"Electronic Regions", a concert album with varied expressions spread out over two discs, took Norwegian musician Terje Winther a long time to complete, almost five years to be more exact.
For this release, Terje actually wanted to pay homage to all the electronic music that has inspired him, from early Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze, through prog rock and electronic hit songs, to long symphonic works mixed with sounds that stretch your imagination. For this purpose, he mostly used ProTools, next to main synths as the analogue modulars, the Moog and ARP synths, plus various string machines to put the icing on the cake.
Musically, Terje has come up with inspired vintage electronics consisting of lots of full tonal and atonal analogue sounds, strong rhythms from sequencers, good tunes and themes, keeping in mind there’s always a rough, overtly strange and experimental edge to it all. Together, they act like "a walk through a giant landscape where you meet all these wonderful places to visit", as Terje said it in an interview with Planet Origo.
Well, the vibe and backbone of ‘70’s vintage electronics lies firmly embedded in the centre of the highly improvised music. There’s the one hour, five-part "Entering Regions Suite" on the first disc, of which the masterful middle track "I Feel Life" is one of pure and grand design, actually making retro music shine so brightly, while the sequenced, enigmatic spheres of "Repeating (itself)" send its greetings to TD’s "Ricochet".
This also goes for the three pieces on the second cd: although the short opening piece "Electronic RendezVouz" is rather pointless and silly, the over 51-minute "Where the water leaves the road" carries on very nicely in classic Schulze in the first 20 minutes or so. After that, the music turns more melodic and a bit too freaky at times.
Eventually, the vintage style works out better on the cinematic, more harmonic sounding "Evermore", which strays along the numerous paths of "electronic forests".
In its own right, the music re-interprets and redefines the impact of the auditory landscapes from the past, which were ahead of their time. Mr Winther has transformed them into massive and expansive new shapes and figures, even into off-the-world dimensions if you like.
Summarizing: Terje’s "Electronic Regions" is not an easy-to-chew or digest kind of retro music, but a tough one with a full-grown edge of maturity, demanding adventurous ears to experience and appreciate its full meaning.