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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

DIGITAL HORIZONS: DH Archives Vol 10 - Songs from The East (2018)

This is a fair album with some great sequencing patterns that should please to Tangerine Dream & to Digital Horizons fans

1 Barrriers (East Mix) 9:56 2 Most Easterly 8:34 3 Bochica and the Waterfall

(East Mix) 9:14 4 Eureka (East Mix) 6:54 5 Aeronautics 9:48 6 Blue Shadows (East Mix) 10:02 7 Under Norfolk Skies 22:25

(DDL 76:56) (V.F.)

(Berlin School)

Digital Horizons is another of those artists who have emerged on the vast Bandcamp horizon. Project of the English synthesist Justin Ludford, the music is strongly influenced by the different eras of Tangerine Dream. Composed of material recorded and mixed in the fall of 2018, DH ARCHIVES Vol.10 Songs from The East is strongly imbued with the sound colors of the Jive years, while flirting with different eras of the mythical German trio. Through 7 titles which border the 77 minutes, this latest album of Digital Horizons doesn't open new horizons on the spheres of EM. It's a rather good album which presents good electronic rock worked by a sequencer which is not afraid to lose a few lines of rhythms in the same context, or to add electronic percussion and other percussive elements to captivate even more the listening. The synths are more in mode effects, arrangements and orchestrations, while the keyboard, hesitant on a few occasions, manages to weave harmonic approaches gloomier than cheerful. Divided into two parts, the first 35 minutes of DH ARCHIVES Vol.10 Songs from The East are very good while the 2nd part offers a more disjointed approach.

Flickering waves and fuzzy chords adorn the opening of Barrriers (East Mix). Very Tangerine Dream keyboard riffs and chords grope around as the rhythmic approach of the sequencer draws long zigzags too soft to solidify a true rhythmic structure. This introduction seems to direct the destiny of the title towards a harmonic orientation that is rather in the genre cold as Kraftwerk, when drums beat nonchalantly a structure which gets revitalize to become a solid electronic rock as exciting as seductive. Smooth voice pads embed the ethereal vision of the Melrose years while heavy and incisive, Barristers (East Mix) increases its semi-floating pace. A very good title! Most Easterly offers a very good electronic rock pattern with a heavy and linear sequencer which barely undulates under the countless foggy layers. Oscillating already strongly, the rhythm seduces even more with a new layer which is sculpted by electronic percussions. The synth spits misty waves spotted by morphic mist. These are ornaments of ambiences which stroll through the 7 structures of DH ARCHIVES Vol.10 Songs from The East. It's like blending some parts of Logos into the electronic rhythms of the Seattle years. These are two good titles which flow pretty well. Bochica and the Waterfall (East Mix) is a title of atmospheres in mode hyper-emotive. The orchestrations, which are forged in the angelic lamentations of the synth, encircle a static rhythm and its jolts armed with ambient tingling.

Eureka (East Mix) is a title built in the mold of the Jive years. Keyboard riffs are spreading clouds of drizzle, where the formations of a melody lie, on a structure of electronic rhythm erected on the sharp circular oscillations of the sequencer. The melody explodes the structure sparkling of a lively vivacity with the arrival of percussions. Sober and effective! The frame of Aeronautics is very close to Tyger with a lack of vitality. The album hits a low, and Blue Shadows (East Mix) does not correct the situation by offering a long structure of atmospheres with a surge of sonic clouds full of seraphic voices and haloed of a metallic blue. Percussive knocks get in a little before the 7 minutes without yet exploiting a vein of rhythm. A wave of white noises feeds the approach of Under Norfolk Skies which offers an introduction sewn in mysticism. Misty voice effects, drizzle granules and hesitant sequences fill an opening which offers more intensity than in Blue Shadows (East Mix), even if it's modulated a bit in the same genre. Synth effects roll like thin lines of organic reverberation as the sequences grope around in this opaque curtain of sound effects. Thus, a rhythmic structure strolls with steps that sway in a vacuum, advancing only with a fervent desire to stand still. Some metallic creasing crumble crystal sounds, while the sequencer releases other more vivacious keys which hop into a harmonic ballet. But the density and the opacity of the elements of ambiances kill in the egg any attempt so that the rhythm hatches with more firmness. We have to wait up until the 15th minute so that these ambiences let some space to a structure which fights against explosions and orchestrations in order to lead things into a good Berlin School where synth solos are all shy. An album for fans of Tangerine Dream and which will certainly please to fans of Digital Horizons!

Sylvain Lupari (March 12th, 2019) *****

Available at Digital Horizons' Bandcamp

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