Geoffrey Downes & The New Dance Orchestra – The Light Program


Released: Geffen 924 156-2

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SKU: 924 156-2 Category: Tags: ,


1 Symphonie Electronique 14:44
2 Oceania 16:43
3 Ethnic Dances 11:46
4 East West 14:44
5 Urbanology 14:08

The promotional bumf tried to promote this work as being along the lines of TANGERINE DREAM and while there are definite similarities, this could as easily pass a ‘compare & match’ test held up against VANGELIS or even more musical moments of THE RESIDENTS. Where this differs so much from the TANGERINES’ is in the variety of the compositions – where, even now TD are heavily led by sequencers, albeit leading them through a soft electronic neo-FLOYD soundscape which is still arguable their very own domain, DOWNES & THE NEW DANCE ORCHESTRA explore old regions with a new coloration, love and tenderness. This is a seemingly smooth journey through a variety of awkward bedfellows – Classical Chamber Music, Light Jazz, Eastern Traditional, and like many journeys it paints itself indelibly onto the memory from a palette of rich and varied colour tones. Themes grow based on preset keyboards played with a proficient ease, sequencing is kept to a minimum, military drums appear and disappear, and he romps through tunes, adapting traditional musics and modern soft prog styles with the ease of any top notch Keyboard Wizard – which he clearly is. As a composer and musician, he stands among the likes of WAKEMAN & EMERSON. Outside of the names mentioned above, snatches of a wide variety of comparisons come & go – from STARTLED INSECTS at their early best to the orchestral break on JOHN MILES’ 70’s hit “Music” come to mind. All tracks flow along without even a hairline gap between each.

Okay, so this is nothing new, pushes no boundaries nor breaks new ground, but it is a masterful recording of bright, colourful musicianship, always transforming, searching each area of it’s realm, never faltering in it’s progress. As with my review of “The Dream Mixes” (elsewhere in this issue) this is a kind of incidental music favoured by television – symbolic in it’s lack of human voices (as few people tune into Test Cards or Jobfinder at such unearthly times – the majority of humanity is asleep and without voice, and the few who ARE awake don’t need language to complicate their tired perception). Easy listening, full of variety, gravid with a cornucopia litter of tunes.

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Weight 90 g



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