3 Dreams of Utopia
4 The Maker’s Journey
6 Bright Green Future
7 Tipping Point
8 Embrace the Sun
For fans of: ambient, drone, space music
With his seventh Projekt release, Australian ambient composer theAdelaidean draws on the growing Solarpunk uprising for inspiration. A genre and art movement that envisions how the world might look when humanity solves its major contemporary challenges – sustainability, climate change and pollution – Solarpunk combines the brightest visions of this generation into an optimistic future for everyone. Solarpunk the album teases parallels with this movement through the sun, source of all life and hope for an ethical existence on Earth.
Like all of theAdelaidean’s albums, Solarpunk is both a departure and a return from previous creations, painting new vistas from synth-driven palettes while embracing the more speculative and conceptual side of his muse. Each track is a sketch of what may unfold as our world shifts toward a “Bright Green Future” and the unknowns that await us there. From the layered chords of “Gathering Dawn” to the cautionary percussive notes of “Cyberlight,” a hopeful thread of implied melody winds delicately along the album’s spine, haunting the music through waves and cycles of (“Luminous”) harmonies. The high notes of “Dreams of Utopia” lead us to “The Maker’s Journey,” with its unexpected evolutions and returns punctuated by perfect moments of consonant clarity. Drones lay patient pathways to the “Tipping Point” and beyond: to our quest to “Embrace the Sun,” which concludes in a new future where new adventures await.
Composed in vivid rushes throughout an intense period of teaching and writing, theAdelaidean brings some of the storytelling force of alter ego Sean Williams to Solarpunk, giving it an urgency that befits our times. From the fulcrum, all change is possible. All we need to do is apply the right force.
Reviews Editor –
Sean Williams (aka TheAdelaidean) is one busy guy, this year is only half over and he already has three full length releases to show for it, and that’s in addition to his written works (he is also a best-selling author) and his work as director of the South Australian Maritime Museum in Port Adelaide. Solarpunk draws on the movement of the same name for its inspiration, a movement that optimistically envisions how the world may look after we solve many of our contemporary challenges, including sustainability, pollution, and more, reflected mainly in the titles of the album’s eight long tracks, totaling over 77 minutes. The opening cut, “Gathering Dawn,” dives right in to an organic floating ambient mix of sounds that slowly envelops the listener, a mass of swirling and slowly evolving textures that is at once warm and cold, near and distant, without any defining melodies that one can take away from the experience.
Each of the eight tracks is discrete, with long fade-outs and fade-ins. Following the opener we have the richly organic “Luminous,” again drawing the listener into a world that changes at a glacial pace, often drifting into episodes of near silence before shifting slightly to highlight a substantive chordal abstraction in classic minimalist form. Other standout tracks include “The Maker’s Journey,” a massive swirl of slow waves and cyclical dreamforms, with deep subsonic flourishes alternating with blasts of tonal color making beautiful vistas in deep space. The longest cut, at nearly thirteen minutes, is “Embrace the Sun,” a slow moving wash of shimmering starlight and floating beauty in a constant-evolving state of flux, with howling sounds exploding slowly amid a very subtle chorus of bells and other interesting sounds; “Cyberlight” drifts slowly forward like frozen icy atmospheric vapor with some curious percussive sounds hovering in the depths below. -Peter Thelen
Reviews Editor –
From Audion 69
Despite the title, there’s absolutely nothing “punk” about this at all! But, having said that, I’d have to admit that I had no idea that “Solarpunk is a genre of speculative fiction that is also its own distinguished aesthetic” until looking it up out of curiosity. So, no need for it to be punk in any way at all! Those things aside, I doubt Sean Williams really attempted to tailor this music to such a concept. Maybe he just liked the word? As such, this new release continues what theAdelaidean has been doing before, if on a more developed level. So, here we have yet more sustained drifting ambient pieces with elevated and open-ended synth/keyboard pads, plus slowly undulating swells and drifts. Most of the tracks seem to be variations on the very same theme, each with only the sounds differing, and maybe a different reverb or EQ. So, it was a surprise that the eighth track “Embrace The Sun” was quite different, and actually involves a lot more composition than the rest of the release put together. A quite excellent work, full of mystery and grandeur, that reminds me of some early Michael Stearns. I really hope future releases take this idea further.
Reviews Editor –
From Reviews New Age
The seventh release from Australian songwriter theAdelaidean draws inspiration from the growing Solarpunk uprising. A genre and art movement that imagines what the world would look like when humanity solves its main contemporary challenges: sustainability, climate change and pollution. Solarpunk combines the brightest visions of this generation into an optimistic future for all. Solarpunk, the album, is presented as the soundtrack of this movement under the deeper and more spatial Ambient genre.
Composed of 8 tracks exploited by synth pads and ethereal sounds, this new work by theAdelaidean gives the listener an hour of REM music, with a certain dark tone and with incursions into the mysteries of space. The album is introduced with “Gathering Dawn”, one of the longest pieces on the album. The mystery and intrigue begins, and all thanks to eleven minutes of smooth synthesizers, and although at times it becomes threatening and dark, the light reappears between its notes. The crackle of fire introduces “Luminous”. Again, mystery and peace make an appearance in Solarpunk, but this time with a tone of hope, brightness, calm and warmth.
Solarpunk‘s single is “Dreams of Utopia”. Continuing with the tranquility and warmth of the previous theme, the composer plays with the synthesizers to bring a certain grandeur and peace to the listener. It is a comforting and intimate subject at the same time. “The Maker’s Journey” is the mystery and grandeur of space. It is a journey through the universe, slow, cold, silent, overwhelming… Unnoticed and reserved passes “Cyberlight”. Ten minutes of hypnotic and recondite melody…
The dream of a green, sustainable future for our planet, this is “Bright Green Future”, the track that puts music to everyone’s desire. Far from being a happy or hopeful theme, theAdelaidean continues in a pure state of tension, fear, and uncertainty. “Tipping Point” is presented for a few seconds differently, more hopefully, but that character quickly turns gloomy, sad, anguished again. However, it is the most interesting track we find in Solarpunk. At over twelve minutes, “Embrace the Sun” is the longest track on the album and the one that brings it to a close. Majesty and mystery perfectly define this piece that surprises with new sounds in the same penetrating and dark style.
Solarpunk is a call to all, it is the music of awareness. Australian artist, theAdelaidean, gives voice to the “green movement” to raise awareness through his space music, melodies full of mystery, hope and despair written under the mastery of deep and ethereal synth pads. -Alejandro Clavijo