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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful & essential
Seek this out and buy it, then buy another copy in case you wear the first one out. Ambient music with progression a bit of structure and a very relaxing feel. On some tracks it reminds me a bit of Daniel Lanois & Brian Eno's Apollo with the twangy guitars and synthy textures but not quite so C&W. There is also some nice sax work. Listen to the samples and then just...
Published on 2 Dec 2006 by The Ambient Housewife

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK But Nothing Special
I recently read an article about Marconi Union in the context of their latest album, and having read the rave reviews in Amazon on their Distance CD, bought it through Amazon. Bit disappointed really, very pleasant but really just ambient music. Not a patch on other similar category music, particularly albums from the Saint Germain label, which are far more interesting.
Published on 18 Aug 2011 by Mr. I. Taylor


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful & essential, 2 Dec 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Distance (Audio CD)
Seek this out and buy it, then buy another copy in case you wear the first one out. Ambient music with progression a bit of structure and a very relaxing feel. On some tracks it reminds me a bit of Daniel Lanois & Brian Eno's Apollo with the twangy guitars and synthy textures but not quite so C&W. There is also some nice sax work. Listen to the samples and then just imagine how much better it will be in full fidelity. I have been listening to this non stop in the car for the last 4 months so it is proven to prevent road rage. Also check out the link to their remix from their myspace area.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant new ambient music,, 28 Oct 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Distance (Audio CD)
I bought this album after reading that it was supposed to be the "future of ambient music" or something like that, normally I wouldn't take much notice of this kind of hyperbole but having heard a couple of tracks on the radio, I thought I'd give it a go, and thank goodness I did, because for once here's a CD that actually deserves some of the praise heaped upon it. Distance is a brilliant mix up, of old school ambient music and newer electronica genres that add at a darker, edgy sound, with Basic Channel style rhythm tracks,underpinning sublime atmospheric textures and Labradford style guitars.
According to the reviews, the whole album is some kind of concept album about modern life and cities, and certainly tracks like the busy and somehow edgy Buildings and People, which feature Fripp like guitars, with Boards of Canada style synths, strongly suggest urban life.
The overriding effect of Distance is it's utter beauty, with synths, guitars and even one the final track, A Temporary Life a ghostly saxophone, meshing to create a hugely ambitious and magical "soundscape"
I totally recommend this album to anyone who likes BoC, Pole, Stars of The Lid, Labradford, Basic Channel or even David Sylvian's instrumental work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars dark, strange, oddly calming, 2 July 2007
By 
Nelkin (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Distance (Audio CD)
I suppose Marconi Union are probably best placed in the ambient / electronica category (immediate and obvious comparisons would be with artists such as Global Communication, Boards of Canada, Biosphere, etc), though that's slightly misleading as they also make very effective use of 'real' instruments. What makes them interesting for me is the wide range of influences they manage to incorporate, including minimalism, prog-rock and post-rock -- they weld their influences together intelligently and coherently, managing to make everything serve the general underlying theme of emotional disquiet that runs through the album.

The music has some of the atmospheric evocativeness of Biosphere, but with -- for my money -- more melodic interest. It seems more introverted and less aggressively beat-driven than Boards of Canada, and also lacks that self-consciously 'druggy' quality that sometimes irritates me a little about the Boards' work. You'll hear some of the dark moodiness of groups like Labradford, Rothko, etc, but also a 'spacious' quality that calms the music and prevents it from becoming claustrophobic.

If pushed, I would probably choose 'Through Glass' and 'Buildings and People' as my favourite tracks: the former for its smoky background textures and brooding bass sounds; the latter for its excellent combination of subtle 'glitchy' textures with a clear, melodic, descending scale pattern on electric guitar, which together achieve an effect of understated urgency. Really, though, this is one of those albums where the tracks all blend together perfectly in any order: you can just put your CD / mp3 player on random repeat, then sit back and forget you're listening. I find it perfect for late-night reading and writing at home, it seems to relax me into a particular frame of mind that is very conducive to concentration. Like all good ambient music, it manages to help create a particular mood without imposing itself on you.

I imagine it would also be perfect music for night-time driving in the city: cool and calm enough not to be distracting; dark and mysterious enough to keep your brain awake and focussed; 'edgy' enough to provide an excellent soundtrack to the bright lights and sounds of the city as they flash past.

All in all, I'm highly impressed. This is an album I have enjoyed listening to many times over, without getting anywhere near tired of it. I look forward to hearing more from this duo.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful ambient electronica., 22 Oct 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Distance (Audio CD)
This is a brilliant album. Marconi Union combine pulsing electronica from the Basic Channel school with deep electronic ambience, to create an outstanding album of beautiful and sometimes dark soundscapes.
Carrying on from "Under Wires" the Union have refined their use of guitars and organic sounds to recreate their distinctive sound. There so many layers to this music, that every time you listen to "Distance" you hear something new and surprising.
If you like Pan American, Murcof, Boards of Canada etc. then you should definitely check this out, you won't be disappointed.
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pink Floyd of electronica?, 24 Nov 2005
This review is from: Distance (Audio CD)
Faceless musos make deep spacious (electronic) album about life etc., is this Pink Floyd? no it's new "electronica" darlings Marconi Union. Imagine, Wish You Were Here remade for the noughties. In less talented hands this would have been terrible idea but somehow it works partly due to the way they combine tunes with krautrock inspired rhythms, and superb production. Somehow Marconi Union manage to make minimal music that can also seem epic.
I hope that this album signifies a return in the "electronica" music community to making records that reflect this kind of thought and creativity, where production skills are harnessed to the song and not as an end in themselves.
If you're looking for an electronica "band" with substance and the ability to make music that's more than a bit of atmospheric noise over a malfunctioning drum machine, then this might just be the ticket. A very promising album.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK But Nothing Special, 18 Aug 2011
By 
Mr. I. Taylor (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Distance (Audio CD)
I recently read an article about Marconi Union in the context of their latest album, and having read the rave reviews in Amazon on their Distance CD, bought it through Amazon. Bit disappointed really, very pleasant but really just ambient music. Not a patch on other similar category music, particularly albums from the Saint Germain label, which are far more interesting.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Blue Nile of ambient music, 12 July 2011
This review is from: Distance (Audio CD)
Nocturnal cityscapes, neon lights, empty office buildings and a crowd glimpsed through a bar window on a lone journey home from work...it's all here.
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Distance by Marconi Union (Audio CD - 2012)
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