After an absence of more than 7 years, Code Indigo make a strong comeback with a solid album which allies ethereal progressive rock to melodic EM. “MELTdown” is a delicious concept album which denounces white collar bandits and their economic crimes.There are lots of noises and background ambiences in this finely polished album, indeed, the atmospherics remind us of Pink Floyd with voices and brief commentary of current events weaving within rhythms and ambience. The music, and its musical themes, bewitch us, both by a delicate harmonious approach and the constant progression of its splendidly content rhythms. Code Indigo forges a musical story that conjures up an image of the failure of society and the financial sharks in suits. Beyond its story, “MELTdown” is the result of a strong musical consortium where David Wright, Dave Massey, Neil Fellowes, Nigel Turner-Heffer and Dave Bareford charm as much as they amaze with an album which seems as timeless as the talent of its authors.
Winds, gratings of blue metal, rustles and jerky ringings which scroll with hesitation herald the opening "Welcome to the Asylum" which widens its five minutes in an asylum where the noises and spectral winds feed constantly a climate of paranoia. We are hearing easily the lost arpeggios which ring in an ill-assorted harmony, where tears of synths kiss the emptiness. They evaporate to make room for the chords of a piano with a vague melody that hangs onto the elytrons of cymbals in order to merge into the soft rhythm of the title-track. Arched on a bass line, from which the chords are cooing in a soft undulatory shape, sober percussions and synth lines with crisscrossed tremors, and "Meltdown" seizes our ears with a superb guitar which draws a haunting, melodious riff. The rhythm is fluid. Not aggressive, it sits astride a sonic valley. Escorted by azure winds, hiding suspicious lamentations and eroded hopes, guitars and synths dance with moods that are torn between soft, progressive and ethereal e-rock.
The rhythms are buried in the lost ambiences of "City of Fools" where voices tinted with scorn curse to the black winds with spectral lamentations of floating guitars, before being reborn out of the ambiences with "Costing the Earth". The track evolves into "Eco-Nomic" and the rhythm softens into sequences which flicker in a static sphere where guitars and synth exchange harmonies through some suave morphic solos. The rhythm takes back its vigour and the main theme emerge again and fades into the organic intro of "Information Cascade".
The big wealth of “MELTdown” is its sound depth! There is no weak spot over the 76 minutes that fills this latest magical opus from Code Indigo. And the intro of "Information Cascade" is a perfect example. With the gurgling, cascading noises that fills the veils of the ether and then the tears of violins waltzing beneath a thick cloud of pulsations, the track effortlessly evolves into the beating sound forge of a pounding rhythm. "Information Cascades" pulls us between its dynamic rhythms and lamenting moods to conclude the first segment of “MELTdown”.
Even if the rhythm is pulsating, "Keep Taking the Pills" reveals its soft harmonic veil with a melancholic piano whose relaxing notes fly through the breathe of a lunar saxophone. A duel takes shape between the guitar and the piano where the music witnesses an atmosphere of morphic jazz on a rebellious rhythmic structure that is kept harmoniously well tamed.
With sparkling arpeggios which cavort with innocence to join the chords of a guitar weaving through an embryonic rhythm, "Black Gold" surfs on a line of blue vapor, establishing the link between the atmospheres of "Keep Taking the Pills" and the incisive rhythm of "ID Code". Strong percussions and sequence lines are crisscrossed and flutter to shape the structure of an edgy rhythm where the guitars treat our ears to solos sculptured in harmonious rock. Angels with crystal breaths and synth with seraphic strata take this rhythm into an ethereal universe, giving the final part of "ID Code", with its more hammered rhythm and chords, the chance for guitars and melodic synths to spread out their vampiric veils with edgy harmonies and solos, beautifully sculpturing the second part of “MELTdown”.
The further forward we move into “MELTdown” the more it wraps us in its aura of melodious and ethereal splendour. On the soft harmonious tones of a keyboard and its keys of gentle glass, "Carbon" hints at some leftover rhythms under the cover of its mislaid voices which come back to denounce constantly the power of the economic world. The mood becomes dark and we fall in the airs of "In the Dark" and its lugubrious synth line which groans over an organ like fine rain. Guttural rustling threaten the fragile balance between despair and its antagonist, when angelic voices rise and chase away the agonies. Leaning on a slightly humming bass line, a soft guitar joins these oracles of silvered voices and morphing solos which cry out in the tranquility of a track which frees itself in the cosmic waves of a seraphic finale. And then "The Men who Crashed the World" falls on our ears like cosmic blues. Drinking in all the sonic elements which fill the mixed ambiences of “MELTdown”, this guitar navigates on a deep and increasing rhythm to be swallowed by a synth and its mystic solos. There follows a harmonious duel where the two main musical entities of “MELTdown” are trading their moods and harmonies in a superb morphic blues.
"Bail Out" follows with a nervous rhythm where the pulsations and the metallic ringings forge a tempo which bubbles without ever bursting. And this melody, embroidered in a fusion of guitars and synths, forge the last part of "Meltdown" which crosses the increasing rhythms of "Bankers in Wonderland" and "Greed in the Bubble" to end in the soft atmospheres of "Bonus Culture", where footsteps fade out behind a door which slams violently.
In spite of an absence of more than 7 years and a new line-up with only David Wright remaining from the original band, Code Indigo have not stagnated. Without being hard-hitting or aggressive, “MELTdown” possesses the harmonious colours of its writers. It's an album which transports us constantly over the course of its soft rhythms and bewitching melodies to a musical universe embroidered with imagination that respects the vast musical experiences of the members of this mythical English EM band. It is not just well done, it is extremely well done. And it speaks to us, it sings to us and it enchants us.
Code Indigo - In Concert
Review by CDS
This IS your ultimate instrumental crossover album -
whether is be synth or instrumental prog you are into - believe me, this has the "Wow factor" for sure.
For God's sake, don't let the fact that is a 'live' album put you off in any way whatsoever, because it is musically sensational! This is the kind of music that takes you to places everywhere between beautiful islands in the sun to the deepest reaches of space!
Code Indigo are: David Wright (synths / keyboards), Robert Fox, (synths / keyboards), Dave Massey (rhythm programming), Andy Lobban (lead & rhythm guitars), Nigel Turner-Heffer (bass, rhythm & lead guitar / keyboards) and Louise Eggerton (vocal / keyboards).
Recorded over a two and a half year period between 2004 and 2006, this mammoth double album represents all that is best about a synth band live in concert - hang on a minute - did I say "synth band"? This is more than just a synth band - and the journey you are about to undertake will illustrate that with every passing minute.
It may sound awfully clichéd to say this, but within four minutes of the opening of the first disc, you've already conjured images of Pink Floyd, Camel, Tangerine Dream and John Dyson / Wavestar as previously familiar reference points. With Floyd, it's that 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond' intro styled flow of synths and guitars, for Tangerine Dream, it's the ever-shifting undercurrents where nothing ever stays still and the sequencers provide a flowing backbone, while for Dyson / Wavestar & Camel it's that rising stream of melodic keyboard/guitar splendour that really touches the soul. Put all this together and you have but the first part of one astounding album.
Further into the voyage, we find that things become a lot deeper, more layered and altogether more solid, in many ways, as you'd expect from a line-up that featured three synth players, two guitarists and someone to keep an eye on the more percussive sides of things. Not only that, but the intensity rises too, as the synths rise to the skies to be joined by touches of surging and streaming electric guitar, so much so that it then becomes more a mix of Mike Oldfield and Enigma as different worlds collide and explode into this sun-drenched marvel that is the music of Code Indigo, where guitars are scorching into the ether as sequencers rumble behind this huge expanse of space and string synths that literally fill every crevice of your head. Sounds good? It should do - because that's just the first twelve minutes!!! - You have sixty-two more to go - and then another seventy-seven disc to come on top of that!!
Next it's: 'Autumn Fades', and after the strength that's just been witnessed, this is a perfectly placed exercise in blissful atmosphere, as the slow rhythms, solid and melodic piano, sweet synth undercurrents flow slowly onwards towards a biting, yet restrained electric guitar lead that provides a positively Pink Floyd-esque quality. This track sounds so much like the quieter
part of one of the tracks from the 'Animals' album, and another, which, for the life of me, I can't recall right now - but listen to this glorious piece of music yourself and maybe you'll lock on to the one I'm thinking of?
In tried and trusted Code Indigo fashion, nothing stays in one place for too long, and the blissful becomes strong without sacrificing any of the romance, and when it blossoms out into this Wavestar-like lead synth melody backed by vast rivers of melodic and rhythmic beauty,
the effect is somewhere between joyous and not-a-dry-eye-in-the-house melancholy.
'Ten Degrees Per Second' is an altogether chunkier ten minutes of music, with solid but bouncing rhythms, more soaring electric guitar leads and that solid string synth depth that runs underneath.
Sequencers are used more sparingly this time and in the distance, the main rhythm feature being of a more percussive nature. As the track nears its finale, a reed-like synth melody appears out of nowhere
and wanders in and out of the, now even stronger electric guitar furnace, then the sequencers rise to the top and the track lurches along like a train slowly winding through some truly gorgeous background scenery.
'24am' is heavenly, melting into melodic and slowly chunky sounds, utilising electric piano, synths, more sustained and restrained soaring guitar, plus assorted electronic backdrops, while 'Galileo'
takes your breath away in a shower of Mellotron-esque string synths before morphing into the near sixteen minutes of 'Time Code',
where all the best elements of what has gone before come into play in one slowly building and strongly cohesive slice of seventies-inspired instrumental synth music,
but here wrapped up in a more contemporary guise, in terms of production and arranging more than anything else, and I guarantee that you'll be hooked by this classic piece of work.
By now, I think you get the drift - so to speak. The rest of the first disc and all of the second one feature music in a similar vein, being varied, consistent and thoroughly enjoyable.
This is synth-guitars instrumental music of real substance, style and imagination, touching all the right spots as it progresses - Absolutely spellbinding stuff!
Rarely will you hear music of this quality unfold so exquisitely, and to an extent that every track carries you along with its mood in such a way that you become totally absorbed in its magical
beauty, and with so much music around these days, it's a very rare thing to find an album that you would want - desire - to play from start to finish each time you hear it, but in the case of this
immaculate sounding and arranged body of work, this is true of each disc individually or, if you have the time, both together.
With all ideas perfectly executed, Code Indigo's 'In Concert' is so much more that just a "synth music" album, in fact it's potential audience is far greater than even the largest
fan-base that this genre of music can offer, spreading into the realms of "symphonic prog" and beyond - Not only is it one stunning 'live' album, but one that's a cut above most similar studio albums.
Another real crossover classic!
Chill by Code Indigo
Review in Sequences magazine 2006
Chill is a "must have" album for all lovers of moody, atmospheric and
melodic synth music.
The opening track "Autumn Fades" sets the scene for the rest of the album
as moody synths are overlaid with melodic piano motifs, phased keyboard
lines, and electric guitar that is very reminiscant of many great Pink Floyd
moments. The track gradually evolves as subtle percussive elements are
added with the different layers all taking turns at being dominant, but
never is this at the expense of the overall feeling and atmosphere of the
"Chill", the title track, uses similar instrumentation but with
the guitar playing slightly more jazzy lines, using "Wes Montgomery" style
octaves to great effect. The overall feel of the music has a more romantic
feel too it but is still very moody in keeping with the albums' theme of
weather and climate change.
"Vapour Tales", is one of many
shorter atmospheric tracks complete with voice samples that serve as
linking sections between the other tracks . With "Ten Degrees Per
Second" the album shifts up a gear as the percussion kicks in and you
experience one of the most memorable melodic synth tracks you are
ever going to hear. This was my favourite track on the whole album, and
it also contains some tasty guitar riffing and soloing to boot.
"Back with Weather Calm" is another rhythmic track with choppy guitars, melodic synths and world
vocals, not unlike a less dancy Enigma, that ends on a more ambient note
with more radio/TV samples. 'Back with Weather Storm" follows in a similar vein with
even stronger world vocal melodies and some strident guitar riffing
overlaid with excellent synth lines as the whole track builds towards
"Vapour" is a more atmospheric piece with piano,
synth and more voice samples that brings to mind the beginning of
"Blade Runner". The track "Cultures", again brings to mind Enigma,
or Deep Forest in feeling and rhythm, with numerous
world music sounds, that are allied to the usual strong melodic
"Culture Shift" continues the rhythmic feel of the previous
track with guitar and rhythm sharing the foreground.
The last four tracks make up the "Lost Radio" section of the album
and are basically one piece of music in four parts,where electro-percussive rhythms
combine with melodic piano and synth lines, guitar leads and voice samples to create a fairly laidback feel, with the last section
ending the album on a slightly melancholic note.
Chill is an excellent album full of melody and atmosphere and "Ten Degrees Per Second" in particular really should send shivers down
Sequences magazine 2006
'Chill' by Code Indigo
Review by Steve Roberts
The new album from Code Indigo is their most assured and satisfying to date. The band consists of David Wright and Robert Fox with
Andy Lobban on guitar and Dave Massey on rhythms and bass programming. The musical template has been refined and honed into an
impressively mature and confident musical vision.
This is apparent from the opening track, 'Autumn Fades' which begins slowly with
melancholic strings and piano motif, interspersed with Lobban's excellent guitar which enters with a plaintive cry. At around the
four and a half minute mark, the percussion steps up the pace a little and the strings add more atmosphere to accompany the soaring
guitar which take the track to a great climax and then cross fades into the more lush and gentle 'Chill' .
Here the atmosphere is more subdued with strings, percussion and piano predominating and then subtle guitar phrases add a little
extra colour to the wonderfully downbeat ambience. Cross fading into the more abstract tones of 'Vapour Tales', which adds distant
voice samples serving as a prelude to 'Ten Degrees Per Second' which steps up the pace a little with percussion added to the
mix. At just over two and a half minutes a wonderfully downbeat melancholic air permeates the track and Lobban's guitar lifts
the piece to greater heights. A superb track to lift the spirits and affirm all that is great with this band.
'Back with The Weather, Calm Front' strips the sound down to percussion, rhythm guitar and orchestral tones with a superb ethnic
vocal sample adding splashes of colour. 'Storm Surge' continues in similar vein but gradually builds the atmosphere and intensity
and has a great end sequence featuring an impressive guitar climax.
'Vapour' relaxes the atmosphere with
a drifting, hypnotic tone poem of piano, echoed radio samples, synth and guitar textures cross fading into 'Cultures'. The percussion
is subtly ethnic, and again some highly effective, hypnotic samples enhance the mix, and yet another winning memorable melody
is deployed before the guitar returns to add a little more bite before the primary theme is revisited. 'Culture Shift' adds marimba
sequences as the mood shifts down a little as guitar provides the main focus before the gradual crossfade into the more abstract
territory of 'Vapour Tails'.
'Lost Radio (Tuning In)' begins with what I think is a sample from the classic radio broadcast of 'War of the Worlds' by Orson
Welles before a terrific piano piece emerges reminiscent of Robert Fox's palette, (I may well be out of turn here and I use this
as merely a descriptive device), on 'Lost Radio Program 1'. 'Program 2' has a clever bass sequence and continues with the guitar
and keyboards adding great phrases to the mix.
Finally, 'Tune Out' concludes the set with, at first, soft, almost subliminal, piano and strings and downbeat keyboard work
which sounds to me like David Wright's compositional touch, again I may be wrong, but it is a fitting, if low key, ending to
a great album. I wish all those who bought Dave Gilmour's recent solo outing could hear this album. Whatever the undoubted merits
of the former release, I have played and enjoyed Code Indigo more.
To compare 'Chill' to Pink Floyd seems a little lazy, and guilty of all the hallmarks of the hyperbole sometimes seen in review
listings, but I genuinely believe that Code indigo deserve to be heard to enable people to make up their own minds. If my own
personal experience is anything to go by, with individuals instantly converted, then a wider audience is theirs, if, and I know
it is a big IF, they can only be heard. This has been true of other EM artists I know, but that does not make it any easier to
'Chill' is the finest Code Indigo album so far and that in itself is a great achievement.
