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Macrocosm - Second Voyage

Macrocosm - Second Voyage

Label: Hypersound HYPS 71029
Year: 2005
Cover by: Mike Henderson

This CD is available at:
Hypersound

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Playlist

01. Alien Invasion - 5.43
02. Galactic Fighters - 6.26
03. Maximum Power - 6.46
04. Out Of The Ordinary - 6.43
05. Asian Adventurer - 5.07
06. Morning In The Dark - 7.19
07. Retro Generation - 6.04
08. Energetic Ride - 6.01
09. Japanese Revenge - 6.20
10. Insomnian Satellite - 4.50
11. Beyond The Macrocosm - 6.17

Track 2, 3, 5, 6, 8 and 10 produced by Marco Rochowski
Track 1, 4, 7, 9 and 11 produced by Anders Lundqvist
Vocal on “Morning In The Dark” by Anne Nupponen.

Executive produced by Humphrey Robertson

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Reviews

This album gives me great satisfaction, great sequencing with lot's of energy and some fascinating tunes. As on track 6. morning in the dark, dream-spacesynth sound qualities with the female vocals of Anne Nupponen.
Macrocosm have their own fresh and powerful sound that remind me of the classic groups like laserdance, koto, rygar, proxyon, hypnosis releases, especially on Marco Rochowskis tracks.
Anders Lundqvist's own signature comes out on his artistic quality like on track 9. Japanese Revenge, or track 7. Retro Generation it's a very enjoyable trip this Second Voyage album, and with its 67-minute length and a collection of 11 space tracks. A must purchase for any 80s synthesizer dance fans.

Zsolt

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After having revolutionized spacesynth with their First Mission, by taking the sound of Laserdance & Koto etc. up to a higher level, Macrocosm now invites us onto their Second Voyage. I almost run my legs off to be on the flight ;-)

I take seat while thinking back on my first wonderful and unforgettable discovery trip with Macrocosm, ready to embark on this voyage piloted by Marco & Anders. As any true spacesynther my expectations are high...of course! Because I truly think they can DO IT AGAIN, in other words take me looping through space in amazing sky orbits around the planets while I see nothing but bright stars in all the colours of the rainbow!

The voyage kicks off with an "Alien Invasion" and I seek refuge in the lower safer levels of the spacecraft. At first it's quite dramatic indeed, but then I get the feeling it's all a false alarm. I don't see any aliens! On the contrary, this tune is somehow a happy one in my opinion =) This doesn't mean "Alien Invasion" is a bad tune with it's strong melodies, but its lack of variation and "punchlines" leaves me down there in the spaceship wondering whether the voyage has started or not.

However, the alarm has summoned the "Galactic Fighters", and what a relief they are in all their glory! They take care of the lift-off in an amazing manner. The Koto-sound has never sounded better, and it's delicately spiced up with both known and until now unknown crisp effects, instruments and samples. And the melody, well it gives the spaceship ....

...."Maximum Power" (with reference to a track from Vocoderion)!! Now we're spacetravelling at speed of light..! I'm as happy as can be having climbed upon the roof of the craft stretching myself towards the stars (this time with reference to the famous "Titanic"-scene). In Maximum Power the Laserdance-sound is excelled. I guess I'll always smile with joy everytime a spacesynth-track starts with simple-drum-intro pioneered by Laserdance (it just has something to it), after which this track grabs you.....yeah, with maximum power. Here we have both amazing speech-samples that could've been taken from Star Wars episode 51 and the always welcome vocoder-voices topping a soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo fantastic melody line. It's definitely...

...."Out of the ordinary"! And that's true, this track is quite out of the ordinary. And neither here is that a negative thing. The shuttle speeds down, maybe we're in for a landing...? At 3 min 07 sec I got spellbound, and true enough I get the feeling the craft is drifting in some kind of foreign magic territory. Gotta be careful with that maximum power =) Or maybe not, because this is indeed a nice experience. It's funky and groovy while being relaxing at the same time. Guitars are even introduced, and I like it. An album needs variation, and this is an interesting and welcome contribution. About that landing....I seemed to be right, the craft hovers down and lands surrounded by ancient samurai towers as we are to encounter an....

