Lightwave — Tycho Brahé
(Hearts of Space HS 11044-2, 1993, CD)
by Mike Borella, Published 1995-03-01The duo of Christoph Harbonnier and Christian Wittman, otherwise known as Lightwave, have been active since the mid-80s. Composing electronic and synthesized music along the lines of early Tangerine Dream, they have released a series of cassettes. This, their second CD, features Paul Haslinger of Tangerine Dream helping out on synths. To my ears, Phaedra and Rubycon are the most essential TDream releases, and Lightwave's 1990 effort, Nachtmusik, took this style into the 90s. A dense, dark, churning mass of soundscapes, it evokes a nightmarish, haunted-house atmosphere. Tycho Brahé begins with a 17 minute cut "Uraniborg," which, while not as dark, contains the same musical aesthetic as Nachtmusik. The lush, multi-tracked synths weave intricate passages that can captivate anyone patient enough to listen closely. However, the remaining nine tracks are all in the four to five minute range. While it is becoming cliché to regard the longest track of an album as the most interesting, this stereotype certainly applies to Tycho Brahé. The shorter pieces are lacking the development and depth of Lightwave's extended-length work. Just when these tracks seem about to take off, they are over. They are simpler in composition as well, more suited to background music than something to study in detail. Overall, this is a good disc and comes with my recommendation, but in my opinion, does not live up to Nachtmusik.
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more
From the press release:
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water takes from Echo Us' past and spins it into a whole new direction, one closer to traditional acoustic Celtic music than ever before.
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water was composed and recorded during the first few months of 2017. Although Celtic influenced and comprised of a number of re-workings of Irish folk tunes and Breton aires, the album is still in large part new and original Echo Us music that fits right in the Echo Us ‘canon’. “Wake” is a natural progression from “A Priori Memoriae”, which was released to critical acclaim in Europe in 2014.
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water is Echo Us’ ‘Celtic’ album that was planned for a long time but never executed because of the work on the trilogy that came before it. The album title is a typical ‘Echo Us’ play on words which one can find their own meaning.
“It is also both evocative of the Oregon rain, which I am told is not too unlike the rain in Ireland.”(Matthews)
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water is also a comment on conception- which was unintentional when the lyric was written. Matthews surprised himself a few months after writing it, realizing that the song was actually about the nitty gritty, biological workings of what happens when a child is conceived. The folk song it derives from musically describes a courting ritual, one that even today we can all relate to in our own way.
“Come With Me Over the Mountain" in acapella was the musical inspiration for the song, and came into my consciousness after the lyrics were written a few months prior. “ (Matthews)
As with all Echo Us recordings, a number of seeming coincidences resulted in connections being drawn where prior there were none. Another experience of similar capacity was found in oboe samples from A Priori Memoriae that echoed the traditional “May Morning Dew’, also reworked for guitar on the new album.