Most fans of electronic music will probably know Michael Shipway as one half of the successful UK project VoLt. Since their last album “HJVI” they both have spend their time on own projects. “Voyage to Venus” is the follow-up on Michael’s cd “The Spirit of Adventure”, released in 1995.
“Voyage to Venus” contains shorter, more melodic tracks than the 20 to 30 minute improvisations encountered on the VoLt albums, and is inspired by Dan Dare, an English comic strip sci-fi hero from the 1950’s whose adventures have been dramatised and broadcast on radio as well as a mini TV series. Michael and a friend selected a series of events or scenes from the first ever Dan Dare story “Voyage To Venus” and set each of those to music. To add some extra clarity to the ten 10 selected scenes/ tracks, it was decided to take excerpts from the 1990 BBC dramatization broadcast including some spoken dialog excerpts that would enhance the musical interpretation of each scene.
The fresh and lively outcome is a kind of contemporary and well rendered version of Shipways album “Beneath Folly”, offering similar attractive melodic structures and great solos along poignant sequencer lines and an overall big sound. A major change from “Beneath Folly” though is that Michael decided to add some nice Oldfield-like guitar on some tracks (such as “Turning Blue”, “Submariner”) as it in his opinion sounded more appropriate than a synth lead.
Note: a more in-depth description on the making-of “Voyage to Venus” can be found in the Feature-section.