David Wright – The Tenth Planet

The Tenth Planet is the latest CD from synth artist David Wright, and captures the music from two live planetarium performances that he did earlier this year.

Wright is a UK keyboardist, synthesist and composer, and his style grows out of the classic tradition of Berlin-school synth artists like Tangerine Dream and the more melodic approach of synth artists like Vangelis. He’s also the founder of the AD Music label, which specializes in synth music, and part of the ambient/electronic rock band Code Indigo and the synth duo Callisto.

Synthtopia has reviewed several of Wright’s earlier CDs, including his solo CDs Deeper and Continuum, and Code Indigo releases Timecode and Chill.

David Wright The Tenth Planet

The Tenth Planet is taken from two live concerts, Wright’s 10th planetarium show, held in Bochum Planetarium, and the 11th at the NSC in England. These planetarium shows are rare multimedia concerts; fortunately Wright has been able to capture the unique energy of these live events on these recordings.

For fans of classic synth music sounds, The Tenth Planet offers a healthy helping of music. Clocking in at 1:19, the CD brings together two lengthy suites and a couple of shorter works.

Odyssey is a seven-part work that may have you imagining images of space, even without the planetarium show. It begins with a drifting into, full of the swooshes and tinkling sample and hold effects of 70’s space music. It moves on to two driving, percussive sections, before offering a breather in the slow, reflective Part 4. Wright returns to sequences for the last three sections, building to a climax in Part 7, followed by a brief denoument that recalls Part 4.

Next up is Sea of Dreams, a work which first appeared on Wright’s CD Deeper. This version is substantially reworked for the live performance. In fact, the live version has four sections vs the earlier version’s five, dropping the ambient intro and getting straight into sequences.

Sea of Dreams is built around a sequence which works as an ostinato, continuing throughout most of the piece. In places, Wright layers on orchestral strings, in others, interlocking sequences, and in other places it serves as a backdrop for synth solos. By Part 4, Wright drops a 4 on the floor kick drum and showcases some wailing synth work, which gives the piece a satifying conclusion.

Closing off the CD are Glass Mountains, a electric piano solo with effects and The Sound of Waves, a relaxing new age track.

Throughout the CD, Wright offers tasteful synth orchestration. The recording quality is excellent, and crowd noise is limited to applause at the end of a few sections.

It’s too bad that most listeners don’t get the chance to go to one of David Wright’s planetarium concert, but, The Tenth Planet manages to at least offer listeners the classic synth and space music sounds of the events.

You can preview the tracks at the AD Music site.

Tracks:

  • Odyssey part 1
  • Odyssey part 2
  • Odyssey part 3
  • Odyssey part 4
  • Odyssey part 5
  • Odyssey part 6
  • Odyssey part 7
  • Sea of Dreams 1
  • Sea of Dreams 2
  • Sea of Dreams 3
  • Sea of Dreams 4
  • Glass Mountains
  • The Sound of Waves

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