Arcane: Gather Darkness (CD, 68:41); NH010, 1999 Neu Harmony/ Synth Music Direct PO Box 592, Sheffield, S35 0FE, UK Tel: 0114 2864 889 Fax: 0114 2864 890 email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.synthmusicdirect.com/gathdark.cfm Take three visionary guys who pioneer very dark or Noir-sequenced electronic music back in the early 70s, give them all the growing pains of very harsh dimensions, trials, cold, hunger, lack of commercial success even after a base of popularity and reviewer praise. Knocked down they rise again to release music that brings them to the verge of “national success”. By 1977 the live tours begin – all looking very good, then unspeakable horror strikes. Founding member Max Richter is found dead in his hotel room of a mysterious demise. Arcane folds into grief and shock and then refuses to continue without Max. Tragic. Now, decades later, Gerhard Shreck and Hans-Ulrich Buchloh return with this tribute to Max Richter release. Digital synths and toys here? No way!! Shreck and Buchloh decided to pick up the analog pieces that lay broken with their dreams and create new music with the analog machines of the 1977 era. They do a super job; melodic, sequenced majesty on par with and passing even beyond the classic Tangerine Dream sound. Arcane has created electronic music for the 21st century that brings forward all that was so very good in the 70s. Arcane holds forth a much creepier, eerie, and dark aura in many parts of its compositions than T. Dream toyed with. This is not surprising considering Arcane’s gauntlet they have run to come this far. Just sample the haunted track "Requiem" and you will see black holes bleed. To fans of Tangerine Dream of the 70s and that whole era of sequenced electronics with improv solos, patch cord mazes, odd knobs, curious dials, and soundsculpting noises that will drive your neighbors insane with dread – Arcane is a strong contender for king of the T. Dream hill. (Actually Arcane’s music makes you think they’d just as well prefer king of the Abyss.) Recommended stuff. This has been your weirdly wonderful electronics tunes-head guide . . . the cyborg, ~ John W. Patterson
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