'TimeCode' by Code Indigo
Review by Synthtopia.com
With TimeCode, Code Indigo delivers an outstanding album that combines elements of orchestral electronica,
new age and chill-out music.
Code Indigo's music draws upon a wide set of styles, including new age, orchestral electronica, jazz, chill-out, and world music.
The tracks on TimeCode blend these styles seamlessly into a continuous musical work.
On this release, Code Indigo is made up of Robert Fox and David Wright on keyboards, Louise Eggerton - vocals, Andy Lobban - guitar,
and David Massey - programming and production.
Four members have composition credits. They must have been very much in sync, because the tracks are endlessly melodic, and sound
like the work of a group, not a like bunch of tracks by different people. While Fox, Massey and Wright's keyboard work and programming
provide the overall sound of the album, the importance of Eggerton's vocals and Lobban's guitar work can't be overestimated. Eggerton's
wordless vocals soar above the tracks, giving them a sense of immediacy and humanity. Lobban's guitar work is understated and tasteful.
In places, Lobban solos over orchestral electronica backgrounds, creating an effect that is reminiscent of early Pink Floyd. In
other places, he contributes distorted but subtle guitar chords on top of the synths, adding an extra dimension to the sound.
The tracks on TimeCode are loosely themed around ideas of time and space.The CD starts off very slowly, with the track Existence. The track
uses drones, synth strings and wordless vocals to build from nothing to a massive sound. This establishes the mood of the album and leads seamlessly
into Zero Hour, one of the highlights of the CD. Zero Hour is a lengthy track that combines the contributions of the various band members very
effectively. Massey sets up a chilled groove, while Fox and Wright create a lush backdrop for Eggerton's vocals and Lobban's guitar solos.
The band members vary the arrangement throughout, sometimes building to a very orchestral effect, and at other times dropping down to almost
nothing. Towards the end, the track gives Lobban some space for an extended solo. His guitar work shines here, melodic and a little bluesy,
but not showy.
TimeCode is another extended track that shows off the group's sound. The band brings a rich sense of history of electronic and new
age music to this track. The arrangement seems to draw on influences from the 70's synth music of Jean Michel Jarre all the way to
current tracks by groups like Afro Celt Sound System.
The next track, Stasis, is a lovely interlude that focuses on Eggerton's vocalizing. 24am is the jazziest track on the CD. It features
a piano melody that builds as it goes up and down the scale, and a lovely chordal chorus. Synth harmonica adds to the effect. While
the track has a jazzier feel, nobody breaks out into bebop solos; instead the track focuses on tasteful, mellow keyboard work.
Eden to Chaos is another long groove. It maintains the chilled-out mood of the previous track, but adds a strong undercurrent of
tension. The gives Lobban plenty of room to cut loose. He again delivers the goods, with some barely-contained soloing. This track
should appeal to fans of the early space-rock of Pink Floyd and Tangerine Dream.
The next two tracks, Foundation and Galileo, are shorter pieces that showcase the group's arranging. Galileo is one of the most
orchestral-sounding tracks on the album. It combines a horn-like lead melody with lush synth string backing for a lovely combination.
Call of the Earth moves the CD into more of a world-groove territory, and has the most mainstream new age sound of the tracks on
the CD. Massey's drum programming features more of a ethnic feel than on other tracks, which adds some interest. While the track
again highlights Code Indigo's tight group sound, the track lacks the tension and hints of darkness that give other tracks more of
Code Indigo wraps up the album with an extended track, Endgames, that has a blissed-out feel. This track has beautiful synth and
guitar work. Here Eggerton switches from wordless vocalizing to sing "la-la-la-la", along with occasional words, such as
the CD title or the band name.
Overall, this CD is a very strong release. The CD packaging has a 8-page insert that features layered images relating to space and
time that is a nice complement to the music. Throughout the CD, the production is excellent. With TimeCode, Code Indigo delivers
a solid collection of instrumental music that should appeal to fans of new age, space music and anyone that appreciates a laid-back
'TimeCode' by Code Indigo
I've been privileged to have a pre-release copy of this album and it has been on heavy rotation since and is, in my view, the best Code
Indigo release so far. Whilst being recognizable C.I. the music here is more chilled and assured with the band members gelling to produce
beautifully subtle and wonderfully crafted pieces which cross fade into one long concept EM instrumental work. There is a distinctive
undercurrent atmosphere which pervades the album, an ambiguous mixture of melancholic yet inspiring and ultimately uplifting music.
With main members David Wright and Robert Fox creating their best work to date on recent solo outings it should come as no surprise
that 'Timecode' is so accomplished and impressive. Andy Lobban's guitar still gives the music an added, more accessible dimension,
and yet the guitar contributions are generally more restrained than previously and given the important contributions of new members
Louis Eggerton and Dave Massey's excellent production, rhythmic arrangements, programming etc., 'TimeCode' is very clearly a band effort
that has taken the best part of a year to produce.
