Artist: Ken Martin
Album: Beyond Ultraviolet

Released: 4 October 2004
Label: Space for Music

Beyond Ultraviolet
Ken Martin works in a field of musicians who will not allow the ghosts of 1970's era spacemusic to rest in peace. His albums of drifting cosmic music effectively recall the timeless sound and mood first brought to us by way of the early LPs of one-time spacemusic master Klaus Schulze. This style of music came into being primarily as a reaction to free-form improvisational rock, conventional symphonic music, political climate and music technology. For musicians of this era, the act of organizing electronic sounds and textures into musical realizations was less about the end point than it was about the pathway. Martin's Beyond Ultraviolet (75'00") has been made using this principle. The album's four sprawling tracks integrate the classic compositional themes and designs associated with spacemusic. Each piece opens with sustaining synthesizer pads shifting about a domain of dark tonality. Time-honored synth modulation accents rise and fall, swirl and spin on every side - a kind of cosmic debris the listener must pass through on this mental journey. Central to this music is the transposing motifs of arpeggiated electronic tone patterns; the cybernetic dancing pulse that counts time yet does not recognize its passing. What sets this music apart from the works of his contemporaries is Martin's ability to limit the speed at which tension is built. His arrangements are based on the principles of minimalism (it's about doing more with less). Although Martin certainly uses modern electronic music equipment in the production of his music, he has not been seduced by this technology's potential for needless complexity. Beyond Ultraviolet is a serious-minded re-envisioning of spacemusic and the cerebral voyage.

- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END   28 July 2005

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