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 M. Br├╝ckner - ASTRONAUTS 2 - 3rd review

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BruecknerAmbient
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:21 pm    M. Br├╝ckner - ASTRONAUTS 2 - 3rd review Reply with quoteBack to top

My latest release - fully named

ASTRONAUTS Volume 2 - The Great 1994 Gravity Escape

https://auralfilms.bandcamp.com/album/astronauts-2-the-great-1994-gravity-escape

has been released last Saturday by the American independent label AURAL FILMS (I was in hospital for a few days, so this announcement comes a little late... Shocked ).

Image

The digital version is offered as "name your price" - which includes the option to get it for FREE (although donations are welcome, of course Wink )

There's also a nice physical version, a 3 CD set actually.

https://auralfilms.bandcamp.com/album/astronauts-2-the-great-1994-gravity-escape

Actually, ASTRONAUTS is a new series by AURAL FILMS, each volume featuring music by one particular artist (Volume 1 is by Christian Fiesel) - and music which is particularily inspired by the theme of space travel.

The idea behind the series is to offer retrospectives over the work of artists which are into space music for a long time, but we were also invited to add some new music, if we wished so.
Which, at least in this case, means that it's a "hybrid" between a compilation of tracks from previously released albums, and new stuff.

The label specified in it's briefing that the volumes should have a running time between one and three hours - of course Rolling Eyes I went for the full running time...

However, I have divided the release in three segments, each one hour long.
Each one also is mixed in a continous fashion, creating an ongoing flow of music...

Hour 1 concentrates on material that was recorded between 1994 and 2006, covering my "early" obscure albums, when I still was a hermit in an ivory tower, cobbling my stuff together in a corner of our bed room (roughly speaking). All the original albums from which the tracks are taken are available from my Bandcamp page.

Hour 2 focuses on tracks from 2011 to 2017, a period when my music enjoyed slightly more exposure following my first ever label release (100 Million Miles Under The Stars on Syngate in 2012). This hour contains one track that had only be published on SoundCloud before, the rest comes from several albums available either from SynGate, or again my own BC page...

Hour 3 finally - subtitled "Zodiak" - is a new album, based on material that I have recorded in various sessions, improvisations and rehearsals in the first half of 2019.

The music I've chosen is mostly sequence based (although there are also a few ambient and/or experimental bits) and should appeal to TD, KS and partly also Jarre fans, I guess...

Thanks a lot for Your attention and ENJOY the music!

.

_________________
M I C H A E L B R ▄ C K N E R
http://michaelbrueckner.bandcamp.com


Last edited by BruecknerAmbient on Wed Dec 25, 2019 12:02 pm; edited 3 times in total

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BruecknerAmbient
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Age: 50
Joined: 11 May 2011
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:43 pm    (No subject) Reply with quoteBack to top

A first review of "Astronauts 2" came in the other day, by Stephan Schelle for his online music magazine "Musikzirkus".

You can read his (detailed) original review (in German) here - or my (rough) English translation below:

http://www.musikzirkus-magazin.de/dateien/Pages/CD_Kritiken/elektronik/michael_brueckner_astronauts_volume_2.htm

Michael Br├╝ckner - Astronauts Volume 2
Aural Films (2019)
(28 pieces, 178:25 minutes playing time)

The electronic musician Michael Br├╝ckner released a triple album with the title "Astronauts Volume 2" in autumn 2019. The album is part of the "Astronauts" series of the Aural Films label run by US-American electronic musician Jack Hertz. This series features work by artists who are active in the field of electronic space music is released. The releases are inspired by NASA's moon landing and space exploration.

Michael Br├╝ckner has created two new mixes of older tracks, each about an hour in length, for this trio, subtitled "The Great 1994 Gravity Escape," which - with a few exceptions - are on the first two silver discs in chronological order of their recording date. The recording period runs from 1996 to 2017. The third CD contains new material from 2019.

CD number 1 contains music from the years 1994 to 2006. These tracks, some of which are available as excerpts and all of which have been remixed, are from the releases "Heartbeat", "KABACAB", "Earthed/Unearthed", "A New Age", "Space Prophecies", "Mole", "Two Days In Space - Volume 1" and " Challenge 29". The individual pieces were combined to a longtrack by seamless transitions. Spacy ambient tracks alternate with very melodic and partly quite rhythmic pieces. For example "A Space Prophecy" offers a very pulsating, almost danceable rhythm. Percussive and quite experimental on the other hand is "I Encountered". Highlight of this first CD for me is the rhythmic "Challenge".

