"Sines of Life, Volume 1"
Matt Howarth - Sonic Curiosity
This release from 2009 offers 79 minutes of masterful electronic music.
A collection album featurings rare and live tracks...
"September Dawn" a studio track that serves as a dreamy opening for the next track. The melody is lilting, the execution exotic.
"Cassini" live at the Gatherings in Philadelphia, a lively piece combining peppy e-perc with spiraling electronics. Several delightful threads run concurrently, each contributing to this song's enticing complexity. The bouncy rhythms bestow a lovely degree of oomph to the inventive pulsations and sweeping ketboards.
"Walking with Ghosts" live at the AD Music festival in Derby, UK, in September 2009, with guests Ian Boddy (on synths) and Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock (on M-Tron and guitar). An extended pensive piano intro leads to a dose of stunning of space guitar counterpointed by celestial electronics. A selection of novel effects are featured as peripheral embellishments, all of which excellently fit with the piano as that instrument turns romantic with heartfelt chords.
"Beyond Paradise" live at the Fisher Theatre in Bungay, UK, 2008, with guest Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock (on electric sitar). Eerie tones conspire with cosmic sitar stylings for a floating excursion that culminates with some tasty synth-saxophone amid a pastiche of languid beats and luscious textural layers.
"Just an Illusion" live at the Fisher Theatre in Bungay, UK, 2008, with guest Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock (on lead guitar). Some outstanding space guitarwork highlights this dose of serpentine electronics flavored with sinuous rhythms.
"Sines of Life" a studio track that adopts a softer, more introspective temperament with tender piano, auxiliary electronics, and velvety percussion.
"State of Bliss" another live track from the Bungay 2008 concert, with Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock (on guitar). A more sedate piece featuring softly scorching guitar, endearing sustains, and inventive electronics. Chorals and gentle piano season this mix, attributing a wonderful heavenly flair to the opening, which then slides into a sultry disposition replete with writhing rhythms and more prominent guitar. A touch of synthetic strings lends a smooth grandeur to the climax.
"3 A.M." an unreleased live track from a Code Indigo session circa 2006, with Robert Fox (on keyboards) and Nigel Turner-Heffer (on guitar). Post-midnight airs are dreamily captured by majestic keyboards and meticulous guitar.
"All Good Things..." a studio track that serves as a superb wrap-up for this wondrous collection. Bouncy e-perc and expansive electronics provide a suitable foundation for Wright's signature keyboards to establish a milieu of inspirational optimism.
"Dreams and Distant Moonlight"
Reviewed by musikzircus (Germany)
The very impressive cover art shows that David Wight is taking us on a journey into the world of fantasy. Indeed, this could be a Yes cover and the music has the same wonderful feel. David is well known for his perceptive, expressive melodies and atmospheres and that's exactly what you hear on "Dreams And Distant Moonlight". Each track flows seamlessly into the next and for that reason, one must hear the album in its entirety.
David embellishes the opening pieces with lovely piano melodies, soft and melancholy on "Velvetude" before slowly evolving in typical Wright style through tracks like "Just an Illusion part 1 + 2" with intricate rhythms and sequencing and superb lead and bass guitar guitar work. The album is varied and has wonderful Floyd like atmosphere and guitar on tracks like "State of Bliss". Other tracks are atmospheric sound paintings producing moods on tracks like "State of Peace" and "Amorphous" or stunning electronic soundscapes like "Heatwave in Blue".
Once again David Wright has produced an exceptional work of electronic music that will also find listeners in progressive music. Anyone who likes the music of David Wright or Code Indigo will absolutely love this album. A superb concept work that like so many other AD albums lately, I recommend unconditionally.
review by Dave Law of Synth Music Direct
The seed of this album was a mainly improvised concert David did as part of The Gatherings series in the States. It was a quite inspirational performance but unfortunately because of technical issues the tapes were not usable. David therefore treated it as a studio album of all new material, putting right what needed 'fixing' but as far as possible keeping the original 'key structure, development and mood'.
A very quiet solar wind effect is joined by a deep bass rumble then explosive thunder claps, reverberating into the night sky. All this provides a rather dramatic start for what is basically the introductory and appropriately titled track 'The Gathering'. Things calm down substantially for 'Desire - part 1'. Little note droplets fall onto lush tranquil pads, enough to soothe the most stressed mind. A slow peaceful, faintly ethnic, rhythm starts up as we flow into 'A Solitary Moment'. A beautiful melody floats above it all seeping into the very soul.
The pace increases a little and a plucked string acoustic guitar type loop bounces wonderfully off the original melody- quite exquisite it all is too. Again we flow into the next track (all the first seven numbers seamlessly progress from one to the next) 'Panic Attack' but instead of the rather frantic music I was expecting we again return to deeply atmospheric tones and effects- I know it is an overused term but 'cosmic' really does fit the bill here. A similar rhythm to that found on '...Solitary Moment' appears on 'Emergence' and another delicate little melody drips like water gently landing on a mirror lake.
