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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
- Sheavy
- Meltdowner
- siLLy puPPy
- Rivertree


Progressive Electronic Top Albums


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

4.29 | 300 ratings
MIRAGE
Schulze, Klaus
4.25 | 909 ratings
RUBYCON
Tangerine Dream
4.22 | 282 ratings
TIMEWIND
Schulze, Klaus
4.17 | 787 ratings
PHAEDRA
Tangerine Dream
4.38 | 39 ratings
IN COURSE OF TIME
Zanov
4.17 | 154 ratings
EPSILON IN MALAYSIAN PALE
Froese, Edgar
4.67 | 16 ratings
DECONSECRATED AND PURE
Alio Die
4.19 | 70 ratings
AN ELECTRIC STORM
White Noise
4.42 | 24 ratings
ARCHITEXTURE OF SILENCE
Alpha Wave Movement
4.67 | 13 ratings
HONEYSUCKLE
Alio Die
4.37 | 24 ratings
THEY GROW LAYERS OF LIFE WITHIN
Alio Die
4.17 | 57 ratings
INTEGRATI... DISINTEGRATI
Leprino, Franco
4.07 | 185 ratings
AMBIENT 4 - ON LAND
Eno, Brian
4.22 | 39 ratings
CATCH WAVE
Kosugi, Takehisa
4.36 | 23 ratings
DISSOLVI
Hauschildt, Steve
4.32 | 25 ratings
LONG LOST RELATIVES
Syrinx
4.02 | 469 ratings
FORCE MAJEURE
Tangerine Dream
4.23 | 34 ratings
TUSSILAGO FANFARA
Anna Sjalv Tredje
4.16 | 46 ratings
ALIO DIE & LORENZO MONTANA: HOLOGRAPHIC CODEX
Alio Die
4.02 | 244 ratings
X
Schulze, Klaus

Progressive Electronic overlooked and obscure gems albums new


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

NEKROPOLIS: MUSIK AUS DEM SCHATTENREICH
Frohmader, Peter
DEN GÅTFULLA MÄNNISKAN
Malmberg, Eric
HATHOR
Wakhévitch, Igor
SYNTHESIST
Grosskopf, Harald

Latest Progressive Electronic Music Reviews


 Solid State Survivor by YELLOW MAGIC ORCHESTRA album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.13 | 38 ratings

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Solid State Survivor
Yellow Magic Orchestra Progressive Electronic

Review by Menswear
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Fresh!

With the return of synth-wave, also known as chillwave or vapourwave, we are drowning in keyboard nostalgia. I'm not the one who will complain because I embrace this style with open arms. As the grandfather of synthpop, YMO gaved us some thick and juicy songs with Solid State Survivor. While Kraftwerk (bless their hearts) is pioneering electronica, I never really cared for it; their bland and repetitive soups are quickly boring me. Okay, we get it. You're sad mannequins behind keyboards. On the other side, YMO is colorful, quirky, jumpy and surprisingly sunny. A more attractive approach, to me at least.

Feeling like a blend of The Cars, Kraftwerk, Daft Punk and DEVO, YMO were creative and full of textures. I'm frankly surprised this was made in 1979. I didn't believe it at first, checking on the Internets for more input. Wow!

A musical cartoon on record, for those who enjoy vintage mangas and electronic wizardry. Short but sweet.

 Ambient 1 - Music For Airports by ENO, BRIAN album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.64 | 194 ratings

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Ambient 1 - Music For Airports
Brian Eno Progressive Electronic

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars It's undeniable that Brian Eno's Ambient 1 is an album that has garnered much attention and interest as the years have gone by, and how could it not with such a formidable reputation behind it? Being coined as one of the landmark ambient albums is quite the title to live up to, and especially intriguing with a genre as abstract as this, after all, what exact qualities would actually go into creating an amazingly regarded ambient album? Listening through this album makes me think that it's definitely partially how it can create a mood and be beautiful, all without ever being distracting in nature, alternatively, as Eno himself put it "Ignorable as it is interesting". While I definitely believe that this album's legacy is a large part of the acclaim it still gets to this day, I also definitely see the appeal in it, despite personally finding other ambient projects to be somewhat more engaging throughout.

