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Steve Hillage - Rainbow Dome Musick CD (album) cover

RAINBOW DOME MUSICK

Steve Hillage

Canterbury Scene


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corbet
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars If you like music that floats, you like this album. There are no vocals, no drums, no songs... just two long tracks of pure floating sound. The instrumentation is basically synthesizer and guitar. The synths (handled by Hillage and his girlfriend) burble and flutter in endless washes of blissful color, while Hillage's serene electric guitar tones glide in and out of the mix, almost imperceptibly. The two tracks each have their own distinct flavor, and each is especially honed for those moods that call for this type of music ("floaty," remember). When it's time to float, this album, or some of Ash Ra Tempel's later works, are usually what I grab first. If you know what I'm talking about, get this album.

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Send comments to corbet (BETA) | Report this review (#25844)
Posted Saturday, January 24, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
2 stars Only my respect for the third Steve H. (after Hackett and Howe) stops me from destroying this one as this is some sort of new age but then again the titles , the covers and the lenght of the numbers were good hints even if you had never heard this before.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#25846)
Posted Thursday, April 01, 2004 | Review Permalink
maninthedress
4 stars Hey, just thought id add the info that this album was recorded for th 'Rainbow Dome' at the first mind-body-spirit festival, and it was the guy from the Orb playing this in a club which led to Steve forming System 7 with him and various others. If you want a prog ROCK album, id look at one of his other releases, but if you like richly textured ambient soundscapes then this is the best you'll probably ever hear ;) Also, if you like this you should check out Fripp & Eno (Robert and Brian respectivley), the albums they released are called 'No pussyfooting' and 'Evening star', and basically they laid the path for R.D.M. and all other ambient musick :)

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#25847)
Posted Wednesday, May 26, 2004 | Review Permalink
Proghead
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I was a bit hesitant buying this album, being released in 1979, an era of punk, disco and new wave. But I'm glad I did. Here HILLAGE does something completely different from what he did before and go totally electronic. It's him on guitar" onmouseover="window.status='guitar'; return true;" onmouseout="window.status=''; return true;">guitar and synthesizers, and Miquette Giraudy (his wife? his girlfriend?) providing additional synthesizers. This album is often thought of as trance or chillout, and it's from 1979! Yes, there is a hypnotic quality to it, and no doubt '70s electronic fans should enjoy this album. I love the opening of "Garden of Paradise". It starts off with the sound of flowing water, with some dreamy use of electric piano'; return true;" onmouseout="window.status=''; return true;">electric piano. Eventually a synth pattern starts and continues on, with string synths in the background, creating a hypnotic effect. HILLAGE's guitar pops up. "Four Ever Rainbow" is a really mindblowing piece, really dramatic with HILLAGE giving us a lot of glissando guitar. Just imagine GONG stripped of its vocals, drums, and wind instruments, with just synthesizers, glissando guitar, and some guitar, and this is sorta of an idea you'll get with "Rainbow Dome Musick". The album was named "Rainbow Dome Musick" because it was intended for a festival in London called the Festival for Mind, Body, Spirit in which the "Rainbow Dome..." was one of the attractions. Great stuff.

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Send comments to Proghead (BETA) | Report this review (#25848)
Posted Friday, December 31, 2004 | Review Permalink
Trotsky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars There's a decent probability that you'll come to this album having been mightily impressed by Hillage's work during the classic Gong "Flying Teapot trilogy" phase. You may even have been blown away by Khan or some of Hillage's earlier solo works like Fish Rising or L. Or perhaps Rainbow Dome Musick is your first taste of one of the relatively unsung heroes of prog.

Whatever the circumstances, you're likely to be disappointed. For Rainbow Dome Musick is a distinct departure from everything that preceeded it. In fact, it's nothing short of a prototype for a New Age album. While it does contain snatches of Steve's guitar melded with Miquette Giraudy's airy synth work, there are none of the breezy jams that Hillage has come to be known for. Instead Rainbow Dome Musick is best defined by the six minutes of running water that forms the introduction of the first of the two pieces here, Garden Of Paradise.

Both the 20-plus minute tracks are richly woven multi-layered New Age soundscapes, with nary a proper solo (or even a rhythm section!) to enliven proceedings. The ethereal mellow spacey mood is just way too low-key for my liking. This album was recorded at Om in January 1979 for the festival for Mind-Body-Spirit and dedicated "to the universal spirit of New Age synthesis" and boy does that show! I can imagine that it would only appeal to hardcore fans of Tangerine Dream, Brian Eno and/or Vangelis, and I am not one. Perhaps this album may have seemed progressive back in 1979, but to me, this remains a novelty album of interest to those who wish to hear the genesis of what we now know as New Age music. ... 29% on the MPV scale