Another lovely guitar type loop gives that little extra oomph as we continue through to 'Out of the Blue'. 'Desire- part 2' is basically a reprise of the first part, in other words as chilled as it is possible to get. We pause before entering what is effectively the first track on the second half of the album, 'Secrets of the Mist - part 1'. The sound of a calm sea breaks onto a peaceful shoreline. A brass type melody calls out like the sun rising above the horizon (even had a bit of a Spaghetti Western feel to it!) then ethereal pads float from the speakers like an early morning mist burning off the water.
'Evolution' introduces a tinkling sequence like heat shimmers over a scorched landscape. A second sequence and driving rhythm really pick up the pace as we enter the most forceful passage on the album so far, that lovely laid back brass melody still shining above it all. A bass line with real attitude adds a contrasting bite. Wonderful stuff!
We now enter the three-part title track, still in quite a groove, the main addition being more wordless ethereal vocal effects. A stunning lead solo adds an even greater element of class. This album just gets better and better! 'Part 2' calms things down again with the return of water on shore but now all rather eerie and melancholy. Another excellent bass line can be heard then a ticking rhythm adding a little structure as things become more syncopated but with a wonderfully moody edge. As we move into 'Part 3' a piano lead is added which softens things a little but there is still a sense of determined purpose here that will not be diverted from its path. A second absolutely corking lead takes turns with the piano which itself responds and becomes even more inspired. Absolutely fantastic! 'Secrets in the mist - part 2' provides a spaced out and moodily melodic atmospheric finish. I would say that after the incredible 'Walking with Ghosts' this is my favourite David Wright album. (DL, Synth Music Direct - March 2008)
Sleeve Notes by Steve Roberts, SMD.
career retrospective has long been overdue for David Wright but this is not a treading water exercise given David's steady output and 'Returning
Tides' focuses solely on David's solo output and not his collaborative work. However, with at least 15 albums to choose from there
is no shortage of material. In fact some will be surprised that 'Returning Tides' is not at least a double album, or was Part 1 left
off the title in error?
Nevertheless, this is a well compiled 'best of' and no doubt some fans will quibble over the track listing but the fact is that this
serves as an excellent introduction to the canon for the uninitiated and for the faithfull a timely celebration of David's longevity
and creativity. I can understand why a chronological approach wasn't followed given the advances in recording and excellent sound
quality of more recent offerings. Not that the early work was not creditworthy, I still hold 'Reflections' as one of my DW favorites, but
to start with 'Rysheara' from the excellent 'Dissimilar Views', well represented here, is an intelligent choice given that one of the purposes
of a 'best of' is to attract the uninitiated and perhaps those that only have an album or two in their collection. 'Rysheara' as much as
any single DW track embodies the key elements of his music, melody, romanticism and cinematic textures. 'Nomad' appears
from 'Ocean Watch' followed by 'Taiga' pulled from 1992's 'Between Realities'.
Arguably, David's most consistent release to date 'Walking With Ghosts' is also, quite rightly, well represented here by 'No More
Angels', 'Beyond Paradise' and 'Flame Sky'. It is also good to revisit tracks such as 'Midas' from 'Moments in Time and 'Sioux
Falls' as well as the eponymous and apposite 'Returning Tides'. 'Sygyzy' from the acclaimed' 360 'set closes the album. The sound
quality is excellent with all tracks having been 24 bit re mastered and edited especially for this compilation and for this reason
alone is well worth the asking price. An exclusive track or two might also have hooked the faithful and given the nature of the
exercise David's extended pieces are under represented .(Perhaps this is the 'shorts' and the next volume will be 'the longs' ?) But
hey, I'm quibbling now, with a generous running time of 78.49 you are getting value for money and it does exactly what it says on the tin,
but it may require another tin or two to finish the job or maybe a boxed set?
David Wright is a British composer of electronic music. He has many CDs to his credit, among the better know are Walking with Ghosts and ThreeSixZero.
Continuum was released in June of 2004. The idea of the CD was to contrast dark against light in alternating works. This
is achieved expertly here and presents the listener with some very innovative electronic soundscapes. The works are composed on
various makes of keyboards and synthesizers, which dominate the work. There are voice and guitar samplings. The work is “space
music”, but it is so much more. There are 5 tracks with a total playing time of over 77 minutes.
The first track Dark Matter is one of the “dark” compositions, very spacey, with sampled voice and guitar. It
is a brooding selection, with the voice samplings giving it a soulful cry. There is an up beat mixed into this piece which compliments
and provides lift so the piece does not become depressing. There is a changeover about three quarters of the way through that gives
a momentary pause for reflection, and the piece then continues as before. Very expertly composed, this is an interesting work that
I found was worth repeating to appreciate the nuances offered by the artist.
