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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 24/03/2011
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.
Light Years Journey
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.
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.
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