The composition of each track on this album as a whole represents a very minimal sense of progression throughout, relatively short loops repeating for long periods of time as subtle changes are made in order to accompany the serene, beautiful atmosphere as a whole. These subtle changes are what really add that quality to the music where it is able to be intently listened to without feeling boring. 1/1 demonstrates this in the best way, the forefront being centred around a central, minimalistic piano melody that feels as if it loops around endlessly, with low droning permeating the majority of the track, creating an absolutely perfect atmosphere that's immersive without being attention grabbing, able to appeal to both those listening to this in the background, while having a lot to love when closely focusing on the smaller details. The most impressive thing about this track and why it stands out so clearly from most other ambient material is how it is one of the single most relaxing pieces of music I've come across, with such memorability despite being so minimalistic. The tracks that make use of what sounds like a choir Are also quite intriguing to me for being able to sound so grandiose and powerful with so little to work from. The looping feels far less obvious here as well, due to the primary melody being far less defined, providing a more hypnotic experience that I also enjoy quite a bit, even if I find it to end extremely abruptly whenever that particular track ends, breaking some of the immersion to some extent, along with overall sounding a bit hollow. I personally feel that this is an album that there really isn't much to talk about outside of what I've mentioned, as it follows a very similar sort of sound and approach throughout with the same core features, really nailing the beauty regardless.

I can definitely see both sides of the argument for and against this album, given how this is so pleasant and singular in its appraoch that it's quite easy to understand possible distaste people would have towards this, especially with the amount of more multifaceted ambient out there, even by Eno himself. That said, this very singular, cohesive approach allows the atmosphere and tone it sets to absolutely flourish and create a truly beautiful experience, even if it can feel a bit lacking at times in the process. Nonetheless, I believe that this is a worthwhile album to at least give a listen to once, especially if you're interested in ambient music, because no matter what way you look at it, this is an album that is considered an absolute landmark despite its shortcomings in areas, and I for one think that much of the praise it gets is deserved, as this is a wonderfully calming, beautiful album.

Verdict: An ambient classic that manages to make loops repeated ad nauseum a surprisingly compelling, lovely listen, especially with the amazing tone and atmosphere it has throughout, but definitely simplistic regardless.

 Samsa Trio: Samsa Trio by AIRAKSINEN, PEKKA album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Samsa Trio: Samsa Trio
Pekka Airaksinen Progressive Electronic

Review by Mortte

— First review of this album —
4 stars Pekka really went all of his life totally own way. In sixties/seventies it was really rare in Finland, that no-one made selfpublished records. Only independent label was Love Records and I believe it would have wanted to release at least legendary Pekka's Sperm-orchestra album Shhh-Hein'sirkat. Instead of that Pekka decided to release his records by his own 0-label. No idea, how many copies were pressed, but it's possible they all weren 't sold at their release time, because Pekka haven't ever been business man at all. Anyway they become very expensive collector's items and for recent years you haven't got any possibility for example listen this album anywhere. Luckily German Vinyl-On-Demand wanted to release all Pekka's seventies works in the same box, so I finally also got possibility to listen this very rare album. Samsa Trio-album came same year as Pekka's first solo 'One Point Music'. Samsa Trio was shortlived band, where former Sperm men Antero Helander & Mattijuhani Koponen joined with Pekka.

There are no recording details in this album, but I believe this has recorded live in Pekka's homestudio with few microphones. Recording quality is still quite good. Unlike Pekka's later albums, this is totally acoustic, fully instrumental and there is even no electric guitar. 'Kuun Alla' (= under the moon) starts album with Koponen playing tugging valse in piano. Pekka joins with freeform acoustic guitar playing, also soon Helander with sax. Helander's playing varies from soft to strong & very free. In the end of these piece Koponen plays very tingling back to the sax and Pekka changes guitar to maracas. Next 'Kiven Poiminta' (=picking the stone) is the only piece released after vinyl release in cd-compilation 'More Artic Hysteria'. Koponen plays in it even more tugging piano, Helander has changed to recorder & Pekka plays percussion & trombone same time. 'Kaislikko' (=bed of reeds) is the most freeform piece where musicians change instruments many times, there are at least cello, kantele, piano & sax. Last 'J'' Sulaa' (=ice melts) is the most rhythmic piece including strong percussive beat. In the end it changes more freeform, Helander starts to play piano passages, Pekka improvises with cello & Koponen changes recorder to percussions. In the end there is short, strong piece with cello & two saxes.

