Redshift V - Halo
Episode 5 from the modular masters has been hailed as their finest work by virtually all who have heard it. There is no doubt that this album is another awesome chapter in the band's career, it is a powerful brooding masterpiece which adds more credence to Redshift's claim to the very highest echelons of the EM scene. This album carrying on the trend set by 'Downtime' in so far that it is exploring a moodier side of the Redshift sound. It seems to be an inevitable trend for purveyors of the Moog modular to explore 'The Darker Side' and on 'Halo' Redshift have to all intents and purposed picked up the baton dropped by Node.
Their sound is dominated by the Moog Modular, and it's the change in emphasis around this machine which is leading the way to pastures new. 'Ether', and to a large extent their new release 'Siren', see the Moog in polyrhthmic, syncopating and (importantly) melodic form which gives the music that 'Ricochet' vibe for want of a better term. However on 'Halo', as was demonstrated by their tremendous live performance recently, the Moog can be used in a very different way, delivering a more ordered, less complex, almost percussive backdrop for the other Redshift elements to latch onto. Here the objective is drama, depth and raw power. It works fantastically and the result is one of those albums to play loud and proud to really shake the foundations. 9 tracks are on offer ranging from a couple of minutes to a touch under 15, though many are segued so an extended outing is available. Perhaps the title track is the pivotal piece, occupying the centre ground of the album and offering a sequential backbone which perhaps, of all the rhythms on offer, harks back most to previous Redshift outings. Adorning this tapestry are some enormous power chords, this is perhaps one of the strengths of the band. Though I've banged on about the Moog, all the elements on offer are strong from synths to atmospherics and not least the guitar elements which as ever are pitched to perfection.
So there you have it, it's another Redshift studio album and really those words alone will have people flocking to buy this. And they won't be disappointed. But I personally still hold 'Ether' as the benchmark. OK it's a different sound, and in terms of 'The Darker Side' I've heard little to top 'Halo'. I just hope that for future releases Redshift just don't plough on down the black hole to the detriment of those multilayered syncopating tapestries, and their uncanny knack for sublime melody. Otherwise we may just lose another band to "the dark side of the moog".
Graham Getty - used with permissionwww.synthmusicdirect.com