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Electronic Tour 5

  1. Clarity
  2. Neontoshi
  3. Deep-space maneuver
  4. 09-33
  5. Manhattan
  6. Ongaku Dorima
  7. Magnetic Test 08
  8. RB
  9. El límite
  10. Hope dancing
  11. Re-Univers
  12. Losing my mind
  13. Clicks & Pops
  14. Echoes 6

Without any noise was presented this Electronic Tour 5, fifth entry in the compilations series that, without any defined regularity, produce the musicians from the online comunity Fairlight Jarre. From one edition to the next, participants have changed and there are some important absences in this fifth chapter, but it keeps, once more, the relative eclecticism of the compositions. Being Fairlight a community of Jean Michel Jarre's fans, it is normal to expect from its musicians an inclination towards an easy-listening style of electronic music, in the footsteps of the French musician. And although there is some of this, there is albeit  room for surprises and originality within the fourteen musical proposals that define the album.

The opening piece is 'Clarity', by Raúl Gonzalo. The Spanish musician has built his career around musical productions for audiovisuals, short films, theater... It is his a very cinematic style well represented in this theme, more electronically oriented than usual, but still full of orchestral sounds and epic progressions that even Hans Zimmer could have signed.

'Neontoshi', by Die Stadt, starts with a field recording of the Ginza metro station (Tokyo), to move quickly into a surprising cyberpunk-ish theme, in which the industrial atmosphere has as much presence as the synth solo playing a blues melody.

PSGirl takes part for the first time in an Electronic Tour, and she does it with 'Deep-Space Maneuver', which she herself defines as "the soundtrack of what I imagine would be daily scenes of a long journey, already in deep space, on board of a starship. Ship's noises, the sounds of the equipments, the changes in rythm from one stage of the journey to another, the astronaut's boredom sometimes". Sequential space-music with glitch elements, although not so many as in previos works from the Canary Islands based musician.

Eclipsis is a regular in the ET since the past three editions, and this time he presents a downtempo theme in which he plays with original vocal samples, acid leads and piano sequences. Although it can be interesting, this '09-33' is a more conservative proposal and less experimental than previous works by this musician from Barcelona, as Ambireal.

'Manhattan' is the return to the Fairlight Jarre's stage of the long time absent Complexystems. It is one of his characteristics, and missed by many, themes of danceable space-disco electronic: melodic leads in minor tones contrasting with the powerful rythm and the fast sequences of arpeggios.

By chance, just like Die Stadt did with 'Neontoshi', also G.R.O.K. has looked for inspiration in the Far East for his 'Ongaku Dorima' ('music dreamer' in Japanese). Both themes share the slow tempo, but where the former relied on noisy atmosphere, this one takes support in vocal samples, perfectly merged with the harmonic progressions, as if the voices were just another instrument in the beatiful whole. It is nicer than 'Neontoshi', but equally evocative of a multicultural future, melting pot of electronic machines and ancestral traditions.

It is normal that Juanma71 goes without any artifice with his electronic music, putting everything on a classical, 80's reminiscent, instrumental palette (electronic bass and drums, phased pads and leads) and catchy melodies over plain rythmic structures (maybe a heritage of his taste for disco music). A description that fits 'Magnetic Test 08' as a glove.

'RB' is the succint title for another filling return: Everkindness. And he made it loyal to his personal style: a long progressive suite, recorded with voices and synths, combining melodic passages with others more ambient. Textures are on the basis of the composition, with layers and layers of synth pads superimposing one over another, fighting against sequences to prevail. Changes in tone and rythm come without any warning within this theme along the line of Vangelis' more progressive period (see Albedo 0.39, for instance). Although it does not represent any novelty to those already aware of Everkindness previous works, within the whole Electronic Tour 5 this 'RB' is one of the most original proposals.

'El límite', by Cosmic Sound, is another theme of playful melody over simple rythm, an example of a way of making electronic music more typical of the last decades of the past century, one that many people still feel nostalgia about.

After his absence from the previous entry, comes back Cyborgdrive, one of the most prolific musicians in the Fairlight community. It is his a very personal style, easy to recognise but difficult to classify. 'Hope dancing' is, together with 'Manhattan', or maybe even more, the most powerful theme of the compilation. The style is similar to Complexystem's (no wonder these two shared projects and stage many times in the past), but 'Hope dancing' uses a more brilliant sound palette, is more alive, less restrained and, in sume, happier. As it happened with Everkindness, Cyborgdrive does not leave his comfort zone here, and still offers another one of the best pieces of the album.

According to Nelman Music System's own explanation, his theme 'Re-Univers' is "made only with an iPad and a software called NanoStudio. The theme is composed on nine tracks, each one with FX added and mixed, mastered just using the tablet". It is a hypnotic composition built on a repeating arpeggio all along the theme with layers synth sound over it. It is one of the most experimental tracks in the album.

Argentinian musician Xethis has been responsible for the compilation and mixing of this Electronic Tour 5. He has also included his composition 'Losing my mind'. The theme opens with an inspired melody under which a percussive loop starts to build and after a first pause, gets more complex and mutates, avoiding the trap of monotony that the eight minutes length may have set. Subtlety, Xethis transforms the piece: first is space-music, then trance, then disco, but it never loses its personality. The closing of the theme is an original encore of the main melody, in circus-music style.

And it could not be missing in this compilation a theme making reference to the Berlin School of electronic music, with its long slow developments over sequences. Memo Morán, from the Scope band, chose this style for his piece 'Clicks & Pops'. Against what its title suggests, it is not a glitch theme, but a 100% School of Berlin: along its almost ten minutes, the musician from Chile pays hommage to Klaus Schulze.

The album closes with 'Echoes 6', from the also debutant Divided by: an advance of the album he will present at the end of 2014. Opposite the pure electronic show the ET5 has been until this point, 'Echoes 6' is, paradoxicaly, a classic piece. An intimate melody, practically devoided of any ornament, is in charge of taking the album to an end.

A defining characteristic of the series along time has been the absolute freedom of musicians to create the themes in the style they want to, without any thematic or style limitation. The evident risk of this lays on both extremes: the album may end without any internal coherence or, on the other side, it could end being monolithic. It is in this sense that Electronic Tour 5 is probably one of the best balanced entries in the series: its themes contains nearly everything, from cinematic music to old Berlin School, through disco, blues or space-music. And yet it is not a fragmented album or breaks radically with the line stablished by previous entries. It might lacks a more risky proposal, some more experimentation, but it seems as if these musicians had found their comfort zone and made out of these compilations not the place to innovate, but to show what they are capable of and, why not, enjoy making and listening to the music they like.