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Soniq Theater - 2024 - "Solar Winds"

(41:24; Soniq Theater)


1. Solar Winds 4:55
2. Zero Gravity 4:49
3. Underwater Lights 5:24
4. Mare Vaporum 5:11
5. Kopernikus 6:18
6. Quarks 0:33
7. Higgs Bosons 3:17
8. Supernova 1:38
9. Quasar 9:19


Alfred Mueller - all instruments

Prolusion. Veteran composer and musician Alfred Mueller is back with a new album, a just about annual event that has been an ongoing feature for a couple of decades and a bit. As usual this is a self-released production, and one that it is possible to enjoy for the grand price of nothing at all if you so desire. "Solar Winds" is the 24th album to be released under the Soniq Theater band name.

Analysis. Mueller's main approach to the art of creating music is to use synthesizers to cover everything he needs. Other instruments may feature on rare occasions, the same is the case with vocals, but on this most recent album we do not find any of these few exceptions present. As with the last few albums from Mueller, the compositions we get here exist somewhere in the borderland between progressive electronic music and ambient music. The moods and atmospheres are well developed as usual, and Mueller does have a good ear for captivating melodies as well as for inviting and compelling moods and atmospheres. With a stronger focus on strict synthesizer sounds than on most of his previous albums and few instances of other instruments being present in a lesser synthesizer version this is also a production that doesn't really feature any of the details that have been more divisive in nature on some of the previous Soniq Theater albums. As a listener I found this latest journey into the landscapes conjured by Mueller to be quite the pleasant experience. From a reviewer's point of view some of the compositions do become a bit too uniform though, and from a personal preference point of view there are compositions here that would be more interesting with at least a few more subtle additions, alterations or other details that gave the mind a bit more to work with. Then again, maintaining a more uniform landscape will also typically give the material a broader general appeal, and I wouldn't be all that surprised if this is a production that would gain favor among people with a preference for music typically found in the ambient corner of ye olde music shoppe. Floating and flowing synthesizer textures backed by steady rhythm components with some synthesizer surges alongside either dramatic interludes or dramatic impact moments are the main components throughout, with a couple of brief side trips into more experimental waters. The latter category of material gave me associations towards the soundscapes of legendary synthesizer wizard Isao Tomita, while the main parts of this album makes use of the more accessible features one can find among artists such as Tangerine Dream and Vangelis, and to a lesser extent also Kitaro and Gandalf. Dreamladen journeys more often than not, and in this case with cosmic flavored moods and atmospheres as a recurring element.

Conclusion. While Mueller has released albums in the past that have impressed me to a higher degree on a musical level, as a total album experience my opinion is that this is the best sounding album released under the Soniq Theater name so far. If you tend to enjoy accessible music and compelling moods and atmospheres that make use of elements from progressive electronic music as well as ambient music, spending a little bit of time listening to this album should be worth the time spent. Especially since this is an album that can be yours at no cost at all.

Progmessor: February 2024
The Rating Room

Related Links:

Soniq Theater


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