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MARVIN AYRES

Progressive Electronic • United Kingdom


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Marvin Ayres picture
Marvin Ayres biography
Marvin Ayres started playing and composing music in late 80's as one of the founding members of The Government, also making at that time several contributions with artists like Culture Club, Simply Red, Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Prefab Sprout.

In 1999 he was assigned to the avant-garde label Mille Plateaux and began to work on two ambient albums <i>Cellosphere</i> and <i>Neptune</i>, both released during that year..

Ayres has recorded a diverse selection of ambient and 'string design' albums, as well as produced a number of sensual jazz and film soundtracks that combine classical technique with free-form modern music.

His reputation as producer and performer came to the attention of Jaki Liebezeit (ex CAN), who invited him to re-mix tracks and tour with Liebezeit's band Club off Chaos in early 2001. Ayres is currently commissioned by Einsturzende Neubauten's electronica music publishers Freibank , and his compositions have been featured on five of Freibank's 'For Films' albums.

His latest studio album <i>Eccentric Deliquescence</i> is a mix of modern ambient/dreamy sounds, that make you think of nothing except the melodic/chaotic sounds that came throughout the speakers.

He has an ongoing project with Sonja Kristina (Curved Air) called Mask. They have just finished producing the second Mask album 'Technopia', which will be released on Repertoire records in till the end of 2009.

In March 2009 he began composing/recording a surround sound orchestral suite which will be completed probably in May with an accompanying tv documentary following and exploring the making of this album.


Marvin Ayres is a modern prog musician, giving us a dreamy/space soundscapes could put a great part o us, listeners, in a capsule of sound.

<b>:::ProgShine (Diego):::</b>

Marvin Ayres official website

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MARVIN AYRES discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

MARVIN AYRES top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 1 ratings
Cellosphere
1999
4.00 | 1 ratings
Neptune
2000
0.00 | 0 ratings
Cycle
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
Scape
2005
5.00 | 2 ratings
Eccentric Deliquescence
2008
3.00 | 2 ratings
Harmogram Suite
2012
4.00 | 1 ratings
Ultradian Rhythms
2014
5.00 | 1 ratings
Circadian Rhythms
2016

MARVIN AYRES Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

MARVIN AYRES Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

MARVIN AYRES Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

MARVIN AYRES Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.05 | 2 ratings
Five Pieces
2010

MARVIN AYRES Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Circadian Rhythms by AYRES, MARVIN album cover Studio Album, 2016
5.00 | 1 ratings

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Circadian Rhythms
Marvin Ayres Progressive Electronic

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
5 stars Exploring his own universe and some...

Marvin Ayres has well established how far string instruments electronically engineered or electronically processed, or both, can reach some places, somehow neglected in their solely acoustic parallel universe. Of course he is not the first and hopefully nor the last to plug his strings and bows, but his relentless effort, as composer the same as performer, has stretched those limits for the benefit of both the string instruments and us, the audience.

Stepping somehow off his last, more symphonic structured, releases "Circadian Rhythms", 2016, takes a turning point, composition wise, that extends itself backwards to his first release and forwards to a bright new route in Mr. Ayres' musical language.

To start my praises and happiness for acquiring this release, I will mention its first track accordingly. "Anthropomorphic", up to know, I have never heard some composer influenced by Steve Reich, that does something else than to sound like him and expect uncultured audiences to applaud. Marvin Ayre's moves these "Reichian" counterpointing mini-structures to a different environment which proposes a new direction and by the same a different sonic experience. Kudos!

But of course that was just for starters. Marvin Ayres' continuous exploration of his musical language takes him to bring forward the piano here and there, giving this album a whole new focus and adding a substantial part to his strings' mood ranges by freeing them of the burden of always being there as main characters.

These attributes, mentioned above, will appear in refreshing ways all through this release, tracing an exciting experience of discoveries. The repeated listenings will convince, attentive listeners, that the undercovered complexity and excellence of all its tracks is accomplished by creativity in composition, more than the perfect recording of the same, which is perfect by itself and by the way.

