1. Magnetic Storms on the Event Horizon
  2. Journey Through the Black hole
  3. An Infinity Of Nothingness
  4. Distant Union
A new fresh sound of Michael Shipway and Steve Smith!! And a step back into the past. A more rocking and solid Volt with some powerful guitars!!. Gusts of wind roaring in a cave which oozes of wet pearls and of synth lines which escape like gases of ether, the opening of "Magnetic Storms on the Event Horizon" brings us in a zone of disasters where the barriers of the cosmos glitter of their contrasting charms. Slow in their winged veils, these synth lines mutter while developing a plan of intersidereal meditation whereas explode from everywhere the magnetic thunders. And at the dawn of the 5th minute, an organic rumbling establishes a first pattern of rhythm. My senses in wait in this environment as explosive as a bit hostile, my ears get anchor to this strange gurgling which crawls and of which are feeding an armada of locusts and of insects practising the stridulatory language. A movement of more electronic sequences (I don’t know why, but I hear here a movement which reminds me The Shining Ones from Mike Oldfield’s Song of Distant Earth album) gets hanging onto this structure of rhythm which sneaks beneath the lighthouses of fireflies and their fires sparkling of slightly hypnotic tones. And a little before heading it’s 7th minutes point, "Magnetic Storms on the Event Horizon" is changing of music skin again with a dynamic movement of sequences. The rhythm then becomes livelier and gets loose little by little of its organic fauna. Immersed by slow sound waves, this rhythm is hammered by a steady movement of sequences to which are grafted percussions eager for an electronic rock and of which the sprightly rhythm is decorated of these synth solos which remind us all the magnificence of EM. Hey my friends, that feels so good to hear new music of Volt!

In a new sonic adventure based on exploration of sounds and on the colors of tones, the English musicians Steve Smith and Michael Shipway expose a vision of an EM more accentuated towards good progressive electronic rock patterns. If not, E-Rock! “A Day Without Yesterday” proposes 4 evolutionary structures where the phases of atmospheres converge on rhythms in gestations and these soft rhythms turn into solid rock unique to the England School style. In fact, Volt explores the usual facets of EM but with a new sound identity. The result is delicious and "Magnetic Storms on the Event Horizon" is just a small appetizer. "Journey Through the Black Hole" proposes also a long opening which is barded of slow and immersive sound waves. The rhythm wakes up around the 5th minute with a keen movement of sequences. Movement which goes in the background, making room for a softer structure of rhythm, kind of sneaky, which welcomes a dark sky illuminated of scarlet solos. These solos moan with lascivious complaints while these sequences which flickered with so much velocity take a 2nd breath around the 9th minute. And after a short ambiguous phase which shines of these perfumes of Tangerine Dream from the Tyger years, "Journey Through the Black Hole" explodes in fiery and very lively E-Rock where the nu m erous synth solos resound like a furious guitar starving for rock and only rock. Not as good as "Magnetic Storms on the Event Horizon" but quite solid! More direct and less in the ambiosonic lace, "An Infinity of Nothingness" is the strongest moment of “A Day Without Yesterday”. The whole thing begins with knockings of bass and percussions of which the echoes forge a kind of Drum’n’Bass which is charmed by the spectral chants of synths. A wavelike motion of sequences sparkles in the background, adding a harmonious touch to an opening which took us by surprise. This introduction is surrounded by layers and immersive waves, adding a touch of intensity to a structure which spits now deep shrill synth solos with some wah-wah which get entangled as those of a guitar going adrift. These compact waves and lines weight down the rhythm which wakes up, so much under the solos as twisted as the fingers of a hysterical witch than with another movement of sequences which skips in symbiosis with an armada of jingles. And little by little, the skeleton of the rhythm hatches with lines of ill-assorted sequences which harmonize their desynchronizations on some phases before exploding in a colossal powerful and heavy electronic rock which is caught by superb sequences and a good play of percussions while being nibbled by synth solos as much piercing than the threatens of an eagle in a sky pure. Splendid! “A Day Without Yesterday” is the Volt album which dips the most into the rock influences of Steve Smith and Michael Shipway who met 35 years ago while they used to form a rock band. And to underline this anniversary, the English duet proposes a furious E-Rock with the full of riffs and guitar solos clubbed by a heavy, very heavy, bass and by percussions as mad as lively. Always on the precepts of those evolutionary stages of EM, "Distant Union" browses the 3 phases before exploding in the big Hard Rock which is going to blow up the patience of your neighbor. Patience already t e sted by splendid rock passages which fly over the ambiences and the ambient rhythms of “A Day Without Yesterday”; an album which is going to please those who want an EM of which the evolutionary structures stay more in the rock than in the ambient phases. The union here is perfect. So let’s go consummate it!

2017. Sylvain Lupari / gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca The title of this album is an alternative name for the cosmic The Big Bang, while the actual track titles describe aspects of the event, especially when wondering whether there is a Black Hole at the other side of a Big Bang. Both are reflected in the artwork for the cd, featuring an interpretation of a Big Bang on the front of the insert and a Black Hole on the reverse.

The basic tracks for "A Day Without Yesterday" were created in the studio and shaped/complemented during a longer period of time, also implementing the experiences of playing some of it live at an "Awakenings" festival in 2015 and feedback from the audience. Playing the music live has helped Michael Shipway and Steve Smith to refine some of the tracks due to the rapport they have when playing together and enabled them to capture this for this cd, while this also led to the inclusion of tracks and some additional instruments (guitar and bass guitar) on the final piece "Distant Union". There’s even a portion of progressive rock heard on the latter.

The outcome of four long tracks offers 60 minutes of melodic, sequencer-spiced electronics to which both composers added some of their typical lush soloing occasionally. I though can’t deny "A Day Without Yesterday" feels like a different beast and a rather different cup of tea in the end when compared to VoLt’s work released say a decade or so ago. People change and their music evolves with them, so I feel it hard to judge whether this is for the better or for the worse.

2016. B. Strolenberg / www.sonicimmersion.org