Saturday, 27 June 2009


A strange magic pervades the New Age of Earth album and this is evident right from the first section of Sunrain, a distant futuristic relative of Steve Reich's Six Pianos. Built on a humming keyboard bass rumble and the percolating sounds of the EKO Computerhythm (an early drum machine) this track elicits the absolute maximum of emotion from the minimum of musical fuss. Described by Manuel himself as 'pattern-based music' much of this piece is like a sort of keyboard Morse code, a simple series of notes repeated in cycle. Thankfully all of the music here is glorious and worthy of repetition.

Sunrain is a most apt title for a track that is oddly tinged with melancholy, yet ultimately forges towards total transcendence: ominous clouds and the lightest drops of cold rain are welcome when beams of light cut through the darkness this brightly.

Many of the musical features of Sunrain, notably the hypnotic repetition and the blissed out climax would become common features of dance music over ten years later. This outstanding instrumental offers some early and compelling evidence that Manuel Gottsching is, more than any other musician, the link between the classical minimalist composers and the techno generation.

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