Mark Dwane: Archives (CD, 48:29); CDR2000, 2000 TRONDANT-ORBIAN MUSIC P.O. Box 45131 Westlake, Ohio 44145-0131 U.S.A. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Cyberhome: http://www.markdwane.com This a superb collection of previously unreleased works and alternate mixes by Dwane. It's a collector's item, limited-edition CDR, not available in stores. Only 500 have been burned; each being numbered and personally signed by Mark. Dwane has updated, extended, re-worked, and refined the best tracks collected out of his earlier midi-guitar releases. My "mind-ears" always perk up and echo, "Patrick O'Hearn . . .", when I hear sections of Dwane's material but he retains enough unique stylings and compositions to stand apart on his own safely. I enjoyed this CD-R a great deal and it is worth grabbing as a good representative taste of the Dwane soundworld. He does amazing things with a guitar! In fact you will rarely think a guitar is being used but that Tangerine Dream or Vangelis were all in the mix! I was especially happy when chatting with Dwane, before receiving this release, suggesting he extend certain songs from The Monuments of Mars, when he informed me Archives indeed had already included an extended version of TMoM's "Eternity". I wished he'd extended that track to about 10 or 15 minutes but I'll take even five minutes of eternity of the "Dwane-man". Recommended head-trip! ~ John W. Patterson Personnel: Mark Dwane on all instruments Tracks: 1. Ring of Fire (1993), 2. Paragons (1995), 3. The Atlantis Factor - Alternate Mix (1993), 4. Amazon (1984), 5. The Invisible (1984), 6. Martian Religion (1987), 7. Martian Dust (1987), 8. Eternity - Extended Version (1987)
Mark Dwane: The Monuments of Mars (CD, 38:51); Trondant-Orbian Music/DCG Compact Classics, Inc. 1988/1995 E-mail: email@example.com Cyberhome: http://www.markdwane.com This is the debut release of Mark Dwane, MIDI guitarist and synth soundform sculptor. Only for reproducing synth percussives is a keyboard used. To hear what Dwane pulled off in this release’s pieces on guitar to synth is quite the accomplishment for 1988. Nowadays, this seems a trivial thing. Yet Dwane still holds to this technique for many releases to follow. The first cut, “Eternity”, was my very first exposure to Dwane, long ago on a Musical Starstreams radio broadcast show. I was impressed then and still like that cut above all the others on this release. Sadly it is but a few minutes in duration. It was an eerie and ominous thing to hear years ago, alien and foreboding with snippets sounding like Demby’s Through the Stargate. “Pyramids of Mars” has more of that 80s, early O’Hearn feel. Vangelis’ Mask comes through as well. Check out the ethnic/tribal flute synths and tympanic synth- percussives. A T. Dream sequenced low-end kicks in mid-song. I hear that Vangelis’ Direct here also. I refrain from continuing my rough draft’s intended track-by-track analysis to say you will hear Dwane paralleling more late 80s O’Hearn, some Peter Buffet, bits of Emerald Web, more Vangelis, and even that Nik Tyndall gestalt on the impressive “The Martian Sphinx” track. Songs are well-thought out, crisply recorded, and professionally executed. In its day this release surely was well-received among New Age, electronic music circles. It deserves a place in electronic music-philes collection. Though a somewhat dated feeling exists in places and thinly programmed synth-drums on “Water Age”, overall Dwane’s debut, that turned heads, remains a strong listen. I just wish he’d remix and expand on the deeply alien feel or noir sound-niche he carved so well on the too-brief “Eternity”. How’s about a 74:00 minute CD of that type of material instead of more O’Hearn/ Vangelis rehash? Maybe in 2001. Thanks for sharing, Mark. ~ John W. Patterson
Mark Dwane: Angels, Aliens, & Archetypes (CD, 44:33); DZS-085, 1995 (Trondant/Orbian Music 1991)/ DCG Compact Classics 1995 Orbian Music P.O. Box 45131 Westlake, OH 44145-0131 USA Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Cyberhome: http://www.lochness.com/dwane/dwane.html Back in the days of the New Age music heyday, I would tape Musical Starstreams' radio show while doing the church thing on Sunday mornings. I came home to find sometimes bland and boring selections or at other times gems. Well, one gem I got on tape was from Dwane's debut release, The Monuments Of Mars. What I heard was splendid and hear I sit now, years later reviewing Dwane's subsequent discography. I'm glad to say that Dwane hadn't lost any momentum or polish on Angels . . . and his signature sound is still present. This is rhythmic, electronic synth music on the same par as Tangerine Dream and the early solo works of Patrick O'Hearn. What I find very cool though is that Dwane does all of this myriad of soundforms through MIDI guitar! Percussion is R8 based. This is not snoozer ambient or introspective dronings but uplifting, lively, crystalline cathedrals of melody, beat, and the embellished gestalt of alien worlds. For the 6:07 piece, "Oracle" and the 3:30 "Lights In The Clouds", this disk is worth having. Each evoked an equally eerie effect. George "Star Wars" Lucas et al or Chris "X" files Carter of both need to hook up with Dwane for soundtrack work. It is hard to say more about this release other than this -- Dwane represents one of the best MIDI guitar composers and performers I have had the treat to discover. Strong recommendations. ~ John W. Patterson
