The music was recorded with numerous analog synthesizers and sequencers and so we thought we'd point that out to everybody by titling the album "ANALOG DESTINATION".|
- Analog Destination [18:10]
- Stellar Nursery [28:14]
- Live Illusions [13:34]
- Quantum Swirl [16:34]
(And, of course, we tried to use every synthesizer we own!)
This album is a scorcher with our "Northern California-School Style"! The energetic sequencer patterns take center stage with energizing melody lines soaring high overhead in a rich field of live electronic sound!
The CD has been mastered directly from the original 24-bit files by Bruce Turgon, former bassist for the band Foreigner.
(Craig & Skip)
"Analog Destination" is a well found title. Not only does it reflects the music by the two Americans Craig Padilla and Skip Murphy but for the biggest part on the album the duo also uses "real" analog electronic music instruments. Well, not everything is analog, they also use digital sounds, but the overall atmosphere on "Analog Destination", as was the fact with their previous album, the outstanding "Phantasma", is a really seventies approach.
Sequences form an important ingredient on "Analog Destination". This combined with nice melodies, some great solos and a fine spacey atmosphere, move the music in almost a symphonic direction. Spacerock at its best, so to say.
The title track, with which the album opens, is clearly a great example of this. It has a lot of energy, with thrusting sequences and rhythms as well as fine soloing by the duo. The last piece "Quantum Swirl" has almost the same spacey atmosphere. It contains the best sequence on the CD. One that almost reflects to Tangerine Dream many moons ago. Not all the music on the album is "new". "Live Illusions" is a live version of the track "Illusions" from "Phantasma".
The other three tracks are also live but recorded in the studio. This leaves the two gentlemen to improvise a lot, which they are very well in. For people who are looking for the ultimate mixture between retro and space music, "Analog Destination" might well be the answer.
2008. Press information
Long-time American synthesists Craig Padilla and Skip Murphy feature a gear list on Analog Destination to make most any EM fan drool. The end result is four deep space explorations of pulsating swirling sequences, loaded with mood-altering and mind-altering music.
The 18-minute title track moves along at a leisurely pace, building ever so gradually into a wall of sound. "Stellar Nursery" is the 28-minute centerpiece, starting with tinkling echoes that evoke images of far-flung galaxies. While it sort of reminds me of Klaus Schulze from 1976 or so, it doesn’t sound like any of his albums from that time. Just as it seems this one will stay purely atmospheric, sequencing does come in just past the 7:00 mark, and a steady drum beat a couple minutes after that. It then locks into a moderate groove for most of the remainder before ending back in the deep realms of outer space.
"Live Illusions" is a live version of a track from Phantasm, a mostly mellow shimmering piece that ends with a fast synth solo.
"Quantum Swirl" is light and airy, with a softly meandering bass line that gradually builds into a low sequence not unlike something Redshift would do as a warbling synth solo takes over briefly before finishing with cool floating space music.
Phil Derby / Electroambientspace
Excellent dark synth soundscapes herald the coming of the title track and we are drifting in space for a few minutes. Wonderful symphonic synths are rich in color and texture. A sequence can be heard, gradually gaining in volume. Another sequence appears and then in comes a rippling analog solo. A wonderful rhythm starts, as a new solo and echoing sequencers are combined to wonderful effect. This is quite simply some of the best EM I've heard! It's so warm and floating and yet so cosmic, it's uncanny! After the 10-minute mark the rhythm departs but the electronic pulsations continue casting their spell. This track is monumental; it has everything that's so great about EM. You will hear so many different sounds here, so many atmospheres, that you won't notice how these 18 minutes fly by.
"Stellar Nursery" begins with strange ring-modulated sounds, all sounding explicitly analog. Dramatic pads enter the stage, together with wonderful resonating synths. Perfect gentle electric piano melody can be heard. It's all very Schulze-like, the sense of anguish and grandeur prevails as one can only think of the endless stretches of space, bright stars and picturesque nebulae while listening to this. A mournful flute can be heard and I can tell for sure it's one of the most emotional EM pieces ever created. A beepy sequence appears, as the electric piano melody returns for a short spell. Various other cosmic sounds come and go, making it not an easy task to try to describe the music. Perhaps it's useless to describe each sound in detail. There's just so many of them, all sounding extremely fat, cosmic and analog. The track has than archaic feeling that permeates many of 1970's EM recordings - totally improvised, unpolished and free flowing. I also loved that popping analog drum machine ala "Oxygene". The sequences subside and leave us with the aforementioned drum machine and wonderful punchy twittering effects from the glorious synthesizers. Soon the bass pulse resumes, sounding quite laid-back and unhurried. A punchy ARP solo, very much in line with Schulze's mid-1970's works, can be heard. Once again, you can't describe what comes next. It will be enough to say that the effects are aplenty, as well as dramatic melodic pads. The sequences return after a while, this time slowed down and sounding heavily echoed, as if coming from a great distance.
