2. Climber 04:23
3. Be Tall 03:16
4. Binary Star 05:59
5. The Weaver 06:12
6. Endless Sea 04:02
7. Senescence 02:27
8. Plantal Sequence 04:45
9. Metazoa 05:49
10. Voyager 06:26
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Expose Online wrote: “(Robert Logan’s) disc takes the explorative route in lieu of the predictable, and for that I’m calling Sculptor Galaxy one of the best electronic based releases of (the year).”
After six solo electronic/ambient albums and his 2016 collaborations with Steve Roach (Biosonic and Second Nature, Projekt) Robert Logan’s new album blends surprising electronic and acoustic sources, terraforming bright, melodic molten sound with an enraptured experience of the natural world.
Sculptor Galaxy resonates with the spirit of the albums that captured Logan’s imagination as a youngster: film music, 70s and 80s electronic, and progressive rock. The album connects with the work of early Roach, Vangelis, Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, and Jean Michel Jarre, sounding at times like the album Jarre would create today had he continued exploring the universe began with 1984’s fantastically unusual Zoolook.
Steve Roach brings his decades of know-how producing cohesive extended albums. After a period of long-distance collaborating and some mentorship along the way, Roach invited Logan to Arizona to assist sequencing and assembling the ten tracks into a beautifully singular continuous mix. Like a compelling work of cinema, the album’s power flows as each scene talks thematically to the next to create a vibrantly structured, vivid whole.
Vibrant electronic performances, detailed tone-sculpting, processed natural sounds (captures from Mozambique, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Hungarian village life and the UK’s shores), and unusual acoustic instruments inform a musical world of exotic majesty and boundless adventure. There is a warmth to Sculptor Galaxy making it a powerful exploration of themes that have infused Logan’s work: flesh and spirit, technology and nature, mind and matter, and wonder at the worlds that wait beyond the stars.
In-depth edit of the album bio:
Blending sensitive electronic and acoustic sources, Sculptor Galaxy terraforms bright, melodic molten sound with an enraptured experience of the natural world finalized by intuitive sculpting. After six solo electronic/ambient albums and his 2016 collaborations with Steve Roach (Biosonic and Second Nature, Projekt) Logan entered an extended studio session to explore new musical languages creating sonically rich and intricate tracks. Diving into the imagination and cosmos, coupling cinematic breath and mystery with a playful sense of freeform discovery and exuberance, Logan assimilates a range of musical approaches. Sculptor Galaxy combines the classical symphonic writing that defined his upbringing with a thirst for discovering new ways of transmitting emotion through sonics and the cutting-edge of technology.
Logan, a 30-year-old Englishman, is a 2013 Emmy-nominated composer and producer who released his first album, Cognessence, at the age of 19. Sculptor Galaxy reveals an exciting new phase in Logan’s music, a phase characterized by a fresh reintegration of traditional harmonic and melodic writing, rich analog instrumentation and brighter atmospherics augmenting the freewheeling experimentation, galactic structures and sense of discovery that has characterized his past works.
Steve Roach brings his decades of know-how producing cohesive extended albums to the production, by sequencing and assembling the ten tracks. After a period of long-distance collaborating and some mentorship along the way, Roach invited Logan to Arizona to assist editing the diverse material into a beautifully singular continuous mix. Like a compelling work of cinema, the album’s power flows as each scene talks thematically to the next to create a vibrantly structured, vivid whole.
Sculptor Galaxy resonates with the spirit of the albums that captured Logan’s imagination as a youngster: film music, 70s and 80s electronic, and progressive rock. The album connects with the work of early Roach, Vangelis, Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, and Jean Michel Jarre, sounding at times like the album Jarre could have created today had he continued exploring the universe began with 1984’s fantastically unusual Zoolook. The influences infusing Logan’s galaxy are wide, ranging from fusion and minimalism, to Japanese and African music, to field recordings captured of natural environments, cityscapes, animals and people across the world. Soundcaptures from Mozambique, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Hungarian village life and the UK’s shores appear throughout the album.
Sculptor Galaxy is fuelled by wonder of space and astronomical phenomena and the movements, behaviors and sonics of creatures large and microscopic. Biological noises, voice oscillations and custom-created vocal synthesizers subtly pulsate throughout the album’s symphonic hybrid opener, “Sovreign,” while delicate microtonal interlocking melodics ebb and flow through the album’s intricate minimalism/systems-music inspired mid-piece “The Weaver.”