This album is almost same kind of masterpiece as Sperm-album & Pekka's first solo. It really brings in my mind the feelings of Finnish nature in the winternight. Music is really weird but interesting. There is not much acoustic stuff in Pekka's discography, I think there has come only 'Pagoda'-e.p under name Omar Williams & Pekka Airaksinen year after this album. That e.p. is also included in that 'Works 1968-1976'-box that is must to all Pekka-fans (who are not ready to pay for the original releases if they happend to be available). This album is highly recommended to all avantgarde-jazz -fans!

 Stillpoint by ROACH, STEVE album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.09 | 4 ratings

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Stillpoint
Steve Roach Progressive Electronic

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Steve Roach - STILLPOINT (2019)

A heartfelt melancholic drive, What a WONDERFUL Art world it is.

Steve Roach' s STILLPOINT, brings back the sweet/beautifulness of Steve Roach's idiom back in place, where he , is hImself and where no one else dares to dwell. Nothing to brag about yet nothing to withhold.

(No COPY-CAT AS ALWAYS), thus furthering his electronic music drive of his own created language to new unsuspected meditative places, which he himself creates and has created. This release shows his inner quest for heartfelt beauty in his own music way of electronic music expression .

Feel feelings, and then feel again, the Progressive Electronic way of course!

Well my, PE´s' friends (lol), this aritst is more than alive, God SAVE THE KING!

****

 Sisters Oregon by BASS COMMUNION album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2017
3.90 | 2 ratings

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Sisters Oregon
Bass Communion Progressive Electronic

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

4 stars Bass Communion is a solo project for Stephen Wilson, lead man for Porcupine Tree who also releases solo projects under his own name. Bass Communion is much different from what most fans are used to as far as his music goes however. Typically, under this moniker, Wilson makes experimental, musique concrete albums which uses electronic manipulation and effects to create some interesting soundscapes which are not based on melody.

The EP 'Sisters Oregon' is a four-part composition which uses a boys choir for source material. The choir was originally recorded at Air Studio in London on September 2014. The final mixing and assembly of the EP was done in June of 2017, and this was released on 10' and 12' vinyl in October of 2017, and then later made available as a FLAC download in 2019.

Parts 1 and 2 take up the first side of the vinyl which lasts 14 minutes. The music is very ambient consisting of low drones that fade in and out while oscillating and while airy effects swirl around. There are distant tones that occasionally make themselves heard, but they are soft and almost indiscernible. Listening closely, you can hear some interesting manipulation going on in the low drones which gives it all an intriguing sound and texture. Later on in the track, sustained tones ebb and flow having more of a notational sound and slowly increase in intensity as soft, percussive noises mark the passage of time. The tonal drone continues, and one can hear the buried human vocal element come through from time to time, but this is usually hard to pick out as the sounds are manipulated to sound more like instrumentation than vocals. All the while, this stays sparse and ambient-like and after the tone-drones reach a peak, they begin to fade more quickly as they recede into the distance.

Parts 3 and 4 are combined on the second half of the disc and have a duration of just over 12 minutes. This time we fade into a drone that retains its chordal tones and is more of a medium pitch with the tones more discernable but also more unchanging. As the track nears 4 minutes, there is a sudden heavy and low sound that reverberates until it disappears, and then sustained tones create a slow and mesmerizing series that could almost be considered melodic. The notes are so sustained however, that it isn't possible to pick out any real melody, but they definitely vary and swirl around each other in random sequences and durations. The vocal aspect becomes more clear as it continues, especially in the higher notes.

This particular recording is one of the better Bass Communion albums in that the music is very peaceful with a sense of longing or solitude. The soundscapes are more variant and don't dwell so much on singular sounds, but add variation in tones and textures keeping things interesting and moving forward. The best way to experience this and pretty much any of the Bass Communion recordings is with headphones so you can totally immerse yourself in the soundscapes. Wilson is definitely a talented musician and as such, he has many outlets for his creativity, and even though some don't always understand his music, you can't debate the fact that he is inventive. His use of electronic manipulation with the use of interesting and sometimes unusual source material is what makes him one of the unique talents in the progressive electronic genre, but unfortunately, it tends to get ignored compared to some of his more accessible music.