*****5 "smooth and flawless" PA stars.

 Ultradian Rhythms by AYRES, MARVIN album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Ultradian Rhythms
Marvin Ayres Progressive Electronic

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
4 stars Vibrant layers of long , almost static, string melody lines which by multiple addition counterpoint each one's harmonics and moods.

5 variations + a single composition conform this 2014, Marvin Ayres's "Ultradian Rhythms".

The symphonic focus, presented in his 2012 "Harmogram Suite" continues, but his music composition approach favors abstraction over "friendly melodies", not by sounding obtuse, opposite to that by sounding far more universal, thus each composition beholds a varied range of simultaneous emotions which may appeal to different listeners' likings the same simultaneously.

The imperceptible and perfectly recorded multitude of layers of strings reveal this album's compositions undercovered massiveness and deserve full attention and at least one headphone run to sense their true width, depth and range.

Its last track, "Ultradian", is closer in spirit to electronic/prog in a quiet refreshing and unorthodox (very Marvin Ayres') way, for the genre of course.

The kind of music that makes you thank being alive, the kind which is worth experiencing and better yet owning. Hats off to Mr. Ayres!

****4.5 PA stars.

 Harmogram Suite by AYRES, MARVIN album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.00 | 2 ratings

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Harmogram Suite
Marvin Ayres Progressive Electronic

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Layer over layer of electronically processed strings counterponting each and another by contrast, brightness, intention and melody lines. The symphonic mode is set by this meltdown of multiple string lines coming together at once.

"Harmogram Suite", 2012, consists of 6 tracks, the first 5 are structured as a "Suite", thus their respective numerical names and closing non-suite track "Lament".

The sections of this suite by numbers.

Number 1 is mesmerizing and this release's best. Number 2 is overly sweet. Number 3 is close in mood to number 2, a bit less sugar added, but still close.

Number 4 breaks away from its elder siblings in favor of the "less is more" formula and even better if the music composition is heartfelt and not overly emotional. It beholds an strangely attractive "Bela Bartok quartet" quality in its structures, chaos is represented not really present. Very good!

Number 5 is dramatic, yet in its attempted heights, its sweet tooth shows up again and kind of brings the whole thing down.

"Lament", closes this release with a short solo violin, less the electronics, piece, which stays in balance between being passionate without sounding over the borders.

Kind of a dissapointing release, as far as my past, far more fortuitous encounters with this extraordinary composer & performer.

***3 "flat" PA stars, which may find its way in more "sweet-toothed", listeners.

 Eccentric Deliquescence by AYRES, MARVIN album cover Studio Album, 2008
5.00 | 2 ratings

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Eccentric Deliquescence
Marvin Ayres Progressive Electronic

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Deep inside Marvin Ayres' kingdom!

What a delight to listen to Marvin Ayres, 2008, "Eccentric Deliquescence" an entanglement of electronic strings, acoustic ones, as piano, electronic choruses and a pitch of guitar, playing as if painting all kinds of musical forms full of a dynamic melodic haunting beauty, as also a kind of symphonic greatness, alongside minimalistic simplicity and hypnotic, sometimes pitch dark or highly bright musical backdrops.

The detailed construction of Marvin Ayres musical structures is a constant throughout, but his experimental side (which he showed in previous works) has been added in perfect balance and now is an integral part of his vast musical language and scope.

The refinement in the juxtapositioning of its somehow "limited" instrumentation defines and enhances his genuine and genial musical ideas and offers in return, composition wise, a flawless and passionate release only equal to its performances track by track.

An eccentric delight, nonetheless, an untaggable Prog masterpiece.

*****5 "full" PA stars!

 Five Pieces by AYRES, MARVIN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2010
3.05 | 2 ratings

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Five Pieces
Marvin Ayres Progressive Electronic

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Marvin Ayres' "Five Pieces", 2010, a short compilation of tracks taken from the albums Cellosphere, Neptune and Eccentric Deliquescence, reviewed piece by piece as isolated and compilled tracks.

Under Blue, track one, a short piece whose passionate subtleness reminds me of classical romantic periods in its performance. Composition wise its atemporality as such relies on its minimal string's full arcs. Perfect as an opening track.

I Wish I Was the Sky, constructs in seconds an array of echoing violins, cellos and choruses. Its mid paced, frantic mode, allows different melodic lines to conjure deepness and focused experimentation altogether, kind of short lived, but lifts up the expectations.

