A Review of Sequential Dream's Fifth Album "L3G4CY"
By George Miler, March 24, 2015
There aren’t many things I enjoy better than immersing myself in a luxurious soundscape. For the record, there are things I like more. A week ago on the first spring-like day I got my car inspected. One of the other customers wanted to chat and said how good it was to be able to drive with the windows down. The chorus of agreements came, including my “the best feeling in the world.” But I misspoke. Compared to winter’s lingering drear, it certainly felt like it at that moment. Even so, I was eagerly looking forward to listening to Sequential Dream’s latest album L3G4CY.
To listen to Kuutana you have to raise your musical appreciation a couple of notches or more. This didn’t require much effort on my part because my brain poked me in the ribs and made me sit up. At the same time those untraceable connections between the neocortex, the rear cortex, and the pineal gland lit up like neon. What I was conscious of was Kuutana’s assiduous deliberation in mixing these tracks. He has exercised the same care in choosing his collaborators.
This producer is also an imaginative SF writer, and I entertained the notion that the fine structure of these compositions reflected a narrative. My first listen is always done without any acquaintance with blurbs or promotional lit. Also there was no narrative provided here, but I had sensed a storyline in Midnight Airship: A River Once Flowed Here that made me think it was one of those soundtracks without a movie that invites the listener to fit a plot to it.
What did happen was that curiosity overcame me, so I watched for the info to pop up for each track. Sure enough, there was Celestial View on “Blue Galaxy”, Synthesist (the American Chris Pearre) on “Spirit Trance”, while Kuutana is listed in “Light Beyond the Abyss”. All of these fine worthies have collaborated before. Altocirrus (Sean and Clare McCarthy) appears for the first time, on “HyperSpace.”
Midnight Airship is listed on “Orbital Maneuvers” and I admit I experienced a moment’s confusion. As I said, I’m familiar with the album. And while “Legacy” had already stimulated my synapses so much that I was able to resolve a significant perplexity that I had been ruminating about all day, not this time. So during a Facebook chat I asked Sean McCarthy to relieve my mental anguish. Before he replied I remembered how Michael Cretu’s Enigma was considered to be a project. So obviously is Midnight Airship. (Which means I can expect more!) When Sean got back to me he told me that these tracks have a theme. It wasn’t long before I went to the L3G4CY page on Borders Edge Music and read that the album is a memorial tribute to Edgar Froese, the titan of EM who had overleaped all the intervening categories to create a genre of his own. This sure explains the panorama of images crowding my mind! (This is the particular legacy Froese alone and via Tangerine Dream has bequeathed to me, and it will endure to the end of my life.)
I think I perceive a philosophy or métaphysique in the output of Altocirrus and it numerous manifestations stemming from Sean and Clare’s collaborations with Ross Aka Man (Ross Ackerman) and the Electron Sun Project (feat. Ali Carter / Pure Mischief), Ross Ackerman, and Dean Burnett of Weathered Wall, namely a grim defiance of fate and doom. Being no “knight of ghosts and shadows” myself I’m going to slip behind the arras of stage names, groups and projects to affirm that Ron Charron retained Altocirrus’s track in its entirety and built upon it. The long form is Altocirrus’s métier, after all.
I need to get back “on track” myself to describe how jaw-droppingly good “Escape Velocity” is. About here the theme shifts to incorporate strains of Pink Floyd, who were equally at home in the vast spaces, undwarfed. I did indulge in full immersion for this one.
And if you can imagine a frisky romp Berlin style, you owe it to Johan Tronestam, “The Sea of Stars." "Light Years Away”, has phrases I love and a beat seemingly straight out of De Laurentiis’s underrated Flash Gordon. Fact of the matter is – and here comes the trademark Froese style as I write this – the theme throughout is Froese’s new address, which is the entire spatio-temporal cosmos. Now the progression is evident.
"The Sea of Stars" on Sequential Dreams "L3G4CY" Album
The culmination, “The Phoenix” is pure Sequential Dreams. One could almost say that these releases – not to mention the output of all the artists – are a living tribute to Edgar. A legacy, indeed. As for this track’s title…those whose opinions I respect immensely insist that a TD revival is flatly impossible. I honestly don’t know. And it may be redundant. Edgar’s genius is the sort of hadronic collision that creates a prismatic burst of particles that fans out to infinity forever.
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