With Pepijn Courant’s “Solstice” (composed on the occasion of E-Live 2015 festival), German label Spheric Music has added an album fitting their catalogue. The release offers nearly 80 minutes of fresh sounding, sequencer-spiced and melodic instrumental music with additional percussion and very tasteful acoustic guitar at places.
“Jacob’s Ladders” makes a catchy, almost happy opener while “Halo” (for which Ruud Heij provided Old School sequencing) makes a strong, quite versatile track in which quite a lot is going on. “Autumn Mist” though sounds light weight and a simple sketch to my ears, so a rather out of place. The 30-minute title pieces comes in two parts, opening with a very beautifully combo of vintage synths and acoustic guitar one part 1 (soundwise not straying far from Robert Schroeder’s “Harmonic Ascendant”) then drifting into a serene landscape of peaceful, ethereal drift. It’s a pity this lovely intro already shifts into sequenced-rhythmic music after 6 minutes. The thought even occurred to me the composer looses himself a bit too much in the last 5 minutes of the 17-minute track with some jolly soloing while the accompanying drums sound too clinical. Although the flute intro of part 2 doesn’t impress me, the fast-paced sequencing and soaring pads later on have a nice charm, but the drums and frantic solos don’t contribute anything substantial.
Compared to that the final track the 19-minute “Northern Light” is attractive, infectious and well-balanced, centering on some well executed vintage sequencing on the first seven and a half minutes. From there some rhythmic bits start entering the stage but versatile strings of sequencer patterns and warm pads form the main course on this strong, slight TD-esque effort, fortunately without the use of solos.
Overall, while the first two tracks are up my alley I would also have preferred more music like the last track.
You can see what reviews I have done of this artist on the Akikaze artist page