Anosphere "Field of Mutants"
Review by Kaisu Airaksinen
Anosphere’s album Field of Mutants gives us a great opportunity to explore some of the best spacesynth music. The cool covers made by Frank M. Lewecke suits the album fantastically – giving a hazy feeling while listening to the album. Eventhough the covers are quite “simple-looking”, the inside is much more.
With interesting and unique sounds, Anosphere has created quite catching melodies in his tracks. They are definitely as original as they could be. Like usually in spacesynth, drums are very energetic, but Anosphere’s drumtrack stays calm and clear. It’s easy to get along with rhythm. The most impressive levers to make the album interesting are changing the song’s composition occasionally from steady melodies to more playful ways. For example, in the track Light Distortion this style gives nice aromas to otherwise so confident track.
The album has a good style scale which gives more enthusiasm. A couple of much slower tracks – almost ambient style – have also found their place to the playlist. It shows us that Anosphere has abilities to make also some different style of music. These slower styles have a little pinch of downtempo which is just positive. All tracks are quite slow and remind a lot of each other which is a bit sad but the special sounds and melodies equalizes this little angle fine. Sometimes it is good to listen a little slower spacesynth genre than normally.
Mixing and mastering sounds good. Bassline and kickdrum sound great and strings are just right and clear. Leadsounds move fluently and warms mind. Vocoders feel just fine to my ears. The good thing is that the vocoder material does not appear in all tracks. Few percussion sounds have also their tincture in the songs which I personally like a lot. I can’t say any complaints about mixing and mastering.
It’s hard to say which songs are the best ones. They all are in the same level, although I can say I like Space Fire and Points of Stars a lot. From these tracks I found a couple sounds which attract me the most. They are rhythmic and have strong feelings. I like very much the length of the tracks. All tracks pass 6 minutes limit briskly without getting boring at any step.
In overall, the album is one of the best in spacesynth and should surely entertain all fans. After hearing Anosphere the first time I can say nothing else that I'am totally convinced. Anosphere has done so great work and I wish to hear new material in the future.
by Staffan Öhman
After the release of Synthesizer Dance volume 6 it has been quiet from Stefan Bieri and we started to wonder what he is up to these days. It all became very clear when his debut album Field Of Mutants was announced. Eventhough he has changed his artistname to Anosphere the music still have the same good quality as before.
The drawback with collection albums like the Synthesizer Dance volumes is that they don't allow a good variation of styles that a normal album can. On those albums all songs often runs away in 125bpm with the traditional sequenced bassline and all other things that we have heard a thousand times before. On this album Stefan shows up a wide range of styles that he is capable of, which he is doing really good.
The songs have a warm analogue character that only a hardware based studio can bring, which we haven't heard on an album for a long time now. The variation of sounds is very good and in many cases it feels like the sounds are unique for each song. One good example is the bass sound that sounds just awesome with a punchy and warm feeling and have been variated really good between the songs. I think that many composers have something to learn from this album when it comes to the choice of sounds.
Those of us that like vocoders will not be disappointed as the album is full of good high quality vocoder material that fits good into the songs. The song Light Distortion is a good example that has a captivating rhythm and a warm and fat sound that I'm sure that many musicians will be envious about. As it is impossible to recognize the vocoderlyrics while listening to the album it would have been interesting to see the lyrics printed inside the albumcover.
Many of the melodies sound out of the ordinary and in some cases they feel quite odd. This makes the songs very unpredictable and the album feels more interesting to listen to. Sometimes I wonder how much it is possible to vary the chords in this quite limited genre, and this album shows that there is still much to explore in this area.
The production is good and with some good headphones you get a nice atmospheric feeling that reminds of the picture on the album cover. The stereoperspective could have been wider in some cases, but that is something that many won't even recognize. The detail level is good and it takes quite long time to get to know all the details.
The only drawback on this album as I see it is that the mood is so sad. Personally I'm no fan of happy spacesynth songs, but many of the songs on this album are so sad that they make me depressive. One example is Field Sequenz that feels terrible sad and boring and it definitely doesn't belong to my favorites on this album. This is of course according to my personal taste and I recommend that people make their own judgement by listening to the previews that are available for this album.
This album is quite easy to summarize. Field of Mutants has a good variation of warm analogue sounds and the material itself sounds unique and unpredictable in many cases. Those that likes music with a sad mood should check out this album as most of the songs have that kind of character. On this album Stefan has proved that he is capable of making music with a wider variation than he has showed on the Synthesizer Dance collection albums.