Did you know that Neptune has 13 moons? And that Voyager 2 once tracked a “Great Dark Spot” on the planet with winds moving at 750 miles per hour? I couldn’t resist strolling over to nasa.gov to read about the planet and gaze at pictures as the headphones pumped veteran hometaper Dave Fuglewicz’s new album Neptune into my brain. The album is, of course, inspired by the blue planet, with each track title showcasing different characteristics – Rivers Of Neptune, Deserts Of Neptune, Mountains Of Neptune – you get the idea. Neptune is an album of space electronica, but it’s not just a standard set of floating mind-massage. Sure, there’s plenty of that, but what made the experience interesting and compelling for me was the well-crafted pastiche of sounds and effects that Dave assembles around his core themes.
Like Rivers Of Neptune, with its mixture of howling, bubbling and various other sci-fi effects, bells, and machine-like sounds. There’s lots going on, yet Dave strikes a solid balance, maintaining a floating atmospheric quality among the medley of sounds. Other highlights include Steppes Of Neptune, which has interesting contrasting elements that flow together well. The rising and falling, almost siren-like sound, along with racing and shooting effects creates a sense of urgency and intensity. There’s also a robotic, bleeping, and somewhat melodic pattern, and I think I even heard some brief plinking guitar notes. Deserts Of Neptune has a phased effect that caused a strange physical sensation in my head, prompted by electronic pulsations and made all the more disorienting by the hodgepodge of effects that surrounded it. Dawn Of Neptune has a calming ambience that I enjoyed, plus a bit of a symphonic quality, buzzing alien effects and even a mild periodic rhythmic pulse. Dave kicks the symphonics up several notches on Moons Of Neptune, pulling back on the melange of effects that have characterized the album thus far to focus on creating an uplifting heaven-in-space symphonic journey. Storms Of Neptune and Mountains Of Neptune were among the more musical tracks of the set. On Storms Of Neptune Dave plays melodic patterns, which are surrounded by various spaced out effects, freaky noises and sounds. It has a dark and ominous feel, like some symphony for a distressed spacecraft. Mountains Of Neptune is similar, with a vague underlying melody and a church organ sound, that serves as the foundation for hissing atmospherics and effects, and there’s also a melody played backwards that makes for a really cool contrast with the organ.
In summary, if you like electronic based space excursions but want something that demands your attention as opposed to music you can just drift along with, Neptune is for you.
For more information you can visit the Dave Fuglewicz web site at: http://www.davefuglewicz.com
I would also encourage you to search Dave Fuglewicz at archive.org, as he has lots of downloads available there.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz