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Hydrus - Midnight In Space CD (album) cover




Progressive Electronic

3.90 | 25 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Midnight in Space is another one of those one-off Italian progressive classics from the '70s, and maintains a very "Italian" attitude of high-art and beautiful melodies that are usually attributed to groups of this nationality in the '70s.

This album cannot be compared directly to the works of Tangerine Dream or Klaus Schulze because there is a much stronger focus on slow building melody in a more serene and empty sense than the usual countless layers of perpetually buzzing synths of the aforementioned artists -- this effectively gives Hydrus a sound all their own. The dynamism on this album is also incredible, usually opting for quiet and subtle, which makes the huge electronic crescendos stand out more. But on some tracks, such as the energetic "Milky Way", the group plays with a thumbing bass line, a choir of trumpets, and smooth guitar that all makes for a fun synth-enhanced Chicago-like composition that is as bombastic and unique as it is entertaining. The bass sound on this album, by the way, is substantially low-end and clean sounding, though there are no technical displays.

Beyond being spacial-sounding electronic music, as most electronic music was in this era, there is a moderately romantic vibe to Midnight in Space, which could very well explain the naked woman on the album's cover art. There are only very small traces of any kind of jazz within this album's compositions, but the atmosphere throughout reeks of jazzy class. This is electronic music for slipping on your tux, sipping on your dry martini, and... drifting off into space?

Again, each of the tracks on this album are primarily slow and quiet, which might bore some new listeners, but more noticeable moments creep out into the moonlight after repeated engaged listening. Because of the generally subdued nature of Midnight in Space, it's very possible that it could have influenced many modern-day ambient electronic composers. Specifically songs like "The 2 Planets" sound similar to some of the more interesting Harold Budd compositions.

While I definitely wouldn't recommend this to people who have no patience for slow music, I could probably safely recommend Hydrus' only album for fellow ambient electronic fans as well as post-rock fans. Considering that this is a gem of the Italian '70s progressive music scene, huge fans of rock progressivo Italiano might enjoy this along side other Italian classics such as Franco Leprino's beautiful Integrati... Disintegrati and Claudio Rocchi's Suoni di Frontiera.

colorofmoney91 | 4/5 |


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