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CD Feature/ Rogue Element: "Premonition"

img  Tobias

Take a look around: There’s people walking in flares, giving the peace-sign, smiling at the sun. The 70s are back and space is still the place. In the clubs, dj’s are playing disco and heavy funk and tired dancers arrive home in the middle of the night, spinning a vinyl-copy of “In a Gadda-Da-Vida” before finally floating off into dream land.

“Premonition” is the soundtrack to their dreams, it’s the spark caused by the burning ember of their consciousness. Back in those golden days, Jerome Ramsey and Brendan Pollard were probably listening to Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze all day long, while getting high on life and love. Now, their first album as Rogue Element serves to bring back those memories. The duo has presumably spent the last few years at jumble sales and ebay, collecting synthesizers like stamps, all from the golden “Berlin School”-era of electronic music (basically the same equipment Pink Floyd used, as well). Now, their gear fills an entire page and all but prevents them from playing live, unless they find the funding to set up a Jenifer Lopez-like crew of 50 roadies to carry the stuff. It’s a sign of total dedication in times where everything seems to come from sample-CDs and “retro” is an equalizer-setting on your stereo. With this in mind, the greatest suprise regarding this record is the fact that it’s not “retro” at all. True, there’s lavish mellotron-pads, lovely warm flute sounds, dreamy themes and gently layered melodies over slowly evolving sequencer-rhythms. But while classics like “Stratosfear” and “Ricochet” are never far away, “Premonition” has its own sound: The overall feeling is more relaxed, the pace less relentless, structures are more resting. Long intros melt into gentle grooves, which build up and die away, without changing their mood. The fantastic closer “Falls the Shadow” manages to keep to this formula for seventeen breathtaking minutes without boring the listener once and the brilliantly titled “Rainbow Runner” is the lone exception to the rule, with its uplifting major-coda, reminiscent of Jean-Michel Jarre’s “Oxygene Part V”.

Rogue Element have taken Edgar Froese’s brainchild and turned it into something both classic and contemporary. That’s quite an achievement and promises even better things to come. What’s more: You don’t need to wear flares or to be a child of the 70s to enjoy this

By tocafi

Homepage: Rogue Element

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