Review by Saul Tyni

The first thing that cuts the dash in this package is the plain album cover that displays the alien image. The cover is made by Marek Adamczyk (A.M. Samurai) and it represents a bit different kind of album cover that we are used to in spacesynth. Actually it is good - no need to be always the the same when it works as an effective picture. And in my opinion the cold colours (blue with greys) gives kind of metallic feel and it reflects the whole atmosphere of the package.

As said, many familiar and respected artists have participated making music for the release, so mostly we know what to expect. And in my opinion they don’t disappoint. The first good example of this is the opening track by A.M. Samurai: a great choice for the opening as a title, and musically. The strong beginning gives high expectations to the next tracks. The next track is made by Vanello, who represents one of the new artists on the release. He has done nice job with his two energetic tracks, although I’d have liked to see more variation what comes to the structure and basslines. To me ”Planet Synth” is a bit better as it has better melodies and more variations. There are one more artist that has participated with two tracks: Marco Rochowski has remixed two of his older tracks ”Orb of Fire” and ”Cosmic Renaissance”. They are not offering much new to us who has heard the original tracks. But fortunately the new remixes sounds advanced and especially ”Orb of Fire” that is really great.

Next three tracks has more calm atmosphere. As the beginning of the album is strong, Space Project holds the line because of its good atmosphere and melodies, especially good vocoders. Very faitful to their style. Starlight’s track, on the otherhand, is the most soft track on the album, production wise. The tempo is quite fast, but it has less energy in it than other tracks so that is why it brings more calm feeling.. That is okay to me, but the only thing that bothers me a bit is the mixing of the drumline (really soft kickdrum and double snare that sounds like it is slightly out of sync). Galaxy Hunter’s track is good, especially the bassline is soundwise very exiting. I like the female singer’s voice, and because of the singing the track differs from the other tracks on the album. That is controversial. The minus comes about the lack of variations (bassline keeps going in the same trail). Dreamtime’s ”Escape to the Past” is in the same level as the best tracks on the album. The track is melodic, has a calm atmosphere and the structure works from the beginning to the end smoothly. I like the great drum breaks in the middle of the track.

Now to the second half... Vocoderion might get the price for the most complex track on the album. It has many tricky parts that comes by surprise. Interesting, but too chaotic in parts. Anyway, I can’t deny my jaws dropped when I first heard the ”improvised” lead parts. I like when things are not played too safely sometimes. Many artists should learn this from her. It is great to see both ex-Macrocosm musicians participating the album. Yes, Anders Lundqvist is back here too, and it is at least in the same level as the older material by him. Great melodies, the structure and epic atmosphere. There are enough variations as we have used to when it comes to his music. Easily one the best track on the album. To me the next track is in the same level: Staffan Öhman’s track ”Mission To Accomplish” is a calm track and also very beautiful, maybe the most beautiful track on the album with the melodic fragments.

The ending: Prodomo’s track is catchy, but in my opinion I’ve heard more catchy, free stuff from him earlier. Melodies are good, but doesn't reach the same level than the best tracks on the release. Anyway, I really look forward to hear his new tracks in the future. Of the new artists I’m most satisfied with Prometheus’ track ”Eudaimonia”, that has something new to offer. The track has more contemporary feel than the others, although I’d have like to hear it even more contemporary. But maybe it is more about the barriers of the album that the artists intentions itself. Great track anyway, I love the vocoder parts and melodies. Satisfying ending to the the album.

Overall, there are no bad tracks on the album. There are quite many great tracks, but none of them really stands out. The weak points of the album is the lack of variations of many tracks. That causes the feel that when you have heard two - three minutes of the track, you have heard it all. The traditional instruments doesn’t give much new either. But in general this has to be one of the best spacesynth compilation albums released so far.

****.  Recommended!

4 / 5

 

2009-04-12 20:49:06