Vibrant electronic performances, detailed tone-sculpting, processed natural sounds, and unusual acoustic instruments inform a musical world of exotic majesty and boundless adventure. There is a new warmth to Sculptor Galaxy making it a powerful exploration of themes that have infused Logan’s work: flesh and spirit, technology and nature, mind and matter, and wonder at the worlds that wait beyond the stars.
All tracks composed, produced and performed by Robert Logan
Recorded at The Shed, London and the Village Studio, Bakonycsernye, Hungary.
Field Recordings captured by Robert across Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Hungary and the UK.
Project Producer: Steve Roach
Final Assembly and piece sequence by Steve Roach at the Timehouse, 20th May 2017
Mastering by Howard Givens – Spotted Peccary Studios NW, Portland, Oregon
Cover artwork by Kheng Ho Toh
Inside painting by Wan Leen Siow
Graphic design by sam rosenthal
Thanks to friends, relatives & animals for their vocal contributions
Reviews Editor –
From Side Line
Genre/Influences: Electro-ambient, experimental, cinematographic.
Background/Info: London based artist Robert Logan strikes back with a new solo-work, which was produced by Steve Roach. Both artists have previously collaborated together on the albums Second Nature and Biosonic (both released on Projekt as well).
Content: Sculptor Galaxy is an appropriate title for an album, which sounds as a truly ‘sound sculpture’. Robert Logan has used numerous field recordings from all over the globe and merged it together with acoustic instruments and electronic treatments. It’s now pretty minimal- and experimental like and then evasive- and even cinematographic minded. Down-tempo rhythms are sometimes evoking trip-hop influences, but globally speaking it remains an electro-minded sound sculpture, which has been achieved with numerous influences. You now and then can hear some whispering voices.
+ + + : I like the electro-ambient format of this album, which also characterizes the work of Robert Logan. It feels like this ambient input stands for the basis of his work while he next and quite progressively achieves his work with other elements. I like the slow rhythm running through the tracks while the whispering vocals inject a spooky touch. The tracks however sound pretty relaxing and sensitive as well. I like some melancholic passages. The experimental touch is also worthy of examination and I here noticed some subtle noise treatments.
– – – : From a very personal point of view I would have liked to hear a few more ‘vocals’ running through this work. The ghost-like whispers are pretty cool and I miss them on different cuts.
Conclusion: The ambient sonic universe of Robert Logan is one consisting of eclecticism; the ultimate point where experimental treatments are joined by elements of lounge music. I like this symbiosis.
Best songs: “Metazoa”, “Climber”.
Reviews Editor –
A review from Textura
Transmitter documents a June 18th, 2017 performance given by Jeffrey Koepper in Philadelphia on WXPN’s Star’s End Radio broadcast. Using vintage analog synthesizers and sequencers, the long-standing electronic producer delivered a live-in-studio set comprised of six new pieces and one (“Halo”) from 2017’sMantraSequent, also issued on Projekt, for the program. Koepper’s kinetic material flows without pause for fifty-eight pulsating minutes, the sound mass exuding a sleek, synthetic sheen as it glides gracefully through one polyrhythmic sequence after another. High above, synth patterns twinkle incandescently, while at a deeper level, low-pitched drones act as an undercurrent, its almost tribal quality reminiscent of something one might hear in a Steve Roach production.
While uniformity reigns, Transmitter isn’t one-dimensional. Sequencer patterns power the mass forward during much of it, but moments arise too where rhythmic insistence subsides and the music assumes a serene and rather blissed-out disposition (the starry-eyed closer “Clouds,” for example). Such moments don’t last long, however, with Koepper, who once performed with the group Pure Gamma but has been operating solo for many a year now, generally focused more on animation than meditation. The set’s connectedness argues against isolating individual tracks for discussion, yet mention must be made of “Darkness” for how effectively its repeated buildups showcase Koepper’s handling of tension and release and for the dramatic impact of its eventual plunge into deep Tangerine Dream-styled atmospherics.
To say Transmitter exudes a classic ‘70s feel isn’t inaccurate, though describing it as such sells what he’s doing here a little short. Rather than see it as some modern-day replication of a hugely influential earlier era of synthesizer music, it might be more accurate to see it as perpetuating a style that’s never gone out of date. No doubt echoes of Jean Michel Jarre, Klaus Schulze, and others are audible in the recording, but that’s little different from hearing in Keith Richards’ playing traces of Chuck Berry and Buddy Guy. Put simply, every artist builds on the legacies of those that came before, regardless of genre. With that in mind, the text accompanying the release is arguably more on-point in pitching the release as “new electronic music designed for yesterday and tomorrow.”
