Cyber Space "In the Beginning"
Review by Lauri Turjansalo
Sometimes you run into a piece of music that shows potential but lacks something important to be good. I usually don't let mediocre soundquality ruin my listening experience, especially if the music is well composed. But unfortunately with the debut album of Cyber Space odd leveling of sounds and mediocre melodic content prevent me from getting a fully pleasant experience.
Andreas Mohr alias Cyber Space has potential for sure. The sounds he has chosen are pretty imaginative at some places. What I like the most are all kinds of human voices that have been treated with effects. In Injection the repeating speech sample is great and gives cool retro vibes. Space Fly has some eurodance vocal flavour to it - and it's up to the listener if he or she likes that. Many musicians make themselves guilty of using only a handful of synth sounds and use them for all tracks. I'm glad to report that this is not the case with Cyber Space. He has courage to use different sounds even though they are not all cutting edge of spacesynth.
I would like to completely concentrate on musical aspects and keep technical jargon away but I have to point out a few things. What bothers me most regarding technical aspects on In the Beginning is the strange way the album has been mixed; pads and strings are loud, drums are more in the background and the kickdrum gets muddy when all sounds are playing. Also, basslines, which admittedly are usually the most difficult thing to get right, lack punch that I would like them to have. Drums and basslines are backbone for this kind of music and if they fail to produce energy then it's hard to make it up with melodies. If pads were pushed more in the background instead of letting them dominate the mix so much it would give other sounds more space to breath.
Some tracks suffer from repetition. For example, Star Machine keeps repeating the same chord progression over and over again. Granted, hit songs have been done this way zillions of times but you need to have truly memorable melodies in that case and unfortunately Cyber Space doesn't quite deliver you those. I like when an artist lets it rip and shoots a melody straight in your face - but Cyber Space rather plays safe and lets melodies fall in the background. Repeating chord progressions only boost this feeling and soon you notice that you lost the red line of the track.
Space Fly, Flight in the Space, Space Rangers, Galaxy Fighter.. I always tend to forget these kind of titles. Why not try to come up with something more unique so that you can actually remember the tracks from their title? In the old days we already got enough of space-something variations – it's 2007 and time to move on. Unless one is making space parody of course.
Thomas Horke's CD cover art is good albeit a bit chaotic and full of elements. There's nothing really that sticks out. But nevertheless, it looks much more professional than many other spacesynth covers.
Mohr has composed and produced the album all by himself and that is always a little achievement itself. Next time I would like him to collaborate with someone to get more out of his compositions. Indeed, this is only the beginning for both Cyber Space and Audioenergy.