Mark Dwane: The Atlantis Factor (CD, 44:39); DZS-086, 1995 (Trondant/Orbian Music 1993)/ DCG Compact Classics 1995 (see Angels . . . review for contact info) If you enjoyed Dwane's prior releases you can't go wrong also grabbing this one up as well. Dwane is back with wave sounds, whale-like calls, and still exclusively created and performed on MIDI guitar and Roland R8 percussion. What I hear this go round is a strong echo of Patrick O'Hearn and Peter Buffet's compositional frameworks. It is as if O'Hearn is guesting on bass at times. On "Firestone" the trademark Dwane sound is very strong again, very alien, very unique. I thought I could hear a giant cat purring or the infrasonic bellowings of some winged insect. "Song Of The Dolphin" is full of endorphin-flow effects that cerebrally cycle in and out of earshot for that truly spaced-out moment. This where Dwane excels in gilded flourishes and special attention to small details. Yeah, you'll hear a distant dolphin vocalization if you listen closely. In "Dark Energies" I finally hear Dwane's ability to truly disturb one's psyche and build an effective tension. Too bad that track was only 2:16. I'd love to hear Dwane tackle a whole project dedicated to the "darker side" of reality -- fear, loathing, alien abuction dread, bad checks. He could do a fine job of such. Dwane is a fine story teller in his whole album concepts. On "Eternal Echoes" we outro Constance Demby fashion with synth strings, synth grand piano, assorted MIDI chimes, and inspirational treatments. Recommended. ~ John W. Patterson
Mark Dwane: Paradigm Shift (CD, 39:03); Trondant MD 0120, 1995 Orbian Music (see Angels . . . review for contact info) Ah, a prolific fellow this Dwane, and still producing a solid sound. As I mention elsewhere, you will hear that Patrick O'Hearn styling -- perhaps similar technology yields similar results. All that aside, I must say I enjoy Dwane as much if not a tad moreso than O'Hearn. I suppose it is Dwane's continual drawing upon the Muse of hidden sciences, the paranormal, and alternate occultic realities that keeps his vision fresh and interesting. On "Giza", you get a nifty taste of Egyptoid synthworlds -- yes mostly done on MIDI guitar again. Percussion is still handled by the Roland R8. Supreme cut, worth owning this disk is 7:02 "The Pleiadian Paradigm". It was a true Jonn Serrie moment yet full of strange undertones, otherworldly female croonings, and swirling tachyon drive pulsings propelling you across folded spacetime. There's even a bit of that Mike Oldfield/ Tubular Bells happening here. Oh yeah, this is the good stuff. "Paragons Of Light" outros things with the first hint that Dwane is a guitar player doing that string "bongo slap and echo thing" that Ronnie Montrose uses on several releases. Of course this is gradually immersed in an ocean of MIDI effects and ultra-hip-cool treatments and synth solo overlays. Again a great cut worth having this disk to hear. Strong recommendations. ~ John W. Patterson
Mark Dwane: The Nefilim (CD, 46:50); Trondant LE 1998 Orbian Music (Limited Edition release 421/3000) (see Angels . . . review for contact info) This will mark Dwane's, (no pun intended), fifth release, this time done entirely on MIDI guitar sans percussion aids. Rhythm, percussives, and beat are still there as well as Dwane's trademark stylings. If you're into the ancient astronaut theories and "gods" come down to Earth long ago -- here's your soundtrack for future readings on the subject. In fact, a good deal of blurb on the idea is included in the liner notes. (I have my own theories about ancient and extant "gods".) Musically, not much different is going on here from Dwane's earlier releases. A novel bit of the Andreas Vollenweider soundform crops up in "Lifeforms" and the title track. "The Nefilim" track also features synthchoir vocals. The track then flows seamlessly into the 10:16 "Splice" with native vibes carrying things along. A solo work by an ex-Tangerine Dreamer featured very similar ethnic/tribal, tuned percussives. (I'll let someone else figure out my T. Dream reference for now.) A Middle Eastern/ (Sumerian?) flair was evident in song structure. On "Synthetic Species" you hear a very strong leaning towards Patrick O'Hearn and a dash of Peter Buffet again. On this track and others, Dwane has really cranked up the bass lines. They actually have a driving kick to them which is why the O'Hearn parallel is so obvious. As before this track slips right into the final 10:20 piece, "Genetic Drift", which happens to be best of the bunch. Imagine a blending of Jonn Serrie, Peter Buffet, Giles Reaves, Steve Roach, and Nik Tyndall -- and you almost have it. Dwane of course synth solos over portions in his own enduring style. And he just happened to autograph my copy. Get yours today! Nice work, Mark and another consistently solid addition to the Dwane legacy. ~ John W. Patterson
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