If you are already familiar with Murcof and are expecting more of the same, you may be pleasantly surprised in the evolution this album takes from start to finish. We start off where the last album Remembranza finished, slight glitchy, minimal beats, then the album evolves into something truley wonderful, deep, reasonant drones, organs, cello, twinkling keys, fat ( really fat!) analogue sub bass blasts, layer upon layer of sounds propel the listener on a journey that could be either the fantastic voyage or 2001, nether the less, this is like almost nothing you may have heard among the other, ambient hordes of today, clamoring for Eno's throne, (if there ever is a truer heir than Murcof I've yet to hear) There's true alchemy at work in Fernando Corona's vision, and it's this element to the sounds he creates that earn him the ever growing reverence among his fans. This is no collection of of tracks, this is an experience that should be savoured from start to finish.
This album is my first encounter with Murcof, and I'm very impressed: you get an incredible (and building) atmosphere and a palpable sense of "outer space". Clearly it was meant to be played really loud and, for added effect, you should play it at night with no lights on. The album is entirely instrumental and if there is a beat it is very subtle. A strong point is the choice of instruments: instead of solely relying on synthesizers Murcof has used acoustic instruments to great effect, and this certainly is a factor which has taken me in. The only let-down for me (which has led to 4 stars instead of 5) is the rather overblown organ-dominated ending of track one, which kind of destroys the atmosphere so carefully built up. Nevertheless, you may find that this album takes you to places you've never been, bringing the immensity of the cosmos into your home.
Electronica and space are made for each other, and Murcof gives full vent to all the array of sound that a synth, or synths and samples can muster.... Cosmos 1 and 2 are the best of his efforts here. Both tracks build to booming, awe inspiring climaxes.
But don't be fooled into thinking this kind of treatment is unique, because there are plenty of other cosmic synth epics out there.. check out Jonn Serrie's "planetary chronicles" for example, used in various Nasa films, and if you want to dip into the world of New Agey synths at their best, grab some MIchael Hammer.
Having said all that, Murcof judges it (mostly) appropriately... a whiff of an arpeggio here, a sub sonic drone here. But melody is subdued and ultimately a lot of this is simply one long-drawn out legato note, coloured and textured which can get simply a bit ... unadventurous. Odd, too, that such a topic and such music should nevertheless feel in some curious way slightly hollow, missing a transcendent spirituality and opting instead for awe, coldness, distance. Very 2001-like, it must be said.
having just watched the film "Sunshine " by Danny Boyle,i thought "that music sounds familiar"! in fact the film soundtrack is by the Underworld best known for that horrible drivel "born slippy" lager,lager you know it from trainspotting (see the connection already eh ?),anyway back to my point,i researched this and found out that due to legalities you cannot buy the soundtrack from sunshine(other than as an itune download- no good if you don,t have an ipod or you prefer a better quality than the best itunes download rate which is currently 190kbps for itunes plus i think). so , my point here is that for all those people out there who are trying to find the film music then this album is worth a try. o.k. it,s not the soundtrack but if you play it on your hifi at the same time as the film i bet the mood you create is the same if not better. yes , i also agree with the other chap ,i would have given 5 *s were it not for the rather rick wakemanly (sic) organ blasts in the final track. but as for the other reviewer giving 1 star,who says he likes ambient music,the whole point of ambience is that it has no melody and very lttle if no musicality in the traditional sense - thats just it. i have a good hifi;Naim cd5 into arcam preamp into 2 biwired arcam a90,s one for each B & W 730 loudspeaker and Rega p7 deck(not relevant to this item i know)and if turned up a little you can hear sub bass frequencies aplenty.also there are plenty of organic soundsources thats what Murcof uses,voilin,piano,cello etc etc as well as electronic manipulation and sampling - l know because thats what i do as well ! so,try listening again.maybe its just not your cup of tea,there is NO point in trying to change someones opinion if they just do not get something.i would not want to try to do that anyway.you have to come to your own conclusion don,t you otherwise its akin to a nanny state (!?!)slight cough there. so, i would say to people give this a listen,you may like it and go on to buy all the other works( personally i like the versaille sessions best of all but again some say its not true murcof well its got his name on the cover - say no more ) love and peace richard p .
Am I listening to the same album as them? Maybe there's something wrong with the copy I bought, but I can't hear any of the sub-bass rumblings or the haunting organic instrument sounds that the other two reviewers are refering to. And yes, I'm giving it my undivided attention and I'm playing it on a damn good hi-fi. And yet I'm just hearing a cacophanous wall of noise, and the sound of £10 of my hard-earned cash disappearing down the drain. As ambient music goes, this fulfills only one half of the description: it's pure ambience; there's no musicality about it. And I like my ambience, I really do, but - call me a lightweight if you will - I need a spoonful of musicality to wash it down. I've heard people describe this artist as a genius. To me, this is something that anyone with a mic, a couple of hours and a decent bag of home-grown could come up with: mindless, self-indulgent drivel.