Artists: FSP/Gert Emmens

Released: 17 April 2011
Label: FSP Records

Legacy (79'31") is an album for furious sleepers. Free System Projekt and Gert Emmens provide enough archaic modulations, airborne lead melodies and pulsing sequencer runs to make any night's sleep a dream laden adventure. And truly so, this music did in part originate in the incongruous narratives of the slumbering mind. Early electronic works by Tangerine Dream were an attempt at evoking through sound the same strange feelings-from-the-id surrealists portrayed in their paintings. All these years later their experimental sounds and free form arrangements are now well known, familiar and held as commonplace. As TD and their contemporaries pursued commercial success, the open and innovative music they pioneered was left to bands like Free System Projekt to advance and refine. Legacy not only hits the Spacemusical mark dead-on, but the group does it live in front of an audience. Featuring three tracks, all recorded live, this CD begins with "Heritage" - a nearly 50 minute mind trip across an improvised synthetic landscape of sustaining drones, interlocking tone patterns and disembodied mellotron flutes, strings and choir. Referencing "Desert Dream", "Departure From the Northern Wasteland" and other cosmic classics, this piece reaches across the decades in an achievement of epic proportions. The title track follows and, recorded at a different concert, comes up with a different feel. Here Gert Emmens joins FSP on drums. Following the contours of the 1976 Klaus Schulze piece "Floating", and benefiting from the liberation found in the live setting, the trio manages to summon the spirited energy of an entire era quite well. The live drumming pulls the piece forward as transposing arpeggi shift artfully beneath an unfurling ribbon of synth lead melodies and the rush of sustaining chords. "Prophesy", the third and final piece, develops fast. With its driving sequencer runs and thumping drums, overlapping keyboard lead lines further enliven this piece. One must not feel guilty about liking this album. Some will call it "nostalgic", and it may be - not because of its obvious musical quotes... but due to the absence of irony, and the overwhelming presence of optimism and hope.

- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END   27 May 2011

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