the melody does not quite convince.
Finally, 'A Different Exit' concludes the set with a return to the soundtrack template, and the marimbas and strings merely add colour without obvious melody to create a reasonably successful tone poem.
Overall, an enjoyable, if undemanding album. Valleyforge creates cinematic soundscapes which are well crafted and they seem to be an accomplished live act. Perhaps we may get an opportunity to see them live soon.