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Adelbert Von Deyen - Planetary CD (album) cover


Adelbert Von Deyen


Progressive Electronic

2.96 | 6 ratings

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Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
3 stars `Planetary' by German electronic composer Adelbert von Deyen is a pretty safe comeback after a spectacular crash with the previous album `Eclipse'. The artist has always been special to me, releasing three of my favourite electronic albums - `Sternzeit', `Nordborg' and `Atmosphere - as well as one of my most disappointing experiences with `Eclipse' (read my review of it for more details).

This fifth album from 1982 was a swift retreat back to more familiar instrumental spacey electronic territory for von Deyen, also assisted by Dieter Schutz - the two would make a proper joint album next with `Inventions' a year later - although the 9 tracks here are in a more compact form, all shorter than his usual long-form drifting soundscapes. There's greater use of programmed beats and percussive elements, with plenty of light melodies making it very easy on enjoy. The front cover is quite attractive too!

Despite a somewhat simplistic beat that quickly enters, `Jupiter' gets things off to a reassuring start, with humming synths and organ that sounds like a cross between his earlier albums and the intro of Pink Floyd's `Shine On, You Crazy Diamond'. `Mars' is pure synth-pop with borderline dance beats over a machine-like hum. `Saturn' has a subtle clicking pulse over gentle electronic choral male voices. The dramatic and brooding `Earth' has chittering synth loops over gentle electric guitar soloing and massed crowd chants. `Mercury' has a lovely warm synth melody joined with metallic looped percussion and a deep droning electronic choir. `Uranus' could almost be an outtake from `Atmosphere', all pulsing and imposing buzzing synths and totally devoid of percussive elements. The lonely `Pluto' is full of longing, as synths rise and fall over a gentle melody, and it might be one of the most heartfelt compositions from von Deyen yet. The chilly `Neptune' has a robotic heartbeat over glacial walls of synths, and `Venus' closes the album on a darker, slightly malevolent deep drone over beckoning siren wails, not unlike Eloy's deep-space `Silent Cries and Mighty Echoes' album.

Although hardly challenging and occasionally a little bland, `Planetary' still makes for a pleasing electronic listening experience, and it's probably an album that, like Jean-Michel Jarre's `Oxygene', would make for an easy introduction to newcomers of the progressive electronic genre. Perfectly nice, but the real special stuff is on those first three albums, although I'm still a proud owner of this all the same.

Three stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 3/5 |


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