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Steve Joliffe — Omni
(Horizon Music HM-1003-2, 1997, CD)

Steve Joliffe — Zanzi
(Horizon Music HM-1001-2, 1995/1996, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1998-02-01

Omni Cover artZanzi Cover art

Those who don't follow the UK electronic scene that closely may only remember Steve Joliffe as a one-time member of Tangerine Dream in the late 70s (winds, vocals, and synths on the Cyclone album), and while this writer is not intimately familiar with Joliffe's larger body of work in the years since, his output has been relatively steady at roughly an album every other year, covering a variety of electronic based styles, from floating ambient to film music to more pop oriented things. Zanzi and Omni are his two latest releases, finding him squarely in the heavily sequenced electronic territory where Klaus Schulze is the undisputed king. Regrettably, one will hear little flute or other woodwinds here (or if there are, they are treated beyond recognition), yet there is still more than enough going on in both of these albums to hold the interest. Zanzi is effectively one hour-long piece for rich multi-layered synths, filled with intricate subtle nuances and delicate complexity; synth washes drift and float over the interlocking structures while central themes define the melodic limits. How much the listener gets from it only depends on how closely one wants to listen. Omni is the more recent of the two and dispenses with a degree of the subtlety in favor of more emphasis on its rhythmic components. Three long tracks span the hour-long disc, the gem herein being the 17-minute "Drift." Both are excellent in their own way, although this writer gives Zanzi the edge if only for its closer similarity with the classic KS sound.

Filed under: Reissues, Issue 14, 1997 releases, 1996 releases, 1995 recordings

Related artist(s): Steve Joliffe


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