Joined: Sep 10, 2007
|Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 3:08 pm Post subject:
Review: Broekhuis, Keller & Schönwalder - Orange
Subject description: Live relaxed Berlin School electronica
|Broekhuis, Keller & Schönwalder - Orange
This album features only three songs, but as you may guess, they are all rather long. The opening track is the 21-minute Orange One, which starts out with an ambient intro with simple synthesizer pads. Tthe melodic chords are however too sweet and easy to make an impact on this reviewer. These first five minutes also suffer from poor audio quality, see more about that below. The main body of Orange One has a relaxed Berlin School sequencer structure, but with sounds and sequencer patterns that are closer to Jean Michel Jarre's Arpegiator than traditional electronica from Berlin. It's all quite nice and pleasant, with some spacey synth leads and wide choral chords supporting acoustic-like percussion and rolling sequencers.
The second track, Orange Two, clocks in at no less than 40 minutes and 19 seconds, which simply is too long to sustain interest. While long tracks are nothing out of the ordinary in this genre, this particular track - once it has shown us what it has to offer - squeezes the fruit dry around 15 minutes, and for the next 20 minutes you feel you have heard everything the track has to offer. Only at the end is there significant development that adds another dimension or two to this track. This is also a good track, and might have been great had it been subjected to some restrictive editing.
The final track, the "short" 10-minute-something Orange & Blue is an even more relaxed track than Orange One, with a somewhat jazzy mood where piano and other acoustic-ish sounds are added, and more live percussion, which gives the track a wholesome organic feel, more so than the electronic sounding predecessors. A little like Vangelis is his jazzy corner. This track has more meat and details than the two others, and come out as the best track on the album, perhaps because it's less conceptual and more joyful, yet relaxed.
This being a live recording, I expected performance faults and perhaps technical errors, but the most distinct flaw was the frequent thin or cheap sounds from the sound sources, as if 20 dollar soundcards or heavy MP3 compression had been used. I have no idea about the equipment used, but the low-fi audio is striking. However, this shortcoming is somewhat compensated by engineering that puts in alot of space in the mix, so this is not an excessive problem, though I have to deduct 0.5 from the rating. The clicks and pops throughout the CD from what is either poor mastering or just the recording circumstances may be more annoying - but as the CD case states; if you find errors, you may keep them!
And I also expected some audience noise or cheering and clapping, since all the tracks are recorded as live performances, but there is nothing of that sort. This effectively gives the CD a studio album feel, but played live. More original studio albums should be made this way - the intimate and vibrating feel of an immediate performance gives the album a shimmering extra layer. All in all, Orange - the first album in a series to explore theories of colours - is a nice and sympathetic album for those who like a bit of organic neo Berlin School music.
Rating: 7 of 10
Greetings from Glenn Folkvord
Sci-fi, fantasy, electronica, ambient
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