"Live Illusions" begins with dark synthesizers, before moving on to brighter textures, all executed superbly. Excellent echoing sequences are heard, providing the necessary punch. A wind synth solo enters with the track remaining firmly in the cosmic realm. A rhythm starts, supported by sequences. Wonderful stuff. And that melodic theme that starts a few seconds later was totally unexpected and a pleasant surprise it was, too.
A mournful flute gets "Quantum Swirl" underway. Dark pads are followed by a slow bass sequence that sounds a bit funky and somewhat playful. A great melody is heard, followed by phased pads. The sequences gain momentum as the track retains its somber atmosphere. An organ-like melody can be heard, in duel with flute. The sequences get more and more aggressive before turning into a real electronic frenzy. A monstrous! analog solo starts, as all the other elements of this track get more intense and loud. You are simply sucked into this whirlpool of electronic sound. Cerebral and hypnotic, cosmic and relentless, that's what this track is. It ends with beautiful chords and cosmic effects.
The first impression from this album is that it's one of the staples of Neo-Prog EM. If you like 1970's Klaus Schulze, you owe it to yourself to check out "Analog Destination", as in many ways it occupies a similar terrain of completely improvised analog cosmic electronics. It has even chances to enter my all-time Top 10. Time will tell. Kudos to Groove for releasing this gem!
2008. Artemi Pugachov / Encyclopedia for Electronic Music
Craig Padilla and Skip Murphy have made in this work a kind of space electronic music which turns out to be emotional and enigmatic.
Inspired by the analogic sonority, they have composed a series of themes that will no doubt attract the lovers of the purest line of Space Music. The structure of "Analog Destination" consists of diffused melodies that come and go, floating environments that surround these melodies, powerful sequencers, and sound effects that in some passages are an important part of the ambiance. There also are moments of experimentation, yet always keeping to the most melodic aspects of the music.
The latest collaboration of Craig Padilla and Skip Murphy is aptly titled because they predominantly use analogue synthesisers on Analog Destination. All four tracks are live recordings, three of which were recorded live in a studio. Looking at the extensive equipment list in the liner notes it seems that the artists used every synthesiser they could lay their hands on!
Bold and mysterious spacey sounds swirling around the soundscape begin the title track "Analog Destination" before an obligatory chugging sequence starts up. This builds up in excitement with the addition of drum effects and zigzagging whistles and continues in this vein before slowing off for a restrained end.
Among all the spaceyness the best is on the longest track "Stellar Nursery" coming in at over twenty eight minutes long. Spiralling ripples and stardust pads take the listener on a mental journey through a mass of stellar activity and birth. Brief heavenly chorale sounds are heard before a beepy sequence and ticking, sometimes out of kilter, percussion takes over. It develops over the rest of the track and includes nice wistful melodies.
The third piece "Live Illusions" is a live version of "Illusions" from Phantasma. Mysterious contemplative cosmic sounds groan, dip, and cascade their way over the soundscape. This gives way to brighter aural realms and patterns dance, flutter, and ripple around kaleidoscopically. The expected pay off comes late into the piece with an ebullient staccato melody and rhythmic percussion and drums.
For fans of the retro sound using analogue synths Analog Destination should be a winner. It's got enough well crafted music going on to keep you interested and have you reaching to turn the volume up. Aficionados of the EM genre may also spot the occasional sonic nod to trailblazers like Jean Michel Jarre.
2008. Dene Bebbington / Melliflua
Recorded live, as much as in studio for tracks 1-2 and 4, this 4th Padilla Murphy collaboration brings us into a musical experience where improvisation mixes perfectly to their creative chemistry. A musical delight which transcends the meanders boundaries of EM, as space rock and prog rock.
Dark and wandering waves, tinted of a galactic zest, are blend to heavy and threatening reverberations in the opening of Analog Destination. A good slow intro which floats on morphic and poetic synths. Quietly, Padilla Murphy sprinkles us with great synth layer loops that breathe in an ambiguous sound horizon where heavy and neurotic sequences reign among frenzied percussions. Synth breathes and music impregnates the air of hooking charming serenade that aren’t necessarily appeasing. Wonderful musical contrast on great harmonies.
Great aggressive music by Padilla Murphy which continues to astonishes with the beautiful spacey Stellar Nursery. A Schulze intro (Body Love area) that vanishes in a relaxing cosmos. A cosmos covered by a superb fluty Mellotron whose celestial voices lull the deepest of the space, our subconscious, until its awakening by a looping sequencer rolling into a suave and languorous galactic tango that moves towards amazing analog sounds effects, recalling Jarre period of Oxygene and Equinox. A great track which revolves constantly between two tempos, space rock and floating music, aromatized by great Mellotron moods and variegated rhythms, full of nostalgic ASE (Analog Sounds Effects).
