AD Music - Ashok Prema

We are pleased to welcome Ashok Prema to AD Music and to announce the June 2005 release of the album "Matter" featuring Ashok Prema (synths) & Rob Jenkins (guitars). The album is a stunning fusion of atmospheric and melodic synths, sequences and lead guitar from the memorable Jodrell Bank concert of 2002.

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Album Reviews

'Matter' by Ashok Prema.

Review by Andy G - CDS

Matter by Ashok Prema CD Cover Along with Peter Beasley, Vietgrove & Mark Jenkins, you always feel that this musician has never achieved the recognition he deserved when you look back at the remarkable consistency of his released music from the mid-eighties onwards, and this new album, performed with Redshift's Rob Jenkins, is no exception.

Essentially 14 tracks that run into each other to form a long and substantial "set", this is the sound of UK Synth music at its best, as he takes the predominantly "Berlin School" style as his main template, but Over this, a sea of flowing synths and, used effectively rather than constantly, some searing, sky-high electric guitar work, provide the main melodic focus, while the resultant combination of all these factors gives us a set of "UK-meets-Berlin" that is both full of feeling yet highly charged at the same time. It's not T Dream by numbers, it's not even really "T Dream" in the copyist sense, but its mix of Berlin-based roots, melodic structure and flowing passion, gives it something that's a whole lot more satisfying. His best to date!!!

'Matter' by Ashok Prema

Review by Amazing Sounds - Spain

In this occasion, synthesist Ashok Prema counts with Rob Jenkins's collaboration. The result is an imaginative combination of elements typical of Space Music and others of a symphonic character sometimes near to Synth-Pop. The compositions are not abstract, but they have majestic melodies instead, sometimes somewhat sentimental in nature. Some themes are slow, but others turn out to have a quite energetic rhythm. The rhythmic structure of the music tends to be based on the sequencers. A great amount of imagination pervades the entire album. - EDGAR KOGLER

'Electric Eyes of Man' by Ashok Prema

Review by David Law - SMD

Electric eyes of man by Ashok Prema - instrumental electronic music CD'Mirror Images' pushes the sequencer into service immediately. And what good sequences Ashok creates, relatively bassy but subtle not distracting from the lovely floating lead lines. Everything combines together to create a wonderful kaleidoscopic listening experience. During the last couple of minutes the sequences are momentarily allowed to let rip but they are soon brought under control again to allow for a floating finish.

The title track is co-composed with Rob Jenkins from Redshift and commences with a bright melody but it isn't long before a ticking sequence joins it low in the mix. Abruptly all are replaced by deep symphonic pads. A rhythmic loop then comes in joined by another sequence, the thick pads still providing a tranquil atmosphere. Melodies come and go adding to the interest but not dominating. The sequences and rhythms gently weave around each other providing the main focus to a track which just gets better and better.

'Gallery of Whispers' begins with eerie echoing dripping effects. Its all very subterranean. Ominous dark pads swell and then at just before the three minute mark the first sequences enter, hurtling along at quite a pace. Around the five minute mark the sequence momentarily mutates into a sort of glockenspiel sound before disappearing. Slightly menacing pads return in force but it isn't very long before we are speeding again on the back of a rapid sequence. It's all very 70s sounding Tangerine Dream.

'Turinissimo' starts where the previous track left off, the same comparisons applying. More excellent sequences combine to form the best section on the album so far but it isn't long before they disappear and are replaced by yet another superb atmospheric passage. Its as if Ash is trying to get as many ideas as possible into one number as things then descend into a gorgeous tranquil melodic couple of minutes. The lead lines are superb but then some nice splashing sequences start up again and accompanied by a rather twangy lead takes us to the end. Finally we have a remix of the title track. This time it has a more psychedelic feel bringing up images of a swirling colours. A bouncy sequence takes centre stage, effects sizzling around it.

This is my favourite album by Ash to date. It has both feet planted firmly in the popular Retro style and should appeal to all fans of such music. My only slight criticism is that the album is quite short especially when taking into account that the last track is a remix though it is very different sounding to the original.

Matter by Ashok Prema CD Cover'Matter' by Ashok Prema.

Comments from Fans

"Tremendous!" - Ken Onstad (USA)

"Excellent cd, well done. Love it." - Mike V

'Matter' by Ashok Prema

Review by Eurorock

Hold onto your hats listening to this one. Recorded Live at the Jodrell Bank concert in 2002, this performance by Ashok and guitarist Rob Jenkins has to be one of the best UK examples of classic electronic/ guitar space music I’ve heard. Whether it’s the soaring waves of electronic space music, pulsing Berlin School sequences, or powerful melodies intertwined with celestial guitar solos, every track takes you to a higher level of sound. From cosmic percolating synths to flowing waves of electronic sound and laser-like guitar MATTER has it all and should not be missed.

