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BLACKOUTS

Ashra

 

Progressive Electronic

3.73 | 75 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Quiet One
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Ever heard of an album where you felt you were floating deep in space?

Ashra's Blackouts is a completely instrumental album played solely by Manuel Göttsching playing the sequencer, synths and the electric guitar. Blackouts mainly delivers dreamy soundscapes very ala Tangerine Dream, just that this time there's a sublime electric guitar leading the tracks and unlike Tangerine Dream, Ashra, well actually Manuel doesn't add the mellotron neither does he delve through dark spaces.

The album opens up with 77 Slightly Delayed. It's a up-tempo tune featuring Manuel Göttsching's sequencer and echoey guitar, and if I'm not mistaken also the synths are present, but not in the way the 70's giants used it, it's way more subtle giving the song a spacey-driven atmosphere and bringing a bit of melody to the song. Overall a nice semi-melodic dreamy soundscape, with a wonderful hypnotic guitar solo.

The album's atmosphere doesn't vanish, and continues with the beautiful Midnight on Mars, which the title in this track, even if doesn't have lyrics, suits perfectly since Manuel achieves a fascinating aura with the sequencer and keyboards and then he adds a majestic guitar solo to give the song a melody in which will lead you into a eternal, magical, sleep-coma.

The album continues with Don't Trust The Kids which is conected with the following one, Blackouts. A bit less dreamy because it has a robotic feel due to the sequencer, but still it has a soundscape to follow created by the keys. The song delivers another guitar solo which is, once again, delightful. Blackouts soon starts, with the same robotic sequencer sound but slightly faster. The title track has a stunning guitar solo all throughout the song and ends up with an odd sound, similar to the noises of lasers shots from sci-fi movies.

Then follows Shuttle Cocks, in the vein of the last two but oddly enough it compromises a groovy rhythm all through, yet another great tune, and makes the album's state more diverse.

The album ends with the electronic, spacey epic called Lotus which is compromised by four parts. It's a good mix of the first 4 songs, but this time the melody is made by a synth, while the guitar is just in the background with the sequencer giving the rhythm of the song. However in the middle of the tune it transforms into a chaotic parallel, with dissonance everywhere created by the sequencer and keyboards, but soon it gets back to how it started.

Highly recommended album for those who want some space chilling music with some mesmerizing guitar work, as well as for those still looking for a very effective sleep-album. For those who didn't find that on Tangerine Dream, I can assure you that either Blackouts or the even better debut called New Age of Earth will do the trick. Anyways, I do not recomend this album for those who are looking for structured based songs: having notable begining and end; drums, bass, guitar riffs or anything related to 'rock'.

The Quiet One | 4/5 |

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