ICON - An Electronic Music Album
CD-R Auricle AMCDR 234 £7.00
2. The F'tang Element 6'20"
3. Valles Marineris 13'11"
4. Iconoclast 2'05"
5. Lucky For Some 10'25"
6. On The Wings Of The
7. Morning Mood 10'06"
produced & engineered by Kevin O'Neill.
Recorded in 1983 on home 2-track, and at Hollow Sun Studio, Cardiff.
Issued under agreement with Kevin O'Neill.
Originally issued in 1984 on self-released cassette, catalogue number K.T.
Authentic reissue of the debut by Welsh synthesist Kevin
O'Neill mastered from the original private release cassette, out of print for
some 25 odd years.
O'Neill: synthesizers: Roland SH101, Yamaha DX9, Juno 6, ARP 2600,
sequencer/composers: TR 606, TB 303, effects: phaser, flanger, echo, reverb.
The music contained on ICON is surprisingly sophisticated and
professional with a wealth of ideas that it's sometimes hard to believe it's
a debut album! It's obvious from first hearing it that a thoughtful and
competent composer with strong individualistic inclinations who knows what he
wants his music to sound like, is at work. Kevin successfully avoids the
pitfalls of copyist techniques (no Schulze clone here!) and the cliché-ridden
interminable sequences and drum machine patterns, so often a cover-up for lack
of originality are thankfully absent. It's hard to single out particular
tracks for all are notable in their own right, ranging from the hauntingly
melodic and bittersweet Julia to the rather weird percussive The F'tang
Element. There are the stark other-worldly soundscapes of Valles Marineris
(inspired by the "sandstorm-swept landscape of the great rift valley on
Mars named after the Mariner probe of the seventies" - Kevin's words),
and the splendour of the evocative On the Wings of the Condor which I am wont
to describe as a Tone Poem for synthesizers.
from a review by Peter Harrison in Audion #2 from 1986
light of the above (and a review in Mirage magazine) we ordered this and
stocked all Kevin's output via Audion Distribution until cassette sales dwindled
in the early 1990s. In and out of touch since, if it weren't for connecting
via Facebook these reissues would never have happened. Kevin was reluctant at
first, as he feels these early works are not up to the standard of his later
stuff. Yet it's the original fresh approach (as described by Greg) that sets
this aside from his later releases, which far outweighs and technical or
musical proficiency IMHO (Alan Freeman).
Original issue: MC (K.T. 01) - released 1984.
CD-R: 20 numbered copies - released 3/1/2017.
Bandcamp download - released 17/8/2018.
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