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Free System Projekt - Procyon CD (album) cover


Free System Projekt


Progressive Electronic

4.00 | 2 ratings

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4 stars In 2005 this Dutch EM project was added to Prog Archives, the following years reviewers wrote very positive words about Free System Project. But after 2008 the additions of new albums stopped on Prog Archives so I would like to introduce their latest album Procyon, from 2018. Because I consider FSP as one of the best EM projects since the Eighties, as a huge Seventies Tangerine Dream fan.

The prime mover and musical brainchild of Free System Project is Dutchman Marcel Engels, on his website we can find a mini biography. 'It was around 1980 (at the age of 7) when I heard records from Jean-Michel Jarre and Tomita. I really liked and still like those records, although I didn't had a clue who they were or how they made such music. Later I knew. When I was 14 years I bought my first keyboard. It was a small Yamaha keyboard and I was very happy with it. Later came a new keyboard and soon after that the first synthesizers appeared. I now have a nice studio at my home where I can experiment with sounds and record the things I like. As Mike Oldfield once stated in an interview: "It's a room with possibilities".' Marcel his musical partner on his Free System Project albums is Ruud Heij who plays synthesizers and sequencers.

On this Free System Project album (originally released as a download album in 2009 but now re-released as a CD by Dutch EM label Groove Unlimited) Marcel plays an Access Virus A (synthesizer module) and a Yamaha A3000 (hardware sampler) with Mellotron and Stringensemble sets, Ruud the Alesis Fusion HD (a 88-key synthesizer workstation) with Mellotron and Stringensemble sets, wow, 'a vintage keyboard maniac's wet dream', perfect gear to produce the unsurpassed 74-77 Tangerine Dream sound that the duo embraces. As we can hear on their many previous efforts, my favourite one is Okefenokee Dreams, recorded live at a Tangerine Dream fans meeting in the USA, in 2001.

1. Procyon (27.55) : After a spacey intro with SF sounds and the usual beep and bleeps a dreamy Mellotron flute and soaring synthesizer strings join. Then majestic low sounding Mellotron violins, gradually the music turns into more dynamic. In a wonderful way the Mellotrons and synthesizers of the two musicians blend, culminating in a very lush and exciting electronic music atmosphere. Suddenly it's sequencer time, around 15 minutes long, accompanied by first a high pitched Mellotron flute and flashy synthesizer flights, and then sumptuous Mellotron choirs, this is top notch electronic music, obviously inspired by 74-77 Tangerine Dream but with an own touch. The final part delivers fading sequencers and mellow Mellotron flutes and synthesizer strings.

2. Procyon (14.20) : First scary sound effects, then pulsating sequencers and the focus on synthesizer flights. Halfway deep sounding sequencing and lush Mellotron choirs that colour the music in compelling way, goose bumps! After an interlude with high a pitched Mellotron flute this composition ends with strings and a fading Mellotron violin sound.

3. And Then There Were Two (20.15) : After the usual spacey sounds and beep and bleeps the music delivers soaring Mellotron flutes and strings with a phaser sound, a wonderful dreamy climate. Then a deep synthesizer sound and majestic Mellotron choirs, now the sequencing joins, the combination with the Mellotron choirs turns into a very spectacular sound, this is Electronic Music heaven! After a mellow interlude with soaring Mellotron flutes the atmosphere changes into bombastic with synthesizers flights, the use of the pitchbend button is sensational! The dreamy outro delivers tender Mellotron flute runs. Simply beautiful (and it tastes way more better than And Then There Were Three!).

If you are into the unsurpassed electronic music of 74-77 Tangerine Dream don't miss this warm tribute from one of the best Dutch EM projects!

Track 1 and 2 recorded live at Hampshire Jam 7, Liphook, UK, on November 15th, 2008 and track 3 recorded live at The 3 In 1 Theatre, Huizen, The Netherlands, on October 30rd, 1999.

Other recomended EM bands/projects: Red Shift, Air Sculpture, Rudy Adrian, Pollard/Daniel/Booth, Gert Emmens and Terje Winther.

TenYearsAfter | 4/5 |


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