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CURSUS 123 430

Robert Reed

Crossover Prog

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4 stars Several weeks ago I read about Robert Reed's new album Cursus 123 430. Knowing his great Sanctuary records and his work with Magenta, I just ordered the special edition of Cursus 123 430 (cd and 5.1 dvd), which goes along with Cursus, A Symphonic Poem and an autographed booklet. A new synthesizer based album inspired by the music of Jean-Michel Jarre, Vangelis and others would sure be interesting enough to order without pre listening.

Last week I received the package and after a few listens of both cd's and the dvd I can assure you I have no regrets buying this special edition at all. Knowing the music of the artists who inspired Rob (and personally having a favor for the music of Vangelis above JMJ's music), I just love this new JMJ record! JMJ record? Yes, when I listen to this, it's mostly inspired by his music. And it's very well done. In my opinion Cursus 123 430 has no weak moments. It's a very coherent and enjoyable album from start to end with some great moments. I don't always like narrated albums, but the voice of Les Penning fits in very well. I'm curious what JMJ would say about this one!

If you have a surround set at home I would recommend buying the dvd as well. This surround mix is also very well done, as are previous albums of Rob Reed. It's not hard pretending you're viewing one of those majestic SF movies of the 70's listening to this album in surround sound.

The booklet holds the story by Les Penning along with beautiful drawings. My booklet signed by Rob Reed is a very nice extra.

Because the extra cd Cursus, A Symphonic Poem has it's own page on Progarchives, I won't describe it here. But believe me, it's great as well.

That leaves me to give a rating to this album. I can easily give this 4 stars with halve a star extra because it's an honest ode to the music of those great artists of the past. So, 4,5 stars really.

Report this review (#2481415)
Posted Tuesday, December 1, 2020 | Review Permalink
4 stars ROBERT REED, ROBERT REED! Known by chance with CYAN, then on MAGENTA, a little with KOMPENDIUM but above all with his covers, his mixes, finally his personal digressions with the "Sanctuary". Robert is a multi- instrumentalist and one of the best keyboard players, owning analog synthesizers like "in the days when we took the time". He has just composed this concept opus with Les PENNING who works as narrator. Album coming out with graphic plates telling the story of these aliens trying to restore the depraved and polluted world we have created; album available as CD, DVD, limited edition.

- Part 1 course: "Erthhynge" where the nod to Jean-Michel JARRE in the line of "Oxygne" then to that of VANGELIS and "Spiral", a velvety atmospheric synth on a story that ends at Stonehenge, a sound that also recalls the soundtrack of "Blade Runner", it starts well. "The Hawk and the Harbinger of Dawn" and the dark interlude, on a step, a fatal ode in the middle of the church and "Stoneborn Watchers" arrives on a techno rhythm la NEW ORDER which denotes and does not only make a souvenir album, a bit of "Concerts in China"; a title that exudes regressions just to make you revise your electronic classics, a beautiful melody; "The Man of Sight and Feathers" continues with a grandiloquent sound la VANGELIS then we go back to "Blade Runner", a few touches of Mike OLDFIELD with his tubular bells then of the scriptwriter and instrumentalist in his spare time that is John CARPENTER for a piece blending cheerfully intimate and optimistic atmospheres. "Witness" ends this first part with new-wave synths straight out of an ORCHESTRAL MANEUVRES IN THE DARK track; it's kitsch, dancing, synthetic with analog parts of JARRE from the beginning coming out of this melting pot.

- Part 2 course: "Stoneglow Warnings" with always the voice of Les in the preamble as on the music of Mike OLDFIELD: announcement of programmed memories of "Chariots of Fire" and "China" with its music of mandarins at the time of the Mellotron, it is beautiful over the listening especially that I also find there fragments of "Magnetic Songs". "Stalemate" for a remix, voice of Les reminiscent of the famous bells, of the synth you want some here, it goes in all the directions and the basic rhythm and bassist of TANGERINE DREAM literally explodes on this title giving it a catchy tune; "Dust and Flowers in a Lost Eden" for the second dusting interlude flirting with science fiction which rests a little and then "Gatherings at Farewell Places" arrives, I think of "Chariots of Fire" with its immense melodic line, then dark tones of the "Albedo"; finally it turns on a "Spiral" or a "Pulsar", it leaves to scratch our electronic memories yes. "Erthsheelde" and the long finish bringing together the mythical atmospheres of the 70's and 80's: a scraping melting pot between VANGELIS, TANGERINE DREAM and Jean Michel JARRE, more complex title, almost tortured, nods to these three precursor electronic entities hitting our minds with basic two finger sounds mixed with other symphonics seeming to come out of several keyboards.

Robert REED has this ability to combine the minimalist sound of a JARRE with that of a bombastic VANGELIS, new-wave keyboards from OMD or ULTRAVOX; symphonic arias form the basis of its titles and evoke the genesis and destruction of humanity, just that! It gives new life, not it transcends the electronic music which bathed our youth, it makes us revise to avoid Alzheimer's; He brings with this album two distinct sides, on the one hand the immersion of childhood electronic groups, on the other the retranslation of songs and arias that are no longer heard but still spinning in our heads. He is in fact a musical alchemist who at first puzzled me, very quickly melted in front of this delicious crucible. The 19-minute bonus version gives classic retranslations of some titles.

Report this review (#2527353)
Posted Tuesday, March 23, 2021 | Review Permalink

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