After Dwane's debut release, The Monuments Of Mars, it's clear Dwane hasn't lost any momentum or polish on this release and his signature sound is still present. This is rhythmic, electronic synth music on the same par as Tangerine Dream and the early solo works of Patrick O'Hearn. What is unique, is that Dwane does all of this myriad of soundforms through MIDI guitar. Percussion is R8 based. This is not snoozer ambient or introspective dronings but uplifting, lively, crystalline cathedrals of melody, beat, and the embellished gestalt of alien worlds. For the 6:07 piece, "Oracle" and the 3:30 "Lights In The Clouds", this disk is worth having. Each evoked an equally eerie effect. George "Star Wars" Lucas et al or Chris "X files" Carter both need to hook up with Dwane for soundtrack work. It is hard to say more about this release other than this -- Dwane represents one of the best MIDI guitar composers and performers I have had the treat to discover. ~ John Patterson, All Music Guide
"Angels, Aliens and Archetypes is a classic Mark Dwane CD from 1991. He recorded the entire album on MIDI guitar. And it is a classic space music set performed in the finest Berlin school tradition. The dense atmospheres, infinite loops and layers of sound are reminiscent - not derivative - of some of the legendary German electronicians like Manuel Gottsching, Edgar Froese and Klaus Schulze. But Mark is an American, hailing from Westlake, Ohio. And his style has unique traits of American e-music. Mark put strong feelings and deep spirituality into this album. That combination pays big dividend for deep listeners. That style was in its infancy in 1991. Mark, one of its progenitors, influenced a generation of electronicians. -- Jim Brenholts / Ambient Visions
"Do you ever get tired of space music that wanders around aimlessly and really never gets where it is going? Well, thank God there is Mark Dwane! Dwane continues his 'Sci-Fi' extravaganza in Angels, Aliens and Archetypes. Continued here is more of Dwane's powerful melodies and majestic themes. Dwane also lays down some hypnotic basslines and energetic rhythms that effortlessly glide you along from start to finish. Dwane's compositions show confidence as well as structure, there is a start and a finish. He never leaves you hanging which is nice because with the musical voyages Mark Dwane takes you on, you could never return without a team of astronomers in your hip pocket." -- Houston WEST
"Here, Dwane explores a tighter, more rhythmic sonic expression of his talent with this 1991 release. This time, the concept behind the instrumental music is one that draws comparisons between the extraterrestrial and the divine, finding archetypical parity in these cosmic mysteries in such pieces as 'Saucers over Nazca, ' 'Spirits of the Rainforest,' and 'Virtual Gods'. Although the main temperament is still ambient soundscapes, the use of recognizable guitar plays a more integral aspect amidst the sparkling electronic sounds. The application of up-tempo percussives adds a vivacious quality to the dreaminess, often resulting inrather dramatic passages. Shimmering tonalities share the sonic stage with urgent riffs and elegant crescendos. Dwane achieves a careful balance between power and calm, one that faces the sky with an open mind. The union of this strength and serenity can be felt in each textured note, as ethereal billows whirl into piercing expansions with comfortable ease. These compositions flaunt a sense of glory and wonder that is pleasantly gripping. The dynamics are tempered with restraint, producing 44 minutes of harmoniously glowing tuneage that is constantly hinting at outburst without ever losing perspective of the melody." -- Matt Howarth / Space.com
10 / 10 Highest Rating! -- CD Review
"A MIDI-Guitar is an oxymoron -- a self-contradictory device that allows a guitarist to trigger synthesizer modules and gain access to a palette of electronic sounds. In the words of ex-Police guitarist Andy Summers, it usually makes great guitarists sound like cheesy keyboardists. Mark Dwane tries to dispel that theory with "ANGELS, ALIENS & ARCHETYPES", on which his performance was played entirely on the synthesizer - guitar hybrid (with the exception of electronic percussion).
"Dwane sounds nothing like a guitarist. Instead he's a super-orchestra that careens through these energized compositions. His music is multilayered and interwoven like a Persian kaleidoscope, with already intricate patterns transmuted and shaded as they drive through powerful rhythms and heroic melodies. Dwane has clearly studied the teachings of the classic German sequencer school of music from Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, and Michael Hoenig. But rather than imitate, he's taken the next step on pieces such as "SAUCERS OVER NAZCA", which begins with a free-fall through a liquid prism before hurtling off into a percussive tribal dance. The title track is a monument of form and structure with churning, interlocked sequencers dancing in a mechanical ballet of counterpoint and polyrhythms. They, in turn, charge a heroic theme that reaches for the skies. Although "ANGELS, ALIENS & ARCHETYPES" maintains a flow on disc, each piece is like a different scene, from the joyous African percussives of "VIRTUAL GODS" to the horror film motifs of "LIGHTS IN THE CLOUDS", and the ominous grooves of "OBELISK" with its homage to Pink Floyd's pitch-bending whale cries from "Echoes".
"Mixing computer jargon, ancient mythology, and science fiction metaphors, this is the music of a cyberpunk dream -- "20 minutes into the future", to quote Max Headroom. Synthesizers make it easy for novices to create facile music and for veterans to coast on their reputations. While few offer the scope heard on "ANGELS, ALIENS & ARCHETYPES", after listening to Mark Dwane's compositions, you feel like you've really been somewhere." -- John Diliberto / ECHOES
"ANGELS, ALIENS & ARCHETYPES" conjures up images of ancient myths and civilizations, both terrestrial and extraterrestrial. Composed and performed entirely on the Midi-guitar, the music of Mark Dwane is as interesting and refreshing as the composer himself. The range of his ability and obvious mastery of technology is nothing short of breathtaking. I heartily recommend this finely crafted release by a genuinely sincere musical genius. -- Jeff Filbert / Music from the Global Village
"Spellbinding music created solely on the MIDI guitar, with some additional programmed percussion. Dwane's compositions are rich in imagery, effectively enabling you to conjure up the visions set forth in his electronic soundscapes. Witness "Virtual Gods", forceful and mighty in its tone, or pieces such as "Saucers Over Nazca", suggesting Steve Hillage's post-Gong work, and "Oracle", where Dwane establishes a mythic wall-of-sound and swirling electronics. The sheer range of tone colors and dynamics Dwane wrings out of his MIDI set-up is startling (no mushy new-age guitar music here!), and his soaring flights of fancy reveal a guitarist on equal rank with the best of his generation. -- Darren Bergstein / ie