Modulator ESP: Time Clouds Distant Memory

'Time Clouds Distant Memory' was recorded live at a pub called Peggars in Nottingham on Sunday 25th March 2004. This was my third gig in as many months and was in quite a nice venue. The previous 2 gigs had been held upstairs at Bunkers Inn, just around the corner. This venue had the advantage of being downstairs, so setting up was easy. 

The set featured 3 tracks, the first two: 'time clouds' and 'astral dreams' were improvisations with new sequences, whilst the third was a new version of 'dark star voyage' with new, updated and modified sequences. For a change, there were no technical difficulties and everything ran according to plan, more or less. I quite like the development in these tracks and for the first time was happy to make the full recording available (CD available from the Merchandise page). Obviously they aren't perfect, but they do hang together quite well. Occasionally I wished I had a third arm, to fade in or edit a sequence whilst playing a 2 handed synth part, but I seemed to manage regardless.

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Time Clouds Distant Memory features sequencer-based music, vaguely in the Berlin School mould. The sound quality is nice but I'd prefer more reverb - the sound is a bit dry to my ears. It starts with "Time Clouds" that has an atmospheric introduction with pads and soundscapes, but after a while melodic motifs and, subsequently, rhythmic sequences are introduced that drive the rest of the track along in a relaxed, unhurried mode. You will encounter some pretty tasty solos along the way. The second track is called "Astral Dreams". There's an abstract beginning with noises, soundscapes and stuff, but the sequences ought to appear sooner or later, and voila! - they do as we are nearing the 3 minute mark. Low threatening chords are heard as we are propelled forward at a pace faster than usual with Modulator's recordings. I think it's the best of his live tracks (despite some use of preset choir sounds) - the sequencing is very competent here - pure New Berlin School, a bit trancey and yet more like prog EM. The title of the last track is "Dark Star Voyage" - the same as the first track on Reality Excursion Sequences, but it's a totally different version. It starts with a reflective piano part that gives way to rhythmic notes and in the end it's another mid-paced sequencer track, in typical Modulator ESP style.

Abridged review by Artemi Pugachov from: Encyclopedia of Electronic Music - all content copyright 2004 Modulator ESP and Jez Creek
All photos and artwork by Jez Creek unless otherwise stated.