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Earth Star

Earth Star makes no attempt to mislead its listeners – from the first moment, the album lets you know what you’re getting.  A broad, major key sweeping synth fades in, filtered sounds play in the background, and all is epic.  Opener Aurora Borealis is an example of how well some pieces of music fit their titles: with its beautiful synth washes and subtle rumblings, it is easy to imagine the piece as a soundtrack to the northern lights and their grand majesty.  It would be easy to say the remainder of the album follows a simple template; certainly, the template is set.  However, each of Earth Star’s five tracks has something individual to bring to the album, and the record is a strong, cohesive journey from start to finish.  The title track is possibly my favourite piece, with very soft synths adding a slow-moving feel to a series of subtle tapping sounds, which lends the track a definite sense of space and presence.  An airy melody appears halfway through, which gives the track a different focus, adding a sense of subtle grandeur.  Meridian adds occasional dissonance to the mix, bringing in an occasional sense of unease to the otherwise peaceful beauty.  Infanitum lives up to its title, with blissful synths swirling on seemingly forever.  The album closes with Nebula, the most tense sounding piece on the album, with suspense filled chords and strange, wobbling synths, occasionally punctuated by clangs and deep, booming rumbles.  The piece brings us out of the comfort zone of the initial run of tracks, and brings to mind the realisation that while admiring the beauty of the stars all around, we’ve been drifting further and further from Earth.I am not sure why I chose Earth Star as my first Russell Storey album, but I’m glad I did, as it is a very strong work from start to finish, with a range of pieces broad enough to keep interest, and similar enough to keep the album streamlined and coherent.  An excellent album of spacey ambient and drone.

Posted by Electronic Music Reviews on 24/03/2011  

Dreams and Visions

From the excellent New Zealand space music musician comes this cd featuring his trademark two epic tracks.
The first, 30 minutes of 'Dreams Of Galileo' is a more intense, drone-oriented track with layers of synths that really have that kind of deep, dark brooding quality to them, as the textures tend to resemble laser beams of sound and really drive through.
On the other hand, the near 40 minute 'Visions Of Edgar' is a lot more spacey and spacious, substituting an expansive, open approach for the dark clouds that appeared before, and the approach could not have worked better on what is a slowly unfolding, engaging slice of multi-textured cosmic synth music, providing a neat contrast and a huge-sounding piece of music for all its lightness.



Here the 34 minute title track opens the CD and it's into a dark territory of seriously slow-motion space synths and cosmic layering. You notice that all the time the soundscapes change shape while still retaining the warm, emotive feel that this particular track exhibits, as it slowly travels an intergalaxian journey to become a truly atmospheric slice of drifting, open-ended space synth.
The other track, 30 minutes of 'Apollo' is one of his most sonically varied tracks to date with all sorts of synths and soundscapes phased and layered to produce an everchanging sea of sounds that, while stil always spacey and cosmic, actually has a good deal of variation and depth, the drone factor accompanying the space music to provide a quite unnerving set of passages, some of which relate as much to something like 'Zeit' or similar and you could well imagine this piece being some lost '70's track.
It drifts, drones and flows its way through the blackness of space, nothing overly "light" about it, and even verging on the intense once more at times along the way.
The synths become richer sounding as the track develops and the mood changes to one of greater serenity although still quite dark, but another engaging track all the same.


A Light Years Journey

Until now I only knew the New Zealander Russell Storey from his experimental track “cosmic kiwi” on the analogy project. It is an artist who produces rather deep spacemusic that mostly is quite long-stretched. Many of his albums contain not more than two tracks.

Atmosphere is an important factor in his music, as mentioned; this atmosphere is very spacey but on later works some more ambient can be heard. You must be in to this kind of atmospheres. If so, Storey’s music can be a special experience.

We received six CDRs from him to review from the period 1992-2001. “a light years journey “ comes from 1992. The title track lasts more than 40 minutes. When I listened to this piece, I got the feeling that I experienced Carl Sagan’s space journey with him along “billions and billions of stars”. This music has the capability to bring about a certain image with the listener and that is fine. Storey does this through long-held floating sounds (for those who are interested among others Roland D50 sounds) and a dark undertone. The sounds are not really soft, so it is not ambient but clearly space music. “vortex” the second piece, is somewhat softer but again very spacey. This track has traces of the music of Michael Neil. Nicely done.

Review by Paul Rijkens in E-dition magazine - Rating 3 Stars out of 5

The opening track lasts 40 minutes and for this we are headed out into deep, deep outer space with a myriad spacey, cosmic synthscapes that soar, drift, drone, float, swirl and resonate, as this mighty space synth epic unfolds, deep, dark and meaningful, not to mention one seriously engaging piece of music.
Despite being called meditative, the 30 minute 'Vortex' is altogether more "heavenly" with a gorgeous set of flowing, higher-register synth spacescapes that slowly drift in quite beautiful fashion, constantly changing shape in slow-moving, deep space fashion, all of which makes this the finest of all the space music cd's he's done to date and the ideal starting point for anyone into some outstanding cosmic synth music without a rhythm in sight.


All content copyright 2006 Russell Storey and Jez Creek