Recorded between June and November 2004 and in October 2005 at the Backroom Studio. |
- Biospherical Imagery [46:50]
Live Studio Nov 2004
- Endless Corridors [5:06]
Live Studio Oct 2005
- Signs Of Life [15:00]
Live Studio Nov 2004
- Mystery Voices [3:12]
Live Studio 2005
- The Day After [8:36]
Live Studio 2004
Music composed, arranged and played by Steve Humphries
Tracks 1/3/5 are live studio versions of tracks I played at the very first Create gig in Nottingham 07.11.04.
Tracks 2/4 were recorded Oct 2005 and are shorter ambient interludes to the sequencer tracks which are 1 and 3.
Behind Create is the Englishman Stephen Humphries. "Biospherical Imagery" is his third album. Again, the music is based on the Berlin School but there is a difference from his first two albums "Reflections From The Inner Light" and "From Earth To Mars".
On these albums he didn’t make use of traditional instruments like Mellotrons and analogue synthesizers but he created everything with the aid of the software program "Reason". The difference could not be heard. When he started playing live, he also started using (lots) of hardware-synths and now he also uses these instruments on an album for the first time.
"Biospherical Imagery" contains five tracks from 2004 and 2005 that are played live with only the sequencer patterns and drum loops pre-programmed before hand. The title track is the central piece. It is almost 47 (!) minutes long. Now, that's more like it! In comparison to other works of Humphries, there is more emphasis on rhythm. In addition to his sequences, solos and ambient sounds, this gives the music a full and rich sound. The Berlin School at its best.
There are also two short tracks on the album, "Endless Corridors" and "Mystery Voices" that are ambient interludes that Stephen played before he gave his concert at the "E-Live Festival" in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, in October 2005.
With "Biospherical Imagery" Create again proves to be one of the best new forces in retro-EM. And his music gives the listener an extra "reason" to listen to the Berlin School again.
The theme of the album is that of an explorer discovering a lost world, Biospherical Imagery is about the journey to and landing on the lost world and the remaining tracks cover its exploration.
This is also the first Create material which as well as using Reason also featured hardware synths.
2006. Steve Humphries / UK
I have to start out by saying I think Steve has created a bit of a classic here.
The 47 minute opening tack is simply brilliant, and in the tradition of the best of the epic 70's and early eighties Tangerine Dream concerts pieces, without really sounding anything like them.
You have it all here. Great back beats, sequencer rhythms, soaring synths, deep bassy droning synths, choral segments and much more, all superbly intertwining, morphing and contrasting. There isn't a dull moment to be found in this epic sonic journey. It's the sort of track you'll want to play again and again, as you'll keep discovering new qualities and depths within it. Wonderful stuff!
The rest of the tracks are equally brilliant. Some are atmospheric, at times reminding me of Early Mark Shreeve. The third track Signs of Life has a wonderful bouncy sequencer line running through it, that put me in mind of early Enterphase.
The final track, The Day After, is simply fantastic. Great beats and soaring synths abound,which really get my blood flowing. Love it!!
This really is a great album, and I highly recommend it.
2006. Roy Jackson / UK
Great new album, I really love the epic 47 minute title track. The overall feel seems to be a lot more chilled and spacey than say "From Earth To Mars".
In my view, this more moody atmospheric approach demonstrates that Steve H is a multi-faceted artist who is equally as comfortable with this style as he is with the more up tempo anthemic pieces on his previous two albums.
Steve Humphries continues to Create new EM offerings, his latest a series of "live studio recordings," including the massive title track of nearly 47 minutes to open the disc.
What can you say? It covers all things electronic, from the cool mechanical sequencer at the beginning to the dreamy wisps of floating atmosphere to the energetic passages that weave effortlessly throughout. The first percussion comes chugging in near the 6:30 mark and the toes start tapping. A synth lead pounces in shortly thereafter, perhaps just a touch too forcefully but it fades soon enough, replaced by a cool mesmerizing loop. Drums and electronics meld and carry things from retro to modern in short order, not exactly dance music but more upbeat than typical Berlin school, nicely finding a common ground between the two. Though often sequencer based, there are also occasions for several minutes when the music calms way down, stripping down to soft electronic textures like synth pads and strings. Steve knows when to lay back on the throttle and when to open it back up again.
