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Lights, Shadows and Colors by Giuseppe Dio
- posted by Candice Michelle on 3/9/2017
Giuseppe Dio - Lights, Shadows and Colors
Giuseppe Dio is an Italian electronic music composer and photographer who combines his passion for both music and photography on his album, Lights, Shadows and Colors. Drawing upon both vintage and modern electronic music styles that span several decades, the album incorporates elements of Berlin-school, chillout and dance-trance music throughout its twelve amazing, adventure-packed compositions.

“Blancheur” begins our journey with simmering, swirling synths and bubbling effects that immediately recalls the music of Jean Michel-Jarre, who is one of Giuseppe’s most notable influences. Guided by a steady bassline and four-by-four trance rhythm, the colorfully spinning and euphorically melodic nature of this fantastic opener is characteristic of most of the compositions throughout. Alluding to nightlife and travelling, “Night Streets” follows in a similar motif with its vintage synth melody and high energy, laser-like effects, which convey a feeling of driving along an extended highway beneath the glow of streetlights. The beautifully breathtaking, “Blue Melody”, is easily my favorite composition on the album. Here an aquatic, echoic melody is carried upon an electronic chill rhythm accompanied by soaring strings and synthesized vocal washes. Cosmically dreamy and fantasy-like, it brings to mind the kinds of beautiful, mythical scenery (such as the flying griffon or magical unicorn) depicted in the classic 1980’s cult films, The Never Ending Story and Legend. “Lights and Shadows” is also particularly mesmerizing, likewise seeming to convey a whimsical feeling of flight and long-distance travel. Underscored by a smooth electronica rhythm, it boasts a soaring melody led by a horn-like synth that also bears notable elements of Jarre. “Through the Rainforest” is another outstanding favorite; initially opening with tribal rhythmic elements, it soon blossoms into an enthralling arrangement of cosmically colorful and swirling sounds.

An epically visual-audio experience, Lights, Shadows and Colors feels like a fantasy adventure novel having come to life, evoking otherworldly images of the past, present and future. Certain to appeal to a wide range of listeners, stylistic hallmarks of Jean Michel-Jarre, David Wright, Tangerine Dream and Vangelis are echoed throughout, as well as that of modern electronic dance and chill-trance artists such as Ryan Farish and Tigerforest. Destined to become one my favorite electronica albums of the year, Lights, Shadows and Colors is an instant classic that is not to be missed by fans of electronic music, particularly those who love both space and trance! ~Candice Michelle (
Rating: Excellent
Beyond Dreams - Pathways to Deep Relaxation by Hennie Bekker
- posted by Renee Gelpi on 3/4/2017
formerly Galaxie-Stingray
Even though I have known Hennie from the begginning of his legendary recording career, this album is now on the top of my listening stack. His music has successfully explored everything from his S. African roots to his home in Canada. Relaxing has been the byword for most of his tunes. This album, Beyond Dreams, harks back to his beautfully soothing early work and the music is indeed new age in the truest sense- beautiful, soothing and realxing.
Rating: Excellent
Leaving Terra Firma by Stephen Peppos
- posted by Candice Michelle on 3/2/2017
Stephen Peppos - Leaving Terra Firma
Stephen Peppos is a composer and multi-instrumentalist whose fifth album, Leaving Terra Firma, explores a variety of atmospheric sonic terrain. Comprised of thirteen compositions spanning seventy-two minutes, the compositions herein range from classic new age to cosmic space and electronic-ambient music, which are often imprinted with unique touches of eclecticism.

Washy synthesizers and muffled piano droplets open the subtly sweeping and melodic title track, “Leaving Terra Firma”, bearing all the classic hallmarks of cosmic new age music. The comparatively more ambient, “Magnetic Fields”, follows next with slowly metamorphosing chords and deeply immersive tones. Here, both electronic and organic textures create a slightly foreboding and cavernous soundscape full of vaporous swells and subterranean sounds, which impart an esoteric sense of mystery. “Vita Secundom Vita” ensues with a gentle pulse and harpsichord effect, which are soon followed by distant thundering percussion. One of my favorite pieces on the album, it possesses a distinctly medieval or renaissance flair that incorporates ambient-chamber musical elements, while imparting an earthy yet ethereal quality that seemingly eludes to a mysterious and fantastical voyage. Following up this number is “Everlast”, a celestial, classical-tinged composition that recalls the music of Aeoliah and Constance Demby. Bathed in an immersive glow of distant angelic choirs, streams of light seemingly slip in and out of this most heavenly, peaceful passage of gossamer tones and textures. Moving on to “Sea of Joy”, this especially gorgeous composition aptly conveys the watery depths of the ocean. Expansive washes of synths move along a gently rolling undercurrent, as radiant, shimmering tones seem to mimic the sun’s rays illuminating a beautiful undersea kingdom. Picking things up a few notches is the equally mesmerizing, “Transulence”, which possesses a more ambient-chill vibe. Guided by a light trance rhythm, this euphoric number imparts a feeling of flying high above the sea. The tenth track, “Amor Dei”, is an especially majestic sounding piece that features Seay on vocals, which are given a cosmically ethereal and processed effect. Comprised of synthesizers, strings and symphonic percussion, this piece recalls that of an epic fantasy movie depicting magical creatures in a land of enchantment. Closing out the album is a thirteenth bonus track that clocks in a just over two minutes. Aptly titled “Cold But Warm Peace”, its whimsical, crystalline soundscape seemingly paints a picture of an ice castle hidden among a snow forest.

A thoroughly rewarding album that bears subtle similarities throughout to the music of Aeoliah, Constance Demby and even Vangelis, Leaving Terra Firma is sure to appeal to a wide range of both classic new age and ambient-space music fans! ~Candice Michelle (
Rating: Excellent
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