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Neuronium - The Visitor CD (album) cover




Progressive Electronic

3.45 | 9 ratings

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Retired Admin
3 stars Smooth Operator

I can perfectly understand the previous reviewer's sentiments concerning this album, and hearing another person speaking about it in sky soaring metaphors - essentially relegating it as a desert island electronic album, truly makes me feel warm inside. There's just something about this release, that even if going against everything the album conveys of cold atmospheric Icelandic tundras - still feels warm and dear to me.

I have listened to a fair deal of electronic albums in my life, and once I dive down in my 80s collection, I almost immediately know what to expect from the soundscapes. They're smooth, icy, sugary, velvety and uncommonly ethereal - like had they been spawned on a bar of soap in the Himalayas. Some hipster folks out there may call it new age, and apart from me not knowing what that means, I certainly don't feel that is the case with Neuronium. That makes no sense at all, but that's the way I roll...

Perhaps one of the only Spanish suppliers of prog electronic, this act consisting of mastermind Michael Huygen and Carlos Guirao manages to put its own spin on the Berlin School of sound. Both men wield the floating and airy synthesizer shapes, Guirao adds guitar and flute, whilst Huygen takes care of all the writing - and on occasion he pulls out some rather alluring vocoder work. The Visitor does echo a certain Tangerine Dream-like attitude, and while there are literally hundreds of TD wannabes out there - most of them sounding the same (and feeling like limp wine gums), Neuronium feels altogether more conquistadorean - more Spanish and robust - even if that completely goes against all of their floating and soothing ambiances. In short: These guys are infinitely more interesting than your average electronic act conjuring up the umptieth version of Stratosfear.

I love listening to The Visitor in the afternoon - you know that blue hour, where the lights change and everything seems wrapped in nature's own electricity. This album quite simply sounds like a soundtrack meant for this daily happening. Starting off with atmospheric synthesisers and some beautiful guitar work, the album pulls you in like an old lover of yours lighting candles around the bed - before slipping into something more comfortable. It literally lures you in with its serene and welcoming attitude.

A Strange Affair then comes on like the perfect successor - suddenly opening up the doors to the vast ice sheets of Greenland - and the mood suddenly shifts to the more glacial and spacious, and while I giggled a bit the first time I heard Huygen's vocoder voice chanting: A Strange Affair - I must admit that it has grown immensely on me over the years. So much that I actually look forward to it every time I put the album on.

Rendez-Vous puts the docile in sonic buttermilk, and with its compelling guitar it truly feels like the perfect track to fondle up a rhinoceros to without having to flee in panic with a strange piercing through your thigh.

Finishing off the album we get the smooth closer The Light Of Your Eyes, that chills your heart and tricks you out on the drifting icebergs with gentle and almost symphonic electronic surfaces. It features vocals kindly submitted by a Michel Guillamat, and though I don't quite get the sudden urge to sprinkle distinctive human touches on the album right there and then, it is actually not bad.

This album is highly recommended to fans of 1980s Tangerine Dream - folks that dig Tangram and Exit - and furthermore enjoy to be swept away to the Arctic without having to bring their own snowshoes. 3.5 stars.

Guldbamsen | 3/5 |


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