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PROGRESSIVE ELECTRONIC

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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Progressive Electronic definition

Born in the late 60's after the expansion of avant-gardist, modern, post-modern and minimalist experimentation, the progressive electronic movement immediately guides us into a musical adventure around technologies and new possibilities for composition. As an author or a searcher, the musician often creates his own modules and electronic combinations, deciding his own artistic and musical action. The visionary works of Stockhausen, Subotnick, John Cage ("concrete" music, electro-acoustic experimentation), La Monte Young, Steve Reich, Terry Riley (minimal, micro-tonal music) express a vision of total reconstruction in the current musical world. Luminous works such as "A Rainbow in Curved Air" (1967) and "Silver Apples of the Moon" (1967) bring an inflexion on opened forms and new ways to explore the essence and the physical aspects of sounds (through time and space). "Static" textures, collages & long running sounds, the power of technology previously exposed in ambitious classical works will have a major impact in "popular" electronic music.

After the artisan & innovative uses of magnetic tapes, feedback, microphones, etc., the instrumental synthesis, the elaboration of global sound forms and the psycho-acoustic interactions will be sublimated thanks to the launch of the analog synth. A great improvement happened in 1964 with the appearance of the first modular synthesiser (Moog). This material (or "invention") brings the answer to the technological aspirations of many musicians, mainly after the release of the popular "Switched on Bach" (Walter Carlos) and Mother Mallard's portable masterpiece (pieces composed between 1970-73).

At the beginning of popular essays in electronica, the pioneering technologies (in term of recording and sound transmission) will not be abandoned. For instance, "Tone Float" (1969) by Organisation (pre-Kraftwerk), "Zwei Osterei" & "Klopzeichen" (1969-70) by Kluster and "Irrlicht" (1972) by Klaus Schulze will carry on the domestication of the electric energy and the use of refined harmoniums, organs and echo machines. During the 70's decade, European groups & musicians such as Eno, Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream will make their name in the music industry thanks to an abundant use of analog synthesisers and original electronic combinations. After weird, mysterious experimentation on conventional acoustic & electric instruments, Kraftwerk enjoyed huge success in popular music thanks to "mechanical electronic pop music". "Trans Europe Express" (1977) and "The Man Machine" (1978) figure as two commercial classics. The German spacey electronic scene launched by Tangerine Dream with their outstanding "Alpha Centauri" (1971) and Cluster "I" & "II" (1971-72) will have echoes everywhere, starting from the Berlin underground electronic scene (the Berlin School) with Klaus Schulze ("Timewind" 1974), Michael Hoenig ("Departure from the Northern Wasteland" 1978), Ashra ("New Age of Earth" 1976), Conrad Schnitzler's buzz-drones and repetitive electronics ("Zug", "Blau", Gold" 1972-74) . After several innovations always from Germany we notice the dark, doomy atmospheric manifests of Nekropolis (Peter Frohmader) in "Le culte des Goules" (1981), Asmus Tietchens in his colourful and engaged "Biotop" (1981) and the semi-ambient "Hermeneutic Music" (1988) by Lars Troschen (sound sculptor and synthesist).

In France, the "hypnotic" and "propulsive" electronic essays of Heldon ("Electronic Guerrilla" 1974) and Lard Free ("Spiral Malax"1977) introduce an inclination for industrial, urban and post-modern sound projections. The French "avant gardist" Philippe Besombes takes back the inspiration of " concrete music" (Pierre Henry.) and mixes it to a hybrid rocking universe (published in 1973, "Libra" figures as a true classic). Bernard Xolotl in "Prophecy" (1981), "Procession" / "Last Wave" (1983), Zanov (Green Ray, 1976) and Didier Bocquet (Voyage cerebral, 1978) will follow the musical path anticipated by Klaus Schulze in his kosmische electronic symphonies.

At the end of the 70's until the debut of the 80's Albums as "ambient 1: Music for Airports" (Brian Eno), "Cluster & Eno", "Deluxe" (Hans Joachim Roedelius side project called Harmonia) will announce the emergence of the famous ambient movement, musically characterised by gorgeous shimmering atmospheric textures.

