ambient arrangements electro music New Age review VGM

Orpheus – “Crystal Dreamscapes” Review

“Crystal Dreamscapes” is a project undertaken mainly by an artist named “Orpheus” who takes us on a completely no holds barred New Age trip. The entire CD is full of swirly padded synths and twinkling sparkling effects and is dedicated to giving new visions of themes from Commodore 64 games.

“Liquid Crystal” opens up with probably one of the most strongest songs on the CD and completely sets the mood. From the swirling light synths to the main tune flowing through you like a dolphins sonar, it is a beautiful piece of music and superbly realised.

Another feature of the album is that each song rolls into the next so “Alien Dreams” starts up almost unnoticed which is the intent of the artist, to make something seemless and relaxing. “Alien Dreams” definately does that through an eight and a half minute epic that gradually unfolds before you like a space oddyssey.

“Parralax Visions” see’s a collaboration with Boz to create an asounding piece. There’s a strong melody and a synth that sounds like shimmering water on the breeze. It’s all very New Age/Hawaiian if there is such a hybrid but it definately stands out. “The Cosmos Awakes” is another strong tune that sounds like it’s just came out of 1980’s Sci-Fi movie before “Nebulae Drift” acts like an interlude for me before we get going again.

“Dark Before Dawn” starts off Act 2 it seems with a slow moving but satisfying piece that actually has a climax to it, a first for the album, which is followed by “Into The light” which sounds like a synth version of a slow choir maybe. “Ancestors” by Carsten Ohlsen is a very strong piece with a beautiful melody and it has a much more quieter feel to it than the others, which for a New Age relaxation CD, I find slightly bizzare that the sound is completely in your ears full blast and that sometimes the different effects used can pierce the ear at times throughout the CD.

“Wave Ascent” is a beautiful little piece reminding me like the title suggests, of the ocean before “Crystal Spirits” and “Welcome Home” do much of the same as we’ve heard before on the CD.

The whole thing closes on “Cosmic Carousel” which actually sounds completely different to the rest of the CD. It has the first tangable instrument, a piano, percussion for the first time and an actual structure to the song! It comes as such a surprise to hear it after all the sweeping works we’ve already had that it leaves a lasting impression as the third and final absolute standout piece (there’s a small bonus track but its more of the same)

Crystal Dreamscapes is such a purist CD however. I enjoyed the CD but even I would have reservations about listening to it all in one go repeatedly. The songs are made to be listened to together but they have more impact on their own because it doesnt feel like one giant never ending 60 minute track! New Age fans or fans of relaxing music to send you to sleep (for the right reasons!!!)  will love this but i think others should definately listen to samples beforehand. Its a unique CD but it will only find true solace for cult hardcore fans of both new age and the VGM genre.

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