 Quantum Gate by TANGERINE DREAM album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.86 | 52 ratings

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Quantum Gate
Tangerine Dream Progressive Electronic

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars I can't believe that only one other review exists on PA of this album! Haven't you all heard! TD is back!

1. "Sensing Elements" (13:33) containing a lot to remind listeners of the TD of old, this is one great epic; not the same as the old but definitely capturing the spirit. Very nice layering of multiple themes coming from multiple instruments with, of course, the trademark sequences. Ulrich Schnauss is a melody god. (28/30)

2. "Roll The Seven Twice" (6:25) opens with a sequence that sounds almost disco-danceable over which several other repetitive sounds are added over the course of the first 90 seconds. It's hypnotic and yet danceable. At the two minute mark an Arp-like synth enters to take the lead before another electronic rhythm track is added to give it a definitive Euro-electronic dance groove. Various synths interject intermittent lead melodic motifs in the song's final 90 seconds. Nice. Makes me nostalgic for European dance clubs. (8.75/10)

3. "Granular Blankets" (5:03) downtempo multi-layer rhythm track with multiple synth leads alternating over the top before marimba-like sound takes the lead. At the end of the third minute a trip-hoppy synth-drum track familiar to all who know Ulrich Schnauss' previous solo work kicks in while violin takes the lead soaring with a long sustain above the rest. Pretty cool. (8.5/10)

4. "It Is Time To Leave When Everyone Is Dancing" (6:36) The song we were all forewarned that we'd hate (because of the blatant dance-oriented tracks). Once we've moved past the long, bouncy synth intro, the Euro-disco beats kick in and a repetitive synth wash chord begins to repeat every four seconds for a very long time as very little else is really developing elsewhere. I have to admit, the repetition of that synth hit is alone quite distracting and disenchanting. Luckily it fades in the fourth minute and we subtly shift into a slightly different soundscape (with the same tempo and beat). This is, at least, much more interesting and tolerable as the weave between synths and fuzzy guitars is nice. (8.25/10)

5. "Identity Proven Matrix" (5:18) presents a very cinematic heavier-edged sound--much like the Thief soundtrack work and after (Hyperborea). There is an actual structure with melodic theme pattern here--like ABACAB. (8.25/10)

6. "Non-Locality Destination" (9:59) the only song on the album containing Edgar Froese tracks (he died just before the material for this album was created), it's spacey and slow with prominent electric guitar, but then in the third minute a sequencer rises and takes control. After a section of sequencer only, other synths and guitar tracks work their way into the weave, working up to a mini crescendo just before a searing electric guitar takes the lead and foreground at the five minute mark. I can understand the PINK FLOYD comparisons with this one. Synth washes and other synthesizer activity take over for the final VANGELIS-like three minutes. (17.25/20)

7. "Proton Bonfire" (8:25) opens with sustained, subtly shifting synth was which is soon joined by multiple- instrument space wave sequence. This is really cool! Weird muted guitar strums and mini-Moog lines (and others) enter the weave at the end of the second minute but then all fade away in the first part of the fourth minute. Composition of the rhythm track completely changes as does that of the lead instruments (no more sequencer, no more weave over the top). I am reminded of the simple, spacious songs on Vangelis' Voices album. In the sixth minute current rhythm track slowly fades leaving synth wash and electronic keys to fill the space with lushness. Very old school TD (77-79) to these ears. (17.75/20)

8. "Tear Down The Grey Skies" (6:17) opens with a very cool hypnotic trance beat and sound before heavily treated sequencer joins in. Old synth leads with a slowly ascending arpeggio before developing into more variable lead melody. Cool key shift at the end of the second minute. Sound and feel shift at the 2:30 mark though the sequencer rhythm remains the same--for a while. More frequent key shifts in the lower end until a drop out at 4:20. All returns a half a minute later, with same old synth picking up where it left off. Music decays into more space-ocean wash for the final half minute. (8.75/10)

9. "Genesis Of Precious Thoughts" (9:10) a cinematic song that has a very compelling construction of spacious sections intermixed within the more hard-driving sequenced parts. Hoshiko Yamane's violin is the most consistent and driving thread throughout the first half--an element that makes it so much more engaging and emotional, but when it goes absent for the middle section, there is a noticeable let down in the level of engagement. Luckily it returns for the final minute. Nicely done! (18/20)

Total time 70:46

This is definitely the closest thing I've heard to pre-1985 Tangerine Dream since 1984. Lovely to hear! And a whole album of fairly consistently high quality TD stuff at that!

