- Psychedelic Voyage – [18:22]
- Mechanical Spirit – [18:04]
- Into the Sylence – [3:58]
- Sundown – [27:12]
Whether it be rampaging Berlin School sequencing or contemprary powerhouse EM Javi Canovas instills the sort of quality that lifts him above the hum-drum. Uplifting, dynamic, sensational! His music will inspire.
Geoff Mason / United Kingdom –
The ‘title track’ starts with pitch-bending psychedelic effects, reminding me of those 1950’s sci-fi B-movies. Strange sounds swirl around my head, eventually subsiding as an organ stirs ambient waves over a deep tonal backdrop of wind effects. Analogue sequencing develops into a rhythm, and further synthesizer effects are being added, and the rhythm builds louder and faster, and it really does feel as though we are on a ‘Psychedelic Voyage’ travelling across a ‘space rainbow’ with effects building to peaks as if bouncing off the ‘aurora of magnetic waves’ and a kalaidescope of the light spectrum is shooting in all directions! This is fantastic head-nodding sequencer heaven in full flow. The music builds and peaks in waves, the analogue sounds are awesome. The power subsides to ambient tonal ending. Wow! ‘Mechanical Spirit’ starts where the first track left, with an organ sound. Strange effects build an a ir of anticipation, then all is replaced with sequencing underpinned with a synthesized rhythm, and a second quite hypnotic pulse. Effects are being added and it builds with flute sound playing, then an electric piano as a new groovy-funky sounding rhythm transforms the whole feel of the piece. Now I can connect with the title as a positive mechanical sound with a playful spirit. There are effects and an occasional lead line soaring across, and it is all high quality stuff! It dissolves into ambient ending and I’m trying to catch my breath. Fantastic! ‘Into The Sylence’ has a delicate beautiful piano playing a reflective and emotional tune. I can breathe and relax to this not so electronic lovely relaxing short piece. Just gorgeous! ‘Sundown’ opens with a powerful ambient build up of planetary proportions. Maybe a huge magnetic storm is sweeping through the cosmos, the rays of the sun flickering across the atmospheric limits, bouncing off, as a rhythmic sequencing comes forward, be i ng joined by a rainbow of effects, and a second rhythm. Flute is playing a lead line to the analogue sounds, electric guitar adds soul, being underpinned by ambient organ drone and Kraftwerk-like synth notes. This develops into quite a mesmerising brew of amazing playing. The guitar works really well and fits the piece as an essential and intergral part and I feel like the music is giving me a ‘high’ that I must have. It briefly breaks down, then a new rhythm is formed and electric guitar takes you through a portal into an alternative psychedelic universe. This guy sure knows how to play guitar, and the sequencing leaves me ecstatic, my whole body is en-‘tranced’! This is absolutely amazing! There is an almost progressive 60’s psychedelia feel for the 21st century, and it builds with more sequency effects and guitar brew getting louder to a huge rhythmic peak of power. Guitar licks flick over the top, then sequencer keeping on a high of highs right up until the end, as it gradually then fades into ambient choral effects and organ sounds. I’d forgotten just how good this album really is. An overlooked ‘classic’ of a synth album by the amazing Javi Canovas!
2020. Geoff Mason / United Kingdom
There are three long tracks and a short one. What a completely inadequate way to start a review of an album that is so special. The title track begins with electronic effects whooshing all over the place like android wasps hitting warp drive! This then calms down and normality is resumed with lush tron backing stormy windy sounds. When the inevitable sequence arrives it is not messing around, it is a real bass laden beefy one making the ground shake. A softer more melodic sequence bounces over the top beautifully and the mellotron surges once again. Lovely little melodies nestle in the middle of the mix being just identifiable as the sequences go ape. Any Berlin School fan should be in absolute raptures by this point (especially if you are into the 70s variety). Of his last few albums I have said each was the best and they have been but with this track- I am just speechless. I cant remember last time I loved a piece of music so much. There is so much power here as well as brilliant under stated melodies, wonderful lead lines and such a feeling of joy. I was jumping around in excitement (must have looked a real idiot- but I simply couldnt care). At the moment if I had just one track from the whole history of Electronic Music to take with me onto a desert island I think it would be this.
It is not uncommon for an artist to open with the killer track but the problem with doing that is where do you go from there? The Second Track Mechanical Spirit begins all shimmering and misty and when the sequences and stunning lead arrives it retains this rather moody feel. Another fantastic start. Things then go through a rather inventive staccato section with stabbing notes. The energy levels start to build again, almost to those of the opener. This is Berlin School but with a very appealing new twist. The leads are once again brilliant, searing but not outstaying their welcome. It is a track that I am sure will be loved by Berlin School fans but there is enough inventiveness in there as well to also appeal to a wider audience. Into the Sylence is a short track and quietens things down a bit with gorgeous processed piano, joined later by soothing mellotron. It is simply exquisite and I would say essential to calm the heart, which has been set raging from the previous two numbers. The last track Sundown initially remains calm and again a little moody. A tinkling sequence emerges like the aurora borealis lighting up the night sky. A second sequence joins it (and yes, of course more tron). We then get some cosmic guitar licks that once again hit the spot perfectly. I asked Javi who played the guitar as I loved it so much and he said that he did! He certainly kept that talent quiet. The sequences start to go into overdrive and the guitar becomes more insistent, even quite heavy.
Again there is no denying that this is incredibly exciting stuff. Things quieten down for the middle section and then the guitar makes a growling return accompanied by scintillating driving rhythms and blistering sequences. Whereas I suppose the first track here could be compared to Redshift at their meanest this is more like what Arc would sound like if they were joined by Gary Houghton from RMI. If I had to pick a favourite track here it would still probably be the first but to many this might be even more of a jaw dropper because of the liberties it takes with the traditional Berlin School formula but with such a devastatingly effective and exiting result. No, Ive changed my mind, this is my favourite track. No, hold on, its the first. Oh blast it, just buy the album and make up your own mind!
Javi, I think you might have just released your masterpiece. Every track a gem. How you will top this one I will never know.