Alpha Wave Movement’s latest CD, A Distant Signal, is a great collection of tracks in the tradition of classic space music.
Alpha Wave Movement is one of the recording guises of Gregory Kyryluk, who also records as ambient/world music as Open Canvas, and as part of the synth group Thought Guild. Alpha Wave Movement represents his more ambient/space music side.
Kyryluk revisits the worlds of early space music, using the unique capabilities of analog synths to create sonic portraits of the mysteries of space. Fans of traditional analog sound will love the CD, because it’s absolutely packed with great synth work. A Distant Land is an impressive collection, with beautiful packaging, evocative titles and lovely music.
The CD begins with Mapping the Heavens, a lush opener that explores slowly evolving synth timbres. The track includes spoken-word samples wondering about life on other worlds. The second track, Distant Signals, continues in this vein. In the middle section of the track, Kyryluk adds a percolating sequence and subtle percussive effects, before returning to the drifting synth pads of the beginning.
Liquid Cosmos is a subtle, beautiful track. It begins with a sparse sequence and expands with strange underwater burbles and deep synth strings. Kyryluk builds the piece to a slow groove before gently returning to where it began.
A Place of Piece is built with a similar form, starting with an ambient section, building with sequences, and then returning to the ambient textures. An understated synth solo, beginning about halfway through the track, adds interest.
Outward Bound has combines drum machine rhythms and sequences with evolving pads. This gives the track more of a sense of movement. Centauri Memories is a short ambient track with the same drifting feel of Eno’s classic Apollo soundtrack. At 2:47, this track left us wanting more.
Requiem for C.S. is a space music hymn to the memory of astronomer Carl Sagan. Many synth music fans got an introduction to space music with the soundtrack to Sagan’s television series Cosmos. The track is a lovely piece and a suitable tribute to Sagan’s memory.
Portal Full of Stars is a highlight of the album. It starts with airy synth pads that drift in and out of silence. Kyryluk combines this with sequenced backing and some piano improvisation that creates a focal point, but never detracts from the basic ambient feel of the music.
Plasm Cloud is an ambient piece that explores shifting harmonics within drones. This is followed with one of the more melodic tracks on the CD, No Mans Land. On this cut, Kyryluk modulates a sequence through several keys, overlaying the sequence with synth strings and a solo. This is similar to some of Klaus Schulze’s tracks, but Kyryluk’s approach is less static and more melodic.
The CD ends with Lunar Sunrise, a brief piece that brings the CD to a tranquil end.
A Distant Signal is a great album, full of well-crafted space music. If you can’t get enough of classic early synth music, A Distant Signal is a treat you won’t want to miss.
For purchase information, check the Alpha Wave Movement site.
- MAPPING THE HEAVENS
- DISTANT SIGNAL
- LIQUID COSMOS
- A PLACE OF PEACE
- OUTWARD BOUND
- CENTAURI MEMORIES
- REQUIEM FOR C.S.
- PORTAL FULL OF STARS
- PLASMA CLOUD
- NO MANS LAND
- LUNAR SUNRISE