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Send comments to Trotsky (BETA) | Report this review (#25849)
Posted Thursday, April 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
lajos@mail.ru
4 stars I just don't know, why i like this album.. There aren't Steve's guitar solos and it doesn't look like early works in their traditional prog sounds. Rainbow Dome Music has a good music's atmosphere with some space effects, typical for new genre at that time - "progressive electronic". I can't stop listen a hypnotic effects, which are on every Steve's album in different ways.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#89757)
Posted Saturday, September 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars By far Hillages best post Gong Lp this is an ambient masterpiece. It is also the first LP by Hillage post Fish rising with acceptable lyrics IE none. Miquette Giraudy Finally out grows her rather cruel Didier "Bloom" inspired nickname of the cosmic camel and shows what a very competent synthesizer player she had become. There is very little one can say about the music that has not already been said very well but walls of color come to mind. If only all Steve Hillage records were as interesting as this one. Available on clear vinyl at a time when such fancies were still unusual this record also boasted a slightly cut price 1st run. Although it did not sell as well as L or motivation Radio it still sold relatively well which demonstrates that Hillage even then had a wider appeal than just pure acid rockers. In one word wonderful.

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Send comments to burgersoft777 (BETA) | Report this review (#92761)
Posted Saturday, September 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars This recording marks a distinct change in musical direction and finds Steve presenting what essentially amounts to an early New Age/ambient recording. For those who delight in subtle textures and atmospheres, this entrancing and hypnotic mood piece will soothe and satisfy. It is a fine representative New Age record but lacks the compositional and musical feel of a progressive rock album. I manage to play this recording about once or twice per year for the relaxation effects and not because of any profundity of the musical statement. It is worthwhile for what it is. But if the expectations are that you are going to hear music similar to previous recordings, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.

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Send comments to LARKSTONGUE (BETA) | Report this review (#152114)
Posted Wednesday, November 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars It's not very fair to review the album as progressive rock because it just isn't progressive rock. It would be like classifying Snow Patrol's latest album as progressive rock simply because the last track is over 16min long.

As an album of new age/ambient music, it is among the best I've heard - right up there alongside Steve Roach's "Structures from Silence" and Fripp & Eno's "No Pussyfooting". Whereas some ambient pieces just hang there in perpetual nothingness, this album does at least have some movement and development.

It won't appeal to fan's of Hillage's trippy brand of space rock, nor will it appeal to the purest of prog- heads, but it's one of those albums you never know you'll like until you hear it. It shows a very different side to Hillage and, seeing as it's his first and only excursion into ambient music, it's executed very well.

Plus, if you have the transparent vinyl edition like I have, it also looks pretty :-)

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Send comments to coldsun (BETA) | Report this review (#187782)
Posted Monday, November 03, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Rainbow Dome Music, recorded by Steve Hillage especially for the Festival For Mind, Body and Spirit way back in January 1979 has been in my collection for a hell of a long time. The album was in fact played by Dr Alex Paterson (no relation!) of The Orb at his legendary chillout sets back in the early 90s, bringing the album back into the public eye once again

The album is unlike the remainder of Hillage's work, due to the ambient nature of this album.

Featuring only two lengthy ambient pieces, this is an album of blissed out tranquility, a masterpiece of the ambient genre. The dominant instruments are the synthesizers which wash over the listener in waves throughout. Aided by Hillage's heavenly guitar work, the music really does provides the most relaxing experience.

Of the two tracks, Garden of Paradise is the most popular, featuring more of Hillage's guitar, however, my preference is for the second piece, Four Ever Rainbow, which is the more ambient of the two. The familiar sound of Tim Blake's crystal machine is in evidence, and the many keyboard sounds provide a backdrop of stunning beauty, at times a little edgy, but nonetheless very peaceful.

I do appreciate that this album will not be universally popular with fans of more mainstream prog, only those with a strong inclination towards electronic or ambient music can be expected to really appreciate this. However, for me it is a great album and for fans of ambient and electronic music I would consider it to be a very important addition to their collection.

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Send comments to Roj (BETA) | Report this review (#196513)
Posted Wednesday, December 31, 2008 | Review Permalink
Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
2 stars Back in the days when I used to play in bands, and even owned a few keyboards, we had a name for this type of music: noodling. It was extremely easy to come up with spacey sounds, and stretch it out for long periods of time. In the eighties this sort of fluff was given a new name, and developed a strong following as "new age". Now I understand that Steve Hillage and Miquette Giraudy made this music for a new age festival of some sort, but that doesn't make this any easier to listen to.

At least the first track, Garden of Paradise has a guitar solo to liven it up. Otherwise, this is backround noise, nothing more.