Reviews Editor –
Before his latest release Sculptor Galaxy, I had little knowledge of Robert Logan other than his two collaborations with Steve Roach in 2016, Biosonic and Second Nature, both excellent but very different from one another, and also very different from the release at hand. He also has around half a dozen releases prior to those that, based on the three above should definitely be worthy of further investigation. Sculptor Galaxy is a continuum of ten tracks that seem to combine a lot of fresh ideas with the classic electronics of many who have come before him, including Vangelis, Jarre, Tangerine Dream, Michael Garrison, and early Steve Roach (the latter is credited as the producer here, with an incredible mastering job by Howard Givens of Spotted Peccary), but along with this he has blended and juxtaposed acoustic sounds and field recordings into his work, which takes it into some unexpected directions.
Sequences are used generously, but layered within are majestic melodies and textures that convey a strong sense of beauty and vibrance, making for a truly adventurous work of magnificent structures and curious inventive pathways, much like a sequence of short soundtracks tied together by a thread of diverse themes. With headphones (oh yeah!) the listener will get a true three-dimensional audio experience that will surpass expectations, creating a whole world that one can easily get lost within. Logan’s electronic practice doesn’t involve sticking within conventions, instead breaking out of the barriers that have kept electronic music shackled for far too long. Take track five “The Weaver” as an example, a beautiful but subtle melody emerges out of dense atmospherics, while in the background some vaguely recognizable sounds of stringed world instruments and gamelan gongs follow closely behind that melody, adding additional textures that build up the strength of the whole. The brief “Senescence” builds its strength via a warm, wandering piano melody backed by subtle strings and shimmering electronic counterpoint. The entirety of the disc takes the explorative route in lieu of the predictable, and for that I’m calling Sculptor Galaxy one of the best electronic based releases of the year. Find a copy before it disappears. -Peter Thelen
Reviews Editor –
From Synth & Sequences
I discovered Robert Logan with the pair of albums that he made with Steve Roach last year. If each album had a very different identity, Second Nature was very ambient while Biosonic was of tribal nature with psybient rhythms, the true nature of the English artist is rather in the kind of deep ambient landscapes with a propensity for tones sculptured around surrounding samplings. Walking between 2 aliases, Sense Project and Firehand, to widen his experimental pallet, Robert Logan delivered 6 music albums decorator of ambiences since 2007. And now taken out from nowhere arrives this brilliant Sculptor Galaxy. And the Press info didn’t do into subtleties by underlining that it’s doubtless this avenue that Jean-Michel Jarre should have chosen after his surprising Zoolook in 1984. What about it?!
Reverberating effects and others organic ones spice up the uncertain rhythm of “Sovereign”. Samplings of voices deformed as well as heavy riffs of keyboard give a psychedelic envelope to this structure of rhythm built in a kind of stop’n’go and of which the absence of nuances makes a whole contrast with the organic effects and the stroboscopic veils which are added to an unreal choir. Between its abrupt shocks and its respites of ambient phases, “Sovereign” gives an overview of the structures of rhythms which mark out this Robert Logan’s surprising opus. The mixing is extremely well done by Steve Roach and gives justice to the wealth of the tones, as here and as everywhere in Sculptor Galaxy. “Climber” attacks our ears with powerful knockings which make raise lines of flickering sequences and attractive percussive effects. Still here, the structure of rhythm is hatched but clearly more lively with good arrangements and a pretty nice hint of Jean-Michel Jarre, in particular for this approach of synth-pop well controlled in its more progressive environment. The samplings of voice get back to charm our expectations in the smooth rhythm of “Be Tall”, I would even believe to hear sing the title in various ways. The percussive effects are always that attractive and fit very well into other effects which brings the music in a zone of psybient. And if the bass traces a cosmic Groove with good lascivious movements, the percussions on the other hand bring the title towards a good rock brought out of another universe. “Binary Star” begins with a more electronic approach which is guided by fluid and lively movements of the sequencer. This structure melts afterward behind another cosmic Groove approach pattern with a bass and percussions more in the tone of a good mid-tempo. The collections of hoarse voices and cosmic effects always stay in the field of psychedelic Electronica. But one tames it quite easily.
