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Deep Imagination - 2017 - "Carefully Kept Secrets"

(59:31; Prudence)


1. Carefully Kept Secrets 5:35
2. Paradise in Space 3:04
3. Wings to Fly 16:47
4. Before Thousand of Years 6:17
5. Deeper Than Trance 7:11
6. Dancing with Ghosts 8:32
7. Awake from a Dream 5:26
8. Paradise in Space (Reprise) 2:15
9. Underneath the Waves 4:24


Thorsten Sudler-Mainz - vocals, keyboards, guitars, percussion, programming
Ann Kareen Mainz - vocals
Gunter Kaufmann - guitars
Byron Metcalf - percussion
Thorsten Rentsch - guitars
Stefan Hollering - saxophone
Oda Reiter - backing vocals
Tanja Bamberg - backing vocals
Leon Mainz - backing vocals

Prolusion. German project Deep Imagination is the creative vehicle of composer and musician Thorsten Sudler-Mainz, and from 2005 this has been an ongoing venture releasing new material at a steady pace with five albums released so far and a sixth album that appears to be ready in not too long. The fourth studio production to be released under the Deep Imagination moniker is "Carefully Kept Secrets", which was released by the label BSC Music in 2017 through their sublabel Prudence.

Analysis. Deep Imagination is one of those projects that doesn't really have all that many connections with progressive rock in terms of direct style, but where the music itself will be interesting to many also inside of a progressive rock context. In many ways the music explored on this production is one that comes with a universal appeal, as this is material very much revolving around moods and atmospheres. Most people would classify the compositions here inside of an ambient music context, and back when I grew up new age was the classification of choice for music of this type. Slow moving rich tapestries created by keyboards and synthesizers is a defining trait of the landscapes explored here, with either darker or lighter toned textures as the dominant one in what is usually a multiple layered arrangement. The intensity will ebb and flow, and the textures will more often than not have a fluctuating movement, with some instances of a more flowing drone-like application used for effects like creating a more cosmic vibe. A bass line or a rhythm pattern will on occasion be given a more prominent and dominant role to add tension to the sound tapestries, but will otherwise have more of a careful presence and in some cases be left out in part or in full. A specific trait explored in many of the compositions here is the use of plucked guitar details in general and plucked and gliding electric guitar soloing in particular, the latter often in a similar, blues-tinged manner as David Gilmour made himself famous for in Pink Floyd. Hence those with a strong fascination for this type of guitar playing will find it interesting to hear how it comes across in a setting like this I would imagine. Layered but careful vocals is another particular aspect of this project and this album, more often than not coming across as both firm and dreamladen and with something of a sacral tone and character to them. Everything has been really well put together here too, where the sounds have been placed in the mix with great care and emphasis has been added to the right sounds at the right places to ensure that there is contrast, tension and a mystical, sacral or cosmic feeling present, and occasionally also a futuristic feel. This results in ambient landscapes with depth, and with properties that come with associations to the ancient, mystic or sacral just as much as to the cosmic and futuristic. And on quite a few occasions managing to combine both sets of associations into one composition too.

Conclusion. While Deep Imagination may not be a venture that will be described as a force to reckon with in the progressive rock universe, those with an interest in well made, accomplished and sophisticated ambient music will get a lot of enjoyment out of this album. If you can imagine a meeting of minds between Enya and Vangelis, with occasional visits from David Gilmour on guitar, you should get a fairly good impression of the moods and atmospheres explored in this production. And if this sounds interesting, I'd be surprised if you didn't find this album to be an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

Progmessor: February 2023
The Rating Room

Related Links:

Deep Imagination BSC Music


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