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László Benkő - Lexikon A-Z CD (album) cover

LEXIKON A-Z

László Benkő

 

Progressive Electronic

3.25 | 3 ratings

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Vibrationbaby
3 stars Originally released as two separate albums as Lexikon I & II in 1982 and 1984 respectively these were Omega keyboardist Laszlo Benko`s first attempts at solo work, the first of which coincided with the release of Omega`s 11th studio album, Omega XI. Incorporating the computer technology Omega were dabbling in at the time Benko recorded these two highly experimental electronic keyboard albums which were way out there and sound just as futuristic as they did back ion the early eighties. The Lexikon concept was simply to use words arranged alphabetically as titles for a series of minumilistic electronic keyboard pieces which didn`t necessarily have anything to do with one another whose lengths clocked in at an average of 3 minutes. Just enough time for some interesting musical developments but not acheiving enough monotony to try short attention spans. Although many of the tracks have the potential for extension they remain short and sweet and create many moods from numerous sources of influence from Kraftwerk to earlier Tangerine Dream and others but are not necessarily concerned with textured soundscapes but rather more at driving their points across through short passages with stated themes and ideas which are expanded and added to as much as possible within their short running times. Utilizing contemporary state-of-the-art keyboard products frrom Roland, KORG and Yamaha as well as drum computers, all kinds of quirky musical images and effects are created here. However, there is nothing primitive about Lexikon A-Z but at the same time it does not approach the sophistication of the ambient visions of artists normally associated within the progressive electronic realm. Although disciplined, Lexikon A-Z does indeed tend to sound like Benko playing around with his newly acquired toys on Christmas morning especially on more outlandish tracks such as the spooky Drakula, the bizarre Circusz and the psuedo waltz, Pieta, nonetheless these pieces are nonetheless warmly refreshing. Other somewhat more serious tracks such as Mambo, Fata Morgana, Quartier Latin or Atlantisz stretch the technology avialable to Benko creating all kinds of simulations of steel drums, simulated vocalizations and even evoking the ambience of a outdoor French café on Quartier Latin. Other tracks explore more rhythmic techno experiments (Babel, X.Y., SOS) and those familiar with the music of Benko`s work in his day job with Omega will also recognize some themes from Omega tracks popping up from time to time as well.

An interesting mish mash of electronic computer generated musical ideas and concepts which, because of their individual running times, move the album along at a quick pace. If distant comparisons must be made Kraftwerk and Nue! would come to mind as well as a bit of everything from the 70`s electronic/ambient scene but without the tense atmospheres, layering and extended themes. Technologically sound and well produced in the hands of a veteran normally heard in a group situation, Lexikon A-Z is a more light hearted approach to synthesised music that doesn`t take itself too too seriuosly.

Vibrationbaby | 3/5 |

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