Time Zero is
the fourth album from Modulator ESP, released as a limited
edition of 25 in order to give some music, previously only available
as mp3 downloads, a proper physical release. All tracks were recorded as
live improvisations between 2003 and 2006. The idea came about after I
recorded a CD compilation of my recent work (and not so recent) for
a friend. The original compilation featured Tsunami, which
features on the Groove album Analogy, so a new track was
required to take it's place and Beyond The Sun was recorded to form
a small suite of tracks, fitting nicely in between Tronic Pulse
Time Zero is available to stream
and download free from the Internet
It is also now available to purchase from the merchandise
Tronic Pulse: was a very simple Mellotron flute jam over a
simple SH-101 sequence. Equipment used: Roland M-VS1, Roland SH-101,
Sequential Prophet 600, Sequential Prophet VS.
Beyond The Sun: was produced on the 29th April 2006
specifically for this album. Equipment used: Korg Mono/Poly, Roland
SH-101, Sequential Prophet 600, Sequential Prophet VS, Waldorf
Microwave XT, Sequentix P3, Roland CSQ-600.
Quadratic: was produced to tryout the skip function on the P3
sequencer and as preparatory material for the Quadra
Jam. It was unfinished until a proper ending was added on the
30th April 2006. Equipment used: Sequentix P3, Cheetah MS6,
Sequential Prophet 600, Sequential Prophet VS.
Eos Flight: was an improvisation originally recorded to my
hard disk recorder sometime in 2005, an extra layer of improvised
material was added as it was mixed down on the 6th October 2005.
Equipment used: Korg Karma (with MOSS), Korg Wavestation, Sequential
Prophet VS, Roland SH-101, Waldorf Microwave XT, Alesis MMT-8,
Time Zero: was improvised live from my studio from 00:00
(midnight) on January 1st 2006 and streamed to a worldwide audience
via radio.electro-music.com as part of the electro-music.com
New Year's Eve Event. Equipment used: Korg Prophecy, Korg
Wavestation, Korg Karma, Korg ER-1, Cheetah MS6, Sequential Prophet
VS, Yamaha AN1x, Doepfer Regelwerk, Sequentix P3.
Chromium: is one of my earliest ambient pieces and was a
simple improvisation recorded on the 23rd July 2003. Equipment used:
Korg Wavestation, Nord Modular.
starts with warbling & rasping synthesizers coupled with
mysterious Mellotron flute. After a while a sequence builds
and we are immediately in mid-70's Tangerine Dream territory.
'Beyond the Sun' has excellent deep intro. Jez made
an excellent job of synthesizing really out-there sounds on
this one. This is cosmic EM of the highest order. I just have
to wonder why they don't use this stuff in movies about cosmos
these days, going for some boring orchestral drek instead.
Excellent sequence starts and what a great sequence it is!
Coupled with a super-punchy bass sound it really has a bite to
it! The Mellotron flute appears in this track as well,
combining to great effect with synthetic textures. This is
Berlin School with a fresh attitude - top notch stuff!
'Quadratic', once again has quite an aggressive
intro, with harsh, raspy sounds and echoing clangs. After a
while a slow sawy bass sequence appears. Another sequence
joins the flow, making this a real wall-of-sound experience.
This is stark, dark and decidedly un-commercial Electronic
Music. The sequences are excellent while the overall nature of
the track remains absolutely otherworldly. I think if you're
into geometry - you will enjoy this. Jez has really managed to
express the beauty of simple geometrical forms with this one -
sort of a dry, naked beauty wrapped in intricate forms. And
where one would be without that Mellotron flute? There's a bit
of that too, but it only appears for the last several seconds
of the track.