The second track Continuum, is the title work and is one of the “lighter” compositions. It starts with a very “spacey” opening,
breaking out into a light beat and a melody that is more airy than the previous work. The synth space soundscape is very
defined here, but it is gentle, and lifts the listener, rather than projecting the listener into space. A very subtle and delightful
composition, worthy of the title track.
Bridge of Souls returns to the brooding, darker mood of the work. It is filled with shadows, the beat is very
subtle, and the sound suggests dark space. There are suggestions of melody that must be carefully listened for and will surprise
the listener. An interesting composition, to say the least, and one that will also bear repeating.
We return to the light with Island of Flight with a more pronounced beat, samplings of voices suggesting a “space center” and
a melody that is more uplifting and flows from soft and isolated to a more pronounced and backfilled work that is almost “orchestrated”. A
very lovely work that is expertly assembled.
final composition Cassini is the longest work on the CD, but is also the lightest and the most delightful. It first appears to
be a continuation of Island of Flight at times, recalling the “space center” voices, but it forms its own identity, tying
in but remaining separate. It has a dancing base line, complimented with light keyboard work that floats over the well defined
beat. There are samplings of other voices as well, which blend into the work and will surprise the listener. It breaks
from itself occasionally, offering “contemplative moments” of a different mood, but it then reassembles to its original form. While
still spacey, it provides lovely melodies and moments that bring this CD to a winning finish.
This CD was an enjoyable listening experience for me which begged repeating. The second listen through brought out the complexities
of the work which were standing behind the surface waiting to be noticed. The compositions are beautiful, and do offer the
listener a challenge, but can be taken at face value and still very much enjoyed. I have to add that the cover art of this CD and
the artwork inside the booklet are also worth looking at. The space conceptions are breathtaking, combined with the exceptional
images. This brings the entire package into focus and is a very exceptional presentation.
If you are a fan of David Wright, or enjoy space music and are looking for something that is fulfilling as well as delightful
to listen to, this CD is exactly what you are looking for. I do recommend this as an essential addition to your collection.
this is classy stuff - A seventy-minute plus album with so much great music it's taken two of us to review it!
This guy always has been one of THE masters of melody in the UK synth music field during the past 20 years, and nothing has changed, because
'Deeper' has arrived in 2005, and it's every bit, if not more so, the masterwork of pure melody and flowing rhythm that we expected it would
Yes, the melodies are to die for, but not only that, he uses such memorable sounds to create them - sounds that immediately endear you to the
music - sounds that really fit the mood and feel of 10 tracks, that once heard, lodge themselves in your head and heart forever.
There is an "epic" feel to the production of this album - it's almost film-like in places and would undoubtedly lend itself to such
a project. One of us spent some of the time the album was playing thinking "if he had a guitar, he'd be Mike Oldfield". It's chilled
out, but it certainly isn't "ambient". It's melodic - boy, is it melodic! - but there's a decided atmosphere going on that gives it
a depth many would describe as symphonic, but in actual fact, it's a lot more spiritual than that term implies. Above all, it's hypnotic - you
stare it in the eye only to be taken on a journey that, in keeping with all the best albums from this musician, has you hooked for the duration
- no dipping in and out of tracks with this guy!
Towards the end of the 5-part suite 'Sea Of Dreams' things take a definite turn into a mix of relaxed Klaus Schulze styled rhythms and sweeping
symphonics, but mostly it's a case of setting up a variety of languid, but solid electro-percussive rhythms and creating sets of soaring synth
solos over the top, while filling the background with warm, almost analogue-sounding backdrops. Taking the opener, 'Nomad', as a perfect example
- It starts with sprinkled space synths and deep rumbling bass, then settles out into a beautiful mix of swooping space synths and strings, then
the most delicate of sequencer rhythms begin as the main percussive rhythmic foundations appear. Then he creates a set of melodies that ebb and
flow throughout the track, which is now rolling along in train-like fashion, as the background synths fill the mix and the melodies ring out
on top. It's all extremely palatable, easily digestible and perfect for anyone that likes flowing tune-laden synth music, but this is music with
depth and character at its heart. Some tracks find Wright testing the waters with new rhythmic styles, and these give the album a better sense
of variation and dynamics than some of his earlier works. Elsewhere, across tracks that vary in length, a similar pattern continues as the musical
scenery changes shape and pace, assorted rhythms providing the addictive heart, while a combination of strings, choral keyboards and warm analogue
backdrops provide the soul, as finally the head is satisfied with an exquisite set of melodies that is both relaxing and yet quite uplifting
at the same time.
Overall, it's David Wright as you'd expect to hear him, but now maturing like a quality wine, making every sip of this musical vintage, so satisfying.
Here's a track-by-track look at the album...
The opener is the eleven-minute 'Nomad', and it's not really what we would term a typical DW track, in that the rhythm and percussion element
is upfront as opposed to in the background, but then the melodies and swooping space synths aren't laid-back either, as they sear and
soar their way through the train-like rhythmic patterns. It's a bit Klaus Schulze styled in places with a vast array of electronic percussion
and sequencers, with streaming Mini-Moog and other analogue style melodies gracefully layered on top and spread over the rhythmic soundscape
in varying degrees of volume. There's an astounding trumpet synth sound used in one passage that's pretty mind-blowing too.
'The Sound Of Waves' is a much more typical slice of DW orchestral synth music with a flowing romantic melody gently weaving its way through
a beautiful web of strings and ethereal choirs in a very dreamlike fashion, with more sweeping strings and Vangelis style voices being
added as the symphonic panorama expands wider and the voices ascend higher and heaven bound. A beautiful track that ALL symphonic synth
music fans are going to fall head-over-heals in love with.
'The Sound Of Light' features a distinctive high register synth melody with a sound that is absolutely gorgeous, alternating with a Vangelis-like
synth lead over a gentle rhythmic backbone that is high enough in the mix to keep the flow of the track tight and concise. Again, symphonic
synth fans will be hooked, drawn in and landed by this track.
The title track features another of those high register synth sounds that immediately reminded me of the short opening track on Neuronium's
'Chromium Echoes' album: 'Prelude' - that too had a striking lead melody if you remember, but as the soundscape expands with added layers
and backdrops this piece becomes more heavily symphonic (and even Jarre-like) than the aforementioned Neuronium work.
As the title might suggest, 'Bamboo' has tribal rhythmic connotations, and here there are more Vangelis like synth leads and elements of
percussion that could almost have come from one of his Frederic Rossif film soundtracks.
The next 5 tracks are all part of the 'Sea Of Dreams' suite. Part one opens with misty cosmic winds and other atmospheric conditions, before
a slow hailing synth melody flows around the eerie soundsculpture and starts the track on its lengthy course. That three-minute intro gives
way to part two, a seven-minute track that slowly grows from a gentle embryonic rhythm into a full and rich symphonic work that Vangelis
would be proud of. As the rhythms expand and grow, so does the main melodic theme, as layer upon layer is added and the keyboard melodies
and synth textures become stronger, louder and more multi-layered, until eventually closing to the sounds of added ethereal choral layers
that take the passage over the eight minute mark. Rippling Kitaro style cascading synth effects open section three where a high register
synth theme seems to whisper, floating gently for just a few minutes with this massive thunderstorm peeling in the background, then as
the distant sounds of calmer waters approaches, a vast panoramic new view comes into sight where other synth vessels are sailing over the
horizon on a vast sea of swelling string-synths. Brass sounds come in to add a deeper shade of blue to the clearing sky as the strings
sweep higher and wider. With the symphonics fading away, it's almost only a sequencer that's left for a short period of time, then the
crossover is made into the fifth and final passage, which eerily marches in on the left-over sequencer backdrop, with added deep string
sythns and spiralling effects. As the rhythm and all that is swirling around it gets into a higher gear, the body rhythms start to flow
free and the track really starts to fly high, with thick wedges of brassy synth sounds pushing the melody higher and higher until a streaming,
almost "proggy" style improvised synth solo blazes over the powerful pulsating rhythms, bringing a feel that I can only liken
to a flowing Klaus Schulze rhythm meeting Andy Pickford in 'Maelstrom' synth solo mode, and pretty darned spectacular it is too! As the
speeding ship of synths and motoring rhythms flies out into the cosmos, it leaves a final three and a half minutes of ethereal choral/string
synth cosmic bliss in its wake, taking the album out on a beautiful high.
Conclusion: His biggest selling album for some time was 'Walking With Ghosts' from 2002 - a classic that for me earmarked
David Wright as being a perfect cross between the UK's Jeff Wayne and the Greek synth maestro Vangelis, and 'Deeper' cements that view
even further. This is the type of flowing symphonic synth music you'll want to hear everywhere - at home, in the car, or just generally
on the move. Wright's wonderful gently flowing sense of rhythm complements his rich thematic compositions perfectly, so that you seem to
just float along with the music in a relaxed and care free way. It is uplifting and thoroughly enjoyable synth music, and I can foresee
no situation where it could irritate in any way shape or form - It more likely to set you on high you won't want to come down from for
a long time!
Buy 'Deeper' now - you will not be disappointed, I can assure you.
David Wright & Ian Boddy - Shifting Sands
Chuck van Zyl / STAR'S END
Ian Boddy & David Wright, two of England's most renowned Electronic Musicians, have at last combined forces. Their CD Shifting Sands (62'35") contains five elegant and energetic collaborative pieces. Meticulously arranged, this album expands and recedes along a curving band of ever-evolving rhythm. Entwined with percussive Electro-riffs synchronized sequencer patterns dance in synch beneath hovering eminent melodies. Both share the gift of lyrical playing. Wright, with his warm, easy-going lines and Boddy, blending a questioning delicacy before full-blooded passion, provide as many memorable melodies as any well-known classic by Vangelis or Kitaro. Each also brings to this project a wonderful appreciation of synthesized sound. From life-like piano samples and rounded synth voices to strange modulations and celestial effects, their work possesses a rich sonic character. Two personalities are clearly at work in this music - each with its own expressive sensibility and raw musical talent. Working together Boddy & Wright exhibit a stylish understanding and refined communicative flair. Their work Shifting Sands captures like few others the feeling of moving through a golden moment and knowing it.
Sines of Life Vol. 2
Chuck van Zyl / STAR'S END
Sines of Life Vol. 2 is over two quality hours of previously unreleased live and studio recordings from UK synthesist David Wright spanning 1998-2008. The disc starts in fine form with “Rhysheara,” an upbeat melodic number with a soft beat. “First Call” is very Enigma-like with male chants surrounded by bright piano and warm strings. “Kaleidoscope” has a more playful tone as bouncy synths dance about. “Crystal Clouds” is classic retro of the spacey floating variety, with a beautiful bright piano solo near the end, quite reminiscent of the way Tangerine Dream blended piano and synths so well on Ricochet. “Nomad (Alternate MIX)” begins and end with thunder, but is dance-floor ready with its irresistibly catchy rhythms in between. Speaking of catchy, the pulsing bass line in “Cosmosis” is equally infectious. With an able assist from Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock, this is 21 minutes of hypnotic Berlin school bliss. Wright always has a good melodic touch, as evidenced on the light and airy piece “A Night In September,” and the lively “Passing Thru.” These are tunes that will play happily in your head long after the music fades. So much good stuff has passed already, and yet the final three tracks offer well over 50 minutes of more first rate synthesizer music, including the majestic floater “Depth From Motion” and the 33-minute epic “China” with its effervescent percolating sequences. This is an amazingly cohesive and strong collection, a virtual must-have for the EM fan.
Trinity - Ian Boddy, Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock,
and David Wright
review© 2010 Phil Derby / Electroambient Space
Trinity is a fantastic collaboration combining three dominant forces in electronic music circles over the years, captured live at the AD Music Festival in September 2009. This set of live reinterpretations of some of their best solo recordings is available as either an MP3 download or a 2 CDR set. Boddy’s superb synths and sequencing, Wright’s soaring melodies, and Hoffmann-Hoock’s expressive guitar playing form a perfect EM triangle. “Halcyon” a perfect example of the synergy from these three artists, as Hoffmann-Hoock’s dreamy guitar playing perfectly complements the light and airy atmosphere of the synths. Though starting in relaxed mode, it builds quite nicely into a warm, moderately energetic piece. “Conundrum” is the eastern-tinged title track from Klaus’ collaboration with Bernhard Wöstheinrich, and this live rendition gives it just a little extra oomph. Punchy synths and a soaring lead line drive “Shifting Sands” forward, one of several tracks that allow plenty of room to explore the sonic space before moving on to the next. David Wright’s classic “Walking With Ghosts” is beautifully rendered here as well, moving and majestic. “Foundry” is a signature Boddy piece from his Elemental album, with the edgy aggressive style reminiscent of his work with Mark Shreeve as ARC. The title track is a new 19-minute Berlin school piece that chugs along just as it should. In short, this is an outstanding summary of the body of work of these three, and I can’t imagine a fan of melodic Berlin school EM wanting to be without this.
Review by Guts Of Darkness
The art of captivating an audience with musical poetry! It is September 2007, and at a superb concert in Philadelphia (the USA Gatherings), David Wright performs Momentum, a superb musical ode that reaches the harmonious depths of Walking with Ghosts, the epic work of David Wright released in 2003.
A soft reverberation grumbles before exploding under the effect of uncontrollable thunder and lightning. The elements of nature merge into "Desire part I" hinting at a misty, ethereal landscape. Synth oscillates on beautiful crystalline waves, plunging the listener in a sound sea of crystal blue. Romance and melancholy flirt with a jazzy approach, and the sound become denser, more enveloping, with a beautiful motif. David Wright wraps us in an angelic world which progresses with fine percussions and splendid symphonic synth in "A Solitary Moment". The tempo increases with a synthesized guitar, plucking sound effects which amalgamate with percussions with the beats of a forgotten civilization. Light and romantic, chords scintillate on this soft movement on a progressive rhythm which fades into the fog of "Panic Attack", (a dramatic title in true Vangelis style),and reappears in "Emergence", increases on "Out of the Blue" and fades out on "Desire II", thus ending Momentum's first half.