4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of progressive rock music and a true return to form of the great TANGERINE DREAM! Long live the immortal spirits of Edgar Froese, Peter Baumann, Klaus Schulze, and Christopher Franke!

 Trance Archeology by ROACH, STEVE album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.91 | 6 ratings

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Trance Archeology
Steve Roach Progressive Electronic

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Steve Roach has acquired through the years a personal way of electronic music expression, which somehow more than once is relegated for the more known and far more popular Berlin School related electronic music language as in his Bloom Ascension (2019).

As for me I do prefer the evolution of his own idiom.

Trance Archeology (2019) moves around those last lines. Setting up here & there for some contemporary electronic music structures to support his well established own findings which dwell between modern primitive & dreamy or nightmarish soundscapes blended into one.

Experimentation does happens, but discreet & mature, not to impress but to add some new twists to once told tales.

Yet, somehow, he stops digging in his personal findings, and repeats himself more than once, maybe unconsciously. So, there will be this kind of eerie atmospheres, which as first time impressions are formidable, but on a third or fourth ocassion (in other previous works), they kind of lose their unique significance.

Thus, it let me wondering....... if his personal language has touched rock bottom?, or as before mentioned, needs to be reshaped and shakened?

Tuff to rate, cause original it is, but due to his own already set standards, it hardly raises above his many other previous masterpieces.

***/*

 Tellus by KOTILAINEN,  ESA album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Tellus
Esa Kotilainen Progressive Electronic

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
4 stars Spacey electronic ambient from the Finnish maestro.

Sadly there are very few reviews here for the discography of Esa Kotilainen. At least a Finnish prog-oriented listener most likely knows him, both from his solo performances and albums (1977's seminal Ajatuslapsi and many electro/ambient albums released mostly in this Millenium) and from his memberships in Wigwam and Tasavallan Presidentti/ Jukka Tolonen's solo albums. Here in Finland Kotilainen is the most legendary figure in the electronic music. Admittedly the PA reviewing activity for electronic music artists in general -- apart from the biggest names such as Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze -- is very minimal, so I don't know how well known Kotilainen is abroad, but his music is universal and should appeal to friends of the genre all over the world.

Tellus contains five tracks, four of them between 10:00 and 14:13 in length. Esa Kotilainen and his vast arsenal of synthesizers is accompanied by Anssi Nykänen on drums (tracks 1-4), plus two guest appearances. The opening title track is the longest one. The steady, light drum pattern is gradually joined by various keyboards building the sonic landscape bigger and spacier. This is a marvelous, majestic piece full of gorgeous synth layers. It is also emotionally powerful like Vangelis (albums such as El Greco) but without the similar openly romantic touch. If you enjoy ambient-oriented electronic artists such as Steve Roach, Mergener/Weisser, Richard Burmer, Kevin Braheny, Constance Demby, etc., I bet you'll greatly enjoy this album.

The track titles lead the listener's mind to space. This music would sound excellent on a space documentary or on a space-themed movie, but it definitely stands on its own as a listening experience. The rhythmic patterns do not vary very much within the compositions and yet the pieces have a strong sense of dynamics and progression -- in a more economic form than on most music of Klaus Schulze.

'Spacetrash' is a collaboration with the prog keyboardist and producer Matti Kervinen. It has a trance-like repetitive pattern on the bottom, and plenty of delicate sonic variety on top of it. Some of the synth and mellotron (Memotron) sounds are very beautiful, occasionally reminding of the mid-70's Tangerine Dream. 'Blood Moon' features the bass of Lauri Porra. The keyboards are again used very diversely, giving the piece a distinctively progressive feel that the presence of both drums and bass are helping to create. The shortest track in the end is titled 'Plejades' (6:45). The very cinematic sense of space is lovely.

Tellus is a wonderful and highly recommendable album of spacey and cinematic electronic music.

 Midnight In Space by HYDRUS album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.90 | 25 ratings

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Midnight In Space
Hydrus Progressive Electronic

Review by Progfan97402
Prog Reviewer

4 stars On the same label that gave us the wonderful Electronic Mind Waves by Elektriktus (the label being PDU) comes Hydrus with Midnight in Space, apparently their sole release. I just love it when I run across such obscure but amazing electronic music like this! This album tends to have a rather calm relaxed, spacy vibe throughout. Occasionally strings, guitars, ethereal wordless female voices or piano shows up, but by large it's synths and organ. There's even a section where they try to quote the five notes to Close Encounters of the Third Kind, but it was just the first three (and apparently hiding the other two in synth chords). I'm sure they only played the first three notes as not to get in trouble with John Williams. It's hard telling who was involved in Hydrus, although these ethereal female voices sounded exactly like what I've heard on the incidental music to the 1971 movie Devil's Nightmare (which was an Italian and Belgian film), I almost wondered if that was the same lady. Don't know. Musically, nothing on Midnight in Space is aggressive or in your face, just relaxed and spacy electronic music. Well worth having and worthy of your attention.
 Nonlin by HAUSCHILDT, STEVE album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.25 | 22 ratings

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Nonlin
Steve Hauschildt Progressive Electronic

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars New to me as of this album, I am blown away by Steve's innovative and refreshing approach to a melodic multi-instrumental (and multi-dimensional) Berlin School-type of electronic music. Steve merges recognizable instruments with computer generated "noise music," arpeggiated sequences, and even ambient techno synth washes and rhythms.

1. "Cloudloss" (3:45) a strangely satisfying excursion into controlled chaos as layered beauty of ambient synth washes are paired up with a cacophony discordant and, at times, disturbing computer noise "music." Somehow it works. (9/10)

2. "Subtractive Skies" (6:46) hypnotic ambient techno weave of layers of synths and computer percussives, all with a steady and driving presence of a pulsing bass line--at least until the final two minutes when bass cuts out as synth flock seems to fly slowly and beautifully fly away like a thick flock of birds all flying in perfectly synchrony. (14/15)

3. "A Planet Left Behind" (3:36) pitch-warped and warbled keyboard play is soon joined and suppressed by deep bass and slow rise of muted synth washes, thus creating space for a delicate dance of synth strings. Beautifully "orchestrated." (9.5/10)

4. "Attractor B" (5:29) opens with slow pensive electric piano chords, by the third minute has become dominated by computer techno noise music. (9/10)

5. "The Nature Remaining" (2:34) echoing electric piano play over distant etheric synth washes. (4.25/5)

6. "Nonlin" (5:15) techno track and RADIOHEAD-like synth chord with busy and heavily treated bass synth performing the lead work. Interesting for the pops and glitches. (8.5/10)

7. "Reverse Culture Music" (6:09) opens sounding like a slow Gamelan song performed by Western orchestral strings under the guidance of Phillip Glass. By the second minute it has morphed into a more Western hypno-trance piece with Steve Reich and Pat Metheny's guidance. By the third minute it's feeling more like a SEQUENTIA LEGENDA song. Cool and sly flow of transformative shape-shifting. The cello use is genius! (9.5/10)

8. "The Spring In Chartreuse" (3:26) this is no spring from my experience! Maybe the opening of discordant backward notes is supposed to represent the chaos of late Winter weather, or perhaps the title is merely an afterthought, but the weave of reverse and forward arpeggi is weird and a bit unsettling. Still, nobody else that I know of is doing taking music in this direction. (8.5/10)

9. "American Spiral" (5:35) slow arpeggio of VANGELIS-like space synth notes opens this one--notes covering the entire breadth of the keyboard. At the one minute mark a blob of computer noise music in a kind of raw Kanye West "Faster, stronger" pattern enters while the space notes continue to arpeggiate slowly behind. The noise music gets quite gnarly, like the movement and noise of a creature from Ghostbusters. Weird, ending with a slow exit/escape of the alien usurper. (8.5/10)

Total time 42:35

4.5 stars. I vouch for this album as a masterpiece of progressive electronic music though it only qualifies as a near-masterpiece of progressive rock.