Recorded in concert, Live Illusions, from the Phantasma album, fits with wonder to the frame of this very space and prog rock universe which girdles all along Analog Destination.
Respecting the floating introductory structures of Analog Destination, Quantum Swirl opens with a beautiful waltzing flute in a dense cosmos. Far away, a hypnotic sequence circles around a synth to harmonious pads, plunging us in the heart of Schulze analog years. Smooth Mellotron, growing hypnotic tempo and melodious synth, Quantum Swirl explodes into a heavy and frantic structure, guided by sequences with aggressive loops and wild synth solos. A superb passage worthy of the best metallic Tangerine Dream sequences, which dies out in the braised breaths of its opening.
Analog Destination is a diversified opus which oscillates with ease between space rock as well as progressive rock in a great Berlin School Californian School EM atmospheres and structures. A big grabber and a must for the 2008 year.
An opus that I'm still listening with the pleasure of its first listen.
2008. Sylvain Lupari / Guts Of Darkness
This release from 2008 offers 76 minutes of lush electronic tuneage. Three of the tracks were recorded live at Dancing Astronaut Studio throughout 2007, while the fourth piece, recorded at the Sundial Bridge in California on August 23, 2007, is a live version of a song from their "Phantasma" album.
The first track embodies a compression of airy electronic layers which achieve a ponderous density as they coexist. Lavish sequences are utilized as backdrops for more demonstrative passages, producing a startling magnitude that is often heavy-handed. Styled in bass-thick fashion, these electronics reach a relentless frenzy with ease and maintain that bulk throughout the song. A strata of urgent percussion lies buried in the mix.
The next piece is lighter in character with atmospheric tones wafting in relaxed breezes. Bubbling electronics serve as a sprightly seasoning for this heavenly excursion into dizzying heights. Eventually, growling synthesizers and steady e-perc rise into dominance and hold sway for the duration of the 28 minute composition. The piece employs a sedative downswing for its sparkling conclusion.
The third track adopts an almost ambient demeanor with expansive tonalities overlapping to form a dreamy flow. Embellishments of soft punctuation and rolling keyboard cycles gradually breathe more vitality into the piece while maintaining an understated mien.
The final piece injects a somber mood into the dreamy-moving-into-uptempo flow. Luxurious electronics swell with authority, while chugging e-perc provides a serpentine locomotion. Everything accrues vitality and strength until the tune seethes with boisterous stamina.
2008. Matt Howarth / Sonic Curiosity
U název alba Analog Destination dlouholetých kalifornských kamarád Craiga Padilly a Skipa Murphyho napovídá, jakým sm rem se bude jejich pátá spole ná deska ubírat.
Do zá e reflektor jsou instalovány desítky analogových elektronických nástroj , zatímco jejich softwareoví i digitální brat í ci jim tentokrát kolegiáln kryjí záda. P esto nem eme íci, e bychom byli sv dky n eho ne ekaného. Craig, zarytý sci-fi fanoušek, snad jen více vypíchnul jednu slo ku svého hudebního arzenálu na ty i 13 a 28minutové zp soby. Ona posedlost vesmírem i na pom rn svi ném albu (pom te se soub n vydanou sólovkou Below The Mountain) p ináší klasickou Padillovskou zasn nost spolu s atmosféricko-prostorovým odérem. Soub né laškování mezi retro elektronikou a space ambientem sedí dvojici nejvíce a kdy navíc p idáme zda ile vygradované monumentální finále Quantum Swirl, pak je pozitivní dojem z alba zaru en.
Ma vieille théorie se vérifie une fois de plus : les albums originaux d’e-music enregistrés en live sont (souvent) plus captivants que les albums studio. A cela, une raison double : non seulement les morceaux sont souvent inédits mais iils doivent ętre musicalement irréprochables pour ętre directement assimilables par les spectateurs.
Et le nouvel album du duo américain ne faillit pas ŕ cette théorie. Non seulement les quatre compositions ont une dynamique qui titille constamment l’attention de l’auditeur grâce ŕ de longues séquences spatiales ou ŕ des plans de percus électroniques mais en plus elles sont mélodiquement proches de la perfection. En outre, comme l’indique le titre Analog Destination, l’instrumentation, en grande partie analogique (avec les synthés ARP en veux-tu en voilŕ), apporte une chaleur dans les sonorités que le meilleur échantillonneur ne peut restituer.
Bref, un des trois musts de ce trimestre.
LouLou / progresiste.com