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17 Feb 2017

Amber Route "Ghost Tracks" 1983 US Prog Space,Electronic





Amber Route  "Ghost Tracks" 1983 US Prog Space,Electronic
full
Recorded and mixed at Gopher Baroque Productions, Westminster, CA, between 1982 and April 1983.

AMBER ROUTE were founded in 1973. The band was born when Walter Holland, a synthesist from California, joined with Richard Watson. The band released two sought-after albums named 'Snail Headed Victrolas' and 'Ghost Tracks', from 1980 and 1983 respectively. Their sound is a mixture of space rock in floydian style and electronic soundscapes reminiscent of Tangerine Dream sequences. Walter Holland (vocals, guitar, synthesizer) and Richard Watson (vocals, clarinet, piano, synthesizer).........

Between September 1982 and April 1983 Walter Holland and Richard Watson recorded the second and last Amber route album, supported by a rhythm section and two other musical guests. "Ghost Tracks" was released in 1983 on the probably bandy label Coriolis Records (at least appeared there only the two Amber route LPs and the two solo albums Hollands). In 1995, the album was also released on CD. However, only in the Far East.

Like on the Amber-Route debut (see "Snail Headed Victrolas") there is also a "Ghost Tracks" mix of Floydige Prog and electronics à la Tangerine Dream, but extended by some New Wave (at least in the two Versions of "Do not drink lemonade formaldehyde"). Due to the occasional activity of bass and drums, the music comes a bit more rocky than on the first one from the boxes. However, huge sound differences can not be detected.

The introductory "Fighting with the one-eyed lord" and "Befour You" are the Floyd songs on "Ghost Tracks". Gilmour-like electric guitars, a similar un-excited vocals (in the first piece supplemented by a correspondingly affectionate female song à la "The Great Gig in the Sky"), some quite clear melodic inspiration and the more worn advance of the pieces provide for certain Dark- Side-Of-The-Moon-Associations.

"Do not drink lemonade formaldehyde" has a completely different character. Significantly electronic, initiated with all sorts of artificial bird singing, this number comes from the rhythm machine and all sorts of electronics. Monotonous bizarre singing inserts (which repeatedly repeat the recommendation also in the title of the play), further Floydige guitar patterns, spacey synthesizer inserts and some expressive clarinet insets create a very own, progressive-krautig-waveige atmosphere. The krautige element is strengthened in the final "German version" of the play (obviously a CD-Bonustrack), in which all sorts of German (hardly to be understood) text fragments emerge.

The long "Abyss of the Birds" is then the electronics number of the album. For almost 20 minutes a dense mixture of all sorts of tactile sounds from the boxes, symphonic-progressive and sound, with occasional references to the Berlin school, occasionally rhythmically joined by bass and drums, but all in all rather free-sounding, supplemented by others Clarinet inserts (or similar sounding sounds from Watson's "electronic valve instrument"), a few voice notes, and a variety of jogging guitar guitars. The whole is very varied, works like a suiteness, and occasionally reaches easily experimental, powerful, almost deserting fields (after about 15 minutes of play time, for example). Anyone who appreciates extended constructions at the border of classic Prog and electronics should get full costs at this point.

Like the first, "Ghost Tracks" offers a very interesting and original electronic prog from California, which despite its emergence in the 80s of the last century sounds more like the classic 70s. Even the waveig-bizarre moments of "Do not drink lemonade formaldehydes" breathe rather the spirit of the late 70s, when the prodigies of the New Wave were still decidedly progressive (and really "new"). Anyone who appreciates sound electronics and does not mind wave impurities should look around for this album, even if the not so original Retroflydeinslagen in the tracks 1 and 3 somewhat reduce the quality of the disc.....by... Achim Breiling..........

Credits
Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals – Lou Rossi
Clarinet, Synthesizer, Electronic Valve Instrument, Vocals – Richard Watson
Composed By – Amber Route
Drums, Percussion [Acoustic Percussion] – Mark Harris
Engineer [Assisted By] – Michael Mikulka, Steve Anderson
Engineer [Chief Engineer And Final Mix] – Lou Rossi
Engineer [Remote Recording] – Spence Colman
Graphics [Cover Graphics] – Jonde Northcutt
Guitar, Synthesizer [Digital And Analog Synthesizers], Computer [Control Computers], Percussion [Electronic Percussion], Piano, Vocals – Walter Holland
Mastered By – Kevin Gray
Photography By [Cover Photo] – John Wimberley
Piano – Steve Leondard (tracks: A3)
Producer – Lou Rossi, Walter Holland
Rhythm Guitar – Lou Rossi (tracks: A2)
Vocals – Diana Harte (tracks: A1)

Tracklist
A1 Fighting With The One-Eyed Lord 4:25
A2 Don't Drink Lemonade Formaldehyde 7:00
A3 Before You 4:25
Abyss Of The Birds
B1a The End Of Time 5:30
B1b Machine Chant 3:55
B1c The Other End Of Time 1:45
B2 Ghost Prophecy 4:50
B3 The Lake Of Souls 3:00 

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..