Journeyscapes Radio Reviews Legends

posted Jun 3, 2016, 4:33 PM by Ron Charron   [ updated Jun 4, 2016, 2:53 PM ]
“Legends” unfolds like a science fiction thriller full of exciting twists and turns, delivering an exhilarating listening reward of interstellar adventure! ~Candice Michelle June 3, 2016

    “Legends” is the seventh album from Sequential Dreams, an electronic musical project by Kuutana who has also released more ambient solo works, as well as a chillout musical project titled Sundown Café. Also contributing to this album is ex-Tangerine Dream guitarist Bernhard Beibl on guitar and violin, as well as Ryo Utasato on synthesizer-arrangements, with piano contributions by Kori Linae Carothers on a couple of tracks. Comprised of eleven compositions spanning nearly eighty minutes total, “Legends” takes the listener on a thematic musical excursion inspired by individual tales.

Opening the album is “Mission to Shangri-La”, a piece named for a mythical paradise described in the 1933 novel “Lost Horizons” by James Hilton. Dynamic sequencers and vintage synthesizer sounds are accompanied by drums and violin, which conjointly convey an essence of time travel. Slowing down a bit is “A Day Like No Other, a more ‘new age’ style piece which Kuutana co-produced with Will Ackerman and Tom Eaton (who also lends bass here) and features Jeff Haynes on percussion. We are also treated to a lovely piano arrangement throughout courtesy of Kori Linae Carothers, along with the ethereal vocals of Noah Wilding, all beautifully and seamlessly blending into the composition’s electronic-ambient backdrop. Following next is “Kurenai”, which is easily one of my favorites. Beginning in a slightly foreboding
manner, the piece leads into a dreamlike exuberance, where a rumbling bassline and vigorous drums characteristic of Japan's Ryo Utasato are juxtaposed with crystalline textures and muffled operatic voices, collectively imparting a sense of traveling through space at warp-speed. “Event Horizon” is another notable track of a more electronic-ambient nature; beginning with a spacious drone, it soon gives way to oscillating sequencers and trippy electric guitar effects, imbuing the composition with a psychedelic aura. “Canyon Oasis” is another particular standout reminiscent of 1980’s-era Tangerine Dream, where a synthesized melody and active percussion are guided by soaring and passionate electric guitar. Closing out the album is “One Giant Leap”, another traveling and rhythmic piece; its cumulative array of electronic sequencers, operatic voices and electric guitar seemingly allude to a giant leap of a quantum nature.

“Legends” is a most excellent foray into the Berlin School style of electronic music while also touching on elements of progressive rock. Although similarities to Tangerine Dream are apparent, I also felt a distinctive Pink Floyd vibe, particularly on the album's more guitar-laden tracks. A timeless genre of music that has likewise been explored by musical contemporaries such as Gert Emmens, Ron Boots and David Wright, Sequential Dreams is clearly at the genre’s cutting edge of sound. Moving in a constant linear motion from beginning to end, “Legends” unfolds like a science fiction thriller full of exciting twists and turns, delivering an exhilarating listening reward of interstellar adventure! ~Candice Michelle