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Redshift - Redshift II - Ether CD (album) cover




Progressive Electronic

3.81 | 12 ratings

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3 stars Though this is listed in the Archives as a studio album, tracks 1 and 4 (the bulk of the album) were recorded live at Jodrell Bank observatory. Just thinking about this glorious spacemusic in such an apposite setting gives me goosebumps.

REDSHIFT purvey a TANGERINE DREAM-like mixture of cold ambience and warm bass-heavy pulsing sequencers, and on this, their second album, they are true to form. It's the soundtrack to accompany the exploration of the universe: huge synths and choral sounds reflecting the stardust from whence we all came, chattering sequencers imitating the bright cold stars.

'A Midnight Clear' and 'Ether' are the two long tracks, and they both begin with portentious synth and mellotron before surrendering to the sequencer (at 8:30 and 5:45 respectively), reaching a climax and then fading back into silence. If this sounds like the compositional structure TANGERINE DREAM used with such success, you'd be right. Had I been played this and told it was TD live, I would have no reason to disbelieve it.

The shorter middle tracks are studio efforts, and the sinister, eastern-tinged 'Bombers in the Desert' is perhaps the highlight of the album, along with ROB JENKINS' sublime guitar in the closing section of the title track.

This is nearly as good as REDSHIFT gets, but the album does not exhibit anywhere near the inventiveness required for serious consideration as a masterpiece. There are progressive electronic musicians (many not included here) whose work is redefining popular music. By contrast, REDSHIFT is a pleasant backwater.

russellk | 3/5 |


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