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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

David Wright Returning Tides 1991-2004 (2004)

A nice compilation that shows the many sides of David Wright

1 Rysheara 3:25

2 Nomad 4:02

3 Taiga 5:05

4 Marilynmba 3:47

5 Smiling Shadows Lie 3:39

6 Beijing 3:34

7 Midas 4:40

8 Sioux Falls 2:54

9 Returning Tides 3:17

10 Guardians 6:06

11 No More Angels 4:46

12 Walking With Ghosts 5:06

13 Shah 6:06

14 Beyond Paradise 5:44

15 Flame Sky 4:54

16 Continuum 4:03

17 To Touch the Sky (Live) 2:44

18 Sygyzy 4:49

(CD/DDL 78:49) (V.F.)

(E-Rock, New Age, England School)

David Wright is considered a veteran of the English electronic music (EM) scene; the one so-called the England School. Renowned musician, he was discovered by Klaus D. Mueller who helped him to start his career in 1989 with the album Reflections. A few months later, he set up his own production and distribution label, AD Music. A label that specializes in a more harmonious and structured sound, far from the random and improvised rhythms of Berlin School and close enough of a more energic EM of the England style. Also co-founder of Code Indigo and Callisto, David Wright touches all styles with a fluidity and ease that only the greats feel comfortable with. Very sensitive in his way of writing music, his style is somewhere between Pink Floyd and Vangelis, with sequence structures that tie in with Berlin style and an ethnic and tribal tendency that flirts with Mike Oldfield in The Song of Distant Earth. Since 1989, the English musician has participated in more than 25 CDs, 15 of which were solo. He has never produced a compilation up until now. For 2004, AD Music decided to produce an album that would reflect the career of David Wright. RETURNING TIDES 1991-2004 contains 18 tracks that have been remastered using 24 bit remastering technology, giving a new breathe of life to tracks that are a bit old. It's like opening a book of musical poetry with ear-splitting melodies on diversified rhythm structures with very sensitive arrangements. If you enjoy romance with deep melodies and touching arrangement, this is worth the money spent. And that fits in the tastes of a guy like me!

Most of the tracks are on albums I've reviewed before, either on Guts of Darkness or here on Synth&Sequences. Rysheara from Dissimilar Views 2 is a beautiful melody on a fluty mellotron with just the right amount of percussions and sound effects to maintain a melodic structure that makes us melt with those electric guitar solos. Slightly shorter, Nomad comes from the Ocean Watch album. A more animated track that makes us discover a David Wright close to ethnic rhythms with tribal percussions that bubble under layers of an enveloping synth that does not spare its melodious vision. The brilliant English musician-synthesist is as much at ease with his rhythmic melodies as he is with more atmospheric phases and tracks of a classical softness that he sculpts with more orchestral synth textures. On the other hand, tracks like Midas, Returning Tides, Sha, Guardians, Continuum and the wild Sygyzy are energetic and melodious tracks built on very catchy rhythms, sometimes more progressive, which give place to very beautiful and good synth solos, some with guitar's or guitar textures, in always good orchestral arrangements.

There is big rhythm, as well as more romantic and sentimental tracks that personify the musical signature of a musician who makes no compromise in order to make his music known. Taiga belongs to an album that I still haven't heard and that is discontinued, Between Realities released in 1992. It's a music that makes the soul bleed with a beautiful cosmic bolero that you must listen to at least once in your life. This waltz of tenderness continues with Marilynmba, a suave track for an evening for two which combines very well with Smiling Shadows Lie and its sax in a Blade Runner mood. Beijing is the kind of melody that sticks to the skin. On chords of an acoustic guitar with an Asian flavor that snake our nostalgic emotions, a synth with oriental arrangements draws a harmonious ascending march whose effects waltz with grace. David Wright's vision is unique in drawing fables that stick to the soul and that call out to us. Melodies that catch and shake the memories like, Sioux Falls and No More Angles. And this even if the guitar is aggressive. There is in this title a harmonious tenderness which is generated by the strata of heart-wrenching violins. The piano on Walking With Ghosts is stunning and infinitely tender, while Beyond Paradise has a melancholy sweetness to it over an Indonesian rhythm structure that recalls the gentle spiritual music of Mind Over Matter. It's even more moving than Taiga, and it's one of the few tracks that constantly shakes my emotions... every time I listen to it.

It's obvious that 18 tracks spanning 13 years of career and 13 albums is not the ideal to draw a complete musical profile of this musician who left an indelible touch on the England School EM style. And let's face it, David Wright is more than that! When you discover the complex Sha and Guardians through this bed of rhythmic or romanticized melodies, you will see that the scope of his work goes far beyond the melodic boundaries that mainly compose this RETURNING TIDES 1991-2004.

Sylvain Lupari (February 7th, 2007) *****

Available at AD Music

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