Stasis, the most recent work of UK based EM artist Chris Christou is a moving work of mysterious, beautiful and often haunting melodies wrapped around subtle rhythms and sequences encapsulates the concept of an astronaut separated from his craft and drifting helpless through space. The disc is beautifully complemented by the exquisite artwork of Ed Unitsky.
Read just one of the reviews Stasis received below, try the sound samples here and enter the world of Etherfysh’s Stasis yourself.
Andy Garibaldi - CD Services
I know it's only February, but the rest of the synth music fraternity is going to have their work cut out to produce a better, more consistent, more original and more enjoyable album than this one, in 2006. A seventy minute work of class, quality and sheer brilliance.
Forget the first album - good though it remains, comparing this to that is like comparing Tangerine Dream to Bananarama. This is way above that album. The best bit is that it's totally accessible yet doesn't take its cues from any one band or style, yet covers a wide range of thirty years of synth music without ever sacrificing its consistency.
It's a concept album - the concept being the conveyance of the thoughts and emotions of a man in space who takes off, orbits, walks in space, becomes separated from his craft and eventually drifts through space on his "last flight". Sounds strange? Well, trust me, it works - and works so well, you'll see exactly where the musician is coming from. That the subject is emotions, means that the musician, Chris Christou, has poured his emotions into the making of this album - and it shows, for a more "feeling" synth music album, you'd be hard pressed to find. There are 7 tracks between four and twenty minutes long and nearly all of them lead unbroken into the next forming this gigantic seventy minute body of glorious synth music. A fair portion of the album is space music - but space music that is better than anything you'll have ever heard before.
The album opens with the near nine minute 'Orbit', beginning with NASA samples before the craft lifts off and enters space - the sound of the gorgeous synth textures convey the silence that is the entry into orbit, to perfection as deep bass, flutey synth overlays and rich synth textures combine with rippling synth underneath as a gigantic, beefy, solid sequencer rhythm begins and the whole musical panorama just billows out like an expanding cloud on a gloriously sunny day. It doesn't sound like Schulze or T Dream - but it is "familiar", original and totally wonderful. String synths, lead melodies, sequencer rhythms and assorted layers all drive forward on a quite incredible opening track that has power, atmosphere and feeling by the shovel load. From here it's an unbroken segue into the seven minutes of 'Stasis', a space synths track that is so much fuller-sounding, so much more emotional and just utterly spine-tingling and heart-warming than any other slice of cosmic music around right now. The sound of the synth layers go the full range from deep bass undercurrents to high-flying flowing synth lead layers, at all times conveying a movement that is not rhythmic but feels like it is travelling. With plenty of layers, at no point does anything stay the same, while the fascination becomes addictive as you enter further into the concept and the conception. After this comes 'Separation' and, bearing in mind the subject matter, gets it spot on as this dark, eerie, almost frightening sea of scary synth layers, textures, echoes, and effects conveys to a tee, the sheer terror at an emotional level, of its subject. As scary but engrossing and, it has to be said, enjoyable, a slice of dark synth music, as you'll hear. The four minutes of 'Refraction' is a sombre yet symphonic slice of huge-sounding, flowing, mighty cosmic music with, once again, plenty of soaring, drifting, full-sounding, strong and purposeful synth layers and textures that move across your mental horizon and take you on the journey with every second that unfolds, in a wondrous cloud of electronic gorgeousness, with a dark surround. From here you are taken to the thirteen minute 'Gan Eden' as percussive synth rhythms are heard under flowing string synths, before a sea of assorted bass synth and sequencer rhythms begins as the track builds its layers and heads out into deep space, the presence of rhythms for the whole length of the track, at this point in the album, just perfect. The music now tightens its hold on your attention even further and takes you forward into the thoughts of a traveller watching worlds pass by as he heads for seeming oblivion, yet fascinated at what is being seen. Mighty and then some. The track sails uninterrupted into the near ten minute 'Seraphim', Spacey and gloriously cosmic synths take you to the six minute point, then it explodes into life amid a sea of string synths, deep rivers of resonant bass synths and solid, rolling electronic drum rhythms that dive forward to the end of the huge-sounding track. However, this is but a mere precursor to the near twenty one minutes of 'Last Flight' that follows, as fantastic an epic of deep feeling, multi-layered, multi-textured, flowing, full-sounding, always travelling, solid cosmic space synths music as there can surely be. It's one monumental slice of music that is just inspirational and totally absorbing listening every time you hear it, full of emotion and even deep feeling spirituality, a glorious cosmos of synth music splendours that is simply immense as it drifts, soars, flows and flies towards a heaven that it has created by is very existence and a heaven that is the unknown point to which the whole journey is leading.
As a synth album goes, this is superb and then some - not a second wasted, not a second out of place - immaculately played, written, produced and arranged. It's not like anyone else and it stands rightfully proud as an epic work of electronic music that shall remain totally timeless for years to come.