There used to be a particularly British phenomenon in the world of instrumental synth music that became known as 'Brit Synth Rock'. This powerful style of music acted as a lively & dynamic counterpoint to the somewhat twee sounds that were emanating from most od mainland Europe with Mark Shreeve (who also wrote a couple of Samantha Fox's biggest hits) being its most famous practioner, so much so that the adjective 'Shreeve-like' has now become the very definition of powerful rhythmic EM.
Although this style seems to have gone into hubernation there are still some musicians keeping it alive, among them the Scottish musician Steve Nelson who here presents his second album (following on from 2002's Intrigue), consisting, as the title suggests, of tracks recorded between 1988 & 1998 although the closing 'Thru Rugged Terrain' was remixed in 2006. Recording dates are given on all tracks although it hardly matters as they all sound like totally new tracks anyway, there's no lessening of quality to suggest certain tracks are older than others, apart from the voice effects that do date the dancey 'Easter Promise' just a tad. This, along with the punchy, techo of 'Biomechanoid' was doubtless inspired by his work in the dance music scene which doubtless gave him a headstart in producing music that was polished & dynamic although he does get a bit carried away on the opener 'Landscape Of Tomorrow', which is a memorable & purposeful number, the strident horns providing what seems to be an appropriate closing point only to branch off into a slower theme that seems totally unrelated to what has gone before. It's enjoyable enough in itself but would have been far better employed providing the basis for a totally new track. For the most part, though, the tracks are as tight & as dynamic as would be expected with 'Element Of Intrigue' building into a stately & powerful offering, the main theme of which resembles Jean Michel Jarre, funnily enough while 'Creature Of Legend', inspired by the legend of Big Foot, is similarly majestic & contains a sample from a very scary episode of 'The Six Million Dollar Man (it was the Sasquatch's eyes that did it!!), although the roaring sounds a bit silly here. 'Delusions' is made up of three different sections that, on the face of it, bear no resemblance to each other. Starting very majestic the industrial motifs change the outlook completely while the offbeat interlude again seems to bear no resemblance to the rest of the track (I'm guessing this is something to do with the title!) while the excerpt of 'Facade eschews the rhythms in favour of a richly-textured piece that's quiet one moment & triumphant the next.
Albums like this are all too rare nowadays so anyone still doing this powerful brand of EM is well deserving of support so check out Transceive's website for more info. Anyone into bands such as The Echoing Green & Droom who don't mind the lack of vocals may very well find this to their liking.
Artist Link: http://www.transceive.co.uk