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(53:49; Soniq Theater)
There are very few artists in the prog scene which one can rely on as much as Alfred Mueller, but at the beginning of every year we get a new album from him, and this one, released at the beginning of 2022, was his twenty-second. Sometimes he brings in guests, or revitalises tracks from his past, but more often or not it is all new recordings with Alfred the only person involved, and that is what we have here. Now, I would prefer him to be using a real drummer as opposed to programming but he does keep up to date on software which means that although it is not as good as if a human was there it also means it is not detrimental to the overall sound too much. As one would expect from any musician who has been going as long as Alfred, he continues to grow and his music is far more complex and developed than it was on the earlier albums. There is a great concentration on melody, and it would be easy to imagine songs such as “Epic Movie’ being played in an ELP-style trio and it is definitely a shame he has not been playing any of this material in that setting as I know that would add additional depths and layers to the sound. But I can’t imagine him changing any time soon, and here he has managed to capture a sound which has obviously been influenced by both Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman, with nice melodies and counter melodies. Alfred has always stayed very low key, producing CD-R’s and downloads, and giving his music away for free, which means he has often been overlooked by many but this is yet another really enjoyable album for anyone who likes keyboards.
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