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Gandalf - Journey To An Imaginary Land CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.44 | 37 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Austrian multi-instrumentalist Heinz Strobl, performing and recording under the Gandalf moniker, has to be considered as one of the founders of New Age music.Born in 1950, Gandalf's travels all over the world not only broadened his musical horizons but gave him the opportunity to unite different music styles and cultures.Between August and October of 1980 Gandalf recorded his first solo album ''Journey to an Imaginary Land'', eventually released on WEA Records the same year.

The ''Departure'' introduction shows in a general way what Gandalf's concept was all about.Acoustic guitars blended with floating synths and electronics in a composition able to give birth to a whole new music genre.''Foreign landscape'' though is more diverse and inventive.A mix of MIKE OLDFIELD-guitar instrumentals, TANGERINE DREAM-like spacey electronics and again simple-sounding acoustic guitars in a unique mix of Electronic Prog and Space Rock.''The Peaceful Village'' is a really peaceful piece of music.Acoustic crescendo with obvious Eastern influences and background synthesizers, occasionally bursting out some energy with percussion and more doninant synths.''March Across the Endless Plain'' is maybe too long for the idea it serves.Repetitive percussion sounds and synths will take too long to give their place to some cool atmospheric musicianship with fine electric solos and this soundscape is repeating twice with no particular surprises.Good but overstretched inspiration in the vein of DAN AR BRAZ.''The Fruitful Gardens'' contains the most dreamy, symphonic and emotional keyboard work by Gandalf, while some of his passages recall the moog parts of GENESIS.Another lovely title, ''Sunset at the Crystal Lake'', is represented by some cool,spacey and pure Electronic Music with some Eastern vibes here and there, (again) not far from TANGERINE DREAM, a calm way to close the debut of Gandalf.

Maybe the historical importance of this album is even bigger than its true musical value.Still fans of Electronic Prog and followers of MIKE OLDFIELD and DAN AR BRAZ have plenty of reasons to like this one, not to mention everyone fond of instrumental New Age soundscapes.Recommended.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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