Composed, performed and produced by Ralf Knappe-Heinbockel and Thorsten Reinhardt during 1992-1999|
- Psychodelic Friends Create [5:22]
- A New Point of View [6:05]
- The Inversion of Mind [5:36]
- It's a Way Shamans Go [3:54]
- Singing the Crazy [6:20]
- Song of Tranceformation [3:54]
- Looking Deep Inside [7:59]
- Tasting Nothingness [2:42]
- There is No Secret [9:48]
- Only Certitude That [4:20]
- Black and White Belongs Together [7:18]
Remixed by Hemisphere in April 1999
All instruments played by Ralf Knappe-Heinbockel and Thorsten Reinhardt
If you like an electronic sound, which is full of dark and ambient structures with sometimes percussion, loops and rhythm patterns added to it, the music of the German duo Hemisphere is your music.
Because of their unique sound, Hemisphere one of the leading bands in dark ambient music. In the first days of its existence, during the early eighties, Hemisphere was a one-man band consisting of synthesist and sound designer Ralf Knappe-Heinbockel. Later on, from 1996, Thorsten Reinhardt, who plays synths as well as guitar, teamed up with Ralf and so Hemisphere became a duo. Ralf was apparently inspired by Jim Morrison of The Doors. Next to this, traces from the music of ambient masters like Steve Roach and Robert Rich can be heard. Also, the sequencer-driven music as well as the early experimental and psychedelically outings of Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze has
had an influence on them. Most of their CD's are mastered by their Dutch musical colleague and record publisher Ron Boots, who is also one of the heads on the Groove Unlimited label on which a lot of Hermisphere's albums are released.
After four "regular" albums and "Early Reflections", a compilation-CD of some older live material recorded between 1980 and 1990, "Inversion" was released on the 25th of March 2000 at the "Alfa Centauri electronic music festival". It is clearly the duo's most daring musical challenge until now. Again, it is great dark ambient album. Perhaps the title of the first track "Psychodelic Friends Create" says enough of the music. It has analog-sounding sequences, a calm rhythm, fine vocal samples and nice effects.
"A New Point Of View" is one of the best Hemisphere-tracks ever made, a extremely beautiful soft piece of music which has a link to classical early Steve Roach-music like "Now", "Quiet Music" and "Structures From Silence". Then, the music gets a somewhat more modern approach in a piece like "The Inversion Of Mind". After this, it is time for some very imaging and filmic music in "It's A Way Shams Go" and "Singing The Crazy". After this, the darkness returns in "Song Of Tranceformation" which, again, has a title which is well-found.
That Hemisphere is really at the forefront of ambient music can be heard very well in "Looking Deep Inside" (and again, the title ) which has a quality only ambient masters like Biosphere can achieve.
That Hemisphere doesn't avoid some experimenting is clear in "Tasting Nothingness" with soaring guitarparts of Reinhardt. Majestic and heavenly voices take over in "There Is No Secret". Am I dead and landed in heaven? No, "Only Certitude That" puts me with both feet on the ground again with it's modern-Tangerine Dream sounding progressive-like style. I still can't argue with their titles because "Black And White Belongs Together" is a good one. It reflects a keyboard as well as life. And the music? Of course, it means a fitting end to the CD with fantastic atmospheres. "Inversion" is a fantastic piece of music, which brings to life the best of both worlds in electronic music, great dark ambient and very intense sounds and inventive progressive rhythms. Well, to think about it, it also brings fine effects, uplifting sequences, analog-sounding solos and beautiful guitarparts.
So, it even brings to life more, and to be honest all worlds in electronic music. So, it is a masterpiece.
2000. © Paul Rijkens