During the 80's, Maurizio Bianchi will be in search of the absolute industrial "post-nuclear" sound tapestry. His visionary musical experience is based on cyclical loops, abrasive concrete noises and vertiginous piano dreamscapes. ("Symphony for a Genocide" 1981 and recently the mesmerising "A.M.B Iehn Tale" 2005). Before M.B and the industrial-bruitist wave, the 70's Italian specialists of electronic experiments had been (among others) Francesco Cabiati (Mirage, 1979), Francesco Bucherri (Journey, 1979), and Francesco Messina for representative, lyrical and spacey orchestrations and also Futuro Antica (D'ai primitivi all'elettronica, 1980) or Telaio Magnetico (Live' 75) for tripped out minimalism.

In the early 1980s and after following the kosmische path of classic Klaus Schulze, The Bay Area / Los Angeles school of electronic created the so called "alchemical" / "Sacred" space music. The music offers a dynamic combination between ancient-traditional music of the West and synthesised sonic soundscapes. The most representative artists of this movement are Michael Stream (Lyra Sound Constellation, 1983) Robert Rich (Numena, 1987) and Steve Roach (Dreamtime Return, 1988).

In the early 80s Ian Boddy (Spirits, 1984 / Phoenix, 1986) and Mark Shreeve (Assassin, 1983 / Legion, 1984) unique spacedout synthesised sagas represented the british answer to the challenging Berlin kosmische school. Their music embodies timbral drone sequences, systematic arpeggiations and synth-pop textures.

Young contemporary bands and artists in electronic experimentation took their inspiration from the 70's "kosmische" analog synth psychedelica of Klaus Schulze, Conrad Schnitzler, Tangerine Dream, etc. In the spaced out synthesisers spectrum, modern Japanese artists as Yamazaki Maso (noisy avant garde experimentor who contributes to the Kawabata's projects named Andromelos, Christina 23 onna and Father Moo & the Black sheeps) or Takushi Yamazaki (Space Machine) are key figures. The minimal, moody / lysergic epic soundscapes of Omit (Clinton Williams), Cloudland Canyon, Astral social club or Zombi also contribute to the renewal of the "cosmic" synth genre. Many modern electronic artists have taken an original musical direction, surfing on post-krautrock ambient waves (Aethenor), on spherical "abstract" ambient minimalism (Pete Namlook, Biosphere, Robert Henke) or on trancey, (post) industrial drone hypnosis (Alio Die / Amon / Nimh for the italian side and Andrew Chalk with his respective projects Mirror, Monos and Ora).

To sum up things, the progressive electronic subgenre is dedicated to intricate, moving, cerebral, intrusive electronic experiences that get involved in "kosmische", dark ambient, (post) industrial, droning, surreal or impressionist soundscapes territories.

Philippe BLACHE


The responsibility for the psych/space, indo/raga, krautrock and prog electronic subgenres is taken by the PSIKE team,
currently consisting of

- Meltdowner
- siLLy puPPy
- Rivertree
- Tapfret
- HarryAngel746

Progressive Electronic Top Albums


Showing only studios | Based on members ratings & PA algorithm* | Show Top 100 Progressive Electronic | More Top Prog lists and filters

4.28 | 315 ratings
MIRAGE
Schulze, Klaus
4.25 | 949 ratings
RUBYCON
Tangerine Dream
4.22 | 297 ratings
TIMEWIND
Schulze, Klaus
4.17 | 812 ratings
PHAEDRA
Tangerine Dream
4.62 | 17 ratings
DECONSECRATED AND PURE
Alio Die
4.30 | 42 ratings
IN COURSE OF TIME
Zanov
4.42 | 24 ratings
ARCHITEXTURE OF SILENCE
Alpha Wave Movement
4.12 | 154 ratings
EPSILON IN MALAYSIAN PALE
Froese, Edgar
4.16 | 72 ratings
AN ELECTRIC STORM
White Noise
4.35 | 27 ratings
LONG LOST RELATIVES
Syrinx
4.62 | 14 ratings
HONEYSUCKLE
Alio Die
4.16 | 58 ratings
INTEGRATI... DISINTEGRATI
Leprino, Franco
4.06 | 251 ratings
X
Schulze, Klaus
4.21 | 39 ratings
CATCH WAVE
Kosugi, Takehisa
4.22 | 35 ratings
TUSSILAGO FANFARA
Anna Sjalv Tredje
4.16 | 46 ratings
ALIO DIE & LORENZO MONTANA: HOLOGRAPHIC CODEX
Alio Die
4.00 | 484 ratings
FORCE MAJEURE
Tangerine Dream
4.02 | 195 ratings
NEW AGE OF EARTH
Ashra
4.01 | 192 ratings
AMBIENT 4 - ON LAND
Eno, Brian
4.15 | 40 ratings
20 JAZZ FUNK GREATS
Throbbing Gristle

