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CD Feature/ Brendan Pollard: "Expansion"

img  Tobias

As one half of UK-based outfit Rogue Element, Brendan Pollard is busy reinvigorating the music of early electronic music bands like Tangerine Dream and artists such as Klaus Schulze. While their first album “Premonition”, played entirely on original equipment from those pioneer days, sounded like a sweet dream from the 70s, his solo debut takes things one fascinating step further.

“Expansion”, long in the making and – albeit on the smallest of scales – highly anticipated, delivers on the promise of that initial group effort, exploring darker and more direct territory. In the two opening tracks, both at around twenty minutes’ length, Pollard dives deep into blackened Rhodes-harmonies, Choirs from time-warped churches, shepherd’s flutes over fields of eternal night and background noises whispering and murmuring like a spherical conspiracy – only to emerge with hypnotically layered beats and strangely seductive melodies. The latter are far more reduced in comparison with “Premonition”and the overall more pure soundscape only adds to the feeling of being lifted from one world and taken to another. And even though fans of aforementioned acts will enjoy a lot of “deja-entendu” moments, “Expansion” is far from qualifying as plagiarism – that final passage in “Tegula”, when the track comes crashing into a psychedelic lake of spaced-out drums and effects, only occasionaly rising up for air, is far closer to the early 90s' acid-generation than it is to Woodstock.

Two-minute short ballad “Aquarius” closes things off under a romantic, moon-lit sky, again hinting at a future even farther away from those famous role models. With a new Rogue Element work already in the planning, one will soon be able to judge, how much Pollard’s more innovative side will have rubbed off on his partner Jerome Ramsey.

Homepage: Rogue Element / Brendan Pollard

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