Waves of solitary nostalgia open "Secrets in the Mist I". An atmospheric, ethereal synth stretches slowly its symphonic breaths, the movement slips delicately into the first sequences of "Evolution". Another pulsating sequence is added, merging hypnotism to a syncopated rhythm that increases its pace gradually and retains the haunting synth from "Secrets in the Mist I". Like sirens that lay beneath the sea, "Momentum I" the superb synth lead has a deep mood and undercurrent, and a beautiful bass line and slightly tribal percussion. The splendid harmonious structures prominent on 'Walking with Ghosts' is in full evidence here with superb orchestral arrangements. "Momentum I" is full of wonder and imagination with synthesized horns and pads fading on the shores of "Momentum II". Here everything dies out, and is re-ignited with the sensual introduction of "Momentum II" increasing its harmonious structure to reach its point of origin on a melodious piano which initiates the path of Momentum III. A superb ending with a movement even more fluid and sensual, with a combination of strident percussions and violins that are full of sadness and hope - David Wright at his very best! As all good things end, "Secrets in the Mist II" concludes with an atmospheric final from where the soft breaths of a synth fades into the waves.
Momentum is a work which depicts a sensual melancholy in its harmony - a veil of sadness. It is a superb musical odyssey that will stand the test of time as it rekindles our memories. A splendid opus, not only in the EM genre, but in the musical world.
Review by MusikZirkusMagazine (Germany)
This is David's 18th album, recorded at his USA Gatherings Series Concert in September 2007 and finished in the studio. The result is a very attractive album, with two flowing 35 minute tracks, split into 13 parts.
The music stays in typical Wright-style, similar to "The Tenth Planet", or the song "Cassini" from the album "Continuum", or even "Sea of Dreams" from "Deeper". Additionally, there are shades of Jonn Serrie and an occasional hint of Vangelis' Blade Runner.
The first part "The Gathering" opens with speaker trembling bass and loud thunderclaps leading into the moody "Desire" (part 1) with gorgeous drifting synth sounds playing a beautiful melody. In "A Solitary moment," the third part of the first long track, gentle rhythms and sequences slowly build and morph into "Panic Attack" an experimental excursion similar to a sci fi movie movie. And the following "Emergence" is again a mixture of "Blade Runner" and typical David Wright, which after a few minutes develop into the almost Ashra like sequences and guitar of "Out of the Blue" - with a melody line that made me tingle with its beauty before floating into the close with a gentle reprise of Desire.
The second long track begins with wave noises from a vast seascape that leads into "Secrets In The Mist - Part 1". This opens with a gentle melody that floats on a gentle rising synth pad before changing into "Evolution" with its great rhythm underpinned by a hypnotic and effective bass line. The music moves forward with the impressive "Momentum" parts 1 to 3 with great piano lead, mood and melody throughout. The epic closes with a reprise of "Secrets in the Mist" and already I feel the need to press the start button on my CD player!
"Momentum" is an impressive release and though the year is young, "Momentum" is already a highlight in the field of electronic music. Beautiful harmonies and gentle rhythm passages help make "Momentum" a top space music album.
Highly recommended. Stephan Schelle, February 2008
The Tenth Planet
Review by Mick Garlick - Sequencers
The music that makes up David Wright's latest album is an amalgam of two 2006 Planetarium gigs, in Bochum & the NCS in Leicester, which marked the tenth anniversary of his London Planetarium gig (crikey, doesn't time fly?). If the cover is anything to go by the visuals were pretty special & the music isn't bad either, being a mix of richly-textured spacey tracks interspersed with deeply resonant rhythmic offerings with the 7-part 'Odyssey' resembling Dave's work as one half of Callisto so it's fitting that his partner in that project, Dave Massey, contributed additional sequencing on two sections.
Some fine piano work adds an additional melodic edge to the spacey feel that graces 'Odyssey Part 4' while the assertive leadlines that, in unison with some fine soloing, make their mark during the rhythmic 'Sea Of Dreams Part 1' contribute towards making this track the album's undoubted highlight.
The excellent 'Glass Mountains', which, for this writer, remains Wright's finest ever piece even now, deservingly pops up towards the end with its superbly evocative & atmospheric aura not only being retained but even strengthened by this new arrangement that works so well, thanks in no small part to Wright's superb musicianship before another fan fave, the ethnic-flavoured 'The Sound Of Waves', closes the album on a more uplifting, pleasant note in a manner that even Vangelis would be proud to put his name to!
The Tenth Planet
Compiled from David Wright's Planetarium 2006 gigs in Bochum, Germany and the UK LSC, 'Tenth Planet' again illustrates that the special setting of these concerts seems to inspire fresh creativity and inspiration. The increasing maturity of the music, concentrating on strong melodies and carefully crafted layers and sequences are predominant throughout.
