In the electronic music community, synthesist Steve Smith is best known as one half of the UK band VoLt. “Phoenix Arising” is actually a project that has taken about 40 years in the making, as Steve and the other two musicians involved in it (drummer & percussionist Les Sims and guitarist Alan Ford) followed their own way in life after some initial good intentions.
“Phoenix Arising” features some exciting and accesible electronic music with even a rocking flavour, alltogether fitting nicely next to the style of Paul Ward, John Dyson and alike. The high-five track “Spanish Storm” -that was already great in its first draft on a 3-track promo, although shorter- already creates a great and inviting mood with its up-tempo sequencing and melodic line after an atmospheric intro.
The seven tracks following after that display a cool and groovy selection of emotional electronics with lively drums along some vibrant, catchy synths and guitar solo’s. The latter even nicely “battle” with each other on the title track found at the tail of the cd. A special note goes to the seventh track “Deep Depression” with its moody, descriptive atmosphere and nicely building sound levels along a symphonic air in the second half.
All in all, the well-produced and energetic “Phoenix Arising” proves a strong and highly recommendable album.