Brian Vassallo | Beyond

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Electronic: Electronica New Age: Meditation Moods: Mood: Dreamy
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Beyond

by Brian Vassallo

"At the time of creating my first debut, i wanted to put the listener right away into a contemplative mood about the mysteries of the universe. Beyond was intended to be listened on CD - as a whole, as the tracks flow into each other! ~ Brian Vassallo
Genre: Electronic: Electronica
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Are We Alone?
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4:09 album only
2. Out There
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6:50 album only
3. Distant Stars
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5:08 album only
4. Where Are We Going?
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6:11 album only
5. Heartbeat Above Earth
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5:07 album only
6. Beyond
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3:35 album only
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Artist Brian Vassallo (Composer).
Title BEYOND
Label Brian Vassallo MUSIC // ASCAP
UPC Barcode.-No. (634479320033)
CD Manufuctured By Polygram
Mastering: Temple Studios // MALTA
Cover Design: Duane Laus

Author © Bill Binkelman - Wind & Wire .

Brian Vassallo's debut recording, Beyond,may be short (it clocks in at just over 31 minutes long) - but what a fantastic 31 minutes it is! If you love classic spacemusic, Beyond could become one of your favorite recordings of recent memory. Six tracks are divided between soaring drifters full of all manner of retro synths evoking the golden era of the Hearts of Space record label, and quasi-Berlin EM cruisers. All of the tracks are solidly engineered and produced, with a spacious sound field (headphones are a must, in my opinion).

"Are We Alone?" opens the album in grand jaw-dropping fashion - swooshing synth washes, whooshing sonic effects, echoing tones, and dramatic analog chords combine to evoke a true sense of the cosmos. Minor key undercurrents and lush drones are carried along in a current of bouncy Berlin-like drum rhythms and soaring synths on "Out There" (one of my favorite tracks on the CD). "Distant Stars" reverses field with its plaintive and heavily echoed digital piano (notes seem to go on forever - receding further and further into the distance) evoking the vastness of deep space, helped along by whooshing solar wind effects and subtle drones deep underneath the piano. "Where Are We Going" returns to the bouncy rhythms of "Out There" but this time the mood is emotionally lighter and also more of a straightforward homage to Berlin school music. Warm melodic keyboard chords flow over percolating sequenced beats and synths. Later, more retro synths enter the track, yielding an even warmer sound and bringing a smile to my face, as I recall the LP recordings by Larry Fast (a.k.a. Synergy) that I first played way back in the '70s.

Two more floating spacemusic tracks remain on Beyond: the serene "Heartbeat Above Earth" (Michael Garrison meets Jonn Serrie perhaps?) and the uncharacteristically more sparse ambience of the title track (which is a dark formless scary short trip into forlorn synth choruses, strange reverberating rhythms, and mysterious drones). Beyond, indeed! The only fault I can find with the track is that ends very abruptly - almost too much so.

Brian Vassallo will hopefully be encouraged by a positive response to this fine recording. Beyond may signal the start of a great spacemusic artist's career.If you're a fan of the golden age of spacemusic (mid to late '80s), you will be too.



BRIAN VASSALLO: BEYOND
Author © ERIC MONTFORT -The Sunday Times .

"THE atmosphere of this album is greater achieved when started from the begining and played to the end without interruptions,"states the opening of this album,to wich one should add "in a closed dark room".
Beyond is Brian Vassallo's first album and is a montage of electronic instrumental sounds.It also follows other occasional releases in this mould,notably Nicky Falzon's Masque projects in 1992-94.