The first seven tracks are taken up with the 40 minute opus 'Odyssey' with Part 1 full of cosmic effects evoking a sense of wonder and setting us off on the musical voyage which gathers momentum with the sequencers and rhythmic detail prominent on Part 2. Reminiscent in the best possible sense of classic 70's Schulze and with impressive melodic colour and increasing sense of drama the music builds in intensity before layers are stripped down a little cross fading into Part 3 which settles into a groove before slowing right down to allow audience appreciation to remind you that this is a live set. Part 4 is a slow segment with piano and expansive effects allowed to breathe and create a more tranquil atmosphere before building up to the more anthemic moments in Part 5 but light and shade is carefully deployed with subtle hues reminding me of Vangelis. The detail of the sequencing and rhythms impress throughout the set but excel here continuing into Part 6 and Part 7 building in intensity before relaxing into a blissed out conclusion.
Next 'Sea of Dreams'
is re-imagined and transformed into a 4 Part suite which is radically different to the source. Wright breathes new life into his work and takes it into different territories. Sometimes, this 'reworking' can lead to unfavourable comparisons to the original but not here where the added detail and variation for my money succeeds in elevating the pieces to greater heights. Once again, careful building and use of light and shade is combined with improvisation. 'Glass Mountains' one of my favourite Dave Wright compositions, is given a full makeover with a richer sound and added treatments.
The set concludes with a great new version of 'The Sound of Waves', a more typical piece, full of lush romanticism and uplifting melodies to warm the heart. On his live sets Wright manages to push his music further. On 'The Tenth Planet' he manages to raise the bar in terms of live sound, composition and improvisation.
It will be interesting to see in which direction Wright will take his music next. Back to the acclaimed, chilled, template set out in 'Walking With Ghosts', one of his most popular and successful albums, or into more ryhthmic, traditional, sequenced pieces suggested on this set. In the meantine 'The Tenth Planet' will more than keep his fans happy.
interesting release, 'Deeper' is impeccably produced and is stylistically closer to Callisto and 'Walking with Ghosts' rather than David's previous release 'Continuum'.
However, 'Deeper' subtly represents a change of direction with greater emphasis on mood and texture with more shade than light and the music takes on a brooding, understated, more reflective tone.
The set opens with 'Nomad' which originally appeared on 1994's 'Ocean Watch' but has been completely overhauled and reimagined retaining elements from the Leicester Space Centre gig in September 2004 and is superior to the original sounding like a new track. The enhanced rhythms and textures and more strident lead lines give the piece more stridency and the confident soloing nudges the direction towards prog rock territory but David's trademark jazz tinged tones imbue enough of his signature trademarks to make this classic Dave Wright fare.
'The Sound of Waves' is a gentler, more meditative piece, reminiscent in style to the chill out moments on 'Ghosts', and David is completely at ease with this romanticism but as he demonstrates so ably here, and throughout 'Deeper', there is more detail in the music and subtle tones of melancholy give the music greater substance.
'The Sound of Light' is another shorter, focussed piece with some fluid soloing and is followed by the title track which features a fine, confident melody accompanied with lush strings and interesting rhythms.
'Bamboo' follows and concludes the shorter pieces which would in the old days been the end of side one. More ethnic tinged rhythms give this piece an edgier , fragmented feel and provide variation to the mix.
The rest of the album is taken up with a 5 Part opus 'Sea of Dreams' and Part 1 is an impressionistic tone poem evoking mystery and wonder before the more rhythmic Part 2 introduces dramatic, cinematic strings which slowly build up the atmosphere. The mood changes enhance the track with lighter passages and sequences offset with more melodramatic moments, solos and treatments which whip up quite a storm.before gently winding down. Part 3 slows down the pace with ambient tones, thunderclaps and piano crossfading into more familiar rythmic territory in Part 4 and melancholic strings and piano pile on the atmosphere in a widescreen panoply of sound. The final part is at 11.50 the longest track on the album. Continuing with themes laid down before, David produces hypnotic rhythms offset with emotive strings, a steady backbeat and powerful solos that soar and weave through the mix. and whip up a veritable storm until around the eight minute mark the pace slows dramatically as the piece winds down to its stately and dignified conclusion.
'Sea of Dreams' was originally part of the 'Dune' project which may still appear in some form as part of a future live performance and that is something to look forward to. Dave Massey's input is clearly discernible and generally enhances 'Deeper' as the production in 32 bit digital sound is excellent throughout. Doug Lester's cover is intriguing too and will have you viewing the image from different angles to ascertain reference points! 'Deeper' displays the increasing maturity and confidence of the composer as he heads into the next phase of his career and represents another highpoint in a long and interesting journey. I hope it is not too long befor we can experience versions of this music live.
What a magnificent album. I thought Walking with Ghosts would be so hard to top but you have just gone and done it. Beautiful melodies and some of your strongest in many years. A stunning piece of work that just gets better on each play. - DS (UK fan)
Review by Deadearnestreviews.
rarely do you get a compilation of a band or artist's work that is so carefully assembled, that it not only reflects the albums from
which the tracks are taken, but, possibly more importantly, results in an album that, even though it spans thirteen years of music, plays
almost as though it was a "proper" album in its own right. This is one such album.
