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Redshift - Redshift II - Ether CD (album) cover

REDSHIFT II - ETHER

Redshift

 

Progressive Electronic

3.72 | 6 ratings

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Guldbamsen
Forum & Site Admin Group
Site and Forum Admin
4 stars Nectarine Fiend

A tale of fan-boys turning into the very image of their adoration pt. 4.

Somewhere in the midst of this album I completely lost myself, time and whatever loose ties I had to the surrounding world. I entered a state of delightful bewilderment, - some bizarre scuba diving scene with myself in the leading role swimming deeper and deeper into the coral blue abyss, where the waters are illuminated in star glistened shimmering surfaces. Diamonds of sound for lack of a better wording - opening up an alien universe of fluid and luscious atmospheres.

Starting with a monster of a live track, this album from British group Redshift is by far the best I've heard from the modern Tangerine Dream heir takers. Sure, like other reviewers here have mentioned, you could be fooled into believing that this is a bootleg concert of Froese and co from around the time Rubycon saw the light of day, but then again, I think Ether shows true and original signs of an album come to life under its own circumstances and settings. Yes, the inspiration is there, the modular synthesizers, towering mellotron sculptures of ice, tweaking sputtering sequencers - all of those familiar trademarks are all featured in full force as well, relegating that oh so seductive and watery vibe to the music..... Yet there is something here hiding underneath the embers of the old TD fire - something futuristic - it shines through in every facet of the music colouring the proceedings in a modern lighting that continues to draw attention to itself, rather than having the insistent stubborn old electronic fans focusing on all the stuff that brings to mind, a band that pioneered almost everything in regards to the genre. I'm not entirely sure, if this is because of the smooth guitar stylings of Rob Jenkins that add a touch of the symphonic and bombastic - especially during the latter part of the final live track, where you could swear you were listening to a distant brother of Shine on you Crazy Diamond, - or if it's the omnipresent crabbing myriad of synth patterns and hypnotic segments of sequencer that together conjures up images of a huge electronic symphony with a hundred different voices coming from all directions at once, whilst never yelping, yelling or screaming on top of each other. Everything seems democratically orchestrated, and this from a band that only counts 4 lads....

The middle studio tracks are also of high quality, and I especially adore Bombers In The Desert for it's menacing throbbing bass thumps that catapult the track forth - into the desert on the wings of warmongering planes. Very easy to imagine this music as the soundtrack for a future desert bloodshed.

Just like the previous review I did, there is no real distinctions between the live tracks and the studio ones. The band very elegantly move and weave within the same swirling hypnotising sound appearances, and apart from the inspiring applauds coming on now and again, you wouldn't know those two epic pieces of music were recorded in front of a live audience. The thing is, that while a huge portion of prog fans currently are digging the feel of the old time classics - hoping to revive the same sort of sound with the artists' on board usage of mellotrons, analogue synths and whatnot, - people seem to forget how colossal these things are. Not to mention how heavy and unhandy they are to carry around. It costs a small fortune catering these wonderful tools of sound, which is why you often get these 'mixed' albums from Redshift. These guys are not millionaires in any way, shape or form. Almost every time this band performs live, they publish an album.

Now one could very easily say this sort of dilemma has everything to do about finance, and while that maybe true in a minuscule and very uninteresting way, - it's still the output here that deserves all of your attention. Trust me. Can you imagine having to be in the moment - instantly - be inspired, imaginative - totally into what you have to do - that ever so rare live concert, freeform improv electronics with no real bearings other than what your fellow astronauts are giving off.... Can you imagine that? - And then time and again delivering music that is so awe inspiring and stunning.... To me personally, it's proof of the human spirit in one of its most beautiful forms. 4.5 stars.

Guldbamsen | 4/5 |

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