Released: 2007 By Fairy Nuff Music
1 in stock
Stephan Whitlan and Steve Jenkins (like an AirSculpture/Wavestar cross)
This band is really no other than Steve Jenkins and one of the most talented (and unfortunately highly unprolific) Electronic Musicians from the UK, Stephan Whitlan (aka Stevo). Here they are in an out and out Berlin School mode, so hang on for a powerful trip!
They certainly waste very little time on the opener ‘Blue Light’ before introducing the first of many exquisite rhythm and sequence combinations. Stephan’s real forte however has been melody and as the pulsations gradually build up a wonderful head of steam a softening flutey synth lead is deployed. Symphonic pads make an entrance and you would have thought this would mean that things were mellowing but not a bit of it as those sequences seem to become increasingly ball breaking. The leads now become more searing, the sound chosen being very reminiscent of the ‘Map Reference’ album.It’s sequences straight up again for ‘Surf’, the initial one being of a tinkling, almost warning beacon type but this is soon joined by its bass laden floor shaking brother which shifts this way and that like a river of lava finding the path of least resistance down a volcano. Even though it posses awesome power though there is still a melodic quality. It’s if, sure, it might be wreaking havoc but it is happy in its work! A lead line isn’t deployed until nearer the end and this time the sound chosen is more like that from John Dyson‘s ‘Evolution’ (Stephan used to play in John’s band). The sequence responds to the lead in becoming even more devastating as if it is hurling great chunks of molten rock into the air. Another absolutely brilliant track- if anything even better than the stunning opener. ‘Lost / Found’ cranks those sequences up to even greater speed and power, again with a melodic quality amongst the mayhem that gives proceedings that extra class. A slow moody lead line, again carrying that distinct Stevo signature, skips amongst the mayhem as the main sequence builds to almost Redshift proportions, twisting this way and that, Mellotron completing the classic picture. This is yet another slice of pure retro magic but with a quality to it that puts it head and shoulders above similar bands. Hands stay glued to those sequencer knobs for ‘Sept 05 02’. A deep bass lead rumbles forth over more wonderful note runs. This track is a little different to the others as it is tinged with a certain melancholia. As we progress Stevo once again treats us to more excellent lead heroics.The album is brought to a conclusion with the over half an hour ‘HJ4 (Live)’. Sense of humor abounds right from the first seconds as we get a happy cheesy seaside organ refrain belted out with great gusto, complete with seagulls! In less than a minute however all Hell is let loose with the biggest mother of a sequence on the album so far and searing virtual electric guitar- bloody ‘ell! A slow moody lead juxtapositions the sequence wonderfully. By the nine-minute mark this surge has started to abate as we gradually wind down to brooding atmospherics. Even here though the quality shines through, the choice of sounds being simply exquisite- yes a Mellotron is deployed but not until well into this section. Subtle structure returns with a moody percussive loop, tinkling electronics surging around and eventually swamping it. Ominous windy drones are punctuated by crystalline note droplets as a delicate melody starts to form- beautiful stuff indeed. This section also subsides however as things take a darker twist heralding the return of the sequences which arrive quite subtly. As one after another of these wonderful beasts are brought into play it isn’t long until we are motoring along once more, a contrasting piano lead bounding amongst the pulsations followed by more typical Stevo melodic heroics. The track seems to finish with still about 4 minutes to go and we have to wait for about half a minute before music returns in the form of a symphonic type surge before one last sequencer blast.
I have mentioned words like ‘class’ and ‘quality’ in this review and that is because these are what this album possesses in spades. A truly essential purchase.
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