Lovers of the Chariot's of Fire style Vangelis may find this intriguing album something of a mystery. It's five musical pieces that would seem more at home on a Brian Eno album. On first listening nothing seems to happen, but repeated listenings reward the listener with hidden depths and textures in the five hypnotic pieces. Whilst it lacks the fragile beauty and melancholy of Blade Runner or Opera Sauvage which is why I only give it four stars but it's still an essential purchase for anyone who like the works of Eno, Phillip Glass et al.
Soil Festivities is one of Vangelis' more contemplative, hypnotic works and, as such, may not have had the same popular appeal as his louder or catchier themes. This should not detract from its brilliance and intensity. It is an album of symphonic complexity which rewards listening from beginning to end.
This album was a strong influence on deep-space ambient musician 'Telomere'. If you like this I'd advise you to google him too.
Soil Festivities is a timeless album. It comprises 5 movements which flow in a seamless, organic way. I've listened to this album for twenty years, and I still find something new every time I listen to it. A modern masterpiece. Vangelis shows his soul and spontaneous approach to music through Soil Festivities. It's my Desert Island Disc.
Vangelis has produced some of the finest instrumental music known, most of his albums are really good. I had this album on Cassette tape back in the 80,s but i lost it, so i searched on Amazon to find it at an amazing price so didn,t hesitate on ordering it. Just as i remember its a great listen, nice to chill out too..sounds good through a pair of decent headphones where the detail is much clearer. So Vangelis fans get it if you haven,t already, i have a lot of his music and i have not been disappointed yet..
As my title suggests,this to me is a companion piece to his Bladerunner soundtrack.At certain sections you will say to yourself,I recognize that,as little motifs are dropped in to this piece of music to link them together.This album along with Mask are what I term as Vangelis "Dark",where he seems to develop a claustrophic,dense style of album.Its not immediate like Chariots of Fire and 1492,however if you enjoy an album which you have to explore it to get the beauty of the music I would suggest owning this one.
Vangelis is one of the geatest musical artists of the past 50 years. His music is inspiring and this past contribution is no exception. I would have given five stars but I find that it is taking me longer to "get behind" all of the tracks. Anyway, for Vangelis fans, the cd is a must! Try it out!
The reviews that are already here are excellent, but since I'm sitting here listening to this one it brought it to mind. I just wanted to remind everyone of how good it is.
I guess Vangelis is best known for his Chariots of Fire and Blade Runner soundtracks - which is fair enough because the music got exposure in movies that were seen by a large public.
However there are four Vangelis discs which I rate higher than either of those two: Soil Festivities, City, Mask, and Albedo 0.39.
These four are quite different - but there are similarities between Soil Festivities and City. Mask is more operatic and BIG, while Albedo 0.39 is an earlier recording that's far more lively and seems to hold the essence of Vangelis.
Still, Soil Festivities is what we're on here. It is a contemplative album, without big highs and lows. It's tone is one of a constant surface, with lots of things going on underneath. Never dull, but also not shocking you to attention, the one word I'd use to describe it is "Beautiful".
`Soil Festivities' was the first purely-studio Vangelis album I purchased, when I was a teenager back in 1984. I say it is a `studio' album, and yet its forty-eight minutes is also a soundtrack of sorts.
Presented in five movements, the set opens with a mighty crack of thunder followed by pouring rain. This provides a backdrop to cascades of effects and textural wonderings amidst the humus of the soil. The second movement offers sustained washes of key-changing colours that support fragile figures of great beauty. Vangelis's skill with percussion is on show in the third, whilst the fourth lays out a ponderous beat as a basis for an immensely atmospheric piece, evoking some great journey through a dark and fiery landscape. The fifth movement provides an exultant, festive, and exuberant finale that signs off the whole set in shimmering light.
The first time I heard this magnificent album was in Spillers Records in Cardiff (the recognised oldest record shop in the world) back in the early 1980's, and each listening evokes huge memories from that fantastic decade. Hugely atmospheric this album should be enjoyed with the lights out, volume set on high and with a large glass of something warming in the hand. This is what HiFi and expensive headphones were invented for - Vangelis and his keyboards at their very best.