Progressive Electronic overlooked and obscure gems albums new


Random 4 (reload page for new list) | As selected by the Progressive Electronic experts team

HELDON IV - AGNETA NILSSON
Heldon
NEKROPOLIS: MUSIK AUS DEM SCHATTENREICH
Frohmader, Peter
TUSSILAGO FANFARA
Anna Sjalv Tredje
HARMONIC ASCENDANT
Schroeder, Robert

Latest Progressive Electronic Music Reviews


 Thief (OST) by TANGERINE DREAM album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.22 | 166 ratings

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Thief (OST)
Tangerine Dream Progressive Electronic

Review by cloviskoba

4 stars I was about to buy this CD when I noticed many comments of missing "Confrontation" on the cheaper offers. Then I discovered a 20th Anniversary Ultimate Edition which has 15 tracks, with alternate and extended versions and an original "Frank is set up". That was my best shot to get this album! It comes also with nice pictures from the movie.

1. Main titles/ The Heist (10:46) [Diamond diary] 2. Sam's forge (3:10) [Burning bar] 3. Chicago courtroom (4:38) [Scrap yard] 4. Tailed/ The break-in (9:58) [alternate Igneous] 5. San Diego Beach/ Love Scene (3:44) [Beach theme] 6. Frank is set up (4:30) [original!] 7. Destruction (3:17) [Dr. Destructo] 8. Final confrontation/ End credits (5:49) [alternate Confrontation] 9. Trap feeling (2:57) 10. Chicago courtroom (5:18) [alternate Scrap yard] 11. Tailed/ The break-in (4:46) [Igneous] 12. Beach theme #1 (6:11) [extended Beach theme] 13. Beach theme #2 (6:47) [extended Beach theme] 14. Destruction (4:12) [alternate Dr. Destructo] 15. Final confrontation (5:35) [Confrontation]

 Silver Morning / Deep Blue Day (Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois & Roger Eno) by ENO, BRIAN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1983
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Silver Morning / Deep Blue Day (Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois & Roger Eno)
Brian Eno Progressive Electronic

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
3 stars This is not the first time I choose to write the first review for a single instead of the source album which already is well reviewed. "Apollo - Atmospheres & Soundtracks" (1983) is one of the most beloved classics of ambient music. Legendary Brian Eno teamed up with his more New Age oriented brother Roger Eno and guitarist/ composer /producer /solo artist Daniel Lanois, who has worked with U2 among others. The album was made for director Al Reinert's documentary about NASA's Apollo missions, which was originally intended to be without any narration. The test audience's response wasn't encouraging, so the film went through a lot of changes and was released in 1989 titled For All Mankind. But the original soundtrack album had a life of its own, truly deservedly.

This promotional single offers a nice sample of that classic album. 'Silver Morning' was composed by Daniel Lanois and it focuses on his electric guitar textures that give some balancing, warm down-to-earth nuances to all the floating spaceyness during the album.

'Deep Blue Day' is one of the finest pieces of the album. A sort of a country-flavoured ambient instrumental with a dreamy and relaxed atmosphere. The soft, bouncy soundscape of spatial synths and mellow guitars is very charming. Hey, was it this piece that was used in the film Trainspotting, in the surreal scene of diving into crystal clear coral sea through a toilet seat? Clever!

 Japan Tour 2019 by GIRÓN album cover Live, 2020
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Japan Tour 2019
Girón Progressive Electronic

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

— First review of this album —
4 stars 2019 saw Spanish multi-instrumentalist Tomás Fernández Girón travelling through Takayama, Japan, recording a selection of his thoughtful prog-electronic pieces at various stops. The resulting disc, `Japan Tour 2019' offers a tasteful stroll through Girón's most intimate compositions, and it perfectly complements the three superb studio discs (four if you count his superb 2019 Zytospace collaboration with Miguel A. Ruiz) the intelligent and subtle artist has delivered so far.

