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CD REVIEW: Charly McLion – The Nature of the Universe
By Ben Ohmart - 09/15/2001 - 03:42 PM EDT

Artist: Charly McLion
Album: The Nature of the Universe
CD Review: Charly McLion’s 63 minute, 11 track instrumental cd is one of the best. Well produced, and original. It will no doubt gain the Tangerine Dream audience of today, mainly because it contains more additives than even the best TD in its heyday.

From the totally electronic ‘The Gate of Time’ to the acoustically mellow ‘Dances of the Elves,’ Charly’s combination of adult contemporary, jazz, new age, and electronica elements brands this a crossover album in its own right. Usually composers stick with one niche, one genre, because they are afraid. Yeah, they’re afraid that they won’t satisfy the hardcore drivers (especially in the techno fields). But here’s a guy who lets the Music decide where next to go. Everything’s composed and played by Charly McLion, with the exception of the drum programming on ‘Dream Catcher.’

‘Eye in the Sky’ has a grooved bass rhythm, a stereo beat, the occasional vocal bark (though sampling isn’t a mainstay of the disc), a great synth backdrop which drifts in and out of the picture, always bringing something new and glowing in. Could be an electric guitar, might be the flute-sounding keyboard which winds the melody up for a moment, just to disappear a moment later.

Every cut seeks a tonal/a-tonal balance, with ‘special effects’ going more for enhancement than relying on them to pull the tracks through. Since there’s nothing here that’s under 5 minutes long, Charly can layer sounds until he’s blue in the fingers. ‘Black Hole’ is one such empty room which is slowly covered in blaring wallpaper, plush carpet, and expensive modern furniture. The man Knows how to decorate music.

Why are all the Best, really Good electronic composers in Europe? Okay, it’s hard to track these releases down sometimes, but here’s an instance when it’s well worth the webpage hunts to find where to buy this hot property. Or, just go the link below, and grab it from the maker. But at least Try!

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