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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
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
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CRAWL UNIT United States
CREMATOR United Kingdom
CROP CIRCLES France
CROWS LABYRINTH Netherlands
CULTURAL NOISE Austria
FRANCESCO CURRÀ Italy
CYBOTRON Australia
DEAD VOICES ON AIR United Kingdom
DEATHCOUNT IN SILICONE VALLEY United Kingdom
JEAN-MICHEL DESBOUIS France
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NICOLAS DICK France
DIN A TESTBILD Germany
DIONNE - BRÉGENT Canada
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DR. PHILTER BANX Canada
DR. SPACE'S ALIEN PLANET TRIP Denmark
HEINRICH DRESSEL Italy
DROKK United Kingdom
DSR LINES Belgium
DYNAMO SNACKBAR United Kingdom
E-MUSIKGRUPPE LUX OHR Finland
EARTHSTAR Multi-National
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ELICOIDE Italy
EMERALDS United States
J.D EMMANUEL United States
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ENVENOMIST United States
EXPO 70 United States
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FATHER MOO & THE BLACK SHEEP Japan
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EDGAR FROESE Germany
JEROME FROESE Germany
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FUTURO ANTICO Multi-National
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IVERSEN Norway
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MOTHER MALLARD'S PORTABLE MASTERPIECE CO. United States
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NODE United Kingdom
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OSE France
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PEAK Australia
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POLE France
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QUARKS Chile
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RAPOON United Kingdom
REALTIME Germany
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REDSHIFT United Kingdom
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ALEJANDRO VILLALÓN RENAUD Mexico
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STEVE ROACH United States
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HENRI ROGER France
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SAB Japan
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SATAN ALFA BEEL ATEM Japan
SAYER United States
GÜNTER SCHICKERT Germany
SCHLOSS TEGAL United States
CONRAD SCHNITZLER Germany
EBERHARD SCHOENER Germany
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SEQUENTIA LEGENDA France
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SHOGUN KUNITOKI Finland
MARK SHREEVE United Kingdom
FREDERICH SHULLER Romania
SIJ Ukraine
SIL MUIR Italy
THE SILVERMAN United Kingdom
SINIAALTO Finland
SINOIA CAVES Canada
JAKOB SKØTT Denmark
SKYRAMPS United States
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SOFTWARE Germany
SONISK BLODBAD Multi-National
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SPACE ALLIANCE Italy
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SPERM Finland
STARDRIVE United States
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STELLARDRONE Lithuania
SUBINTERIOR Italy
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TETRA Canada
THOUGHT GUILD United States
THREE SUNS Austria
THROBBING GRISTLE United Kingdom
ASMUS TIETCHENS Germany
TIPU SABZAWAAR Multi-National
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TÖNEN United States
TONTO'S EXPANDING HEAD BAND United Kingdom
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TOTAL STATION Russia
TRANCE United States
TRANQUILLITY Germany
TRANSPARENT ILLUSION United Kingdom
ROLF TROSTEL Germany
UDDER MILK DECAY United Kingdom
MATTEO UGGERI Italy
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URNA Italy
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JOEL VANDROOGENBROECK Switzerland
PATRICK VIAN France
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VOLT United Kingdom
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PHILLIP WERREN Canada
WHITE NOISE United Kingdom
KEITH FULLERTON WHITMAN United States
PATRICK WIKLACZ France
TERJE WINTHER Norway
WINTHERSTORMER Norway
WO0 Serbia
BERNHARD WÖSTHEINRICH Germany
RENÉ VAN DER WOUDEN Netherlands
X-TG United Kingdom
XIU Italy
BERNARD XOLOTL France
YELLOW MAGIC ORCHESTRA Japan
YEN POX United States
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YOU Germany
ZA SIÓDMA GÓRA Poland
ZADRI & MO France
EDWARD M. ZAJDA United States
ZALYS France
ZANOV France
ZED France
ZOLTAN United Kingdom
ZOMBI United States
ZORCH United Kingdom
ZOVIET FRANCE United Kingdom
ZYGOAT United States

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