Beyond's base is the electronic music advocated by the likes of Pierre Schaffer and his most successful pupil Jean Michel Jarre.There are also influences from KarlHeinz Stockhausen and even draws on Berio's latter-day serial music experiments.
As the name suggests,the album's theme is on our vast mysterious universe and the music is suited to create an aura of mystery.Themes like Are We Alone,Out There and Distant Stars are enough to make the listener realise this.
Beyond also provides an ideal backround for meditation.
Beyond is impeccably produced and although it is essentially instrumental and incidental music,there are also some moments where technical ability and musical creativity are evident.
This debut release has opened at least two options for Brian Vassallo-either to continue delivering this this kind of specialised and rather popular electronic atmospheric new age music or to direct his creative abilities towards more experimental arrangements.



Reviews


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Ehron VonAllen

Wonderful!!
I am a music artist myself so it's hard for me sometimes to enjoy other people's music. I know that sound weird but it's true. This is not the case with this album. I know every note by heart. This is one of mine and my wife's favorite CD's we own. It just pisses me off that people don't more widely accept such great electronic music.

Glorianne & Maverick

Great!Great!Great!........truly Brilliant!
I have always been an admirer about this kind of music.
Listening to BEYOND also makes me more in a relaxing state of mind and peace each time i listen to it.I strongly recommend this cd ,and i am already looking forward for more new music from this great artist.Thank you Brian V.


Ingrid Friedemann

Wonderful!!!!!!!
Absolutely Incredible! An enlightening masterpiece that can only be reached when you enter the sounds of BEYOND and takes you to the futuristic sounds of Ambient music!
With Love,
Ingrid

Michael Bugeja

Enticing ambient sounds from promising young artist
Brian Vassallo is a relatively new name on the block. Not surprising, this, since he has been musically active mostly within the confines of his four walls. At a young age, he discovered he had a passion for music and more importantly, electronica. This passion grew stronger when he discovered the works of pioneering artists such as Jean Michel Jarre and Vangelis, yet, at the same time, he also followed with a keen interest, the synthesised metamorphosis of electronica, as it evolved and probed deeper into the dance scenario. From techno to trance and electro to ambient, Brian was taking in a flood of influences, so that when, at the age of 16, he bought his first synth, he started to experiment with his own compositions, not exactly in a bid to formulate songs, but rather in an attempt to construct soundscapes that captured what Brian often refers to as musical translations of human emotion.

Inspired by these same emotions, he infuses diverse sounds to better convey the mood inspiring the music that is the backbone of his work. Perhaps a more accurate description, as can be experienced when listening to his debut album, 'Beyond', is a music score for a movie, except that there is no movie and the only visuals available are all in the mind. Released locally only recently, 'Beyond' is a six-track concept album. The songs here all verge on the ambient side of electronica, and their tranquil moods will appeal not only to chill-out regulars but also to new-age afficionados. In just over half an hour, Brian Vassallo has managed to paint an aural picture that, first and foremost conveys a feeling of infinite space. This he does through his soothing music, six tracks that definitely bear the timbre of Vassallo's own influences. 'Beyond' is a blend of Orbital's 'Insides', Mike Oldfield's 'Songs of distant earth', and a mild dash of Jean Michel Jarre and Vangelis thrown in for good measure. At a time when the local scene is evidently enjoying a fresh breath of life, this impressive debut, extending beyond the familiar characteristics of contemporary music, is a very welcome addition.

Danny Mattissen

AWESOME
Wow, What a great Album this is, the Atmophere of long distance space travel is Really Included in this album. If you enjoy the Sci-fi Theme as much as I do, then go buy this CD right away. My favorite track must be the 1st one called 'Are we Alone', Wow.

The only problem about this CD is, that's a bit to short, but that's just minor. The Quality of the album is simply AWESOME.

Thanks Brian, I'll go buy your next album thats for sure, but please compose more tunes like 'Are we Alone'.

Cheers from Denmark

elmoe

Awesome Space Music
This is great electronic ambient/space music. The songs all flow together wonderfully. There are no weak tracks at all. I just wish it were longer!