On the other hand, “The Weaver” asks for a bit of more listening. In fact, the evolution of the music follows marvelously the sense of its title with a weaving of sequences which little by little adopts a coherence but which comes up against a heap of sound and percussive effects. It swirls delicately and it’s rather a kind of progressive ambient music. The samplings of voices, the organic as much as the percussive effects are in the heart of the charms of this album and “Endless Sea” which, actually, would fits very well with Jean-Michel Jarre’s repertoire. But a more audacious Jarre, because everything is of boldness here! After this quite lively piece of music, “Senescence” sounds so out of room here with its delicate piano which puts its pearls of melancholy in the lamentations of what seems to be a sort of in-between violin and cello. “Plantal Sequence” will be your first crush in Sculptor Galaxy. Like a thing that we know without ever being capable of putting a name on it, the music is like a pack of people who look for themselves in a wonderful harmonious choreography. That does very Steve Roach and at the same time very Berlin School with a touch Alexander Desplats’ mood. A delight! “Metazoa” is another title which seduces straightaway with a very Zoolook structure, we are even entitled to these knocks of percussive grapeshots, where the samplings of voice form a nice harmonious choir. A rather delirious title which finds its strength out of our earphones with a good stereo effect. “Voyager” ends this fascinating discovery of the audaciousness universe of Robert Logan with a cosmic journey where the ambient music is nicely decorated by a strand of musical sequences, by some very intense synth layers and by other percussive effects which are just as much. There is an effect of crescendo here, we notice that almost everywhere throughout the 51 minutes of Sculptor Galaxy which pushes an EM towards a nirvana of intensity which makes no concession for the Jean-Michel Jarre’s shady world on the London dock.
A magnificent production from the duo Logan/Roach, Sculptor Galaxy has literally brought me to the skies of surprises, of astonishments. Besides its samplings of voice, which are not too intrusive but rather eccentrics, its percussive effects and these brilliant organic imprints, Sculptor Galaxy is of an intensity which competes its creativity. Every title is a box of sonic surprises where the boldness is not too situated that far from the accessibility. And to think of it well, this distant link with Zoolook is not really so distant after all … Remarkable, essential and a pure delight for music lovers. Rating: 5/5 -Sylvain Lupari
Reviews Editor –
Dokładnie dziesięć lat temu Robert Logan zadebiutował rewelacyjnym albumem „Cognessence” (recenzja). Miał zaledwie 19 lat, ale już wtedy w jego muzyce wyczuwało się ogromną dojrzałość i klarowną wizję. Od tamtej pory artysta konsekwentnie się rozwija, czego dowodem albumy „Inscape” (2009), „Flesh” (2015, recenzja), „Flesh Decomposed” (2016, recenzja) oraz zrealizowane ze Stevem Roachem „Second Nature” i „Biosonic” (obydwa z 2016). Wydany ponad miesiąc temu „Sculptor Galaxy” to kolejny zapis produktów otwartego umysłu Roberta i jego nieustannego progresu.
Zainspirowany młodzieńczymi fascynacjami – m.in. muzyką filmową oraz staroświecką elektroniką w duchu Vangelisa, Tangerine Dream i Jeana Michela Jarre’a – Logan stworzył ponadgatunkowy majstersztyk ze strzępów nagrań terenowych, dźwięków instrumentów akustycznych, elektronicznych beatów i ambientowych pejzaży. I choć jest to muzyka niemal w całości instrumentalna (nie licząc przetworzonych głosów), skrzy się od motywów „od zawsze” obecnych w twórczości brytyjsko-węgierskiego producenta. Są to, między innymi: wzajemna relacja natury i technologii, związek między myślą a materią, kontrast między ciałem a duszą. Ten związek organicznych i syntetycznych brzmień oraz idei powoduje, że różnica między dźwiękiem a muzyką zależy wyłącznie od kontekstu.
Muzyka wyłania się z niebytu niczym wszechświat w chwili Wielkiego Wybuchu. Chaos powoli organizuje się w regularne struktury, by pod koniec wrócić do punktu wyjścia i pogrążyć się w „wiekuistej ciszy tych nieskończonych przestrzeni”, by powtórzyć za Pascalem. Wszystko to sprawia, że całość brzmi niczym dzieło człowieka na stacji kosmicznej orbitującej wokół Ziemi, gdzie wszechogarniający zachwyt nad potęgą wszechświata miesza się z poczuciem ludzkiej nikłości w obliczu owej potęgi. Sculptor Galaxy mógłby być również odtwarzany przez całą dobę w jednym z laboratoriów w CERN, do którego trzeba mieć specjalną przepustkę. Jest nią wrażliwość. -Maciej Kaczmarski