All tracks recorded 2000 / 2004 except track 10: recorded 1994.|
- About Suggestion [8:07]
- Night of the Living Machine [12:23]
- Oscillation [6:41]
- Image [3:47]
- Flow Motion part 1 [3:46]
- Blackmail [2:20]
- Crash [8:22]
- Flow Motion part 2 [5:25]
- Rambling Voyage [9:10]
- Liquid Mirror part 5 [14:17]
- Nameless [1:54]
Composed, played and produced by Ralf Knappe-Heinbockel and Thorsten Reinhardt.
Pre-mastered March 2004.
Mastered by Ron Boots October 2004
Ralf & Thorsten use the following gear:
Yamaha A 3000, Sy99, EX 5r; Roland JV 880, JV 1080, D550; Access Virus B 2x; Korg Wavestation; Kawai K 5000, K 3; Emu Vintage Keys; Guitars: Stratocaster Fender
Petra Huschle - Vocals
Hemisphere are Ralf Knappe Heinbockel and Thorsten Reinhardt
The German duo Hemisphere are masters in the field of melodically ambient music, provided with a rhythmic twist. Their music is highly appreciated in the ranks of electronic music fans, which is quite rightly because it always comes with a standard high quality.
"Rambling Voyage" will be no exception of this: again Ralf Knappe Heinbockel and Thorsten Reinhardt have managed to mix the many faces of electronic music into an intriguing whole.
Starting off in a slightly relaxing mood in "About Suggestion" they move into more darker zones in the longer tracks like "Night Of The Living Machine" (with sequencer lines that remind of Tangerine Dream from the end of the seventies), "Image", "Flow Motion part 1", "Flow Motion part 2", and the beginning of "Crash".
At other times ("Oscillation", the rest of "Crash", the title track) the album has a more modern touch and Reinhardt can show his great skills on the electric guitar.
For all the sides that the duo shows, counts the same thing: the melodic essence of their music is never forgotten. And then there is also "Liquid Mirror part 5", as a follow-up of the 1991 album "Liquid Mirror" that is regarded as an electronic music classic. This track was already recorded in 1994.
If "Rambling Voyage" will also be heralded a classic in the future is something we can only guess. But one thing is for sure: this album is another great piece of work by one of the most interesting names in electronic music today.
Aprčs une intro pompée sur Heinrich von Kleist (un de mes morceaux préférés de Klaus Schulze), le voyage commence dans le style qui est leur marque de fabrique, un dark ambient largement inspiré par l'école berlinoise. Ralf Knappe Heinbockel et Thorsten Reinhardt, les deux compčres de HEMISPHERE pratique leur art en privilégiant les ŕ-plats sonores aux boucles, le rythme étant donné par de grandes séquences de percussion efficaces mais sans fioriture. En outre, ils font appel ŕ une palette de sonorités incluant des voix féminines et une Fender Stratocaster qui ajoutent au caractčre "sable mouvant" de cette musique.
En écoutant Rambling Voyage, j'ai ŕ chaque fois les images glauques de Blade Runner qui défilent devant mes yeux. Le 4čme titre s'intitule Image. Ils ne pouvaient ętre plus éloquents, sinon par leur musique.
Et encore un album sorti chez Groove qui ravira les amateurs du genre, męme si cela fait une dizaine d'albums tout ŕ fait valables en l'espace de six mois (pas du męme artiste). Le portefeuille va finir par en pâtir.
2010. LouLou / Prog-résiste
This album beautifully brings together many ideas explored on the last few Hemisphere releases (the female vocals, sequencer passages, and atmospheric guitars) to produce a flawless and perfect experience. The flow is seamless! Sadly we have lost Ralf Knappe-Heinbockel but this record shows his incredible music knew no limits and will live on forever. Rambling Voyage, if not the best Hemisphere album ever, surely is close to the top of the list.
2005. Chris Knowlton / USA
This work by Hemisphere is a beautiful space odyssey based on the use of synthesizers, ideal to let imagination soar through unearthly worlds. A general trait of the album is the fact that the music happens to be very intense, vital, as if reflecting strong emotions. The 11 pieces included in this release have a melodic cosmic style with some Atmospheric Pop touches.
The latter are basically in the rhythms. The melodies present a certain romantic character, with slight symphonic traits. Perhaps the most remarkable theme is "Night of the Living Machine", in which the melodic grandeur of Hemisphere is strongly present.
2005. Edgar Kogler
By now most in the EM community have heard this is the last Hemisphere album, due to the unfortunate and untimely passing of Ralf Knappe Heinbockel. Fortunately, he and bandmate Thorsten Reinhardt sent him off with a bang instead of a whimper with this excellent collection of trademark Hemisphere, blending dark ambient and Berlin school in a way unique to the two genres. A common complaint about this style of music is that several of the musicians sound like Tangerine Dream or like each other; Hemisphere always sounds like Hemisphere.
