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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Michael Brückner Astronauts 2 - The Great 1994 Gravity Escape

Updated: Dec 29, 2022

“There is some great EM in this 3 CD boxset that will occupy your ears for a couple of days”


1 Intro Heartbeat - Moon Version (Excerpt) 00:55

2 Wastelands 6:48

3 Leaving Ground 4:43

4 Centauri Bound (Excerpt) 4:23

5 A New Age - Part 1 (Excerpt) 3:29

6 Vathec 4:25

7 A Space Prophecy 9:52

8 I Encountered 9:14

9 No Signs of Life 4:36

10 Challenge 11:23


11 L'Etoile Inconnue 4:17

12 Inside the Endless Mind (Excerpt) 5:25

13 Flicker (2019 Short Mix) 6:20

14 Paradox Planet (Excerpt) 6:32

15 Delta Space 3:28

16 100 Million Miles Under the Stars 14:13

17 Escape to the Outer Moons (Excerpt) 6:38

18 S is for Space 13:04


19 Zodiak - Part 1 3:05

20 Zodiak - Part 2 8:53

21 Zodiak - Part 3 5:18

22 Zodiak - Part 4 4:12

23 Zodiak - Part 5 3:36

24 Zodiak - Part 6 3:09

25 Zodiak - Part 7 4:45

26 Zodiak - Part 8 6:27

27 Zodiak - Part 9 10:14

28 Zodiak - Part 10 8:53

(CD-r/DDL 2h58:27) (V.F.)

(Electronica, Space Rock, Berlin School)

The exploration of the Universe has been a great inspiration for many electronic music artists from the beginning of the space age to the present day. Aural Films, a good little independent record company based in San Francisco, California, commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing with a short story featuring collections of Space Music artists around the world. Astronauts 1 presented the portfolio of Christian Fiesel, an artist I discovered with Hagen's Delight in 2017. Astronauts 3 has just released and presents the musical visions of Phrozenlight. ASTRONAUTS 2- The Great 1994 Gravity Escape is a 3-hour brick with the unique vision of Michael Brückner. Three hours of music on 3 CDs! The first two are compilations from the first albums of the German musician between 1994 and 2017, from Earthed/Unearthed to a short excerpt from Escape to the Outer Moons from the Trees of Olivandá album. The best in all of this is that each title is linked in a good mastering and mixing done by the German artist. And it's not because it's written Space Music that it's ambient. At least not here!

After the cinematic and short introduction of Intro Heartbeat - Moon Version, Wastelands slips between our ears sipping the intensity of 55 seconds of the opening. There isn't two minutes on the clock that a ferocious static rhythm hangs a quasi-Arabic melody from a synth whistling a snake-charmer tune on a structure bubbling of fury. Renewing with a short ambient phase, Wastelands returns with this structure of rhythm that pitch between a slightly psychedelic Electronica and a Space Rock manhandled by a good game of electronic percussions. If we like the genre, A Space Prophecy is very successful with a structure that brings together Software, at its beginning, Pete Namlook and Jean-Michel Jarre. A title that commands more than one listening and that we find more and more awesome with each try. Leaving Ground follows with a slightly shimmering rhythm and a melodic vision inspired by French musical poetry. The arrangements are very good and fit with the debonair approach of rhythm. Centauri Bound (Excerpt) offers a pulsating rhythm with Morse reading effects in the jerky harmonic pads. Eros' violins are tender and romantic here. In fact, the first CD is a real box of surprises! The rhythms have different forms while the harmonies are sometimes evasive and not too evanescent in a setting where the cosmos is at the tip of our ears. A New Age - Part 1 is the most tranquil title with a final that overflows to the insolent Vathec which scratches our ears in a sound fauna always very up. I Encountered adopts very well the EDM vision of A Space Prophecy. There too, it asked me more than one listening. A title with sci-fi vocoder effects, No Signs of Life remains anchored in the Dance Music section of ASTRONAUTS 2- The Great 1994 Gravity Escape and goes up to the boundaries of Challenge.

We make a six-year leap from Challenge to The Uncommon Star, which starts the second CD with an intergalactic waltz that becomes a bounding rhythm in a Walter Christian Rothe's setting. A leap of 6 years and it shows in the tones and the homogeneity within each title! Undecided, Inside the Endless Mind (Excerpt) lets itself go between the heartbeats without appetite and the arpeggios without desires, unlike the very good French School that is Flicker (2019 Short Mix). This title, which is very Jean-Michel Jarre by the way, offers a vertiginous structure with horizontal spirals that twirl while being struck by percussion cleverly designed. Paradox Planet (Excerpt) waves more in a Berlin School vision flavored with nice cosmic effects. Delta Space adds a touch of Techno to this CD2 that takes a more ambient and cosmic tangent with the peaceful 100 Million Miles Under the Stars where the flute of Hannah Brückner, the daughter of Michael, perfumes our ears with a scent of honey. The second part becomes a true Berlin School with a circular rhythm. The short excerpt from Escape to the Outer Moons is a delight in the rhythmic progression of this second CD. A slowed down and even attenuated vision with S is for Space from the album R is for Rocket and S is for Space realized in 2012. Like what, MB closes his temporal sequence. Composed of unpublished material that was improvised in the studios of the German musician-synthesist earlier this year, the third CD is the pièce de résistance of this ASTRONAUTS 2- The Great 1994 Gravity Escape. In a mosaic of nearly an hour, Michael Brückner proposes a 9-part suite that progresses between convoluted phases, a bit psychedelic but not psybient, and moments of multidimensional reverie where cosmic waltzes and cha-cha are flirting with pure Berlin School. At the limit of what may be inaccessible, MB doesn't hesitate to dive into more complex and progressive phases by sculpting panoramas inspired by Clara Mondshine, the superb Zodiak Part 6, or Electronica, the same Part 6. The Berlin School style sways between sometimes intense cinematographic moments, parts 2 and 3, before bringing us into a hypnotic phase towards the end where the pulsating rhythm floats among jerks of violin pads. Exciting to hear and very talkative on synth, Michael throws at us some very creative solos that leaves us the ears open of pleasure. And these structures are covered with sonic honey where the turbulence of percussions and of the sound effects don't break at any time the musicality that is majority in this Zodiak that asked me more than one listening and that I am unable to leave since I tamed it. A very good time in a 3 CD boxset that will occupy your ears for a couple of days.

Sylvain Lupari (December 10th, 2019) *****

Available at Aural Films Music

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