..."Asian Adventurer". I imagine him to be the warrior in the artwork of the cover, as he tells me to have a seat in his fighter-craft, sit back and enjoy the ride. As if he needed to. Sincerely, I catch myself uncontrollably screaming out with joy 3 min 16 sec out in the ride as he sets out singing on his (and my) favourite song. As I don't stop screaming (this actually happened) he could easily reckon me to be crazy, but he knows as well as me that it's this music I'm crazy about. That's why I'm writing this review by the way. Asian Adventurer is ultimately the perfect mesh between vehement heavy classic italo disco sound and spacesynth with its galopping beat. I would happily stay on this ride all the night until the......

...."Morning in the dark". A soothing female voice softly wakes me up. After a while she somehow gives me the feeling I have "Lightyears to go" this upcoming day ;-) And that I will pass through Area 51 along the way. However, she eventually spreads out her own menu of the day. It shows to be purely delicious, and I ask her whether I may keep it. Because it surely is a feel -good-menu that for me will serve well every morning as a guarantee for a pleasant day. She humbly utters that I must be part of the.....

...."Retro Generation". I may well be, my 27 years taken into consideration. Anyhow, I'm proud to say that in my opinion a track like this rocks BIG TIME. Retro Generation is perfectionized old -school Laserdance-sound, and as indicated in the lyrics that's exactly what it's meant to be. I like when people keep promises, and especially when Macrocosm does it. Yeah, I'm seriously getting the feeling they do it again, cause this is such a......

...."Energetic Ride"!!! And it's not over yet, not at all!! AAAAhhhwww what a climax. Through this ride I see the moon, the sun and the stars as if they were all cirkling in lightning speed around the spaceship me driving it upside down. You hear it all so clear how much Macrocosm enjoy making this music. The timing and variation in this one is simply amazing. If you don't get a boost of energy by this then you're dead (or deaf:-). An s.o.s. from the asian adventurer tells me I need to channel all that energy to fight with him in the....

....."Japanese Revenge". My experiences from the "Chinese Revenge" seem to come in handy as there are some parallells between the two, and consequently the warrior ;-) to me with a confident smile. The Japanese revenge is a bigger and better opponent than the chinese, both being parts of the retro generation, still in this company it rests a light-weighter. We send the japanese into eternity leaving it in sky orbit as an eternal......

....."Insomnian Satellite". It surely looks better now =) It's a flawless masterpiece now up there in the night sky. You even can hear the comets passing through the whole track, and the singing robot should become the next "World Idol" considering his musicality...! And the composer behind, the next pope =) Seriously now, this is how true spacesynth should be, even....

....."Beyond the Macrocosm". We're closing in towards the end of the second voyage entering the landing procedures, and I wonder if we're in for a safe and pleasant landing. The pilots take it slow as we float silently towards the spaceport. It's truly soothing although a guitar tells me it's planet earth we're approaching. It's a track of thought, it makes me relax and cleanse my thoughts, still though reminding me of what I've just been through. It's the best landing I've ever experienced, and I've been on a few!

I remember so well from a couple of years ago when I sat on a bus on my way to work, and turned on my MP3-player full of random downloads of Audiogalaxy from the night before. First I heard Anders Lundqvists "Mission to the stars" and then "Dragon Slayer". My co-passengers must have wondered as I hardly could sit still with goosebumps bigger than bowlingballs, while thinking with relief, it's not dead....it's back!! Since then Hypersound and Axis Records have confirmed just that. One of them having published "Second Voyage", leaves me in eternal appraisal of their fine efforts. This music is bound to have an even more commercial revival as long as acts like Macrocosm keep on music. Congratulations on another victory Marco & Anders!