The two shortest pieces, "Endless Corridors" and "Mystery Voices", were both recorded just prior to E-Live in 2005 as "ambient interludes," a perfect descriptor for these deep space numbers. The latter is particularly otherworldly, wavering mysteriously indeed.
"Signs Of Life" and "The Day After" are from the same session as the title track, and both offer fine takes on the Berlin school sound, starting and ending in the far reaches of the galaxy with just enough rhythm and sequencing in the middle to keep things interesting.
It all adds up to another winner from Create.
2006. Phil Derby / Electroambient Space
Create c’est l’Anglais Steve Humphries. Un nouveau venu qui avait agréablement surpris avec son premier opus Reflections from the Inner Light, paru en 2004. Depuis, c’est la cohue. On voit et on entend le son particulier des synthés de Create un peu partout dans le petit monde de la MÉ. D’ailleurs, il a eu l’hommage de participer à l’œuvre posthume à Robert Moog, Analogy, en donnant le ton avec le fougueux Analogue Revival, un titre à posséder. Biospherical Imagery est son 3ième cd, et c’est tout un vrai. Près de 80 minutes de purs délices. À elle seule, la pièce titre vaut le détour, vaut les deniers. Un long 47 minutes qui est dans la foulée de ce Analogue Revival. Il ne faut pas se fier à son intro atmosphérique où bruits hétéroclites croisent des sons de métal et des vagues cosmiques qui retiennent leur fougue avec détresse. Car graduellement, une fine ligne synthétique se dandine et les premiers coups de séquence se font sentir. Le beat est hachuré et frappe avec des percussions rotatives.
Sur une bonne ligne basse, les cris de synthés fusent avec force et Biospherical Imagery s’envole. Tout au long, les rythmes croisent des séquences qui alternent entre un ambiant fragile et des tempos soutenus. La basse, les percussions sont nerveuses sur des lignes de synthétiseurs en constantes ébullitions. L’atmosphère bourdonne sur des chœurs synthétiques graves et des sonorités aussi perçantes que mordantes. Du grand art synthétique. Un 47 minutes bien placé, là où ça compte.
Après un titre aussi fou Endless Corridors nous repose un peu. Comme Mystery Voices, c’est un titre aussi atmosphérique que sombre. Des atmosphères qui se poursuivent sur l’intro de Signs of Life avec un synthé qui siffle dans la noirceur de la nébulosité. De lourdes notes pulsent et dansent un air hypnotique. De lourdes séquences qui reviennent et modifient leurs tonalités sans changer le cours anesthésique de leurs pesanteurs. Un titre, vous l’aurez deviné, pesant, mais très pesant.
The Day After clôt sur une avalanche synthétique. Le rythme est léger et baigne dans une épaisse nappe synthétique qui s’accroche à une ligne basse groovy. Un bon titre séquentiel pour mettre la touche finale à un solide opus.
Amateurs de sensations fortes, de musique expérimentale et électronique, Biospherical Imagery est l’un des solides titres de 2006. Avec ce titre, Humphries démontre une étonnante maturité et une arrogance artistique digne des grands noms. Le genre d’œuvre cimetière, tant il est audacieux et ingénieux. Un habile mélange entre les atmosphères et les rythmes débridés. De la haute voltige synthétique comme on en entend que trop rarement ces dernières années. La pièce titre est absolument géniale. Près de 50 minutes infernales à jouer à haut volume, et là ce n’est pas garanti que la peinture va tenir sur les murs.
À se procurer sans fautes
2006. Sylvain Lupari
Steve Humphries: Reason 2.5, Alesis Ion, Korg Prophecy, Novation K-Station, Korg Electribe EA-1, Yamaha CS1X.
The title track is one big chunk of synthesis that clocks at 46+ minutes. Drones, cosmic flashes, distorted sequences let us fly through the cosmos being surrounded by poisonous gas nebulae. The atmosphere is that of immense grandeur and epicness. A rhythm develops that only supports the soundscape, without dominating. A sequence appears and the melodic motifs make our cosmos a slightly more hospitable place. However, a solo rips through the miasma of sounds like a lightning bolt through the sky. The rhythm abandons us, but not the sequences that now have us flying through space at quite a pace. Everything calms down and we prepare for another vista. Engines roar while a bass sequence develops and mutates, the rhythms supporting it. This is EM that has guts. Heavy stuff.