The second CD contains music from 2011 to 2017. These pieces come from Michael's albums "R Is For Rocket And S Is For Space", "Endless Mind Portal", "100 Million Miles Under The Stars", "100 Million Miles Under The Stars - The Supplementary Volume" and "Trees Of Olivanda". In addition, "Delta Space" is a 3:29 minute track that was previously only available via SoundCloud.

The opening "L'Etoile Inconnue" offers floating, dreamy soundscapes. In the second half, it falls into an irresistible melody that breathes the DNA of a Jean Michel Jarre. The other pieces on this CD offer for the most part very melodic and rhythmic elements that quickly catch the listen.

The third CD consists of the pieces "Zodiak - Part 1" to "Zodiak - Part 10". While the first nine tracks are completely unreleased, Michael has already made "Zodiak - Part 10" available on YouTube earlier this year. But he remastered the piece for the CD version.

As expected, "Zodiak - Part 1" starts with spacy sounds. Synth pads and some harmonies move through the space and convey a kind of weightlessness. This fits perfectly to the theme of the series. A synth sound, which seems to cut the first part at the end, leads directly into "Part 2", which now offers sparkling, swirling and shimmering synth sounds. After a good minute, the first rhythm structures appear in the background. From about minute 2 on, organ timbres provide a very hymn-like sound. But it only lasts for a short time, because Michael now changes into a repetitive sound structure, which is covered with a melody line only after a few moments, while the sequencer in the background continues to pick up speed. The piece is pushed forward and Michael shows his dexterity in the solos, his hands literally seems to fly across the keyboard.

A bridge of rushing synths then leads over to "Part 3". Immediately, there are wonderful sparkling sound cascades, which give me the impression of discovering a new world. Michael sets a melody line on top again, which features his hypnotic side. The sounds now merge seamlessly into "Part 4" and continue the atmosphere. It is intoxicating how Michael combines the sounds here.
The listener is enraptured from this world by these gentle, envelloping soundscapes. At the end, Br├╝ckner sprinkles in some effects and builds in echoing sound sequences, which evolve directly into "Part 5". This seems extraordinary due to some strange sound sequences, but fascinates. In the middle, sound cascades are piled up and provided with effects that sound like market events. However, it doesn't sound like from this world. These slightly confused seeming sounds, however, are actually carefully constructed. In "Part 6" one literally floats through space and time again. In the second half, however, rhythmic patterns appear, which only really come into their own in "Part 7". This track is quite percussive and inserts some ecstatic passages over the repeating basic rhythm.

Extraordinary sounds then first appear in "Part 8". String sounds provide a spacy feeling. A beautiful piece in which rhythm and sounds reminiscent of Klaus Schulze enter into a successful symbiosis.
The sequencer determines "Part 9", which is the longest track of the album with 10:14 minutes playing time. However, the tracks of the album seem more like a single longtrack due to their seamless transitions. The final track is the 8:54 minute "Part 10", which is again very much influenced by Klaus Schulze's style.

While the first two CDs are a great compilation of older albums, the third CD of "Astronauts Volume 2" with the ten parts of "Zodiak" is a very good electronic album with very spacy sounds and moods. Just because of this CD the purchase of the album is worthwhile."

Stephan Schelle, October 2019

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M I C H A E L B R ▄ C K N E R
http://michaelbrueckner.bandcamp.com

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BruecknerAmbient
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 11:07 pm    (No subject) Reply with quoteBack to top

EM reviewer Sylvain Lupari found some friendly and eloquent words to say about ASTRONAUTS...

Sylvain's conclusion:
"A very good time in a 3 CD boxset that will occupy your ears for a couple of days. - Four Stars (of five)"

Read the full in-depth review here (there's also a French version on the Synths&Sequences page...):

https://www.synthsequences.com/post/michael-br├╝ckner-astronauts-2-the-great-1994-gravity-escape

.

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M I C H A E L B R ▄ C K N E R
http://michaelbrueckner.bandcamp.com

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BruecknerAmbient
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Age: 50
Joined: 11 May 2011
Posts: 5235
Location: Mainz


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 25, 2019 12:09 pm    (No subject) Reply with quoteBack to top

This in-depth review of "ASTRONAUTS 2" by Gunnar Clau├čen for Babyblaue Seiten Prog-Reviews arrived just for Chrismas Eve... Laughing

Read the original (German) review here, or my rough translation just below...

http://www.babyblaue-seiten.de/album_18482.html#oben

* * *

Oh, let me make it short and not too stately: The 50th anniversary of the moon landing of the Apollo 11 mission in July of this year was the occasion for the Californian label Aural Films to show once again the influence of space travel, astronomy and science fiction on electronic music and created the so far three-part "Astronauts" series. Part 1 was written by Christian Fiesel, part 3 by the Dutchman Phrozenlight, unknown to me until now, but the second part here is by none other than Michael Br├╝ckner.
The concept of these releases is obviously to present a cross section of the work of the respective musicians and the scope varies: Fiesel is still content with one CD, while Phrozenlight has already come up with a double album. Br├╝ckner, however, goes one step further and packs almost three hours of music on three CDs - but there is a good argument for this: With "Zodiak", a completely new album is included, which rounds off and summarizes the review of 25 years of Br├╝ckner music.

