by Unlock/Vantage^Padua [issue 07/2002]
|Bjorn Lynne's Colony Audio CD
The album is dedicated to all the brave visionaries who work in the field of research and planning into human colonization of other planets.
the cd cover
It must have been two or three months ago, when Bjorn Lynne (aka. Dr. Awesome/Crusaders) announced the release of a new audio CD on his mailinglist. On the same mailinglist, he asked the subscribers to suggest a title for one of the tracks which will be on the upcoming CD. With this, he got my interest for the whole project. I went straight on and downloaded the track for which a name should be found. When listening to it, I imagined a few names, which I submitted to Bjorn. A few weeks later, he announced the winner of that small contest - unfortunately it wasn't me. However, the track got the name One Step to Paradise and it can be found on the CD as the 11th track which is also the longest one (approx. 10 minutes).
You might remember the interview we've had with Bjorn Lynne in one of the past issues of PAiN. Nevertheless, I want to introduce him a little bit again - to make you remember who he is. Bjorn is a Norwegian guy now living in England. In the scene he's probably still better known as Dr. Awesome who was a member of the Crusaders (an Amiga crew) back when he still was active. After moving to England in 1995, Bjorn started with his career as an more or less commercial musician. Taking off with his first self-financed and self-published CD back in 1992, he got more and more successfull. From his first album he sold 2000 copies, and that was in the pre-internet era. More albums followed and up to now he has released about 14 audio CDs, some of them self-published and some of them as Divinorum which is his trance side label.
But now, let's move back to his latest album, the Colony project. Bjorn was so kind to send me a copy of it, so that I'm able to write and publish a review in PAiN. Let's start talking about the CD booklet and cover. The picture on the first page of this article is a view to the CD when you get it out of the package. The Colony logo is nicely done by using the picture of an Eclipse as 'C'. All the graphics used are made by Tobias Richter who is a famous 3D artist from Germany. It's the guy who has done the graphics for Oil Imperium back then, and also more covers for the early stuff from Bjorn Lynne as well as a lot of Shareware programs on the Amiga. The pictures in the booklet and on the inside of the CD case show fantastic and realistic science fiction scenes which perfectly fit the music and the Colony topic. Together with Tobias Richter, Bjorn Lynne also produced a stylish music video for the Messages track from the CD which can be downloaded right here.
The Colony audio CD contains eleven tracks which make a total playtime for approx. one hour and 7 minutes. The longest track is Faces of Fatality with ten minutes and the shortest one is Ypsilon which only lasts 2 minutes.
This is an album of electronic cyber rock music, with
elements of ambient, melodic electronic, and progressive synth rock.
TRACK 01 - MESSAGES (06:54)
The first track on a CD is (imho) one of the most important ones. If I didn't like this one, who knows if I ever would play the album again? Starting with spherical soundings disturbed by rhythm elements and the suddenly evolving with drums and guitars, this track is a furious opening for the CD. There are sounds in this track that remind me of electronical switching in spaceships and other noises that make you imagine spaceships flying around planets and trough the wide space. When I first saw the videoclip for this track which I mentioned earlier, I was very surprised that it fit the music and my imaginations that well. The rythm of this track is straightforward and pushes a little bit, especially at the time when the synthesizer-strings are coming in too.
TRACK 02 - ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES (07:20)
This tune starts with strings and the pushing guitars coming in. I guess this has to be like that for a decent ... let's call it space-rock album. The tune evolves and soon reaches his first climax when the deep bass is coming in. The melody often repeats, at least that's what seems to me after listening to this track for a few times. At about 2 minutes and 30 seconds I like the tune most, it's really pushing there - generally this track would perfectly fit a demo and it also fits perfectly on this CD. There are some nice 'transitions' between different parts of the tune which always sound a little bit different. Cool!
TRACK 03 - HYPERDRIVE STIMULI (05:39)
Starting out more or less like the rest of the tunes this one surprises me very soon with cool sounding effects and echoes. The rhythm and drums are different and not what I've expected on the CD. Weird sounding effects are what's the most special thing about this track. After a while, the guitar comes in supporting the tune for a while. I especially like the drums that sound like if they were really big and very analog, though not all of them are analog, I think.
TRACK 04 - NO LOOKING BACK (05:21)
When reading the title of this tune, I imagined something that has to be optimistic and was not surprised: This tune starts out somehow depressively and melancholic but then turns over to be very 'looking forward' as opposite to 'looking back'. The guitar tells me a story - and that's what important for a tune like this, because the rhythm and the bass aren't too special. This tune has build some kind of atmosphere here in my room and makes me listen to the music - I could still read a book or something while other tracks are running but with this one that's not easy.
