Friday, 29 July 2016

Majeure "Union Of Worlds" (2015)


Another discovery from within the Pittsburgh electronic scene, we have "Majeure", the pseudonym of composer A.E. Paterra who cites Vangelis, Steve Reich and Philip Glass as inspirations. Unfamiliar to me they will be the subjects of my research as once again Ive found another interesting record that dives into a side of electronics I'm very fond of, the Ambient, Minimalist and Sci-Fi oriented soundscapes that could set the tone for a movie, video game or your imagination. "Union Of Worlds" is a record of variety that holds the tone, mood and atmosphere intact as each of its six songs take a different approach with intensity, pallet and tempo.

The record doesn't play through in two halves, but of the six songs you could easily split them. Three tracks have percussive tracks with synthesizer hits, the other three are slow, minimalist ambient soundscapes. The albums opener "Overmind" goes gently through the motions with sweeping synthesizers coming in from the sides and its main melody drones indifferent to its surroundings throughout the track, similar to the style of Tangerine Dream. "Appalachian Winter Blues" is my favorite track by far, the strings sound gorgeous here, eerie, deep, mysterious and foreboding their slow progression creates a sense of danger and wonder that is to be remembered. Its linear and singular, on instrument that has maybe three or four separate instruments coming together to create a density to the sound. A fluttering noise accompanies it, like flocks of birds in the distance.

Of the percussive tracks "Physis" stands out for two reasons, firstly its lead instruments, a buzz saw wave, creates a sense of two tone melody through volume shifts as it continually attacks. Giving it a sense of pace and urgency the synth drums rapidly fire away without a groove. This is a machine like continual pounding that pitch and volume shifts for a sense of variation or change in its continual motion. "Posthuman" implores a slight sense of groove with more open space between each strike but again finds a machine like vibe that doesn't feel Industrial but simply inhuman with a strange Sci-Fi vibe. Its what I adored about this record, how well it tapped into a particular niche. I also loved how momentary these songs were, with very little overall progression, no direction shifts and just continual droning they brought out the essence of their vision effortlessly for me, the listener.

Favorite Tracks: Appalachian Winter Blues, Physis
Rating: 7/10

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