Artist : Mark Dwane
Album : Planetary Mysteries
Source : CD
Year : 2001
Genre : New Age
Label : Trondant
Encoder : Exact Audio Copy (Secure mode)
Codec : LAME 3.93
Bitrate : 256K/s 44100Hz Joint Stereo
ID3-Tag : ID3v2.3
Ripped By : Snowbear on 9/26/2004
Posted By : Snowbear on 1/13/2005
Included Scans: Art, Booklet & Tray
1. Forbidden Archeology (4:06)
2. Under the Sphinx (8:21)
3. Planetary Energy (8:41)
4. Underwater Stargates (6:49)
5. Geoglyphs (6:13)
6. Hyperdimensional (5:32)
7. Memory Alpha (8:36)
Total Playing Time: 48:22 (min:sec)
Total Size : 88.8 MB (93,067,228 bytes)
Please wait 2 days after the original post before asking for reposts.
Only segment requests will be filled.
Please make your request in the new-age group or I won't see it.
"While bearing some unmistakable familiar musical touches from his previous albums, midi-guitarist Mark Dwane also manages to stand his earlier recorded work somewhat on end with his latest release, Planetary Mysteries, which is also both his first collaborative effort and his first use of true vocals. Joining Mark on the CD is Michelle Nader who has an appropriately otherworldly (via an almost omnipresent echo effect) voice but also a sensuous one as well. Who knew spacemusic could be sexy and also rock the cosmic house? Well, on this CD, it does - and then some!
"Now, before long-time Dwane fans get their cosmic undies in a bundle, not every cut has vocals on it, but even the vocal tracks are way cool, in my opinion. As I stated, Michelle's in fine voice and her talents begin on the opening track, 'Forbidden Archeology,' although there are only wordless vocalizings on this song. The cut sounds a little like Robyn Miller's soundtrack to Riven, as Dwane blends cascading bell-trees, swirling lower register washes, and muted guitar buzz-sawings with Nader's haunting and soaring chants. It's way cool for an album beginning!
"Erupting with exotic percussive effects, snaky midi-synths, and patented Dwane synth-choral effects, 'Under the Sphinx,' is moody, mysterious, and rocking in a mid-tempo vein. Using his midi-guitar like a violin, the cut veers into a sensual Middle Eastern/Ancient Egyptian sonic landscape. The first out-and-out vocal cut is next up. 'Planetary Energy' has a percolating mid-tempo rhythm, clear-as-a cosmic bell guitar work, thumping bass, and Michelle's soaring voice, singing lyrics like 'Silent structures/Ruins of time/Web of power/Intricate design.' Part of the lyrics on this cut are 'spoken' instead of sung, which I didn't mind at all since the accompanying music fits the mood so well.
"Now, obviously, the lyrics on this album (all by Dwane) are gonna be somewhat new agey/SF-oriented - but if you have followed Mark's recording career so far, what would you expect? After all, his albums have titles like The Monuments of Mars, Angels, Aliens and Archetypes, and The Atlantis Factor. Will you 'buy into' these lyrics? I dunno. I do, but that's me. I've always been interested in the paranormal to some degree and I definitely am a believer in UFOs. But if it all strikes you as or weird, well, so what? There's great music on this CD - just tune out the words, man!
"As I wrote earlier, compared to some earlier releases, Planetary Mysteries has more of a 'rock' sound than previous Dwane efforts, owing both to the rhythms and the more overt guitar elements on some tracks. 'Underwater Stargates' is a good example. It's another straight-ahead vocal track, and another good one. Michelle's echoed voice has a haunting quality early on (later she really lets it fly!), while Mark's lush strings and his plaintive strummed electric guitar combine to make this a 'space ballad' of sorts. When the (very earthly sounding) drums and bass kick in, the song slides comfortably over to a variant of prog rock. Maybe not as spacy as some fans would like, but there are still cool synths flying hither and thither among the chords and drums.
"Of the final three cuts, two more are instrumental and I like them both a lot. 'Geoglyphs' has a loping relaxed rhythm along with traditional sounding guitar as well as quavering synth choruses and other spacy textures, while 'Memory Alpha' is probably the closest to what most fans would consider 'true' spacemusic. Jeff Pearce-like guitar washes and midi-piano make this track the most serene one on the CD (maybe the only song that could truly be labeled as such, actually).
"I don't honestly know how Planetary Mysteries will play out with Mark Dwane's fans. Spacemusic and ambient fans can be notoriously fickle and some of them just hate vocals. Personally, I gotta congratulate Mark for striking out in some new directions. The more I play this album, the more I like it. At first when I heard it, I thought, 'What the hell?' But by the third listen, I started digging the abundant energy, catchy melodies, myriad cool midi-effects, and spotless production/engineering (this baby sounds FINE). Michelle and Mark make a great team and if this isn't what most would label as 'spacemusic' - well, whatever you call it, it sounds pretty damn good to me." -- Bill Binkelman / WIND and WIRE