'Matter' by Ashok Prema

Review by Steve Roberts - SMD

Matter by Ashok Prema CD CoverRecorded on the 28th September 2002 with Ash Prema on keyboards and sequencing and Rob Jenkins on sequencing, programming and guitar, 'Matter' is a reminder of just how good those gigs were at Jodrell Bank. 'Enigma' opens the set with Rob Jenkins' hypnotic, echoed guitar cross fading into 'Electric Eyes' which begins with bright synth lines and sequencing, then slows down before more layers of sequencing are steadily built with subtle guitar added to the mix.

Already the clever use of dynamics is apparent and the two musicians create their music with attention to detail and light and shade. 'Matter of Time' starts with bright rhythms and phased effects which provide the backdrop to melodic lines and terrific sequencing and some scorching guitar. Like many of the tracks on offer here, there are enough ideas to extend the piece further. Two short pieces, 'Galleria' and 'Unicorn' follow. The former creates a powerful, orchestral, gothic atmosphere which serves as a dramatic prequel to the excellent 'Unicorn'. Superb bass sequences lay down the backbone as tabla effects, guitar and finally a terrific, ethnic tinged motif combine together to make an exotic and intoxicating brew. Add More sequences and some Tangerine Dream style chords and 'Unicorn' is a bona fide classic and over in under 3 minutes! I must admit to listening to this several times on 'repeat' before progressing on to 'Radioscope'.

Changing the pace somewhat 'Radioscope' begins slowly but the omnipresent sequencers are deployed straight away and provide the backdrop to more reflective electronic textures and some outstanding guitar work which scorches across the channels. At just under 10 minutes this is the longest piece of the set and ends with phased choral effects and appreciative applause. 'Nature of Abstraction' features some good piano and synth interplay before cross fading into the more impressionistic opening to 'Driftward' which goes on to lay down some good rhythms, bass sequences, guitar and climaxes. 'Illuminate (in memory)' is a short, melodic and reflective piece followed by 'Prismatix' an inconsequential miniature.

'Coarse Matter' starts with some phased effects and symphonic textures before the sequencers make a welcome return but the melodics here are not as convincing as previous outings. 'Rise' is a short powerful track again with sequencing, percussion and cross fades into 'Search' which drifts pleasantly enough into 'Matter and Fact' which brings the guitar back into prominence with dramatic, sustained notes being the prime focus to a low key ending to the live performance. The signal is very clear and but for the applause at the end of the first half and the end of the set you wouldn't guess this was a live performance as the sound is studio quality.

Overall, I generally preferred the earlier tracks but this is an impressive set with no shortage of ideas and will appeal to those who like layers of sequencers. Essential to the faithful who enjoyed the gig but also of appeal to those who enjoy 80's Tangerine Dream style electronic music. Further evidence that Ash Prema and Rob Jenkins are quietly building a reputation for carefully crafted, quality music and deserve more credit for their efforts. ....Now back to track 5........

Stranger in a Strange Land

Review by Graham Getty - SMD

Stranger in a Strange land by Ashok Prema - electronic music CDAshok’s previous release ‘Of Times & Places’ was a bright uptempo offering which he described as “East ‘n Synth”. After a couple of minutes of his latest album I fully expected more in the same vein but suddenly 2 minutes into the opening track ‘Unicorn’ a sensational “classic” sequence bursts onto the scene backed superbly by tabla percussion. It fades after a few minutes then returns for a brief reprise - and all this packed into a smidgen under 5 minutes.

It’s an opening which I didn’t expect and now I’m fascinated to hear what comes next. ‘Searcher of Souls’ opens with foreboding chords then breaks into a soulful motif. Excellent sequencing then re-emerges accompanied by a poised melody which fits the rhythm perfectly. The sequences constantly ebb and flow as complimentary themes weave a skilful thread. At the five minute mark guitar also emerges from the mists - again this track really does pack in the content and style.

Dancing Dust’ opens with syncopating effects which then lead to a plucked guitar theme very reminiscent of John Dyson. The approach is measured rather than powerful and again the piece twists and turns until another delightful sequence emerges at the 5 minute mark. ‘Triangular Succession’ combines a heavy drum beat and various synth lines to create a very unusual piece. Equally unusual is the title of track 5 - ‘Artists Palette at Wai O Tapu’. The opening refrains are symphonic in nature, somewhat reminiscent of Tomita in places. Enter a short burst of vocal effects closely followed by pulsing sequences and again we have a top notch outing. The rhythmics are superbly judged and there are some choice melodics on show too. ‘Letters from Here and There’ opens brightly and, yes you’ve guessed it, another storming sequence then hits home - and what a corker, possibly the best so far as it follows the melodics in classic fashion. ‘Messenger of Malicious Truths’ is yet another superb outing, airing measured themes before strange effects and echoed guitar take centre stage.

Finally we have ‘To Turn and Turn’ and yet again Ashok Prema produces a magnificent slab of pulsing electronics and beguiling themes - and do I detect a sniff of Kraftwerk in there? This is a gem of an album. Wavestarstyle sequencing, Dysonesque melodics, and Ashok’s own unique style. Highly recommended. (GG)

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