'Existence' starts the album slowly with ominous drones, minimalist piano, ethereal voices, Stephen Hawking's sampled voice, expressive
chords and at around the three minute mark cross fades into the magnificent 'Zero Hour'. Moody, brooding synths are now accompanied
by restrained but pristine percussion, more atmospheric voice textures, quiet guitar licks and after two minutes a memorable keyboard
motif insinuates itself into your consciousness before voice samples prequel a quieter interlude before a rainstorm crackles into the
mix releasing more insistent rhythms and the main theme is reprised winding gradually down again with some fine guitar work. At around
the nine minute mark a metronome and a single tolling bell reminds us fleetingly of earlier works and then a simple haunting piano
scale changes the mood again as the piece winds down with the storm before returning before the track closes at around the 13 minute
mark. A magnificent track.
'Timecode' begins slowly
with Greenwich time signals, some sampled voices concerning space, time, the universe and everything, sequencers and rhythm guitar
accompany an expansive orchestral melody with Eggerton's expressive vocals adding extra dimensions to the mix. The wailing Floyd-like
guitar touches, reminiscent in atmosphere to 'Echoes', make this a heady mixture which almost matches its illustrious predecessor.
The main melody returns at around the nine minute mark with more wordless vocals.
'Stasis' is a shorter track featuring piano, a warm Tomita-like synth book ended with short time signals.
'24AM' features a reflective, melancholic, piano motif with jazzier phrasings and dream-like echoed voices making it the ideal late night
chill out track which proves in the context of the album's running order, the eye of the storm.
'Eden to Chaos' clocks in at over 11 minutes changes the mood and is a wonderful example of carefully weighted dynamics
and how to deploy light and shade and brooding electronica. The band shift closer towards the borders of electronic rock explored on
previous outings but here it is even more convincing full of brooding understated energy, a perfect joyous marriage of electronics,
rhythms, guitars and intelligent voice samples. Classic Code Indigo!
'Foundation' is a short two and a half minute tone piece featuring some expressive guitar work set against expansive, wide screen electronic backdrops.
'Galileo' is a memorable symphonic orchestral vignette with a strong motif. 'Call Of The Earth' deploys strong ethnic percussion set
against a repeated, melancholic descending dream-like melody. Sequencers, voices and guitars are added and subtracted skillfully to
the mix which by way of clumsy comparison nudges the band towards 'Deep Forest'.
Finally 'Endgames' concludes the set and may take a few plays to grow on you. Initially I was not too sure of Louise
Eggerton's 'La La' vocal lines, reminiscent of Jarre's vocal excursions or more accurately a soundtrack to a French romantic comedy
but it undeniably works and after more discerning plays even takes on a slightly unsettling, sinister air, once deployed by Mark Shreeve
However, comparisons are mainly redundant here as the band have clearly created and honed their own musical template
and made an outstanding album with considerable cross-over appeal yet returning to emphasize their EM roots. The packaging, booklet
and artwork reflect the high quality of the music and Robert Fox's sleeve notes give the listener extra insight into the recording
of the album, something I wish more artists would do.
Timecode is a classic album and deserves to be a best seller.
For Whom the Bell
I first heard of Code Indigo as a result of guesting on Ashley Franklin's Soundscapes show on BBC Radio Derby recently. They were soon
to appear at Derby Cathedral and having heard them I can imagine what an experience such a sound in such a venue would be.
Soundscape is a good way of describing this instrumental music which is also ambient, haunting and to a point beautiful. Obviously keyboard
led with a labyrinth of sampled sound that has ethnic influences as well as some more traditional electrical energy.
Code Indigo is up there for all and sundry who look for music led by something other than a voice or a guitar.
The production is excellent!
Chill by Code Indigo
Review by Ross McGibbon - Vanguard.com
Ooo, this takes me back. Grandly sweeping progressive rock of the European kind. It's a big sounding landscape of textures,
many of them keyboard-shaped, that float and massage the tired mind. There is a great deal of soaring guitar lines, wringing
out long, limpid, languid tones of the sort that longer, mid-period Pink Floyd favoured. In fact a good bit of the guitar style
reminded me of what David Gilmour gets up to, left to his own devices. At times a vaguely eastern-sounding
woman's voice provides a wailing counterpoint to guitar chops or gently howling solos. With washes of choral-type keys, watercolour tones and occasionally trippy beats, occasionally even-paced ballad beats, the full hour and a quarter long album melded into a whole.
That's to say I'd be pushed to name a tune or song (and there are some proto-songs, made of samples and speech) but the whole thing gave me that sonic mind-rub that I reach for once in a while and might well grace an aging hippy's living room as well as the Ipod of some Full Moon raver on Ko Phan Ghan in Thailand.
This is the sort of thing that pretty much isn't cool over here (unless it's dressed up as Enigma-type party come-down / chillout fodder) but goes down a storm in Europe. There is a grand theme of eco-fear but it pretty much washes over with the laid back sculptures and atmosphere. There was time, when I believed that cool existed, when I'd detested the very concept of this but now I see the real art in its creation and have no shame in just enjoying it for what it is to me – a decoration of my space.
Chill by Code Indigo
Review by CDS
This is one of the year's big releases for not one, but two music genres, because 'Chill' is a real crossover classic!
It takes a complete listen to provide an overview of what it's all about, and the first thing to say is that it's another epic - nearly seventy-seven minutes long - but an epic that is just SO good. Secondly, like the recent AD Music albums 'Signal To The Stars' by Callisto, and 'Deeper' by David Wright, Chill is an album of genuine music quality, accessibility, writing & arranging with the ability to produce predominantly synth-based music that "relates' as much, if not more, to the likes of early Mike Oldfield and mid-seventies Pink Floyd, as it does to the "greats" of the Electronic Music world.
