Venja – Galactic Underground Volume 3: Music for Astronauts

Venja - Galactic Underground Volume 3: Music for Astronauts
3.5

Release data:

Venja – Galactic Underground Volume 3: Music for Astronauts
CD/DIGITAL DOWNLOAD, Art for Ears, 2021


For the third volume of the series, Johan Geens invited fellow countryman Rhea (aka Mark De Wit) and German synthesist Michael Brückner to join him on his sonic journey.

Well, it’s another well-crafted, highly emotive space, sojourner, starting out in a dark, deep atmospheric mode with “The Depths of Triton” (a collaborative track with Rhea), pulling the listener gently into the galactic expanse. The latter opens up when we shift seamlessly into “No Stars without Darkness” with some subtle sequencing sliding in on the lush unfolding “Nebula” and “Bioluminescence”.  Overall, the special care Johan took in regard to audio quality in the mixing, recording, and mastering processes really pays off. The heavens start beckoning when we arrive at the enchanting yet mystical “Deep Shift” (the second collaborative track with Rhea) that reminds slightly of Michael Stearns, something also applying briefly to the epic soundscapes and repetitive sequencing make up “Quadrature”.

It’s a pity though the chain of enigmatic, profound cosmic ambiences is cut after that: the overall mood and music loosen up massively with Michael Brückner’s rhythmic-oriented Berlin School style marching in on “Black Hole Surfer” and “Final Destination”. Between these latter tracks we find the extra track “The Phoenix Lights” (not available in the digital download) fitting in the same league as “No Stars without Darkness” but far more rhythmic-driven.

After having experienced this album and the previous affiliated two chapters, I wholeheartedly recommend Johan to stick to an overall space-ambient sound (as heard on the biggest part of this well-executed recording) and not blend it with other styles to deliver a cohesive whole in the end.

Website: www.venja.bandcamp.com

You can see what reviews I have done of this artist on the Venja artist page

 

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