Harold, the third piece, the briefiest track. A neo-romantic violin composition, displays to perfection Marvin Ayres' uniqueness in electronic/acoustic strings' musical language and his closeness to classical music roots.

Sensory, the 4th piece, blends solitary and echoing melodic lines and wraps them all around a darker and subtle backdrop with swirling strings and electronics detaching them from their acoustic nature. Slow paced hypnotic.

Harmogram (edit), the fifth and final track, a kind of short introduction to his 2012 "Harmogram Suite" (which I have not listened yet), previews a far more symphonic touch. A very nice closing tarck.

As a compillation, as it announces itself, it falls short. Having already listened to these 3 albums, these tracks as such are not exactly the brightest highlights of the original albums, but as it also self depicts, this project was designed "as a taster of Marvin's music".

Anyway, why go this route when you can plunge directly into his 2007 masterwork "Cellosphere" and from there on, as I did. But as far as money goes you can, up to today, download this "Five Pieces" digital album on the "free download" mode at bandcamp.

***3 PA stars.

 Neptune by AYRES, MARVIN album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Neptune
Marvin Ayres Progressive Electronic

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
4 stars The shape of strings to come.

Consolidating his musical idiom and expanding it the same way, Marvin Ayres' (violin, cello and organ) "Neptune", 2000, is close in spirit to droning progressive electronics, minimalism and Cosmic music stylings yet it also beholds a close relationship with classical music structures, therefore offering an exquisite and strange atemporality which forces the listening experience into surprising realms that move back and forth in time and are as creative as to turn out sometimes hyper beautiful, others droning-hypnotic, or deep down melancholic, or even at times insidiously menacing to even be felt truly avant garde or Rock in Opposition's chamber kind of works in the tenor of slow paced Univers Zero's or Art Zoyd's ones. (This being a reference not a comparison.)

But Ayres' "Neptune" delivers more than just this crossover direction in stylings, his musical language continues to grow as a result of focused experimentation and an acute sensibility of his instruments possibilities.

His close to genial compositions, unpretentiously, do offer and explore new directions, new details and re-newed moods to actually challenge his own well established attributes in performance and composition, or to put it simply, his works are truly daring, far from any kind of comfortable zone, which many artists mistake as style.

Missing this jewel is denying oneself the possible glimpse of the future, in the so much traveled and trampled by polite but plagiarists electronic musicians, direction of the Cosmic Progressive Electronics worlds to come.

**** 4.5 (the last two compositions sound like fillers, nice as recording experiments, but nevertheless fillers) PA stars.

 Cellosphere by AYRES, MARVIN album cover Studio Album, 1999
5.00 | 1 ratings

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Cellosphere
Marvin Ayres Progressive Electronic

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
5 stars We are all well aware of those many amazingly hypnotic musical introductions, bridges or grand finales, where or from where, most musicians start or transform or finish their well learned prog songs.

Stuff like the opening 40 seconds or closing of Yes' "Close to the Edge", to set a super famous example or Robert Fripp's radical 30 second permanent transformation from Punk to Drone, in his exceptional "Under Heavy Manners", 2nd solo release, for example. What will have happened if they just stood there and developed all their music structures fom those abstract moments of windy seagulls or distant electronic waves? As Fripp did, in fact , but both references will fit in to describe what to expect, music wise, from this Marvin Ayres, 1999, "Cellosphere", like a combination of those both musical overture/bridge sections, just as an example, I repeat.

"Cellosphere" as it obviously implies, is played entirely, so we are told with violin and cello, of course all electrified and layered, to perfection, I may add.

Drone like hypnotic, 3+ 1 bonus, fast/mid/slow tempo, compositions filled with swirling or linear, sometimes menacing, most truly attractive, others bordering between sweet dreams/nightmares, multiple melody lines, playing around their own harmonies or counterpointing the same into new, ever evolving, structures.

It is not the common string work coming from acoustic string musicians who plug their instruments. So, Jean Luc Ponty'S, nor ELO'S, nor Eddie Jobson'S, nor great Lakshminarayana Shankar's solo releases, this ain't.

