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VoLt - The Far Canal CD (album) cover




Progressive Electronic

2.91 | 2 ratings

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3 stars VoLt is the UK duo Michael Shipway (who released four solo albums between 1992 and 2011) and Steve Smith (Steve Smith And The Tylas Cyndrome and a duo with Robin Banks). A long time ago they met for the first time and decided to write songs together and record them. So a pop/rock band called Hi-Fi was born. Along with all of this came a desire to explore the world of sampling and synthesized sound. These instruments were introduced into the band and also spawned the classic sampling duo A.I. or Artificial Intelligence (that still exists to this day). Michael then sent a demo of some songs he had done in the electronic music genre to a record label called Surreal to real. Lo and behold they liked it and three albums were produced. It was during a period after this, when Michael was striving to write his fourth album and Steve Smith was away doing other band projects. It occurred to Michael that they had never actually tried to play music live and spontaneous with no prior arranging. Everything had always been carefully prepared and recorded in computers and edited to achieve the required result. So both Mike and Steve agreed it would be a good idea to try some sessions playing live in the studio with no pre-planned ideas, except for some programmed sequencers. So what was to become their debut album entitled The Far Canal was recorded in three sessions, and VoLt came into being. The 3 tracks contained here were performed live by VoLt in concert and in the studio, the only preparation being the programming of sounds and sequences.

1. Part One (14:36)

The intro delivers sound effects, followed by soaring synthesizer strings and majestic Mellotron choir drops. Then catchy sequencers and layers of synthesizers in a mid-tempo, culminating in a long and wonderful part featuring an awesome Mellotron violin sound. The final section is dreamy with soaring synthesizers and the sound of the Mellotron female choir section.

2. Part Two (21:13) The atmosphere in this part refers the most to the 'outer space' title The Far Canal: after a very long intro with a typical EM spacey climate, halfway a slow beat and synthesizers with a phasing sound, this is wonderful ambient music.

3. Part Three (24:31)

This is the realm of cosmic music with lots of beautiful sound effects. Then hypnotizing synthesizers join, halfway a slow beat and soft synthesizer flights, Japanese EM musician Kitaro comes to my mind. Gradually the atmosphere becomes more lush, topped with propulsive sequencers and pitchbend driven synthesizer runs, simply wonderful. In the end a mellow atmosphere with again interesting sound effects and soaring synthesizers.

A very pleasant debut CD, meanwhile VoLt have released a serie of albums between 2003 and 2013 (the lastest is entitled Particles).

Thanks to EManiac Paul Rijkens.

TenYearsAfter | 3/5 |


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