Anosphere "Nation of Love"
Review by Saul
Anosphere alias Stefan Bieri's third album has been released in 2009, so it was about time to review it. The album is more dancey to my ears than his previous albums. Not too much, if you ask me. It still sounds spacesynth music with the same mood and twist as we have get used to from him.
Anosphere's third album ”Nation of Love” continues in the same road as his previous albums. His style is easy to identify, the mood is somehow soft and melodies very personal. We have get used to see Anosphere's great looking cover arts too. Michalzyk's artwork is a bit different than Lewecke's, but it is still good. I like the colors especially, even though it looks a bit digital to my ears. Now lets evaluate the music.
Nation of Love starts with personal title track that is very interesting to listen to. It has a ”weird” sync lead main melody that stuck into the mind of the listener. Maybe a bit repetitive, but catchy. Same goes with the second track ”Horizon of the Galactic Zone” that has slower tempo and is also softer overall. The mood changes from "sad" to happier in ”Summer Angel” which is also catchier track with nice stab progression, and italo-discoish bass line. One of my personal favorites on the album. Even though his music is not traditional spacesynth, his basslines sounds traditional melodywise. ”Expanding Cosmic Awareness”, familiar track from his single release, is the next one. Good one, but personally not my favorite. I like the slowish tempo that is easy to follow, although the track is a bit too long. There is another version on the album too - ”Eonworks Inputmix”. Not much differences between them.
Next one ”Fire of Emotion” enters the darker side of the album. It has two versions, ”Ambient mix” and ”Expanded Spacemix” with a bit feel of the track ”Expanding Cosmic Awareness”. I like ”Ambient Mix” a bit more because it feels more balanced. Following ”Star Convention (Part II The Universe)” has roots from the ”Field of Mutants” album. It has that dancey feel to it that brings the track into another level. Rest of the tracks are more or less remixes. One may think there is too many remixes on the album, but actually these remixes really are better than the original ones. Depends on the point of view, but in my ears the stronger beat sounds really good on these tracks. Good example of this is ”Epsilon Hunter (Discomix)” that is another catchy track with slow Laser Dance bass line (not the sound, but the notes). One weak point of the track is that it is a bit too long and in the later part it doesn't bring any surprises. The rest tracks are bonus tracks. In other words, remixes of some of the Anosphere's older tracks. ”Space Affair (Discomix)” is another remix from the ”Fields of Mutant” album. To me the remix is better than the original. Beat is catchy and dancey, melodies sounds happy. Introduction is a bit weak, but the track gets better later. To me, one of the highlights on the album is ”Mutant Generation (Discomix)” - I love this track. I think the remix has brought the track into totally new level. It sounds more complete, as there is not that much annoying melodies.
As an album I think ”Nation of Love” is Anosphere's best album. Yes, only seven out of eleven tracks are new (the rest are remixes), but they are good remixes. This is also the most dancey album by him. As said, Anosphere has very personal style that is easy to identify within a few seconds of listening. Negative side of the album is repetitiveness and long track length. Also some of the tracks feels a bit out of tune in places. But production is good, his sound is a bit soft, but it fits. In the end I think Stefan Bieri has gotten better both musically and technically. It is more contemporary spacesynth than traditional – I'd call it ambientish and experimental spacesynth that is still easy to categorize to spacesynth.