With TimeCode, Code Indigo delivers an outstanding album that combines elements of orchestral electronica, new age and chill-out music.
Code Indigo’s music draws upon a wide set of styles, including new age, orchestral electronica, jazz, chill-out, and world music. The tracks on TimeCode blend these styles seamlessly into a continuous musical work.
On this release, Code Indigo is made up of Robert Fox and David Wright on keyboards, Louise Eggerton – vocals, Andy Lobban – guitar, and David Massey – programming and production.
Four members have composition credits. They must have been very much in sync, because the tracks are endlessly melodic, and sound like the work of a group, not a like bunch of tracks by different people. While Fox, Massey and Wright’s keyboard work and programming provide the overall sound of the album, the importance of Eggerton’s vocals and Lobban’s guitar work can’t be overestimated. Eggerton’s wordless vocals soar above the tracks, giving them a sense of immediacy and humanity. Lobban’s guitar work is understated and tasteful. In places, Lobban solos over orchestral electronica backgrounds, creating an effect that is reminiscent of early Pink Floyd. In other places, he contributes distorted but subtle guitar chords on top of the synths, adding an extra dimension to the sound.
The tracks on TimeCode are loosely themed around ideas of time and space.
The CD starts off very slowly, with the track Existence. The track uses drones, synth strings and wordless vocals to build from nothing to a massive sound. This establishes the mood of the album and leads seamlessly into Zero Hour, one of the highlights of the CD. Zero Hour is a lengthy track that combines the contributions of the various band members very effectively. Massey sets up a chilled groove, while Fox and Wright create a lush backdrop for Eggerton’s vocals and Lobban’s guitar solos. The band members vary the arrangement throughout, sometimes building to a very orchestral effect, and at other times dropping down to almost nothing. Towards the end, the track gives Lobban some space for an extended solo. His guitar work shines here, melodic and a little bluesy, but not showy.
TimeCode is another extended track that shows off the group’s sound. The band brings a rich sense of history of electronic and new age music to this track. The arrangement seems to draw on influences from the 70’s synth music of Jean Michel Jarre all the way to current tracks by groups like Afro Celt Sound System.
The next track, Stasis, is a lovely interlude that focuses on Eggerton’s vocalizing. 24am is the jazziest track on the CD. It features a piano melody that builds as it goes up and down the scale, and a lovely chordal chorus. Synth harmonica adds to the effect. While the track has a jazzier feel, nobody breaks out into bebop solos; instead the track focuses on tasteful, mellow keyboard work.
Eden to Chaos is another long groove. It maintains the chilled-out mood of the previous track, but adds a strong undercurrent of tension. The gives Lobban plenty of room to cut loose. He again delivers the goods, with some barely-contained soloing. This track should appeal to fans of the early space-rock of Pink Floyd and Tangerine Dream.
The next two tracks, Foundation and Galileo, are shorter pieces that showcase the group’s arranging. Galileo is one of the most orchestral-sounding tracks on the album. It combines a horn-like lead melody with lush synth string backing for a lovely combination.
Call of the Earth moves the CD into more of a world-groove territory, and has the most mainstream new age sound of the tracks on the CD. Massey’s drum programming features more of a ethnic feel than on other tracks, which adds some interest. While the track again highlights Code Indigo’s tight group sound, the track lacks the tension and hints of darkness that give other tracks more of an edge.
Code Indigo wraps up the album with an extended track, Endgames, that has a blissed-out feel. This track has beautiful synth and guitar work, but is let down somewhat by the vocals. Here Eggerton switches from wordless vocalizing to sing “la-la-la-la”, along with occasional words, such as the CD title or the band name.
Overall, though, the CD is a very strong release. The CD packaging has a 8-page insert that features layered images relating to space and time that is a nice complement to the music. Throughout the CD, the production is excellent. With TimeCode, Code Indigo delivers a solid collection of instrumental music that should appeal to fans of new age, space music and anyone that appreciates a laid-back groove.