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Vangelis - Invisible Connections CD (album) cover

INVISIBLE CONNECTIONS

Vangelis

 

Prog Related

2.31 | 55 ratings

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Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer
3 stars The other unlistenable Vangelis album. That's the usual knee-jerk gloss on this 1985 oddity: one of only a few truly challenging efforts by the otherwise easy-on-the-ears Greek keyboard artist. Comparisons are typically made to his amorphous "Beaubourg" album (1978), but this equally enigmatic lab-test is miles ahead of the random tonalities of that earlier journey, and light-years removed from the middlebrow classical-synth soundtracks that made his fortune.

The difference between the two albums is obvious in the wider diversity of instruments: acoustic piano, percussive allsorts, and a variety of atmospheric synthesizers. You can likewise hear it in the more generous production, given incredible spatial depth by a heavy application of studio reverb. The end result is an unsettling 40-minute evocation of the empty space between distant stars, at times recalling the minimalism of Brian Eno, minus the soothing pre-natal calm of Eno's better ambient doodles.

But the album can also be occasionally playful, in a deadpan art-installation sort of way. After the awesome space-drift of the 18-plus minute title track, the balance of the album (Side Two of the original LP) descends to the extraterrestrial landscapes of "Atom Blaster" and "Thermo Vision", without actually touching solid ground. Both tracks call to mind the efforts of a nerdy alien repairman testing old TV vacuum tubes: bleep......blorp......bloink......etc, with the silences between each random note even more compelling than the notes themselves. The famed Vangelis soundtrack for the movie "Blade Runner" might have sounded a lot like this, if the film had been a Jacques Tati comedy set on a space station slowly orbiting the planet Neptune.

In retrospect it makes sense that the LP first appeared under the bright yellow logo of the Deutsche Grammophon classical music label. The album should rightfully be segregated from the main sequence of other Vangelis recordings, sharing more common ground with the cosmic-Teutonic soundscapes of early Klaus Schulze and Edgar Froese, or the primitive electronics of Karlheinz Stockhausen: a DG label-mate, briefly. But even lacking the usual melodic crutches the sound is still pure Vangelis, worth a listen when in a receptive (i.e. patient) frame of mind.

Neu!mann | 3/5 |

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