For those yet to explore Girón's deeply personal and reserved take on Berlin School atmospheres, each alters the approach. The 2014 debut `Forest' is his most melancholic and fragile work, `Stones' a year later introduced lighter and melodic touches, while 2017's `Clouds' perfectly balanced vintage and modern electronic sensibilities, and all are represented on this live outing.

Hailing from Girón's debut, `Cross the Line' is highlighted by lonely piano, reverberating hums and weeping synth cries, and fleeting spacey swirls and bubbling effects that flit around the backdrop softly call to mind Jean-Michel Jarre. A thrumming pulse and weeping Mellotron theme in `From Outer Space' turns defiant and determined, and the minimalistic and graceful `Ode to a Suiseki' aches with longing, embracing similar atmospheres to Steve Roach's 1984 classic `Structures from Silence'.

`To the Inner Temple' is dramatic with bleeding electronic melts. It's then back to Girón's first disc for `Inside the Forest', where introspective electric piano shards and the most subtle of shivering Mellotron veils that form a darkly cinematic backing rise up around an incessant programmed tick laced with unease that morphs into a pulsing, trance-like beat.

Most impressive of all, however, is album closer `Nachi', a new piece that's exclusive to this set. An eerie drone grows in stature before teeming with jangling sequencer-driven life, and it reveals a triumphant and life-affirming joy. Everything Tomas does so well is held within this one piece...

While Tomas doesn't stray too far from the original arrangements of the studio compositions, the live selections here present a very fine overview of the various moods that listeners can expect to find in his low-key approach to Berlin School/prog-electronic music. It would actually also make a perfect introduction for newcomers to his music. For now, while we wait for his next studio work, it's a welcome reminder of everything Girón does so beautifully, and progressive-electronic fans should investigate this artist immediately.

Four stars.

 Live by JOBSON, EDDIE album cover Live, 2020
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Live
Eddie Jobson Progressive Electronic

Review by pfwallis

— First review of this album —
3 stars The performances are good but the quality of the sound is questionable. Being from a variety of sources, the sound is good in some numbers but only fair in others. Drums sound tinny and the mix is murky. Jobson is a great player and he attracts top quality band members. However, getting good live recordings has always been an issue. If you really interested in a good live recording, I would recommend "Four Decades". This recording traces his career all the way back to Curved Air. The recording is excellent and, if you can find it, the DVD is equally recommended. It might be on you tube......if so it is worth a look.

Unfortunately, Four Decades is not easy to find. It is not on any streaming service that I am aware of and I had to get the CD from Japan. It cost big bucks!! Eddie Jobson live is good but not essential. Go for Four Decades, it will give you the live essentials.

 Richard Pinhas & John Livengood: ‎Cyborg Sally by PINHAS, RICHARD album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.00 | 6 ratings

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Richard Pinhas & John Livengood: ‎Cyborg Sally
Richard Pinhas Progressive Electronic

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

3 stars It´s been a while since I been searching for this album, I will not charge my rating with that, therefore I stay on the pure pleasure of the unknown and rate it as such.

More like Heldon , thank all gods less than Fripp, although John Livengood saves it all, Richard Pinhas stays close to his own language, obviously influenced by King Crimson but he overcomes this obstacle by following the tune and less falling off the wagon and plagiarizing King Robert Fripp.

Electronics and experimatation brings the Cyborg Sally´s spirit out of it. Some cybernetic male vocals enhance the robotic feel, Livengood´s keys help a lot with the futuristic and menacing environments and also with the peaceful ones and Pinhas a more violent performer paints out a contrast between both sides. Expect also electronic percussions here and there by the way.

Richard Pinhas & John Livengood -"‎Cyborg Sally" (1994), is deep, daring and inventive but not enough to step away from the Crimson King´s domain, yet it is worth your while, not a must but you will surely find some very pleasant moments and better yet a favorite and memorable track. As for me I will keep it.

Now! In this Prog world´s universal criteria a 3 star rating + my review is fair.

 New Age of Earth by ASHRA album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.02 | 195 ratings

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New Age of Earth
Ashra Progressive Electronic

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars Ash Ra Tempel had an initial run from 1970 to 1976 and hosted an array of rotating members including the great Klaus Schulze who performed percussive duties on the band's lauded 1971 debut but the entire project was basically the work of Manuel Göttsching who was instrumental in bringing the sounds of Germany's Krautrock and progressive electronic sounds to the mainstream. After the initial run of the band had expired, Göttsching moved away from the kosmichse psychedelic haze that graced the initial five album Ash Ra Tempel set and veered more into the Berlin School side of the progressive electronic scene in the vein of Tangerine Dream and former member Klaus Schulze's unique sounds that he crafted after leaving.