Rating: 9/10
Pål Hverven (Italopal)

• • •

First impression of Second Voyage is that the album is not as good as 1st Mission, the reason being that while 1st Mission had approximately 5 killer tracks, this one has 2 all the rest range from good to very good. Having said that, Marco and Anders have continued where they left off and produced a stunning album that does not disappoint.

1. Alien Invasion – Anders returns to his roots of Unknown Destination. The track is contradictory that it starts of very dark and menacing and then reverts into a happy track. But who cares when you have those wonderful melodies and typical lundqvuist sounds that we got to know in his first Album. A very good track.
2. Galactic Fighters - Marco at his finest. For me perhaps Marco’s best track of all time. Absolutely brilliant and a privilege to listen to such music. I just love those great array of different sound melodies blended together. Reminds me of classic laser dance fused with proxyon. Just when you thought you couldn’t hear anymore along comes another killer melody. Easy matches Laserdance’s finest. This is what spacesynth is all about. Marco you are a genius!
3. This is a typical Rochowski track yet to me there’s something missing. To make it a great track it just lacks something to capture the imagination. The melodies are just not catchy enough as you would expect from Marco. There’s nothing there that stands out and as a result I would say this is average.
4. This track is Anders moving into a different sound away from Unknown Destination. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand it’s great that Anders is pursuing this direction but on the other hand not all the stuff produced, is not moving me. This track reminds me sort of the early 80’s synth scene ala Harold Faltermeyer. More suited for a movie, this song for me sounds more like it has a theme rather than conventional spacesynth. In addition even though the sounds were good I didn’t like the melodies.
5. Asian Adventurer. I heard this a year ago when it was a freebie so am probably a little over this track. My fault because I played this so many times. I remember when I first heard this, that this was another very good track by Marco. Has an oriental start but then reverts into smooth space synth. Nice melodies with enjoyable vocoder singing.
6. Morning in the Dark the second killer track in the Album. Sweet lyrics (love that accent) complement the introduction. The other amazing thing about this song is the way Marco seems to build this song from initially a very soothing sound to a beautiful mid-tempo ballad. What more can I say, fantastic slow melodies fused with that renowned sound that we can expect from a Rochowski production. In one word spectacular.
7. Retro Generation. This is another track that for me Anders is moving away from the conventional Unknown Destination sound. Another great tune and I like the very fitting vocoder sing. “…Retro Generation holding onto yesterday….” Makes me want to play Pac-man. To me this track shows that you don’t need the classic LD sound for something to be very good, again great melodies and sound.
8. Energetic Ride. All I’ll say about this is that this is a typical M. Rochowski track in the classic LD mode. A variety of sounds with pretty good melodies.
9. Japanese Revenge. A very interesting track this is. I like the sound of the Japanese speech. Also the melodies are quite beautiful, the only thing for me lacking is that the melody that starts at 0:32 sounds a bit thin, I would have like to have heard more back ground fill in rather than just koto bass, chord and melody sequence. Also perhaps an overlapping melody somewhere. But having said that its still pretty good.
10. Insomnian Satellite; Well even genius’s have flaws. This is one track that I don’t really like that much I don’t know whether it’s the flat notes or the melody. Furthermore I hate that vocoder singing on this (not good). And the two melodies that follow the vocoder singing are not appealing.
11. Beyond the Macrocosm ; Interesting track this. For me this is not Spacesynth, but rather a film score. Personally I would have not called this beyond the Macrocosm, but then again maybe the meaning is that Anders can compose beyond spacesynth. I like the mood of this tune but I probably wouldn’t listen to this when I’m listening to spacesynth somehow it doesn’t fit. Still though Anders shows us that he can go outside the realm and produce something that is totally different yet very good.

Overall the 2nd Macrocosm  album does not disappoint, the boys have continued where they left off. Macrocosm nowadays has set the benchmark for others to strive for and to me they are the leaders in the field.

Rating: 8.5/10
Peter D

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