So, what you have here is the quartet of David Wright,
Robert Fox, Dave Massey and, most crucially, Andy Lobban on lead and rhythm guitars. I say "most crucially" for, although this is a keyboards dominated album, the guitar work is what gives it that
all-important extra-special ingredient, and the reason you hark back to the classic work of Oldfield and Floyd.
The opening track sets the scene for, and the flavour of this album to perfection, with its gorgeous but strong synth moods and the soaring electric guitar work, giving the whole thing very much of a 'Wish You Were Here'-era Floyd feel, but with so much more depth and soundscapes courtesy of the superbly emotive and melodic synth work of Fox and Wright. And what follows is absolutely spellbinding - rarely will you hear music of this quality unfold so exquisitely, and to an extent that every track carries you along with it in such a way that you listen to it as one complete piece of music with so many ideas, all perfectly executed.
'Chill' is so much more that just a "synth music" album, if fact it's potential audience is far greater than even the largest fan-base that this genre of music can offer, spreading into the realms of "symphonic rock" and beyond. No doubt about it - 'Chill' really is a crossover classic!
Code Indigo - 'Chill'
Chill is the latest CD from Code Indigo, a collaboration between David Wright and Robert Fox. Both artists work in various combinations with others and in solo formats, but have an ongoing relationship as a new age / ambient / space rock group as Code Indigo.
On this album, Wright & Fox are joined by Dave Massey (production, rhythm and bass programming) and Andy Lobban (lead and rhythm guitars).
The addition of Lobban makes this collection different from other Code Indigo releases, with guitars placed front and center on many tracks.
Chill is an excellent collection of downtempo numbers. The tracks have the haunting appeal of early Pink Floyd and Vangelis' work for Blade Runner. Filtered vocals frequently burble around the mix, and echo effects take sounds from left to right speakers.
Throughout the CD, the synthesizer work is great, moving from ambient effects to melodic space music seamlessly. Lobban's guitar work adds an emotional pull to the melodies and a sense of restrained power.
Highlights of the CD are Chill, a beautiful mellow track that backs a new age piano solo with gorgeous airy synth orchestration; Vapour Tales, which has a murky Blade Runner feel to it; and the excellent Culture Shift, which combines sampled "found sounds", world instruments, tasty synth work and ambient guitar effects. Code Indigo also uses several melodies as recurring themes throughout the CD, and a consistent sound palette, giving the CD a nice sense of continuity.
Code Indigo's 'Chill' is a great collection of synth music that should appeal to fans of new age, ambient and space rock.
Fan Comments about 'Chill'
"Wow! I Love it!! Beautiful music!!! Give the guys my regards on a job very well done!!" Mike V (USA fan)
"Absolutely awesome - the most fantastic CD I've heard in years".
Tony C (UK)
I think the enjoyment of this, the third studio album from Code Indigo, may
depend upon how you take to new member Louise Eggerton's "oohing and
aahing" vocals. To be honest, I was a little dubious at first, but
after a few plays I became hooked.
After almost a year in the making, 'Timecode' is a major improvement
over the rather patchy 'Uforia' and compares very favourably alongside
their work on the excellent 'Blue' box set. The group remain centred
around founder member Robert Fox and David Wright, together with guitarist
Andy Lobban, who made such an impressive debut at the acclaimed Derby
Cathedral concert in 1998 ( which is now available as part of the 'Blue'
box set). They are joined by two new members, previously mentioned vocalist
Louise, and Dave Massey, who handles rhythm and bass programming.
Robert and David see 'Timecode' as a "Fresh beginning" for
Code Indigo, with the significant contributions from Eggerton and Massey
taking the band into a new dimension. It's a shade more chilled than
earlier works, largely due to the hypnotic bass rhythms that ebb and
flow through the album, yet it still retains that unmistakable Code Indigo
signature. Those who enjoy the bands gloriously Vangelis-like themes
will not be disappointed and Andy Lobban's superb, Gilmour influenced
guitar work continues to invoke that Floydian feel from before. The beautiful,
spine-tingling piano motifs are simply the icing on the cake, elevating
Code Indigo above many of their contemporaries. The production, by Wright
and Massey, is flawless. The ten tracks blend together seamlessly, creating
75 minutes of classic and timeless synth music. There are numerous hauntingly
atmospheric passages interspersed between the rhythmic sections, and
some pieces have a wonderfully poignant and melancholy air. The album
is still peppered with samples, but thankfully these are rarely overdone
and are usually interesting and thought provoking.
'Timecode' is a journey to savour. Even the seemingly over-sweet 'Endgames',
(where Eggerton's "La la" styled vocals invoke a Francis Lai
soundtrack!) conceals a more sinister feel. 'Zero Hour' and the title
track are two numbers that immediately stand out as future classics.
With memorable themes and some stunningly beautiful moments, they are
destined to become live favourites. For me though, pride of place must
go to the superlative 'Eden to Chaos'. Featuring sweeping synths and
fuzzed guitars soaring over an upbeat, punchy rhythm, this has one of
those melodic hooks to die for.
Code Indigo's debut 'For whom the Bell' remains one of my all time English
synth albums. I think 'Timecode' is destined to become another. Definitely
The highly anticipated new CD from Code Indigo is a spectacularly realized disc that displays a few key changes alongside a new height of creative delivery. The sensual and stunning voice of new member Louise Eggerton provides ideal counterpoint to fluid, liquid guitar leads, which keep their Floydian elements intact. You can just about picture Andy Lobban striding to the front edge of the stage and reeling off his timeless signature runs.
