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STARDUST MEMORIES

Soniq Theater

Crossover Prog


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Soniq Theater Stardust Memories album cover
3.21 | 8 ratings | 4 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2013

Songs / Tracks Listing


1. Alien Ambassador (4:52)
2. Lunar Sea (4:50)
3. Elysian Fields (5:10)
4. Venus Transit (4:25)
5. Globular Cluster M55 (4.45)
6. Hyperion (3:37)
7. Break the Frame (guitar version) (4:21)
8. Alien Civilisation (5:18)
9. Some Things never change (4:12)
10. Stardust Memories (4:55)
11. Metropolis on Mars (4:51)
12. Toccatina (2:50)
13. Infinity (1:50)

Total Time 55:56

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians


Alfred Mueller / all instruments

Thanks to psarros for the addition
and to aapatsos for the last updates
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SONIQ THEATER Stardust Memories ratings distribution


3.21
(8 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
0%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(12%)
12%
Good, but non-essential (62%)
62%
Collectors/fans only (25%)
25%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

SONIQ THEATER Stardust Memories reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover Team
3 stars And so Alfred returns with his thirteenth solo album, which is interesting on more than just the pure musical level. Included on this album are two numbers that pre-date Rachels' Birthday, and one with guitarist Jens Klenk which was recorded after the demise of that band but a few years before Alfred started to record as Soniq Theater. Given that there is more than 25 years between the recording of some of these songs they have cleaned up really well and don't sound at all out of place. In many ways this is Alfred's most complete album to date, with everything coming together. While I have never been a fan of vocals on his albums, here they work, and the use of guitar (and the placement of that number towards the middle of the album) is highly effective. It makes one wonder what would have happened if the Alfred and Lens had continued playing together.

While JMJ is still a large influence, there has been a definite shift more towards Rick Wakeman with 'Stardust Memories' and if you like keyboards then there is much on here to enjoy. As always this is available directly from Alfred and can also be downloaded from his site so why not go there and listen to what he has been producing. www.soniqtheater.de

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Send comments to kev rowland (BETA) | Report this review (#929096) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Errors & Omissions and Crossover Team
3 stars Soniq Theater is, in fact, a one man band - the German musician Alfred Mueller. Soniq Theater is supposed to be a blend of Progressive styles, but is mainly focused on Symphonic Prog. It's very common of one-man bands, especially the ones driven by keyboards, to go towards the Ambient, New Age and Progressive Electronic paths. In Soniq Theater you'll have those too, but not in abundance. Up till now Alfred has released 13 albums since 2000. It means one album by year, which is a remarkable achievement. Even if he records and releases the music himself in an independent and semi-pro way, it is of a very good overall quality. All of his albums can be downloaded on the 'Name your price' scheme, you can pay whatever you want for the albums (even nothing), on his Bandcamp page (soniqtheater.bandcamp.com/). Or you can also buy the CD-Rs (soniqtheater.de/order.php).

Stardust Memories (2013) is his latest album, released in January 2013 and it has 13 compositions. The album follows a calm pace where the slow and romantic melodies are the main focus. Don't expect any miraculous riff or any extreme weird tempo signature. That's not the goal here.

All of the songs on Stardust Memories (2013) were composed and recorded in the last year with 3 exceptions: 'Globular Cluster' was recorded back in 1986 and it's a Space Rock/Progressive Electronic mini journey. 'Infinity' was recorded back in 1987 and closes the album, again in a space mood. And 'Break The Frame' was recorded in 1997 with the guitars from Jens Klenk.

Listening to Stardust Memories (2013) is certain that Alfred is a very good composer and he certainly knows how to choose his keyboards sounds, all of them very nicely inserted in the songs, in the right moments. Alfred uses a bunch of 'toys' to make his music, for example Ensoniq TS10, Ensoniq EPS sampler, Yamaha SY85 Synthesizer, Roland JV1080 soundmodule, E-MU Vintage Keys, E-MU B-3 Hammond Organ module, E-MU Orbit soundmodule, Alesis DM5 drummodule and many others (you can take a look at his list of equipment (soniqtheater.de/about.php). But it is also certain that Alfred would do better in Soniq Theater with a real band to collaborate with. I can clearly see his music in the hands of a good band with him on keyboards of course. That would make his album a really strong one. Not that his music is weak because he's doing it by himself, not at all. But I certainly can see it even stronger with a real band. For example, in the track 'Break The Frame' where we have the guitar player Jens Klenk and some real drum sounds. It's not the best track on the album, but it's more 'real'.

But I guess after thirteen years doing music by himself Alfred is pretty much settled down with his work, and that's what he likes to compose, play and record. And that, my friends, is being true to yourself.

Musically speaking, Stardust Memories (2013) comes like a glove for the lovers of Jean Michel Jarre or the later period of Rick Wakeman. Lots of layered keyboards working on the melodies, sampled drums and basses and lot of interesting ideas. Among all the tracks there are three songs that go towards Progressive Electronic: 'Hyperion', 'Alien Civilisation'and 'Metropolis On Mars', which are the weaker ones. It's a nice effort in the keyboard field that deserves to be listened at least once by every keyboard Prog fan.

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Send comments to ProgShine (BETA) | Report this review (#938754) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars German project SONIQ THEATER has been the creative vehicle for composer and musician Alfred Mueller for close to 15 years now, self-releasing a steady stream of albums using this moniker from 2000 and onwards. Consisting of 13 tracks, "Stardust Memories" is his 13th album and was issued in January 2013.

Elegant instrumental music sporting a rich array of smoothly surging and hovering synth motifs on top of fairly well developed rhythm set-ups, placed within an overall uplifting framework, is what Soniq Theater provides on "Stardust Memories". Most of all an album that should find favor amongst fans of Vangelis and Jean Michel Jarre, although those who enjoy the more accessible material by the likes of Tangerine Dream might also find this one intriguing.

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Send comments to Windhawk (BETA) | Report this review (#993558) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, July 08, 2013

Review by aapatsos
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
3 stars A pleasant change to my listening habits, Mueller's "Stardust Memories" sounded as a kiln of influences from decades of electronic music, resembling to Jean-Michelle Jarre, Vangelis, Kraftwerk (yes that too) and Mike Oldfield.

Under the banner of "Crossover Prog" here in PA but the album displays qualities that stretch beyond pop music, and although not quite a "Berlin-school" electronic prog album, the electronic element is dominant, along with a stream of symphonic rock, with references to Yes, ELP and even Marillion but in a "lighter" classical/symphonic atmosphere. Mainly instrumental, the album does not display complexity to a high degree, but rather invests on spacey soundscapes (check titles such as 'Alien Ambassador' or 'Lunar Sea') and solid bass lines. The more upbeat, adventurous passages are found in 'Venus Transit' and 'Alien Civilisation' and the grandiose 'Elysian Fields' and 'Some Things Never Change'. The single vocal attempt 'Break the Frame' does not add anything important to the recipe, which might have benefited from vocals in other tracks. Production-wise, there are no real problems apart from a couple of tracks with poor drum sound.

Pleasant release, without surprises but some highlights, which you can enjoy for free on Alfred's website, especially if you like the combo of crossover prog with the 70's nostalgic electro-feeling.

www.soniqtheater.de

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Send comments to aapatsos (BETA) | Report this review (#997543) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, July 13, 2013

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