By jettisoning the Tempel which laid the foundation of fuzz guitar soaked rock and by adopting a clever linguistic agglutination of the Ash and Ra into ASHRA, the new name symbolized a new vision where Göttsching set his music towards the heavens with ethereal and ambient serenity performed on an ARP Odyssey, a Farfisa Syntochrestra, an EMS Synthi A, an EKO Computerhythm and a much subdued guitar section on a Gibson SG that was tamped down below the mix but yet still found some key moments to bring melodic counterpoints to the forefront. ASHRA's debut NEW AGE OF EARTH arrived in 1976 and prognosticated the advent of the marketing term that would come to be known as NEW AGE in the 80s although the actual first new age album was retrospectively assigned to Tony Scott's 1964 album "Music For Zen Meditation." Although this first ASHRA release was very much a Göttsching solo album, it would become a bonafide band beginning with the third album "Correlations."

NEW AGE FOR EARTH offered four tracks, two shorter and two on the longer side with the side long "Nightdust" swallowing up the entire B-side of the original vinyl LP clocking in just shy of 22 minutes. In its midst the album generates many moods and ethos established in the Berlin School branch of the progressive electronic scene that by the mid-70s had become quite popular. The opening "Sunrain" deviates quite a bit from much of the Ash Ra Tempel days where percussion is absent as well as Göttsching's distinct guitar sounds and instead generates a procession of synth layers and a staccato style of rhythm accompanied by atmospheric swirls and ambient fog. The 12 and a half minute "Oceans Of Tenderness" mellows out a bit but offers a bit of guitar wailing to percolate under the undulating waves of synth sounds that breeze by like zephyr winds through a mountain pass. "Deep Distance" is a rather short track under six minutes but conjures up a cloud of thick density where layers of synth sounds evoke celestial harmonies and well being.

The side long closer "Nightdust" will induce a hypnotic trance as it subtly proceeds at a snail's pace with calm placid rhythms building up to faster tempos graced by guitar licks and percussive rhythmic drives from that Berlin School synthesizer style. The album doesn't really have any weak points and stands as one of the better Berlin School style albums of the era and often gets listed as one of the best electronic albums of the entire German scene. To make things confusing this album was also released under the ASH RA TEMPEL moniker with a different album cover however i cannot figure out if it was first released that way or was released that way as a reissue as databases don't seem to agree on which came first. Whatever the case, it would be more appropriate to file this under the separate artist ASHRA since it truly does stand apart from the previous efforts that were closely related but clearly in a different field. Needless to say, this one is an excellent slice of ambient new age magnificence.

 Tomorrow by ROACH, STEVE album cover Studio Album, 2020
5.00 | 1 ratings

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Tomorrow
Steve Roach Progressive Electronic

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

— First review of this album —
5 stars There couldn't be a better time for American progressive-electronic/ambient icon Steve Roach to release an album such as `Tomorrow'. In 2020, we're currently living in a very difficult, unhappy and threatening period, where hope can be in short supply. With this release, Steve has taken another deep-dive into sequencer-heavy pieces, the majority of them side-long, twenty-plus minute compositions, and there is a constantly uplifting, even joyful vibrancy to the synth soundworlds he unveils here.

These days, it's not unusual for Roach to offer very low-key and droning ambient works, some of which are even gently melancholic. However, with the way the year has gone, perhaps he's aware that another similar work might prompt listeners to dwell too long, potentially leading to overwhelming and unhappier places brought on by the current state of the world. So, in contrast, `Tomorrow' (even the title is hopeful) enlivens the senses by being unwaveringly full of momentum and liveliness, with sequenced patterns in constant movement, ringing and chiming into infinity, and the artist's trademark lush synth veils weaving around them.

Self-titled opener `Tomorrow' sets much of a template for this collection. Embracing both his more melodic percussive-driven styles with his thoughtful ambience, sequencer programming bounces with purpose, sometimes quickening and strident, other times retreating. They move between glistening waves of cooling electronic caresses that lap back and forth, always shimmering with elegance and teeming with life. Very slight uneasy textures that infiltrate the extended piece may remind some listeners of the legendary Klaus Schulze, but they are quickly chased back by more optimistic qualities.

