Reviews of A Traveler\'s Guide To MARS
“...This is a superb album of atmospheric electronic music melded with acoustic instruments. I love synth music and it doesn\'t get much better than this one...this is music on a grand scale, almost an electronic symphony in places and an intimate chamber piece in others, but always dramatic and rippling with the tensions an explorer would feel. This is certainly one of the best albums I\'ve heard this year and is highly recommended.”
The Borderland UK
“If they have this kind of beat-full music on Mars, I expect everyone will be signing up for the journey. You can get a clear and present preview of what the voyage may be like by listening to Ian\'s masterful space music vision on this electronic extravaganza. This isn\'t just any ordinary set of electronic ...your ears will recognize the extreme gift he has for turning dreams into sonic reality from the opening bar...A grand musical adventure that merits our MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating.”
Dr. Jazz – Improvisation Nation
“Ian has been one of the top US EM composers since the mid 1980’s when his 1st album Io was released. When it comes to ‘electronic music’ you’ll not find any better than this, be it multi-layered deep space music or exotic, intoxicating rhythmic/ melodic soundscapes. Over the span of all 4 albums you will experience a virtual listener’s guide to all that is great about the EM genre.”
“...A very interesting and enjoyable space album...this is intelligent, thinking music for the mind; it also can induce visuals and images that perfectly reflect the album\'s title...What I like about the album is that, though intelligent, the album doesn\'t demand too much by the viewer, and this showcases the brilliance of Tescee\'s compositions and musicianship. Like a good Rembrandt painting, the detail is shown by a few strokes of the brush. Dynamics are kept under control and utilized smartly... On more than one occasion, my foot started tapping (unheard of with most prog fans -- LOL). Also it seems that the music helps the creative and analytical thought process, but maybe that\'s me. Though I do bring up Vangelis and Tangerine Dream, Ian Tescee\'s music is original and stands firmly on its own merit. Space rock/music can be boring and/or overbearing or border on techno, but Tescee\'s works have a sophistication which obviously comes from years of experience...One of the tracks that hit a chord with me is the final composition “Billions and Billions of Stars” (a reference to the late Carl Sagan), which is the most acoustic piece on the album and is simply divinely beautiful. Mid-song it rises to more powerful status without losing its aesthetic beauty. The piano work is simple and sublime. And the impact of the synth voices is wondrous. I didn\'t want the song to end.
On the whole, Ian Tescee\'s A Traveler’s Guide to Mars, is marvelously crafted music without one low point or clinker on the disc. The compositions and execution are strong, poetic and not without it\'s toe-tapping use of clever percussion. If you are looking for excellent space-oriented music, than this album is a must buy. My one minor gripe is that I would love Ian to explore longer compositions. Some of his songs end way too soon. LOL.
This album is heartily recommended by space music fans and prog fans that tend to like J-M Jarre, Vangelis, and Tangerine Dream, as well as artists and dreamers.“
Rating: 9.2 (out of 10)
Prog Rock Plus
“...Fans of progressive electronic music, and soundtrack music, will find only pure cosmic emotions on his music, crowned by the immense and elaborate symphonic arrangements. Ian Tescee makes us navigate through atmospheric instrumentation, playing an impressive number of electronic keyboards and synths, the music flows gently, dragging you to the depths of the \"Mars\". The wide instrumental spectrum makes A Traveler\'s Guide to MARS spectacular and beyond phenomenal, just press play again and listen, listen and listen what a wonderful album... Brilliant, amazing and an indispensable work, highly recommendable...”
Progressive Rock and Progressive Metal
“The master of Space Music returns ...very emotional and enjoyable...unmistakably Ian Tescee - propulsive, cosmic, grandiose... Billions And Billions of Stars serves as a nice conclusion, with excellent melodic piano playing and some cello flourishes, while the finale is enhanced by symphonic pads and a couple of other synth sounds. Overall, I would describe A Traveler\'s Guide To Mars as a mixture of electronic and acoustic instruments with that typical Ian Tescee touch in the melodic department. It is diverse and will appeal to a wide audience. But if you liked Ian\'s previous works, this CD is a must!”
The Encyclopedia of Electronic Music
I remember hearing Ian Tescee’s Continua on WFMU’s “Synthetic Pleasure” show many years ago. I was floored when I opened an envelope and saw his latest CD. Ian continues his masterful electronic work in this concept CD about travel to the red planet.
I am familiar with Ian\'s early work going back to 1984. In the ‘80s here in NJ, a local college radio station featured a show called “Synthetic Pleasure” that was a 3-hour journey into electronic music. This show actually inspired me to get into electronic and progressive music and become (or at least try, hehe) a musician myself. The DJ often played one of Ian\'s earlier albums called Continua that was actually one of my favorite works played on the show.
-- Anthony Stramaglia, Prog.FM radio programmer
“...Space music for the modern age. It is melodic, pulsatingly-rhythmic and multi-layered. It has it all – grandiose musical themes, sweeping synths, soaring guitars, gorgeous piano, occasional dramatic drums, moving melodies, and catchy little riffs that will stick in your brain. Already the soundtrack for a major planetarium dome-show, this music is cutting edge in all ways.”
“...Flawlessly produced and highly recommended.”
Midwest Book Review
Ian Tescee is a space junky with distinct musical talent... his compositions are filled with an inner light and grace that are unusual in electronic music. It\'s as if Tescee\'s love of his subject matter and the music shines through the synthesized sound he creates. A Traveler\'s Guide To Mars is niche music of a sort, but is diverse enough to appeal to fans of electronic music, fans of Prog Rock and even new age buffs. Ian Tescee waits a long time between CDs, but A Traveler\'s Guide To Mars was very much worth the wait.
Rating: 4 Stars (Out of 5)
“...Catchy, melodic, space music with some powerful blast-burn to its lift-off ...make sure you listen to the last tune, “Billions and Billions of Stars,” which is probably my favorite.”
Tescee\'s new work is a mesmerizing aural journey to the red planet and back.