Melodies and sounds from the first part return and haunt us like ghosts on a hungry day. Sequences pulsate like hot hearts of the planets we pass on our journey through space that's full of wonders, excitement and adventure. We are then left alone in dark space once again, awaiting, wondering what comes next. Mysterious lead line warns us of the coming danger. Beeping notes hurtle forward like radar signals that let us know about the alien ships coming. The rhythms that appear are much heavier this time. However, we are soon left with yet another atmospheric section. We see colourful gas clouds passing by as the aliens escort us to their homeworld. Otherworldly fx and distorted spacey notes herald our entering into the alien realms. Everything around you is so unfamiliar, but beautiful. Strange sampled-voice effects only add to the strangeness of it all. Pulsing sequences appear as we enter the alien solar system, a green star warming a planet that's so similar, and yet so different from our own Earth. Rhythms pulsate as you can see all the alien machinery in work and the large stations they've created orbiting the planets. Everything glows with different colours, resulting in a rainbow-like experience.
At this point there's a hell of a lot of sequences to be heard, from the bass ones to the higher register pulsations. Deep drones, ethereal pads and the subsiding sequences end this enjoyable trip on a mysterious, but not dark, note, as if we are left alone in the space once again, wondering when we can achieve what this ancient race has. Maybe once we give up stupid things like always fighting each other for our own prejudice? Perhaps.
Track two is called "Endless Corridors" and indeed, it sounds like constantly speeding through the hyperspace (we are returning home now). Very evocative music.
"Sings of Life" starts in a really deep and out-there manner. It's like we unexpectedly discover signs of (alien) life in an unlikely corner of the Universe. Frigid, icy winds blow above the surface of a snowy planet. A chunky mid-paced sequence rushes forward as the alien fx and whistling synths cast their spell. A heavier galloping bass sequence is added to the flow to make up for one rollercoaster of a track. Higher register sequences complete the picture as we scan the planet to see where the signals are coming from. An atmospheric section follows with strange noises indicating that a huge ocean is concealed below the thick layer of ice. The bass sequence returns as we begin drilling the ice to reach the alien ocean. Finally the sequences subside as we discover huge transparent cities hidden underneath.
As we approach the city we hear "Mysterious Voices" which is probably the language of these aquatic creatures. We can't understand what they're saying but they do show us around and we only have to wonder what great civilization they managed to create is such a rigid and inhospitable place. The track is all distorted effects, drones and background Mellotron choir.
"The Day After" we fly through space in our own little spaceship, its engine purring slightly in the background, thinking about the marvellous discoveries we did lately. It's a very beautiful, cosmic and bright track, with steady rhythms and great melodic motifs.
"Biospherical Imagery" is by far the most coherent and atmospheric album by Create. Well done!
2006. Artemi Pugachov / Encyclopedia of Electronic Music / Russia
A music full of strong emotions, it exudes oniric melodies, energetic sequences and unearthly ambiences. Starting from Space Sequencer music and Ambient, Create offers us the particular vision he has of the most transcendental questions concerning the Human Being. This is an intense album which will not leave the followers of this kind of music indifferent.
'Biospherical Imagery' is the new album from Create, AKA Steve Humphries and is the follow up to his 'From Earth to Mars' album, which according to the notes states was recorded entirely on virtual/soft synths. However with a studio upgrade during 2004 he made the transition to hardware keyboards. Work started on the album way back in June 2004 and some of the music on offer here is represented as studio versions of live material dating from that period and indeed the first Create gig in November of that year.
The album itself features a decent blend of both analog and digital equipment and is quite varied throughout, with the five tracks on offer ranging from three minutes to a whopping forty-six! It is in fact this epic piece that opens the set.