The fact that the oldest track on "Astronauts 2" dates from 1994 may well explain the subtitle of this compilation, even though Br├╝ckner's first recordings are from the previous year. It is also interesting to note that Br├╝ckner himself made a kind of self-assessment by dividing his numbers between the first two CDs. After all, as can be read in the liner notes, the recordings are actually already so old, but the (current) Mainz-based artist did not release them until about 2007. In this respect, what can be heard on the first CD is quasi the pre-official time, and only with the examples on CD 2 can there have been a kind of feedback to a wider audience... from which something like "Zodiac" finally emerged. In this respect alone, "Astronauts 2" already demonstrates Br├╝ckner's development, and to a good extent.

The music itself also surprises a little bit, or not. Because of course, for such a compilation you can always choose the most accessible tracks, and in this respect it's maybe understandable that the hardcore ambience you can hear on quite a few albums (e.g. the "Mousic"/"Drones"/"Movies Moving In My Head"-phase) was left out and especially on CD 1 you can hear quite melodic, majority-capable sequencer electronics. Highlights in this respect are certainly some very Jean Michel Jarre-sounding numbers such as "Centauri Bound" (very close to "Équinoxe Part 3"), "L'Etoile Inconnue" (one might have guessed from the French title) or "Escape To The Outer Moons". And also not quite so pop numbers are still very tonal, like the Philip Glass-like "Leaving Ground". Towards the end of CD 1 there are even some real trance techno, dancefloor or drum 'N bass rhythms to be heard ("A Space Prophecy", "I Encountered", "Challenge") - probably nobody would have suspected Michael Brückner to be so close to the Love Parade.

Of course, with such shortenings one doesn't do justice to the music at all, and it should at least be mentioned that Br├╝ckner gets a lot of good out of these styles and rhythms. Especially "Challenge" brings the rhythm together quite well with the well-known glassy ambient sounds, develops the music sometimes more or less strongly in one direction, sometimes in the other, and with such a programmatic sequence there is really already a lot gained. Otherwise it could be observed on CD 2 that this tendency disappears again little by little - in "Flicker" alone there is still a latent technoid rhythm, otherwise rather striding or stomping tempos dominate here, but they are mostly kept cautiously in the background. This is probably where what Br├╝ckner is known for today finally came about: for fine tensions, mostly resulting from a well-calculated minimalism, which are spun further by slow developments, but by no means torn apart. S Is For Space" and "100 Million Miles Under The Stars" can be seen as emblems of this characteristic.

And "Zodiac" also ties in with these characteristics: Rhythm is rather subliminally present in the ten parts and consists in the most concrete cases ("Part 5", "Part 8") of quite nervous samples, which in turn are oriented towards sequences and ostinato motifs. This kind of tension can be found almost everywhere, but the best examples of this are the compellingly powerful and at the same time very subtle structure of "Part 9" and the string chords in "Part 8", which again and again provide thrust.

Apart from that it's also apparent that "Zodiak" in one respect stands out from the review on the first two CDs:
Of course the sounds here are more modern, more brittle and less harmonic than there. Compared to the rest of Brückner's œuvre this is less surprising, but on the other hand it also makes clear that the ambience on "Astronauts 2", which is usual in recent times, has been pushed to the edge.

A small gap between the past and the present gapes on "Astronauts 2". The pure review on the first two CDs, however, is not less than impressive, despite some lukewarm moments (the mentioned Jarre similarities), as Br├╝ckner demonstrates the sovereign and relaxed mastery of a whole lot of electronic music. It's also to praise that the mixture is right and the sequence of the pieces always emphasizes the differences. The bottom line is that the effort should pay off:
For Michael Br├╝ckner, who is presenting a really remarkable cross-section of his work, and for the listener, who can familiarize himself with his work in a rather compact and accessible, in short: clearly arranged form, despite a three-hour playing time. And even if the listener should already be familiar with this work, there should still be a lot to discover on "Astronauts 2", as some aspects are emphasized in this way. Which again speaks for Br├╝ckner's versatility.

11 points (of 15)

Gunnar Clau├čen for Babyblaue Seiten Prog-Reviews


* * *

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http://michaelbrueckner.bandcamp.com

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