Parts of `Optimal Being' drift into gentler touches before a dramatic finale that reminds of Eighties-era Tangerine Dream. `HeartBreath' swoons with a `Structures From Silence'-like enveloping sweetness with the softest pattering of beats. Both the shorter `Spiral of Strength' and `A Different Today' occupy the final side, with the former being up-tempo and urgent - maybe even a little giddy! - and the latter a sleek and graceful closer.

Being available on both CD and vinyl (a format that Roach doesn't explore too often these days) suggests this release is aiming for wider exposure and attention than usual, and it couldn't be a more ideal set to showcase the modern era of the artist. Steve's artistic, intelligent and accessible sides are all in perfect unison here, making it a treat for long-time listeners, curious newcomers or even more casual fans, and `Tomorrow' proves to be a reminder that joy, love and hope can be found in even the most uncertain and trying of times.

Five stars for prog-electronic fans.

 The Gate of Saturn (Live at the Lowry Manchester 2011) by TANGERINE DREAM album cover Live, 2011
3.57 | 5 ratings

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The Gate of Saturn (Live at the Lowry Manchester 2011)
Tangerine Dream Progressive Electronic

Review by Heart of the Matter

4 stars Well, this is Tangerine Dream live, possibly you know how the rite proceeds. First, it takes a good while to build up the entire atmosphere that is required in order to get every faithful included in the mantra. There's some opening synth chords followed by some still understated rhytmic sequencing, then the main symphonic lines by the keyboards kick in, the serious percussion takes charge underpinning the ride, and by the time you come to hear that agonic, orgasmic, extatic (tribal, maybe?) vocals, you are so into the bloody thing, that you can't escape, nor even have the desire to do it.

If you are looking for a sample of the goods, try "Alchemy Of The Heart". Nice guitar solo!

 The Blue Years Studio Albums 1985-1987 by TANGERINE DREAM album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2019
3.91 | 2 ratings

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The Blue Years Studio Albums 1985-1987
Tangerine Dream Progressive Electronic

Review by Heart of the Matter

4 stars A nice set of the most new age inflected ones among Tangerine Dream studio albums. Let's take a comparative look:

Disc One "Le Parc": As the title states, this is a mosaic composed of a miniature for each one of the selected parks. Somewhat conventional at times, but always with a timely mutation in harmonic or rhythmic texture coming around the corner.

Disc Two "Green Desert": The best of the batch to my taste. The music is very reminding of the Virgin Years, because it was recorded in Berlin in 1973, and just released in 1986.

Disc Three "Underwater Sunlight": Have you already seen enough underwater life documentaries? If that's the case, skip this. If not, you are in for a treat, with crystaline synth textures, and a classic Edgar Froese electric guitar solo in "Ride on the Ray".

Disc Four "Tyger": The female vocals on the poem by William Blake are okay, but not what I look for in a Tangerine Dream. I just use to go straight to "London", a sort of mini-suite with good electric guitar parts.

 The Storm by STEARNS, MICHAEL album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.00 | 1 ratings

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The Storm
Michael Stearns Progressive Electronic

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
4 stars The American ambient-oriented artist Michael Stearns really hasn't got many reviews here, despite his vast discography. Last month I reviewed Encounter (1988) and now the only other album I have from Stearns. No, I am not a connoisseur of his output.

Instead of having an ordinary studio album at hand, much of the music on The Storm has originally appeared on various films. This fact doesn't decrease the coherence of the whole, which is mixed with great dedication to function perfectly as an individual, genuine ambient album. According to All Music Guide review here are "some of darker and more exotic soundscapes and atmospheres" of Stearns. Compared to Encounter, this does feel a bit more exciting and varied, but the difference is not notable. If the space- themed Encounter was fit for a planetarium, this music by and large has the similar meditative and profound nature, only with some more Earth-rooted nuances, at times associated to Africa or India.

The opening title track featuring sound effects of a thunder is from a film called The Doe in the Headlights. It's a very fine, dynamic piece of dark ambient. Many of the other tracks are typical Stearns in their slow-paced spatial serenity.

'Light in the Tree' features some female voice (Marsha Lee) as a part of the soundscape. 'From the Cradle' is one of the highlights. It has crystal-like brightness and some distant, distorted human voice to increase the mystic feel. Female singing is more central on 'Bajan' co-composed by an Indian mystic Mirabai.

