David Wright – Continuum

With Continuum, David Wright has released a beautiful work of melodic space music that recalls classic electronic music of the seventies and eighties.

Wright creates melodic space music that combines pure ambient sound and more melodic elements. His music draws on the best aspects of ambient, new age and space music. In addition to releasing solo work, he is part of the group Code Indigo.

His recent solo release, Continuum is a selection of 5 extended tracks. The tracks work together to take the listener on a journey through the last 30 years of electronic space music. The CD packaging features space and computer graphics imagery, which effectively represents the contents. The music should appeal to fans of traditional synth music, orchestral electronica and ambient music.

Continuum falls into the tradition of synth music albums from the 70’s and 80’s, and revisits some of these classic sounds and styles. Fans of early synth artists like Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Vangelis and Michael Stearns will find much to enjoy. The title, Continuum, seems very appropriate, because the tracks create a continuous space music journey; the music evokes the mystery and wonder of space and time; and it continues and expands on the styles and sounds of earlier space music.

One of the most striking aspects of the music is its orchestration. Wright creates masterful space music arrangements, weaving together ambient effects, synth strings, sample-based vocals and solo synth leads. Wright’s “string” arrangements are lush, and recall Vangelis’ work.

The CD starts off with Dark Matter, a track that combines dark ambient sounds with female vocals. Wright makes interesting use of filtered noise effects and subtle sequences. The vocals sound plaintiff over the drone-based backing. From the liner notes, it looks like the vocals come from sample disks. Wherever they are from, they are lovely and integrate hauntingly with the music.

Continuum is an extended trip back to 70’s electronica, and is a highlight of the CD. It features a ostinato sequence that carries through most of the track’s near-twenty minute length. If Klaus Schulze and Vangelis had cut a track together in the late 70’s, but with today’s equipment, it might have sounded something like Continuum. It starts out with swirling ambient noises, and then adds a insistent sequence and Schulze-style Moog lead. Wright gives the track plenty of space to breath, cruising along for about 12 minutes, before building things up with piano, synth choir and Vangelis-style synth strings. Without sounding derivitave, the track pays respect to the early days of space music.

Track 3, Bridge of Souls, is an extended piece that explores drone-based space music ambiences. The track returns to the darker sound of the first track, exploring filtered-noise wind sounds and ambient effects. This blends directly into Island of Flight. This is also a drone-based piece, and features tasteful synth soloing. This evolves more into blissfully rhythmic “cruising” style of space music, with pulsing sequences and lovely “guitar” work.

The final track Cassini further explores the “cruising” style of space music. The track uses sequences and subtle percussive sounds to propell the music, and adds melodic lead soloing. The synth solo features the main melody of the piece which is repeated until it climaxes in grand synth style. Wright uses Apollo-era NASA samples briefly, which helps take things back to the old school of synth music, and brings in choral vocals and soaring synth strings to give the track a massive sound. This brings the track and the CD to a satisfying, upbeat peak, before fading in to a gentle denoument.

Highly recommended for fans of classic synth music!

Tracks:

  • Dark Matter
  • Continuum
  • Bridge of Souls
  • Island of Flight
  • Cassini

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