Bert Strolenberg

Great electronic spacemusic
Brian Vassallo – Beyond
(Self released cd; 1998)
Well, what is got here is electronic spacemusic from the Maltese ( !) musician Brian Vassallo, who steps forward with an album he already seems to have released back in 1998. It’s a pity it remained so long in whatever vault, as this is a real gem for fans of the genre. There’s only 31 minutes of music split in 6 tracks, in which we enter the vast territory of space, accompanied by great floating synthwashes in the openingtrack “Are we Alone”. After a while things develop in a soft bouncy Berliner School-structure, but the vastness of space remains, also when we get in the realms of “Distant Stars” with atmospheric wind-effects. The 4th track “Where are we
going” returns to some light Berliner School sequencer/rhythms, both engaging and offering a vast soundspectrum. “Heartbeat above Earth” is another deep floater with echoing piano-keys, warm but with mysterious undercurrents, before we delve in the closing title-track: this is an overall adventurous, slightly eerie soundscape drifting off into the deep cosmos, which is abruptly cut-off after 3.36 min. although the journey just started, so this really needs to be properly fixed. The mastering & production of the album are outstanding, headphones are a must.
All in all, Beyond is a strong debut of which I do hope lots of the same quality will see the light. Spacefans out there, make sure you check this one out !

Albert

and we talk about william orbit...........
I must admit that I am relatively new to this scene especially after reading the reviews the guys before me wrote. However, I must add that long before I knew what electronica, trip-hop and ambient music was, I knew I had a liking to it. Being a huge Madonna fan, after her
release of ''Ray Of Light'', I went running to the stores to find out all I could about William Orbit and so started my exposure and deeper interest for this music! Recently I have been indulging in Air, Alison Goldfrapp and now also Kraft-Werk (quite late I know). This album and its quality is remarkable and I am sure that everyone who listens to it agrees with me.But what more can I add? I am a sucker for interesting vocals such as those Beth Orton chords. Any chance of giving us some of that in future projects? I think that Brian Vassallo should be played more often on the local (Maltese) radio stations. Keep it up Brian and tell us where we can buy the CD,locally!

Phil Derby, Electroambient Space

Great space music from Malta!
Good things often come in small packages. This gem of a half hour is some classic space music in the vein of the greats like Jean-Michel Jarre and Jonn Serrie. “Are We Alone?” starts very much like Jarre’s classic “Oxygene Part VI,” in fact, with that sweeping pseudo-wave crashing synth sound. Classic space music wafts across your living room as it evolves, full of wonderful gentle vintage sounds. The coolest sequence picks up the pace on “Out There,” along with a nifty beat and full rich pads forming a melodramatic undercurrent. The melodic synth lead is cool, too. Moving into complete drift mode is “Distant Stars,” with whooshing sounds accompanied by bright echoing piano. This one really captures the mood of Brian Eno’s classic, Apollo. It fades out so slowly that the music seems to disappear before the equally long fade in to start “Where Are You Going?” But once it arrives, it brings the highest-energy track. Once again, the sequencing and beats are excellent, irresistibly catchy stuff. This is followed by the quietest deep space excursion on the disc, “Heartbeat Above Earth.” Similar in feel and composition to “Distant Stars,” it remains distinctive enough and strong enough to more than warrant inclusion. “Beyond” rumbles in low as the spaceship’s engines shift gears, slowing to explore the outer realms. It’s a rather ominous ending, but it works, including the abrupt ending. Set up your planetarium, lie on the floor, and enjoy it.

© 2004 Phil Derby / Electroambient Space

Tiana Joie

It's Fresh! It's New! It's Brilliant! I simply loved it!
Since I owned this CD, my artistic immagination for my work
as a writer has grown. Beyond, has also served as my STRESS
RELIEVER. The music in Beyond is relaxing, and inventive.
Great to meditate on. I'm an avid admirer of Ambient music.
This gets a TWO THUMBS UP from me. Thank you Mr.Brian Vassallo.
Please come back with something new SOON!
Tiana.
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