TRACK 05 - RUINS OF AN ALIEN CIVILIZATION (02:43)
The fifth track is one of the shorter on this CD. It is different and features a lot of weird noises which are used as rythm-instruments. The melody is kinda depressive - makes it fitting the title. I imagine that it is always a tragedy when you see the ruins of a extincted civilization. This track mainly lives from its rhythm and the effects used. There's no such thing as a consistent melody or something like that. It sounds very experimental .. and fades into tunes number 6 without a gap.
TRACK 06 - MIND OF THE VISIONARY (08:21)
A longer one again - that's why I expect a traditional building and evolving of the tune. And I'm right :-) This tune is, like the second one on the CD: very pushing and featuring a great melody. For me, this is one of the better tunes on here, the melody has a big variety and the tune pulsates somehow. The instruments used are mainly the same as in most of the other tracks, but that's perfectly okay. Also, this tune tries to tell some kind of a story and I could easily imagine it as part of a movie soundtrack too. Splitted into different (but not too different) parts it makes me really listen and enjoy. There are even noises in this tune that sound like space ship gears (as if they sounded in vacuum ;-))
TRACK 07 YPSILON (01:57)
This is the shortest tune on the whole CD. Like track 5, it mainly consists of noises (there are some that sound like bells).. This way it's a perfect postlude for track 6. After some seconds there are some strings coming in, giving this track the touch of a science fiction movie soundtrack again. It reminded me a lot of some tunes by Christopher Franke, if that means anything to you. Nevertheless, this track is not a lot more than a transition from one track to another.
TRACK 08 NEURALNET (03:58)
Neuralnet starts with a slight fading from track 7 which soon gets supported by the drums and guitar. Assuming that Bjorn tried to create a musical synonyme to the title, he succeeded. With the melody (not a lot) and the rhythm, there is some kind of net building in front of my virtual eyes and I see electrons flying around in there, crashing sometimes and smoothly dissappear again. I guess it's the track with the most bass support inside, and it fits perfectly. However, somehow I don't like this a lot personally, for me it's the worst track on the album.
TRACK 09 FACES OF FATALITY (10:03)
Track 9 starts with something that sounds very much like a synthesizer and reaches his first climax after a few seconds where it sounds like a whole orchestra with strings, guitars and drums is coming in. Then, the real rhythm starts, supported by something that makes me believe that it is a kind of slap bass. A two nervous guitars play the main theme in here and I also hear a lot (maybe a bit too much) open hi-hats in the background. The variance of the melodies the guitars play in this track is very large and I think, Bjorn has the best guitarwise performance in this one. Also, it brings a melody that one can easily remember. To me it sounds like a medley of known melodies, probably from famous scene tunes, but they definitifely are not. Really pushing tune, one of the best ones on this album.
TRACK 10 CRYSTAL VISTA (04:39)
This - again shorter - track starts very traditional. Slight strings and noises and the usual thing. Slowly, a bass is coming in, which is then suddenly supported by drums and further strings. All in all, this tune is very silent and reposeful, kind of opposite to track 9.
TRACK 11 ONE STEP TO PARADISE (09:37)
Playing with some dissonances, this tune starts very powerful. It has a great and catchy melody which is mainly lead by guitars and the (a bit monotonous) bass. The title of this tune was chosen by one of Bjorn mailinglist-subscribers after how it sounded and what that guy imagined when listening to the track. He did a good job in selecting the title, the tune is very optimistic and spreads a good spirit. One of the top 3 tracks on the album.
Generally, this albums is one consistent space-opera like masterpiece from Bjorn. If you like music like this, it is a must (and you can easily check the tunes before buying the album). It goes perfectly along with the music from the already mentioned Christopher Franke and that's a style I love. The album contains many surprisingly high-standard tracks and is produced very professionally - which only speaks for Bjorn as ex-scener. However, I missed a hidden track on this one :-)
01. Messages (06:54)
02. Endless Possibilities (07:20) [mp3_clip]
03. Hyperdrive Stimuli (05:39) [mp3_clip]
04. No Looking Back (05:21) [mp3_clip]
05. Ruins of an Alien Civilization (02:43)
06. Mind of the Visionary (08:21) [mp3_clip]
07. Ypsilon (01:57)
08. Neuralnet (03:58)
09. Faces of Fatality (10:03)
10. Crystal Vista (04:39) [mp3_clip]
11. One Step To Paradise (09:37)
The tracks "Messages" and "One Step to Paradise" can be downloaded complete in mp3 format from Bjorn's mp3_page.
Bjorn's MP3 page http://www.lynnemusic.com/mp3.html
The Colony album website http://www.lynnemusic.com/colony.html
Divinorum project http://www.divinorum.com/