Next is 'Eos Flight' that initially sets the stage
with deep and mysterious effects & pads. A rhythmic pulse
starts but never dominates. Looks like it's the most laid-back
track so far. Various lead sounds and additional sequences
play on top but overall the track retains that relaxed,
The title track starts with echoes of unknown origin but after
a while we hear some whooshing sounds and very deep bass
throbs. Various other sounds can be heard and this is easily
one of those effective intro's you don't want to end. However,
as we are closing the 10 minute mark, a slow bass / rhythm
combination starts and takes us to the next section that is
dominated by ever-so-slightly shifting and morphing rhythms,
all of them of the laid-back variety. This is an unusual track
indeed and it's unlike anything I've heard from Jez so far. A
great lead line is heard around the 16 minute mark. Another
sequence appears as the lead line continues its play. Some
heavier rhythms can be heard after 20 minutes into the track
that has turned into quite a journey by now. Superb
analogue-sounding solos add a pleasant warmness and really
make me go "wow!" This is quite simply some of the
best neo-prog EM I've heard in a while. Fans of Berlin School
will be delighted, especially those who favour complex,
long-form compositions with great rhythms, lots of sequences,
atmospheres and a sparkling solo or two to boost. One thing to
add is that Jez' sound is now much more refined (compared to
previous efforts) and supplied with a good dose of reverb,
adding the pleasant 'spaciness' to his compositions.
He seems to have put much more effort in his songs which are
now better thought-out and composed with a level of precision
and feeling that many would be jealous of. The last part of
the title track lets the sequences to shine in all their glory
and adds a new bell-like sequence that sounds very organic. A
mournful pad sound is all one needs to complete the mental
picture of traveling through space & time. The journey's
over and we want more.
But wait, Jez serves us a little dessert in the form of 'Chromium'. It consists of typical "Modulator
ESP" atmospheres - all in a mysterious and a bit
claustrophobic setting. Interesting little track.
'Time Zero' is the best Modulator ESP album so far
and a real must for fans of Berlin School / sequencer music.
by Artemi Pugachov - Encyclopedia
of Electronic Music
and some reviews from
Today I took delivery
of his fourth album, Time Zero. A very different beast and a
move to the dark side of the force, but the same brilliance
permeates this album too. These days Jez produces music and I
quote 'with ambient,
berlin school and progressive influences', and man does
he do this well too This has to be one of the best albums of
this type I have ever listened to. Jez is a hugely skilled
and talented musician and when he adds some of his
melodic touches to the mix from time to time, well it just
blows the top of my head off. The word genius comes to mind,
he's that good in my opinion.
I really do highly recommend this album to all lovers of
ambient, berlin school type music. Don't expect sequencers
cranked up to level 11. There are sequencers here but they are
used as part of the overall texture of the music, and rarely
dominate, and this is right up my street. Superb!!!
Review posted by Roy Jackson
on Beyond EM 05.04.06
Thoughts on "Time
Well, a very nice album indeed. Listened to it yesterday and
shall certainly be listening again. Anybody who has seen a Jez
set will recognise the character of these studio solo pieces.
Really well recorded, too. The lengthy title track is the
superb centrepiece of the set, but the standout track for me
is the gorgeous "Eos Flight", with its sequence,
faux-percussion and a wonderful solo over the top. Beautifully
judged. Nice one Jez, this is great stuff. "Eos
Flight" should be appearing on "The Best EM
2006" if there was such a thing!
Posted by Steve Palmer
(Mooch) on the Modulator ESP Forum
Been listening to this since
I got home.
Tronic Pulse - Great Flutey Tron sounds
Beyond The Sun - Very dark and brooding
Quadratic - Great sequencing and more fab Tron sounds at the
Eos Flight - The most orchestral track on the album. Another
great sequence lurks in the background with some cool spacey
Time Zero - Epic Ambient Fantastic
Chromium - Rounds the album off as perfectly as Sequent C
I have 3 other Jez albums but I think thia is going to be the
most played one. Considering the tracks were recorded over a 3
year period, they all fit together perfectly as though they
were all recorded at the same sessions. Up there with
Lambda Variant as my favourite EM release so far this year.
Posted by Gus on the
Modulator ESP Forum
Well, I played it once and
immediately hit the "Play" button again once it had
finished - a good sign. All in all, a really enjoyable album
from start to finish. Highlights so far for me are 'Eos
Flight' and also 'Beyond The Sun' especially
the patient way the sequencers are introduced into the track.
'Time Zero' title track is aptly named as I just
float off and lose all track of time in the process, it is a
meandering epic with vast distances and moods being covered
over the course of its thirty six and a half minutes.
Rather like the works of Ken Martin, this is an album that
demands your total immersion to fully appreciate the nuances
and depth. Mr Creek firmly has his finger on the celestial
pulse with 'Time Zero'.
Posted by Steve Streeter
(Endorphin) on the Modulator ESP Forum