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Send comments to Evolver (BETA) | Report this review (#266019)
Posted Saturday, February 13, 2010 | Review Permalink
Tom Ozric
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Guitarist Steve Hillage has almost done more for space travel than Neil Armstrong, and this spacious release entitled 'Rainbow Dome Musick' may well confirm that. Our favourite Hippie and his synth-tweeking partner Miquette Giraudy recorded two side-long pieces for the Rainbow Dome at the festival for Mind-Body-Spirit in April of 1979, so this does have a 'New Age' leaning but doesn't lend itself to be relegated as mere meditational back-drop, these are thoughtfully constructed, passionately arranged and performed slabs of spacey colour and emotion. Of course, one has to enjoy this sort of thing in the first place, and, more often than not, patience is rewarded. The A-side features Miquette's 'Garden of Paradise', and contains many layers of ARP synths, Rhodes e-piano and some delicate lead guitaring. Never in a hurry to get anywhere, its atmospheres are lush and tranquil. For those unfamiliar with Gliss- Guitar, this is a technique where a 'device', such as a guitar's whammy-bar (or tent peg, or screw-driver etc.) is rubbed up and down over the guitar strings on the fretboard. When the sound produced has been treated with tons of delay and reverb effects it creates this incredible, magical, sustained sound. The 'device' can be slid up and down the fretboard, and depending on the angle of the 'device', it can cover chordal or solo lines. An E-Bow is similar but never sounds as smooth. So, Steve's piece, 'Four Ever Rainbow', is dominated with these cosmic guitar Glissandos as well as a droning synth core. Towards the latter half, chirping synths come to the fore. These 20 minutes pass by rather quickly. If I may relate an anecdote - once whilst listening to this track, at one point the backing glissando was sliding up note by note, gradually becoming thicker and fatter in sound, and I had the feeling I was hovering a few inches off the floor. Wow, I'm levitating !! It lasted a few seconds but it happened, and without the aid of any chemical enhancements. Or, I may have been drifting off to sleep.......This is pure symphonic Gliss like no other. At any rate, yet another excellent and effective album from the Electrick Gypsy. 4 stars.

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Send comments to Tom Ozric (BETA) | Report this review (#380692)
Posted Saturday, January 15, 2011 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars A shift over into progressive electronic New Age realms, and the missing link between Steve's solo career and the later System 7 work. Like System 7, the album is a full collaboration between Hillage and Miquette Giraudy, who composes the entirety of side 1, and like System 7 it was originally conceived as chillout music, in this case for a mind-body-spirit festival in London. (In fact, System 7 came about when Steve realised that UK nightclub DJs were incorporating elements of this album into their chillout sets.) If you want placid and tranquil relaxation music, it's a pretty good example of the form, though it does require a bit of patience - both tracks take a while to get going, but they're great when they do.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#560983)
Posted Tuesday, November 01, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars A beautiful, pastoral, electronic ambient recording. Now 33 years old, it hasn't dated much at all. Vocal free and quite unlike anything else in Steve Hillage's catalogue, 'Rainbow Dome Music' is a beatless journey through sunny countryside where you might want to stop, have a cup of tea, eat some sandwiches and swat a few flies off your pork pies before dozing off in the late afternoon sunshine. That's what goes through my mind anyway...

Unobtrusive synths and proto sequencers are used liberally on the opener which lasts a whopping 23 minutes. Very similar to modern day equivalents Steve Roach and Robert Rich, you can see where those artists got some of their inspiration from.

'Rainbow Dome Music' is a slowly evolving, laid back, peaceful affair and is one of the best renditions of 'ambient' that I've heard. Some really nice high pitched electric guitars weave their way gradually into the album but are sensibly kept in the background and used frugally.

One good thing about this album is that it's not cheesy at all. It sounds almost timeless. The second and last track 'Four ever rainbow' continues where the last one finished. Walls of keyboards dominate as a few bloops and bleeps emerge here and there. Guitars are so effected that they no longer sound like guitars and appear as washes of keyboards.

Dreamy.

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Send comments to Dobermensch (BETA) | Report this review (#609757)
Posted Saturday, January 14, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars Sitting "Rainbow Dome" in the Canterbury scene because Steve Hillage comes from there; is quiet undeserving; not because there is something wrong with that scene; but mainly because this effort goes beyond that sole stage, This work will also be sitted more comfortably among the electronic-prog people or their kraut counterparts or better yet; among the 3. "Canterbury"; because it has all the "back to nature; psychedelic approach"; "Electronic" because as raw as "recorded in a hut" it seems; it uses wisely electronic gadgets and synths available at the time plus Steves´s long time electric accomplice; and also because the work itself has the feeling of long environmental conceptual ambiences; this genre was so famous for. And last but not least; the whole thing; as sacred as it seems to be; has the loosen up attitude the "Krauts" so dearly enjoy. In todays fashion this could easily be called very early "New Age Music". A category that then turned to be called "Ambient". So also; it could be named early "Ambient Music"... Un-pretentious and quiet away ahead of its time; a 2 "vinyl sided" single compositions (44 min in total); that should not be overlooked by people who dig the sub-genres mentioned above and proggers who like to know what happened before midi.-- 4 very deserving stars; mainly for being ahead of its time.

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Send comments to admireArt (BETA) | Report this review (#975371)
Posted Monday, June 10, 2013 | Review Permalink

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