To call something "New Age Music" has become both a cliché and a put-down. Usually, the people listening to it on TV are portrayed as hippies or stressed women about to give birth. When an artist from the genre becomes "mainstream", they are accused of selling out. Orpheus has taken a different approach with this, his first release.
"CRYSTAL DREAMSCAPES" looks superb with suitably dream-like images on the CD cover & inlay by Steve "Baztd" Barrett. Many of the tunes are partly based on music originally composed for the Commodore 64, with the original musicians fully credited.
Here and there you can also hear the important influences behind the style of the album; "Nebulae Drift" by guest musician Marcel Donné is reminiscent of Equinoxe by Jean-Michel Jarre, "Cosmic Carousel" (Ark Pandora) could have been written by Mike Oldfield. Knowing the original Commodore tunes well, I am impressed by how they have been covered in this way, while the new pieces create a calming atmosphere.
The whole album conjures up images for me, from the underwater sound of "Parallax Visions" (Parallax Stroll), to the changing moods of "Dark Before Dawn" (Trap). The second half is particularly soothing, from the shimmering "Into The Light" (Wizball) to the gentle "Welcome Home" (LED Storm High Score). The "hidden track", an excerpt from "Morning" by Greig, is a very appropriate ending.
The sounds are subtle, the arrangements never too complex or too distracting. Having heard a preview of the album before its release, Chris Abbott has worked hard to polish these 12 crystals into a final product that shines.
There is no rating because if you like New Age music, you should buy it. Then you can lie back and listen to an album that will help you relax. It may be a cliché, but that is what it is for. LastFM | Review TRACKLIST:
1. Liquid Crystal (based on Chimera) - Rob Hubbard - 03:37
2. Alien Dreams (original) - Orpheus - 08:24
3. Parallax Visions (Parallax Stroll) - Martin Galway - 03:40
4. The Cosmos Awakes (Miami Vice) - Martin Galway - 04:28
5. Nebulae Drift (a Marcel original) - Marcel Donne - 02:18
6. Dark Before Dawn (first bit of Trap) - Ben Daglish - 07:26
7. Into the Light (Wizball title theme) - Martin Galway - 04:35
8. Ancestors (O2 Zoids from BIT 3) - Larry Fast - 04:48
9. Wave Ascent (first bit of Led Storm ST) - Tim Follin - 02:15
10. Crystal Spirits (original) - Orpheus - 05:23
11. Welcome Home (LED Storm High Score) - Tim Follin - 03:23
12. Cosmic Carousel (Ark Pandora) - Ben Daglish - 10:08 Доступно только для пользователей