'Biospherical Imagery' starts off with a low string/drone sound over cosmic effects. A 'square' type lead then enters just after the first minute which is then followed by a slightly metallic sounding sequencer pattern. Further chord patterns are added before a string theme is introduced. Just after the six minute mark a rhythm pattern is introduced, closely followed by a new theme and a pleasant mix of sequencer patterns, creating a somewhat powerful sound field. An analog lead then enters before the sequencers and percussion loop disappears right back to the standard drones that opened this piece. However it is not long before a bass sequencer pattern emerges over light percussion, the former becoming slightly resonant. Bass percussion elements take hold together with light string textures and further percussive elements. By the fifteen minute mark the piece is once again, back where it started with the dark string/drones section. Another percussion loop enters and another 'square' lead theme is introduced. A slightly off tempo sequencer pattern emerges adding slight obscurity to the proceedings while quite far back in the mix lies a decent percussion loop. The sequencer pattern pushes forward adding a new dynamic theme, which intensifies this particular section of the piece satisfactorily. At twenty three minutes it's back to the dark drones again and a minute later a cosmic theme is introduced with an array of underlying synth patterns and occasional effects. High string chords appear in the mix later and at thirty minutes it's back into cosmic effects and synth chord mode. In a slight change of direction obscure voice samples are added and a sequencer pattern emerges together with an effective high string theme. Deep cosmic effects help to expand this section and the sequencer part becomes more prominent. Another theme begins over a bass percussion loop and eventually new sequencer effects are added. The piece ends almost as it started with the metallic sounding sequencer pattern over washes of chords and effects.
'Endless Corridors' in complete contrast at just over five minutes is a minimalistic piece relying on low drones and effects. There is a high level of obscurity in this piece through the effects but this eventually leads into an atmospheric lead theme above high choral and string textures. Completely sequencer free.
'Signs of Life' appears via some decent high cosmic, panned chords. Bass effects are then added closely followed by a low drone. A theme is introduced with occasional white noise effects. The cosmic chords re-emerge later and at around five minutes a rather simplistic sequencer pattern is generated. This eventually becomes delayed over washes of effects building in intensity. Past the seven minute mark the sequencer pattern becomes more intricate and light percussion elements are added. At eleven minutes a metallic bass pattern begins and the piece eventually ends on washes of light cosmic effects and resonant chords.
'Mystery Voices' not surprisingly is a piece shrouded in mystery and features what sounds like a Mellotron choir sample. Extra themes are introduced but the piece manages to remain stubborn not deviating in its mysterious structure.
The final track, 'The Day After' begins with a mid range cosmic drone. Before the first minute is out light percussive elements enter over synth chords. A string theme carries the piece forward and a more stable percussion loop takes hold, slightly off tempo. A theme is introduced at just over 3 minutes but the piece subsides slightly leaving just a drone and the main theme. The rhythm section returns at around four minutes over further synth chords and an analogue styled theme before finally coming to rest on a bed of effects.
Overall this is a fairly good album, with plenty going on in the mix throughout its duration. It's difficult to compare this artist's work with other musicians but I would recommend this album to those who prefer their music with a more cosmic orientation.
This release from 2006 offers 79 minutes of stately electronic music.
Create is Stephen Humphries.
On November 11, 2004, Humphries performed his debut concert as Create in Nottingham in the UK. Immediately afterward, with the music still fresh in his mind, he set about recording studio versions of the material from that gig. This is what can be found on this cd, with the addition of two short ambient interludes which were recorded late in 2005.
A 47 minute version of the title track occupies the majority of this cd. Luxurious textures serves as a seductive intro to the piece, drawing in the listener for the gradual emergence of e-perc rhythms and more demonstrative electronics. Keyboards generate serpentine riffs amid a rising tide of resourceful tonalities. The mesh progresses with evolutionary disposition, flowing through a series of increasingly more complex patterns, striving with each passing moment to achieve a state beyond mesmerization. Urgency is established as the cycles accrete strength and complexity. Periodically, the music features brief breathing spaces while it reorganizes itself for the next mutation. With each successive plateau, the harmonies grow denser and the melodies attain more intensity. As the drama continues, a cosmic demeanor is introduced, flavoring the organic sound with astral qualities. The ultimate crescendo throbs with compelling verve and vigorous passion.
The other tracks exhibit the same regal mien, employing a slow burn pace that moves from floating personality to nimble-fingered intricacy. The electronics blend crystalline aspects with earthier elements, producing thrilling tuneage of vibrant character.
The pair of ambient interludes are just that, exampling Humphries' acumen with atmospheric structure that is far from minimal.
Matt Howarth / Soniccuriosity
Create it is the Englishman Steve Humphries, a long time Internet friend. A newcomer, who had agreeably surprised lots of people with its 1st opus Reflections from the Inner Light, released in 2004. Since, it’s the mob, great sells, top ten and appearances on several EM Festivals. We hear the so personal sound approach of Create synths here and there on Festivals and compilations. Besides, he was part of the big names who gave a posthumous homage to Robert Moog on Analogy, by kicking the opening the with impetuous Analogue Revival, a title you have to put your hands on. The more furious electronic swirl I heard since Roach’s Empetus and Stormwarning.
