Area 51 "Jupiter Beyond"
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Review by Ronald Wennekes
I bought the track in the Netherlands by Gerrit Melodymaker, probably the greatest shop which sells synthesizer disco, I guess. A had the privilege to listen the tracks before, but on cd they always sound better. A new production of Michiel van der Kuy and Rob van Eijk, they already did so many things. Great they produce together again.
Well selected samples, good sounds, beautiful melodies...
1. Introx: A intro used before by Michiel, great sample: of the first man who tells he had in 1954 a special experience, amazing beautiful melody gives a good feeling. Beautiful strings.
2. Journey in My Mind: What a starter! With a lead with a great effect and which sometimes filtered, not done often in the early days I guess. Nice sounds effects and female vocal sample.
3. Sector 9: A really energy synthesizer track with that koto bass. Great leads like we know from the works we already have in our collection. The bells and synths give you extra energy.
4. Into Oblivion: Great synth and samples with the koto-a-like bass. Sounds likes old times!
5. From the Sun: What a beautiful intro with a very sensitive female vocal sample, from an opera or movie I guess. Laserdance bass and well known synthesizer sounds.
6. Virus: Gives the feeling of Dragons Legend.
7. Martian Storm: For a time we thought we'll never hear that wonderful Laserdance bass in a new production, but now here it is. With those superb synthesizer sounds of that good day you can enjoy that sound again.
8. Imminent Attack: I like this one very much, koto-a-like-bass, and a great new lead sounds plays like these days, filled with the standard synthesizer sounds. Short vocoder makes is complete.
9. Fire When Ready: The famous synths played like a in that great times before. Of course with space samples.
You keep listening to that snare, once your heard it, and the way that play it. Nice bells, hi-hats and that wonderful laserdance bass, hmm I like it.
10. Bionic Man: With famous sample of the television series of the Six Million Dollar Man with Lee Majors. Well used, the short koto basses driven, great leads, a new synth sound takes you.
We had to wait for this album of that great synthesizer guys, but is was worth of waiting for. Its a super album, with magnificent tracks. I'm glad they still produce the synthesizer sound. With all the many other different productions these days, a relief for your ears. Surely they can make other styles of music, but I think that they make this better than other sounds.
Review by Peter D
Jupiter Beyond marks the return of two of the stalwarts of the space-synth genre. And a welcome return it is to Michel van der Kuy and Rob van Eijk. The new album comes with a new sound; software synths replace the analogue ones as the boys move into the 21st century. Hence while the sound may have slightly changed being more digital, the ideas have remained the same and there really isn’t much of a move forwards. However one idea that was great was the way that both artists managed to use movie speeches from Phantom Menace, Star Wars, Six Million Dollar Man etc and implement them into the various track. My favorite is Fire When Ready. The speeches beautifully complement the menacing atmosphere of the track. Overall the album contains track ranging from good to excellent. What is missing though is that beautiful warmth from previous Laserdance albums and Interplanetary Mission. Some how the digital sound just doesn’t capture the same feeling, it just seems a bit artificial. The Album itself is a cross between Laserdance and van der Kuy's Koto project.
1: Introx: This seems like an astronaughts speech layered upon a gentle cosmic sound track. This was first heard in The Rygar Album. Has a nice spacey feel to it.
2: Journey of my Mind: Average sounding track with speech. Lacks a decent melody. Unfortunately not much happening in this track.
3: Sector 9: Finally we hear some of the awesome skill that both Rob and Michel have . Beautiful melodies complement the nice rhythm. I like the various synth sounds, followed by little break sounds. Excuse the pun but “the boys are back in town” with this one. Excellent stuff.
4: Into Oblivion: This is one of two very similar tracks (on the album) the other being Imminent Attack. For me this track is a sort of continuation in the development of the idea that came in “One from a Hostile Gang” - Hypermagic. This is a lot heavier track than your normal Laserdance stuff, Koto bass with pretty dark sounding synth. Very good track though
5: From the Sun: I would say this track isn’t really spacesynth, but rather a beautiful song that shows how versatile the producers are. Probably Michel’s classical influence comes through. Magnificent melodies and overlapping atmosphere create a wonder and relaxing track. Excellent.
6: Virus: Track starts off like a movie sound track and then reverts to a disco rhythm followed by movie-sampled speeches. What I like about this track is how it gradually builds up to a spacesynth track. Nice melodies with the various and speeches. Great Stuff.
7: Martian Storm: This track first featured on the Rygar CD under a slightly different name. Solid production with all the attributes that are expected. The bit at 1:35 sounds sort of romantic in a way and that is followed by somewhat cosmic game sounds. Overall a typical van der Kuy track made in the style from the early days.
8: Imminent Attack: The second of the darker/harder tracks. Very energetic and like the name suggests has a sinister feel to it. The track is a prime example of the new digital sound. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a pretty decent song but it does lack that soul and feel of analogue.
9: Sonic Mission: The second of the Rygar tracks is a real treat. I never thought you could actually have such a beautiful chime melody. This is a typical Van Der Kuy track, Juno bass, sweeping chords followed by a memorable melody. Very good.
10: Silverstar: This is also a hard track but it differs from Into Oblivion & Imminent attack in the fact that this track is more rhythmic, pounding drums with koto bass followed a by rhythmic sounds that come from your trance/techno genres and then followed by space synth melodies. Ok for mine.
11: Fire When Ready: the best track on the album and definitely one of the best I’ve heard. Brilliant sweeping atmospheric background chords really give this track the feel of something imminent happening. This is fantastically blended with sinister speeches from the various characters from the dark side. The track contains all the elements of traditional spacesynth, from beautiful chord stabs to some amazing melodies. All I can say is more more more!!!
12: Bionic Man: Another fantastic track encompassing speech from Six Million Dollar Man, followed by a great melodical space synth. Nice melodies complemented by nice rhythmic sound. A nice way to finish off a great Album.
In summary this is a welcome return to the guys after many years absence. Though the album lacks the warmth of previous productions it still is very worthwhile. The ideas are imaginative yet not new if that makes any sense. If I could be pedantic I would say “What’s with the cover?” If we’re beyond Jupiter perhaps a picture of Saturn or other planets would have been more fitting than Earth with a man stretched out peering at it! But back to the album, not quite in the league as Future Generation, or say Unknown Destination: I would rate it a very solid 4 / 5. Welcome back guys!
Review by Klajunas
Well it's really hard to review this album because it is really good. Composition, synth parts, even vocals made in (most of them taken from movies) old good LD and KOTO style.
Such tracks like "Journey in My Mind", "Imminent Attack", "Into Oblivion", Virus (I think this tune is more close to Koto) are amazing. Nothing more u must listen and only then u understand me.
But... where're always will be "but"... but can't say anything good about this track "From the Sun" - some "classic" music intro and happy electronic with some spacesynth elements. It is very hard to say, that this tune is spacesynth. And i think it not fit to whole album.
And I have double feelings about "Silverstar" - synth parts are ok. But intro part which repets further, for me sound "unattractive". And in general whole composition made somehow wrong or in "hack-work" style
Some notice: "Intro", "Martian Storm", "Sonic Mission" was taken from Rygar album.
So in conclusion, we can say that Laserdance/Koto comeback. But I can't say that is a super, album of all times, crushing album because it has some "poor" tracks.
And still there are some better albums like Laserdance "Changing times" or Protonic Storm "Epsilon"