Add the production expertise of Dave Massey, who also added rhythm and
bass programming, and we have a whole new Code to break open. Yet, at the
foundation are the two aces, Fox and Wright, clearly in balance at the
helm. Fox's tricks and wizardry and Wright's do no wrong approach build
masterful transitions and tempo shifts that provide the basis for tasty
guitar licks which are scattered throughout with a thin veil of restraint,
both patient and majestic. The enchanting, crescendo-laden intros rise
as if from a mystical fog, picturesque and distant in an ancient way. The
flow of rhythms, keyboards, voice and guitar move effortlessly through
the composed themes, with the usual traces of effects, alien voices, and
whispered words adding to the mystique.
A brilliant CD in all, and possibly
their best effort yet.
TimeCode by Code Indigo
fifth offering from Code Indigo sees the band's founders David Wright and Robert Fox with a new line up including Louise Eggerton, Dave Massey, and Andy Lobban. It has some of the typical Code Indigo elements we've come to expect -- great synth and guitar lines and melodies, heavenly female vocals, rhythms, spoken word excerpts, and various sound samples -- but it is in my view their most accomplished and melodious album to date. Indeed, as both David W's and Robert's solo music has steadily improved over time so it has been with Code Indigo. The previous release Uforia begins well but doesn't quite fulfill that promise further in, happily that doesn't happen on TimeCode>Indigo.
As the title suggests the main theme of the album is time, this is apparent both in the track titles and some of the spoken words. Time is also what you need for listening because there's a whopping hour and a quarter of music here - and remember, some artists have churned out less than half that for an album. Over much of that time there's a kind of serious and unhurried nature to the music, the pace isn't slow by any means and in the occasional track it picks up noticeably. Nearly all of the tracks are very good, with a couple that particularly stand out for me.
The third track "TimeCode" begins slowly with a continuous synth tone and some effects before getting into its stride with a voiceover talking about cosmology (and other things) while a percussive rhythm, guitar melody, and string synth melody form a nice mid-tempo structure. The "la la" wordless vocals are also heard in this piece to great effect, Louise Eggerton has a mellifluous voice that rounds the album off perfectly.
The penultimate track " Call of the Earth" is also mid-tempo, it's based around a simple but effective synth melody and drum rhythm and also features layered vocals in "la la" mode plus speaking words near the end of the piece. Rounding the album off nicely is "Endgames" which includes some Pink Floyd style guitar. I found it curious how the style of the vocals and some aspects of the melody have a kind of Parisian feel; I could imagine this piece being used as part of a soundtrack to a French film.
A high standard is kept up all the way through TimeCode>Indigo so it gets my vote as Code Indigo's best album so far.
Blue by Code Indigo
Derby Cathedral Concert October 1997. M. Havers - (Independent review)
This was my first outing to a Derby ‘EM’ concert. Having recently obtained the superb ‘For whom the Bell’ album, on the recommendation of a friend, it seemed a good opportunity to see Code Indigo in action.
On making my way to a seat, I became aware of two things. Firstly, the wonderful atmosphere; warm and friendly, yet somehow full of anticipation and expectation. The second thing was the venue itself. The inside of the cathedral is, I imagine, impressive enough in its own right, but here, on this night, with a vast array of both on and off stage lighting in place to quite clearly make the the most of the cathedrals architecture, it made for one of the most ethereal sights I think I have ever seen!
Mario Schonwalder and Detlef Keller started proceedings bang on time. I must admit to never having heard of them or their music before, although I understand this was their first UK concert. In truth, it wasn't’t really my sort of music, particularly the first half of the set which didn't’t really seem to go anywhere. The second half was much better with the introduction of rhythm and base sequences. Overall though, it was well played and the audience obviously enjoyed it, despite a major technical hitch midway through which repeatedly cut off the sound. I learned afterwards that this was due to an on-stage desk overheating. The way in which they dealt with it probably endeared them to the audience who gave the duo deserved enthusiastic applause at the close. Also, throughout the set, the audience were treated to some truly stunning lighting.
There was a short break and then, at 8.50pm, Code Indigo.
There was huge applause from the 200 strong audience and as the lights
went down, a baby’s cry (the end of "For whom the Bell"),
followed by an oriental female voice filled the cathedral. David Wright
entered, stage left, and began playing a swirling wall of sound with deep
choral undertones. After a few minutes, enter Vaughn Evans, stage right,
adding to the sound as it morphed into a section of effects, spoken samples
and eastern chants. Enter Robert Fox and and the commencement of a grand
symphonic strings section, followed by guitarist Andy Lobban to finally
complete the line up and sound some 5 minutes or so into the set. There
was an obvious problem at this point as the guitar could not be heard,
but this was quickly rectified.
The impressive opening, including stunning choral samples
and a beautiful theme which perfectly suited the venue, exploded into a
rhythmic section in which Andy Lobban on guitar and David Wright on synth
lead, clearly enjoyed themselves. The piece raced along at pace for a very
quick 15 minutes, bringing in driving percussion and even digerredoo, courtesy
of Vaughn Evans before winding down into a very strange and clearly improvised
percussive/guitar/digeredoo section. Perhaps on another day, this would
have worked. On this occasion though, it clearly didn’t and to the
bands credit, they realized this and brought it to a quick close before
going into track 5 from FWTB. This was superbly played, with a different
arrangement and feel to the album version.
