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Journeyscapes by Candice Michelle
Other reviews from Journeyscapes by Candice Michelle:
  Songs From The Wounded Heart by Keith Richie, reviewed by Candice Michelle on 2/22/2018
  They Were Here by Byron Metcalf, reviewed by Candice Michelle on 2/7/2018
  Songs of Changing Light by Kathryn Kaye, reviewed by Candice Michelle on 2/7/2018
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By Tsode
Label: Self-Released
Released 6/2/2017
Epic electronica for the modern ages!
Tsode is the recording alias of Jesús Valenzuela, an electronic music composer from Córdoba, Spain. Having been thoroughly delighted by his previous album, Yggdrasil, I immediately sensed even greater things were in store upon receiving his follow-up, titled Brainstorming. Comprised of eleven compositions spanning fifty-eight minutes, the album unfolds like a wildly fascinating sonic adventure, which seemingly traverses an otherworldly landscape located in another mythical dimension. Alternating between chill-trance anthems and epic ambient soundscapes that often incorporate soaring electric guitars and ethnic/world samples, Brainstorming frequently recalls the likes of Schiller, Asura, Enigma and even Mike Oldfield (particularly his 1990’s-era The Songs of Distant Earth and Voyager albums).

Some notable highlights include the spellbinding title track, “Brainstorming”, which features Isaac Muñoz on Flamenco guitar. Armenian duduk and gothic chants seemingly conjure up mystical visions amid laser lights and fog machines, perfectly illustrated by the composition’s driving electronic rhythm and densely nocturnal atmosphere. “Lost in Unconsciousness” is a slower-paced yet equally vibrant composition that feels heroic and fantasy-like, effectively imparting images of a mythical land replete with castles, wizards and dragons. Characterized by bouncy sequencers, aquatic, echoing textures and a steadily stark rhythm, the piece is eventually joined by a soulfully riveting electric guitar solo by Sergio Zurutuza towards the latter part, which carries us till the end. Compositions such as “Heaven’s Walker” define the album’s more contemplative moments with its drifty piano notes and suspended ethereal chords amidst a pulsating rhythmic undercurrent. Soaring electric guitar more along the style of Mike Oldfield returns for “Odisea”, this time courtesy of Miguel Engel Arcengelus, amid a texturally dynamic, cinematic backdrop. My absolute favorite composition herein is the hauntingly Enigma-esque, “…And it was so”, which initially moves in slowly with misty chord layers and astronaut speak. An incredibly phenomenal piece led by the familiar sound of duduk and a seductive driving beat, it conjures a mysteriously fascinating presence of both the distant past and future, as if travelling a great distance in spaceflight around Earth. “Dystopia” recalls a bit of Jean-Michel Jarre’s Oxygene and Equinoxe works transposed into electronic music's modern era. Mesmerizingly futuristic and evocative of time-travel, processed vocal snippets and digitized bubbly effects seemingly stream along a tunnel of blinking lights, which are brilliantly illustrated by the composition’s space-techno soundscape.

One of my favorite recent musical discoveries, Tsode mastermind Jesús Valenzuela has produced another stunning album that is both euphoric and enigmatic from start to finish. A must-have, especially, for fans of Schiller, Enigma and Jean-Michel Jarre, Brainstorming perfectly exemplifies epic electronica for the modern ages!
Rating: Excellent   Excellent
- reviewed by Candice Michelle on 8/3/2017
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