Biospherical Imagery is, already, Create 3rd opus, and hold your hat with iron wire.
Just the title track itself is awesome and a good reason to buy this cd. A long 47 minutes track which is in the Revival Analogue stride. Don’t trust, or judge the track by his atmospheric intro where heteroclite noises cross sounds of metal and waves cosmic which retain their ardor with distress. Because gradually, a fine synthetic line is dandle and the first blows of sequence are felt. The beat is hatched and strikes with rotary percussions. On a good bass line, synths screams fuse with strength and Biospherical Imagery flies away. All along, rhythms cross sequences which alternate between fragile ambient and constant tempos. The bass, the percussions are nervous on synth lines in constant effervescence. The atmosphere drones on grave synthetic choirs and sonorities as acute as corrosive. This is 47 minutes of great synthetic art.
After a so insane title, Endless Corridors gives us a break.
Like Mystery Voices, it’s a title as atmospheric as dark.
A similar ambiance reigns on Signs of Life intro where a synth whistles in nebulosity blackness. Heavy keys pulsate and dance a hypnotic air. Heavier sequences modify their tonalities without changing the anaesthetic course of their gravities. As you could guess Signs of Life is a very deep and heavy track.
The Day After closes on a synthetic avalanche. The rhythm is light and bathes in a thick synthetic pad which hangs to a groovy bass line. A good sequential title to end a solid opus.
Feel for big thrills of experimental and electronic music? Biospherical Imagery is one of the solids titles so far this year. With this title, Stephen Humphries shows an astonishing maturity and an artistic arrogance worthy of the great names. The kind of cemetery work, so much it is daring and audacity. A skillful mixture between atmospheres and powerful rhythms.
The title track is absolutely brilliant, a must. Nearly 50 infernal minutes to play at high volume, and there it is no warrant that the painting on the walls will hold. To get without faults.
2007. Sylvain Lupari
With 3 albums released in two years or so Steve Humphries AKA Create is certainly a busy fellow.
"Biospherical Imagery" (GR-131) is another lengthy excursion into sequenced realms. The press blurb made much of this being a ‘new direction’ for the artist but it’s a definate step backwards as far as I can see, sounding very amateurish, especially the more rhythmic sections which sound like the sort of stuff that used to come out on cassette in the very early 80s as the future UK heroes took their first faltering steps. It’s also as boring as hell, ambling & plodding around with no spark of inspiration to be found anywhere, a shame, really, as I thought Create had the capability to go a long way.
Carl Jenkinson / Sequences
Terzo cd per i Create di Steve Humphries: Biospherical Imagery (2006) viaggia su un interessante contrasto, poichè è un live in studio ma a differenza dei due dischi precedenti Steve non suona più strumenti analogici tipo il Mellotron, bensì valorizza un'unica work station chiamata "Reason". Il suo approccio musicale è sempre retrò, ma stavolta la nuova attrezzatura riesce a dare all'opera un tocco più avanguardistico.
I 46 minuti della title-track sono per i die-hard fans, anche se rivelano un momento sonoro di elevata fattura.
Donato Zoppo / MovimentiProg
Stephen Humphries aurait-il lu ma chronique sur son opus précédent, où j’évoquais le manque de véritables synthétiseurs? J’en doute mais j’ose le croire. En réalité, c’est sans doute une évolution normale de son cheminement artistique, et cela s’entend! Même si c’est encore l’âge de Reason (!) pour le studio. En fait, cet album est du premier concert de Create, avec une pièce éponyme de presque 47 minutes qui vaut le détour. Elle est un pur produit de l’école berlinoise dans ce qu’elle a de meilleur : grande technicité, lignes de basse et de percussion impeccables, longues séquences répétitives, atmosphères prenantes. Un must ! Entre les morceaux live, Humphries se permet deux respirations ambient qui donne une idée de la largeur de sa palette et lui ouvre encore d’autres portes.
En somme, il a remis les pendules à l’heure et cet album peut être considéré comme celui de la maturité. Profitez-en!
2010. LouLou / Prog-résiste