Another new rhythmic track followed and then it was into
FWTB part 16, one of my favorite tracks on the album. Here again, a different
and longer arrangement allowing for some delicate guitar play, and from
Robert Fox and David Wright respectively, some deft piano and synth flute
The next piece was, for me, the highlight of the evening.
A stunning, heavily sampled ambient piece with gentle hypnotic base and
percussion, superbly played and improvised by Lobban, Fox and Wright, weaving
their way way around an almost manic conversation from the spoken samples.
The penultimate track was a strident rhythmic outing, beginning with great
interplay on an Arabian type theme from Lobban and Wright before strings
and pad completely changed it to a major thematic piece. It returned once
more to the Arabian feel with guitar letting rip before winding down to
the closing track which once again brought in the strong symphonic chords
from the opening number. The piece built beautifully with timpani and just
about everything but the kitchen sink thrown in. A glorious ending! As
the piece wound down with children singing over solo piano, the band made
their way off stage one by one so that as the track finished - the stage
The response from the audience was deafening! Huge applause
for a magnificent set superbly played and enhanced considerably by a dazzling
light show. I realized as I joined the rapturous applause for the band
to come back for an encore, that they had actually played a 70 minute set,
which just didn’t seem possible, it had gone so quickly.
The band came back and treated us to FWTB parts 11 and
16. Again, played quite differently to the album, and how!! The addition
of drums and percussion to part 16 and the longer guitar section on part
11 ensured that Code Indigo went out on a real high - and judging by their
reaction, so did the audience !! And rightly so. On the night there was
a lot to admire. A great venue, stunning light show and superb music!
As a footnote; Code Indigo are undoubtedly an enigma.
A band in the EM scene who are really more ambient, even prog rock than
EM. No boring midi sequenced crap here, but carefully crafted arrangements
and imaginative use of samples and sounds amid the layers of digital and
analogue synths and guitar. In fact, I’m left wondering why they
are actually classed as an "EM" band? They have undoubted talent
both collectively and individually. Having since purchased a couple of
CDs by Fox and Wright, I was suitably impressed by the music of both, even
if it is not what I would normally go for. But it is interesting, and creditable,
that while they bring their unique styles to Code Indigo, they don’t
actually bring their music!
Most importantly though, the Code Indigo style is very
difficult to categorize. Instrumental Pink Floyd? Enigma?? Steve Roach???
In the Nursery???? They combine elements of all of these and yet, basically,
they sound like, well.... Code Indigo. And that for me is the mark of something
a bit special.
(support act Mario Schonwalder & Detlef Keller).
Live at Duisburg
Review by CDS
A rather excellently recorded live album from the David Wright & Robert Fox band covering a fairly wide musical territory in terms of mood and pace, ranging from the splendors of the almost symphonic and pastoral sounds that slowly travel on some tracks, through to the positively rampant percussive rhythms and soaring electric guitar textures of others.
Everything is delivered in a very musical fashion, with an effect that generally tends to be on the pleasant side of menacing, with deep soundscapes and booming bass undercurrents around which snake-like synths and guitars slide and twist effortlessly, as the compositions slowly rise.
It's intense yet spacious music with the presence of a fair sprinkling of sequencer work, the usual multi-layered synths of Mr. Wright and the big expansive choral effects of Mr. Fox ensuring that this is one set of music that is varied and sure to go down well with almost all synth fans everywhere. A superb companion to 'For Whom The Bell...' album!
Uforia by Code Indifo
Review by CDS
For an album by a trio featuring two synth/keyboards players, a guy on guitars and bass, with all three responsible for rhythmic programming – mostly drums, this is a remarkably light and easily digested album. It is packed full of strong melodies, tunes and vast soundscapes, all delivered with an easy flow and a somewhat languid atmosphere, the whole thing adding up to a whole that is both relaxed and substantial. With touches, and I mean just touches, of "Wish You Were Here" era Floyd, and no real comparisons on the ‘Synth’ side of things to go with, all we can tell you is that this is an original - A musically satisfying and most interesting album for those of you out there that want long tracks full of great tune-led passages.
The construction of the 6 pieces features the instruments layered and developed in a manner that ensures no one passage is overdone. No single instrument is allowed to take up too much space before something else happens in the mix, and the overall feel is of deep, almost oceanic, serenity. It’s a synth album for sure, only with extra strength thanks to the electric guitars, but simply with a much greater melodic sense of invention than many others could muster. This is real crossover music that is capable of gathering fans from a whole range of genres, and should not be restricted to the world of "EM" alone.
For whom the Bell
This is an album that promises so much and delivers it all!!
It's a 72 minute, 18 track (all inter linked) epic, featuring music you can really get your teeth into. It's remarkably 'modern' sounding, thanks to the power of the rhythms, but what makes this CD so good is the sheer range of music on offer. It is all immaculately played and crafted with a superb production while the length of the tracks ensure that a good idea never outstays its welcome.
Comparisons with either David Wright or Robert Fox's solo works are not particularly applicable because this music is unique. The album moves from space music and soaring synth and piano passages with dense wedges of crystalline soundscapes to sections with choirs, ethnic chanting, thunderous backdrops, high flying multi-layered synth
melodies and soaring electric guitar solos!
This album features it all!! I'd need 4 pages to do this album full justice. So, go ahead, trust me and buy it. See if I'm not right when I say that
"This is a wonderful album!"