Taken from 8 of his previous albums, going
right back to '91's 'Marilynmba' and up to the recent magic that is 'Continuum', what you have are 18 tracks, the longest at around six
minutes, that showcase the really solid but melodic synth music compositions for which Wright is best known. From the Vangelis styled
'Smiling Shadows Lie' and 'Beyond Paradise' through the Jan Hammer-isms of 'Returning Tides' (that could so easily have given anything
off "Miami Vice" a run for its money!!) and the Enigma-esque 'Guardians' to the modern Oldfield-sounding (of which Wright actually
pre-dated!!!) ''Flame Sky' and 'Continuum', there is a wealth of music here that can only be described as magical. It's melodic, it's
rhythmic - full of warmth and feeling - often atmospheric, occasionally punchy, never bland, while the sheer variation of music within
what is Wright's trademark way of creating layers from the arsenal of synths and keys, drum samples and guitars, is simply a joy to hear.
If you've never got into his work before, then at least buy this album as it's not only a summary of the man's talent
in its own right, but an album that you will enjoy playing for years to come - heck, it may even spur you on to buying more of his music
- but, for now, buy this and you'll have a smile on your face!
probably one of the best albums David Wright has made. The composer gathers very imaginative musical ideas under a general style approaching Melodic Space Music. The melodies are warm and lively, the rhythms mostly sequencer-based, thus resulting in complex, powerful and impressive arrangements. These are ten themes, among which probably "Bamboo" is the most charismatic.
In "Deeper", David Wright has created a superbly produced and thrilling sonic adventure. - Amazing Sounds (Spain)
Mick G (Editor-Sequences).
to David the inspiration for his latest offering comes from having some spare time in his studio. Whilst producing another artist and not having his synths available he took the opportunity to revisit some old space music albums from the 70’s and 80’s. Whilst their influence is obvious, this is still a distinctly modern take on the genre that includes his own unique palette of sounds with nods towards his recent collaborations.
The generous as ever running time of 77+ minutes is divided into five tracks, none of them lasting less than eleven minutes. The opening of “Dark Matter” has all the elements of a classic spacemusic track with synth drones and effects and barely audible Astronaut samples. The drones build and at the three-minute mark are joined by a deep female vocal sample. Rather unexpectedly the track soon develops a chugging rhythm and bass line, still underpinned by the drones and vocals, but all mixed together to great effect with a simple piano motif. Anybody who has heard Code Indigo’s latest release “TimeCode” will recognize many similarities with this eleven-minute piece.
Next is the twenty-minute title track. Again, deep space noises begin proceedings, swirling around the mix until at close to three minutes a simple three-note sequence a la TD’s late 70’s output is added. A gorgeous, instantly memorable high register melody is then repeated above some ethereal pads with various flutes and dulcimer bell samples taking the lead. At eight minutes a rhythm effortlessly joins the fray with more meat being added to the bones of the track over the course of the next few minutes. Quiet moments spasmodically occur to allow the theme to be reintroduced stronger than before with choir samples matching the lead line. At seventeen minutes the track is quickly deconstructed leaving just the space samples to fade into the ether.
of Souls” two minutes of space and “Mission Control” samples take us into the more recognizable Space Music territory of dark sequences and Ian Boddy like filter sweeps. At six minutes a simple, slightly mediaeval, processed organ sounding melody is added to shift the emphasis for a couple of minutes until all fades to a few samples of JF Kennedy to see out this menacing piece.
The first 30 seconds of "Island of Flight" sees a pulsing sample that leads to an equally pulsing bass line and the by now ubiquitous space talk. A simple piano motif is then layered over the top which turns out is sort of a theme for the piece as the base line remains unchanged for nine of the 12 minute duration with the melody returning in various guises throughout. The track does evolve in as much as more layers of effects and rhythms are added to the mix but overall the effect I derived was very hypnotic. At ten minutes the base line fades to nothing leaving a few effects and the original piano refrain which itself is absent for the last minute.
The track merges straight into the last track, "Cassini" which, at 22 minutes, is the longest on the album. Almost immediately a bass line starts up which is very reminiscent of the previous track, only a couple of octaves up the scale and definitely more uplifting, which is soon joined by a fluted melody. This all momentarily fades away at just under two minutes but comes back with rhythms added and the main theme now being driven by various synthetic samples. At the ten minute mark, again all this disappears in favour of foreboding effects, voice samples and what sounds slightly (and I mean only slightly) like an orchestra tuning up, however at twelve minutes normal service is resumed with more of what had come before. The drumming becomes more incessant and the main theme comes to the fore once again. This is definitely one of David’s most memorable melodies, bringing to mind the best that John Dyson had to offer (more “Aquarelle” than “Evolution”). The final four minutes takes you back down to earth slowly and allows you to reflect on the quality that had preceded it.
I know it is a bit of a cliché but David does surpass himself with every release, which means I am mightily looking forward to the next few.