Warm melodies and shuffling beats, enchanting subtle vocals by Petra Huschle, and the right tinge of darkness all add up to consummate coolness. From deep floaters like "Image" and both parts of "Flow Motion" to the bass, slow beats and cool vocals of "About Suggestion" and "Oscillation", it’s all good; there is not a bad or even a mediocre track in the bunch.
The last track, "Nameless", is a short beautiful piece with piano and synths, a fitting tribute and ending.
2005. Phil Derby / Electroambient Space
Shortly after I received this CD, I read the very sad news that Ralf Knappe Heinbockel of the German duo Hemisphere had passed away. He was only 44. This also means the end of Hemisphere.
They were masters of melodic ambient music, but they also provided a rhythmic twist to it. Their music was highly appreciated in the ranks of electronic music fans, which is quite right because it always came with a standard of high quality. "Rambling Voyage" is no exception. Ralf and Thorsten Reinhardt have managed to mix the many faces of electronic music into an intriguing whole.
Starting off with a slightly relaxed mood in "About Suggestion", they move into darker zones in the longer tracks like "Night Of The Living Machine" (with sequencer lines that remind one of Tangerine Dream at the end of the 1970s), "Image", "Flow Motion part 1", "Flow Motion part 2", and the beginning of "Crash".
At other times ("Oscillation", the rest of "Crash", the title track) the album has a more modern touch and Reinhardt displays his great skills on the electric guitar. For all of the musical sides of the duo, their melodic essence is never abandoned.
And then there is also "Liquid Mirror part 5", as a follow up to the 1991 album "Liquid Mirror", that is regarded as an electronic music classic. This track was recorded in 1994.
If "Rambling Voyage" will be heralded a classic in the future is something we can only guess. But one thing is for sure. This album is another great piece of work by one of the most interesting names in electronic music.
Let’s remember Ralf by listening to this great music.
Paul Rijkens / SonicImmersion.org
This release from 2004 features 76 minutes of airy electronic music.
Hemisphere is Ralf Knappe Heinbockel and Thorsten Reinhardt. Petra Huschle provides luxurious vocal effects on a few tracks.
Languid electronics expand to fill the sky, and once that cloudcover is complete, relaxed percussion enters the mix, fueling the music with steadfast rhythms. Shriller tones waft in and out of the fog, embellishing the flow with spacier elements. Similar interplanetary ambiance is permeated by softer textures that drift into the mix like a nebulous velvet field.
Guitar appears quite frequently, sometimes churning the lower region with muted snarls, other times rising to generate dazzling prisms of radiance.
The rhythms maintain an unhurried pace, providing beats that never intrude or force the tuneage into harsh terrain. A constant dreaminess prevails.
While most of the tracks possess a strong melodic disposition, there are a few pieces that moodily explore harmonic soundscapes.
The voyage is only "rambling" in that it takes the audience to a variety of ethereal locales.
High altitudes, outer space, oceanic expanses, even the depths of an introspective heart.
Matt Howarth / Sonic Curiosity
This is great electronic music. Hemisphere is a German duo (Ralf Knappe Heinbockel and Thorsten Reinhardt) that moves between the more interesting artists of the Groove catalogue.
And not only that: this "Rambling voyage" is without doubt one of their better productions. Rich and dense, intense and dreaming, Ethereal, but the electronics of the pair derives directly from the freest and phrenetic raids of the Cosmic Couriers and Tangerine Dream.
Eleven movements that act as from sonorous column of a travel in the cosmos and the abysses, the galaxies and the ocean. A travel into the psyche, with a good deal of improvisation, the mystical voice of Petra Huschle, the sporadic but determining presence of a guitar player, the solid but not heavy rhythmic structures.
Not particularly innovative, but the electronics of ht two draw a bridge between the Berliner school of Schulze and Froese, dark ambient and the music of the 80's, like Jarre and Kitaro.
"Night of the living machine" and "Liquid mirror" are examples of "traditional" (but involved and evocative) electronic music.
Ralf died at the age of only 44. Shortly after the release of this disc.
It's in his memory that we write these lines, knowing that its spirit is now truly one with the light of his music.
Grande musica elettronica. Hemisphere č un duo tedesco (Ralf Knappe Heinbockel e Thorsten Reinhardt) tra i piů interessanti del catalogo Groove.
Non solo: questo "Rambling voyage" č senza dubbio una delle loro migliori produzioni. Eterea ma ricca e densa, intensa e sognante, l'elettronica del duo deriva direttamente dalle piů libere e frenetiche scorribande dei Corrieri Cosmici e dei Tangerine Dream.
Undici movimenti che fungono da colonna sonora di un viaggio nel cosmo e negli abissi, nelle galassie e nei fondali piů remoti dell'oceano. Un viaggio nel buio che č ricerca nei meandri della psiche, con un buon apporto d'improvvisazione, la voce mistica di Petra Huschle, la sporadica ma determinante presenza di una chitarra elettrica, le strutture ritmiche solide ma non pesanti, tanto per scandire questo tuffo nelle profonditŕ di una dimensione nuova, "altra".