Those listeners not in general excited by slow-paced ambient music probably won't get interested with this album either, but especially if you like some World Music flavour too, The Storm is a recommendable item of the genre.

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Progressive Electronic bands/artists list

Bands/Artists Country
12 FOLLOWERS United States
6LA8 Pakistan
ACI Germany
AEON France
AETHENOR Multi-National
AFTERLIFE United States
ILDEFONSO AGUILAR Spain
PEKKA AIRAKSINEN Finland
AIRSCULPTURE United Kingdom
ALBERGO INTERGALATTICO SPAZIALE Italy
ALIO DIE Italy
ALLEGORY CHAPEL LTD United States
DAEVID ALLEN & MICROCOSMIC United Kingdom
ALLUSTE Italy
ALPHA WAVE MOVEMENT United States
ALTO STRATUS United Kingdom
AMBER ROUTE United States
AMON Italy
PETER ANDERSSON Sweden
ANDROMELOS Japan
ANNA SJALV TREDJE Sweden
ARC United Kingdom
ARPANET United States
EDWARD ARTEMIEV Russia
ARZATHON Sweden
ASCOIL SUN Finland
ASHRA Germany
ASTRAL TV Denmark
THE ASTROBOY Portugal
ATOMINE ELEKTRINE Sweden
AUBE Japan
AUTOMAT Italy
AWENSON France
MARVIN AYRES United Kingdom
HARVEY BAINBRIDGE United Kingdom
AIDAN BAKER Canada
SIMON BALESTRAZZI Italy
BAFFO BANFI Italy
BASS COMMUNION United Kingdom
JOHN BATTEMA United States
BAUMANN / KOEK Germany
PETER BAUMANN Germany
BEAR BONES LAY LOW Venezuela
BOBBY BEAUSOLEIL United States
CARLOS BELTRÁN Mexico
LÁSZLÓ BENKÖ Hungary
PHILIPPE BESOMBES France
BETWEEN INTERVAL Sweden
MAURIZIO BIANCHI Italy
BIG ROBOT Norway
BIOSPHERE Norway
BIZARE KO.KO.KO. Austria
BLACK UNICORN United States
TIM BLAKE France
BLUE MOTION Switzerland
BLUE SAUSAGE INFANT United States
WOLFGANG BOCK Germany
DIDIER BOCQUET France
IAN BODDY United Kingdom
GASTON BORREANI Italy
ADAM CERTAMEN BOWNIK Poland
BOYS OF SUMMER Ireland
BREIDABLIK Norway
OLIVIER BRIAND France
MICHAEL BRÜCKNER Germany
FRANCESCO BUCCHERI Italy
HAROLD BUDD United States
MICHAEL BUNDT Germany
FRANCESCO CABIATI Italy
ROBERTO CACCIAPAGLIA Italy
SAMUEL CADIMA Portugal
CALDERA United States
TOM CAMERON United States
DALLAS CAMPBELL United States
JAVI CANOVAS Spain
CELLULOID United States
CELLUTRON & THE INVISIBLE United States
ANDREW CHALK United Kingdom
JOHN CHRISTIAN United Kingdom
CHRISTINE 23 ONNA Japan
CHURCH OF HED United States
THE CIRCULAR RUINS United Kingdom
MICK CLARKE United Kingdom
CLOUDLAND BALLROOM Ireland
CLOUDLAND CANYON United States
COIL United Kingdom
COMA VIRUS Germany
PASCAL COMELADE France
COMPUTERCHEMIST United Kingdom
CON HERTZ Germany
CONTRASTATE United Kingdom
COSMIC DEBRIS United States
COSMIC GROUND Germany
COSMIC HOFFMANN Germany
CRAWL UNIT United States
CREMATOR United Kingdom
CROP CIRCLES France
CROWS LABYRINTH Netherlands
CULTURAL NOISE Austria
FRANCESCO CURRŔ Italy
CYBOTRON Australia
DEAD VOICES ON AIR United Kingdom
DEATHCOUNT IN SILICONE VALLEY United Kingdom
JEAN-MICHEL DESBOUIS France
DEUTSCHE WERTARBEIT Germany
NICOLAS DICK France
DIN A TESTBILD Germany
DIONNE - BRÉGENT Canada
SERGEI DJOKANOV Bulgaria
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