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Nemesis - Xenopus CD (album) cover




Progressive Electronic

4.00 | 1 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars It's sad that some artists (however good and internationally marketable they may be) don't get reviewed here. Such is the case for this leading Finnish electro-ambient act and their big, decades-stretching discography. Last February I wrote about their Living Statues album, so maybe it's now high time for another review. I think this is still their latest release, it came after Living Statues. Xenopus compiles live and studio recordings between 2006 - 2013, without suffering from a lack of focus at all. Material is written and performed with synths by Joni Virtanen, Jyrki Kastman and Ami Hassinen. This 64-minute album with excellent cover design by Kimmo Heikkilä was produced and mixed by Hassinen in March - April 2014.

Tracks 1, 2, 5 and 8 are live recordings from rehearsals (10th of May, 2009) for a concert in Sibelius Museum, Turku, 'Columbia' is from the concert itself, and 'SARS' is a collage of several rehearsal and live takes from 2006 - 2009. The tracks 4, 7 and 9 are studio recordings from 2006, 2013 and 2010 respectively. This music in general could be placed somewhere "out there" between 'Kosmische Musik' in the vein of early Tangerine Dream and the more modern progressive electronic music including the so called Dark Ambient. There are spacey, slowly building synth layers and lots of little details that may bring many different associations to the listener, from exotic landscapes to space travels or A.I., virtual reality or whatever SciFi-related things. Everything flows in a natural balance.

13½-minute 'Alastaro' is not only the longest track but it also has the strongest beat and thus feels perhaps the most adventurous one. Gracefully it's still not approaching EDM (electronic dance music), instead some Jarre connotations may come to mind. 'Memento' slows the pace again, with a psychedelic and watery soundscape. Nemesis are absolute masters of programming, even the rhythm elements never sound clinical or lifeless. 'For Neil' (Armstrong, I presume?) is a calm and moody piece that would be at home on "Apollo - Atmospheres and Soundtracks" by Brian Eno & co. My least fave 'Comfort Zone' has relatively sharp synth sounds and it reminds me of earlier albums of Roz Vitalis. 'Mare Tranquilitatis' is a great closing track for this excellently produced and mixed package of spacey electronic music full of fascinating ambience. In fact, this is among the finest examples I've heard of the whole style.

Matti | 4/5 |


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