Nulla di particolarmente innovativo, ma l'elettronica del duo getta un ponte tra la scuola berlinese di Schulze e Froese, il dark ambient piů pessimista e le sonoritŕ piů solari degli anni '80, penso a Jarre e Kitaro.
"Night of the living machine" e "Liquid mirror" sono gli esempi piů eclatanti di questa concezione "tradizionale" (ma coinvolgente ed evocativa) dell'electronic music.
Ci sono tentazioni new age come "Oscillation" che perň non stridono nell'economia dell'opera. Interessanti invece gli affreschi tenebrosi di "Blackmail" e "Crash".
Ralf aveva solo 44 anni. E' scomparso poco dopo la pubblicazione di questo disco. E' in sua memoria che scriviamo queste righe, sapendo che la sua anima č tutt'uno con la luce della sua musica.
2005. Donato Zoppo / movimentiprog
N mecké duo Hemisphere není na elektronické scén ádným nová kem. První album Liquid Mirror vydalo ji v roce 1991 a to nejnov jší je ji jedenácté v po adí. Ralf Knappe Heinbockel a Thorsten Reinhardt nejsou klasickým p ípadem istého revivalu berlínské elektronické školy.
Ano, vzory Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze a další hrdinové p elomu 70. a 80. let jsou v jejich tvorb celkem itelní, ale Ralf s Thorstenem svoji tvorbu posunuli z nebezpe né plagiátorské zóny sm rem k ambientu a temn jší sou asn jší downtempo elektronice.
Nejinak je tomu i u Rambling Voyage. Hned na úvod nás p ivítá trip hop About Suggestion, jak vyst i ený od Archive nebo Recoil, s vemlouvavým vokálem dlouhodobé spolupracovnice Petry Huschle.
Druhou skladbou se nejprve pustíme do temných ambientn -elektronických vesmírných pustin ála Brian Lustmord, je prosv tlí po ty ech minutách retro sequencer, a p ipraví tak p du pro obligátní stylové sólování.
Podobnými momenty našt stí pánové šet í, a i kdy cítíme, e je baví, oni hledí našt stí spíše kup edu. Temn jší ambient, na který by si Steve Roach netroufnul, zat ká ješt Image, trochu p ebyte nou Blackmail a ob ásti skladby Flow Motion, zatímco rychlejší a prosv tlen jší Oscillation nebo titulní track zdobí Thorstenova inven ní elektrická kytara.
Po více jak deseti letech ke kone n na sv tlo sv ta dostalo páté pokra ování skladby Liquid Mirror z roku 1994, jeho p edchozí díly vyšly u na debutovém stejnojmenném albu. Sou asný mastering postavil tento temný a v druhé polovin siln melodický, tém tvrthodinový monolit na rove novinkám.
Prozradil tím, e p ed léty nastoupená cesta je stále dr ena. A te babo ra, jestli to je pozitivní, nebo negativní zjišt ní. Já bych se pro tentokrát dr et té pozitivn jší varianty.
Pavel Zelinka / Radio Akropolis
"Rambling Voyage" opens with an Enigma-like song, including female vocals.
"Night of the Living Machine" starts pleasantly spacey and turns into a Jean-Michel Jarre theme, followed by "Oscillation" which again may remind you of Enigma but a bit more mellow.
This release also has a lot of variety - tracks like "Flow Motion" and "Blackmail" are soundscapes and "Crash" is more modern EM. I can therefore join colleague Paul in his analysis that Hemisphere is good in combining the various aspects of electronic music. On one hand, this cd gives a patchy picture, while on the other hand, everyone can find something to his or her liking.
André de Waal / SonicImmersion.org
(As I was entering this review into my computer, I went to the web to see if I could find more information on Hemisphere. I did a Google search and found a link that reported that Ralf Knappe Heinbockel had died. The link was to a post by Ron Boots on the EM Forum and it was dated February 2, 2005. I assume that he died that day. My heart goes out to his family and friends everywhere. I did not have the pleasure of knowing Ralf except through his music. God bless you. Ralf! Godspeed!)
The Groove Unlimited label has a reputation has the world’s finest label for Berlin school electronica. It is a well-deserved honor. However, they also release some excellent ambient music, most of it from Hemisphere - Ralf Knappe Heinbockel and Thorsten Reinhardt.
Rambling Voyage is a set of 11 compositions that will delight focused listeners for 76 minutes. Ralf and Thorsten use synths, processors and guitars to create this classic electronic ambience. The textures are organic and the timbres are sci-fi. The voyage rambles across the heavens and around the universe. The atmospheres evoke imagery of deep space nebulae and unexplored galaxies. The deep drones have narcotic effects and will hypnotize deep listeners.
There are no flaws on this CD! Ralf and Thorsten are meticulous and their structure creates free-flowing soundscapes.
This CD gives Groove another strong entry for 2004’s top 25!
2005. Jim Brenholts