This is contemporary progressive electronic music upbrought by a keen understanding of both Cosmic music and the infinite possibilities electrified STRING instruments can offer. In the right hands of course, and Marvin Ayres surely knows how to take full advantage of all this.

This is worth EVERY penny it costs!

***** 5 (flawless masterpiece) PA stars.

 Eccentric Deliquescence by AYRES, MARVIN album cover Studio Album, 2008
5.00 | 2 ratings

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Eccentric Deliquescence
Marvin Ayres Progressive Electronic

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

5 stars My Review for my Site Progshine

01. Androgynous Weave That's the way it begins, it is like a cosmic journey. The strings weave an infinite bed for the dreaming, interesting how the music unfolds in an almost tragic and emotional way. The music is like a window, everything is received and assimilated, a mixture of classical contemporary and X Files.

02. Soured Alchemy The piano, with a transcendental melody; the cello joins an almost prophetic, spacial, surrounding ambience. Imagine yourself in a great room without the ceiling, under the glance of the stars. After these words I just can't say anything at all! Use your imagination.

03. I Wish I Was The Sky If the title of the music already tells us much of the initial idea, the instruments only transport us to the target dream. A voice, alone, like saying to the world that is glimpsed below. Have you ever dreamed you were flying?

04. Elegiac Collage A buzzing! A bee? Maybe the constant confusion in our heads. This music reminds me a little of the Progressive Electronic Rock done in the second half of the 70's, like Synergy, Tangerine Dream, Quartz and Kraftwerk. In the next part the course change, the string quartet enters on scene and their scarce notes with the constant tone of the violin in the background spread a sweet sadness on air while the low notes of the piano do the listener wake up for reality.

05. Forever Is Now In spite of the chaotic feeling that each of the tracks loads, Forever Is Now brings a light scale of sadness in his melody, the violin loads the sadness of the centuries while the cellos confirm the existence of another series of feelings inherent to the soul and of the world. I think the melody really brings the right sense the title of the music. The final narration complements in a magisterial way all the feeling loaded by the song.

06. Bark That Is Bearing Like a nice surprise this song have a great and beautiful vocal, as if he was singing in a great empty Cathedral. Just the voice and world. Perhaps the confirmation of his own existence. In the second part of the music more and more voices are incorporates to the first voice in a stifling sensation.

07. Tail Peace A simple and tenuous line between sanity and reason. A barely said truth, or an idea in heart.

08. Do You Hear Me Now What had begun in the track 6, Bark That Is Bearing, continues here. The vocal arrangements progress in a canonical form, the voices and the way in which the music was arranged sends us for such situation.

09. Harold A cello, only one instrument and nothing more. I think that is necessary to have courage when such a simple but so daring arrangement is done.

10. Bitter Beauty His minimalist orchestrations reach the ears in chaotic way. It is difficult to get used to the sounds that go out from the stereo, a hypnotic and massive wave, it would not be any exaggeration if I was saying that it is very easy to enter in hypnotic state listening to this track with earphones in the darkness of your room.

11. Insomnolence In this track the gloomy and daring piano sends us to the best scenes of the European terror movies. The strings that pass by human tearful voices give the impression of entering in a strange and gentle world. The daring details overcome themselves, but in a cautious and minimalist way, nothing of what we call a 'waste of notes'.

12. Neurasthenia It is astonishing! I am really perplexed with the sound of this album. Despite of knowing (partially) what will come next and in spite of the 'Musical formula Ayres', each track transports us for a completely unusual and gloomy places and scenes. It is really impressive!

13. Coiling Compotation Simply chaotic! Maybe saying that will frighten you, but it is like to watch to Monty Python. It's a complex, sophisticated humour, but absurdly amusing. This music is quite similar.

14. Durdy A guitar! It appears for the first time in the album, and if the previous track seemed chaotic, that one changes everything. A very right ending for an album that follows in tortuous ways in our musical world.

I'm absolutely sure that each time I listen to this record (and there will be many) more and more details will appear. It is a disc to listen carefully and by pieces, like a big puzzle. Definitely a disc that speaks to the heart, the feelings. A real masterpiece!

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