Etherfysh - "Stasis"
(Electric Mountain Records 2005, EMR 001)
From Aural Innovations #33 (March 2006)
Etherfysh is the work of British electronic musician Chris Christou, whose music combines Berlin school kosmiche á la Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze with elements of symphonic progressive rock. Stasis is his third and latest album and is a 7 track set of long, slowly and beautifully developing ultra cosmic tracks. Check out this bit from the liner notes:
The idea behind this entire CD began with some very simple thoughts. What if an astronaut became separated from his spacecraft and then drifted away forever through space? After the initial fear and panic, when a resignation to his fate began to take hold, how might his thought progress? What visions might accompany him within the universal flotation tank?
Wow, what an image to have in mind as the music began. "Orbit" opens the set and begins with an intense from-the-launchpad rocket liftoff that soon settles into an electronic space-prog symphonic dreamland with elements of early Tangerine Dream to spice things up. "Stasis" is next and is much more focused on meditative space-ambient drift, but still in that all pervasive symphonic wrapper. "Separation" is one of the shortest tracks of the set but one of my favorites, as the music veers off its meditative course, clearly representing a critical moment for our astronaut hero. Chris weaves lots of interesting sound work into this one.
"Gan Eden" is a standout track that draws heavily on old time German kosmiche music influences. Fans of Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream, Conrad Schnitzler and the like will be delighted. "Seradhim" is a bit different, starting off as one of the more purely orchestral tracks of the set, but then turning into an electro beat groove laden number. The album ends with the 21 minute epic, "Last Flight". The music begins with a somewhat foreboding feel, but an angelic vibe quickly starts to wash its way through, creating a feeling that caused me to sense that our astronaut hero is now at the point of resignation and acceptance.
The 7 tracks on Stasis all flow seamlessly from one to the next, making this very much a continuous 70 minute journey through space and time. But there's lots of variety too, which one would expect given the range of emotions our astronaut hero would undoubtedly experience. So if you're in a contemplative mood, or just feel like leaving the planet for a while, put on the headphones, dim the lights, and settle into Stasis.
For more information you can visit the Etherfysh web site at http://www.etherfysh.com.
Email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Ed Unitsky artwork will make you mourn the loss of the gatefold vinyl album. Check out this amazing artist's web site at: http://www.edunitsky.com.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz