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Alien Encounter

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Album Review

This space music is a bit of a expansion for electronic composer Phil Thornton, who usually writes more melody-based (but colorful) music. As the title suggests, this album will give you plenty of unsolved mysteries. "Arrival of the Mothership" is set in an electronic swamp. All manner of crickets, "auming" frogs, and assorted swamp sounds begin to meld with the electronic chirps and swirls of the mothership; a heartbeat holds steady in the background. By "Another Blue Light," sounds are more rhythmic. The piece builds in the style of Tangerine Dream; the rhythms seem to unfold according to some design of destiny. Plains of organ tones, whisking solar winds, chimes, and extended voices characterize the unsettling, yet strangely peaceful, "Traveling without Moving"— it makes you hold your breath in anticipation. Alien Encounter ends with "Visions from the Homeworld," a celebratory romp that gives new meaning to the phrase, "clang, clang, clang, goes the trolley." Hop aboard. The excellent sound effects and mesmerizing melodies will keep you spellbound as the black alien's eyes.


Genre: New Age

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Phil Thornton is now closely associated with the British New Age music movement, but he is also an accomplished guitarist and has had a long touring and recording association with Sinead O'Connor. He is a regular member of the neo-psychedelic English band Mandragon, and he has worked with Gordon Giltrap, Talking Heads, Stallion, Die Laughing,...
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Alien Encounter, Phil Thornton
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