Astrogator - Dreamlight

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Astrogator - Dreamlight

smd Review

Here we have the second Astrogator album, this time split into two parts. A dark brooding drone acts as backing to lots of twittering effects. Gorgeous string and ethereal pads combine to give an almost spiritual feel. It's really quite a beautiful but also melancholy way to start the album. A shuffling rhythm provides some structure without spoiling the delicate atmos. Subtle leads meander like seabirds gliding on a thermal. By the twelfth minute the rhythm starts to be replaced by a slow sequence. A second increases the pace a little as we continue the steady development. The melodic content is increased, backed nicely by soothing mellotron. A third sequence seems to enter, morphing this way and that in the middle of the mix as a strident lead imparts a little more oomph. Quite a head of steam is built up before all syncopation is removed and we once again float along on some lovely peaceful pads then sonic whooshes. A lonesome lead provides some focus but it is really the soothing sonic canvas that does it most for me. Still, we can have a little too much serenity, so before the level of bliss starts to lose my attention in blast some exciting heavy sequences providing a powerful conclusion. The Second Part gets off to a rather windy start, morphing to tranquil cosmic drift. Little note droplets shimmer into the distance. A sequence does start a very slow development but remains quite restrained, waiting for its big brother to emerge. This second line of pulsations builds slowly whilst various solos come and go. The slow deconstruction of the track is also well done as we gradually descend back to twitterings and a steady pulse through which a final sequence emerges along with some really nice melodies, finishing the album on a high. This CD has a very improvised feel to it. The sequences work rather well but the lead lines can be a little his and miss. Overall though a very nice album. (DL)

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