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Aquaria - A Liquid Blue Trancescape

Diane Arkenstone

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Album Review

Long frustrated by the release schedule restraints of conventional labels, electronic new age Renaissance man David Arkenstone joined with his wife, Diane, to create Neo Pacifica, a label releasing a wide variety of creatively diverse expressions. One of the label's highlights is introducing vocalist/keyboardist Diane as a composer and artist in her own right. With David's composing and production assistance, Diane creates what comes across as a continuous, unbroken musical piece, but is actually comprised of eight thoughtful compositions. The promise of trance in the album title might imply that this will be something of a formless musical experience, but all the ethereal effects (which include her whispery, seductive voice chanting like our subconscious) are given a solid musical foundation, complete with drum machine groove and reasonably memorable synth or piano melodies. "World of Light" is an expansive, nine-minute doorway, beginning very atmospherically before developing an R&B/pop edge. "Through the Veil" features David's Celtic-flavored flute and a swirling electronica melody, while "The Water Gardens" mixes inventive electronic percussion patterns with gentle doses of Andy Taylor's fiddle. Diane uses the theme of Aquaria, an undersea fantasy realm, as a framework for what she calls a "journey of groove exploration." All of it comes across as sensual and much more structured than many recordings in this genre offer.

Biography

Born: CA

Genre: New Age

Years Active: '90s, '00s

New age sensation Diane Arkenstone came from a varied musical background before focusing her career on Celtic music in the 1990s. Trained as an opera singer, Arkenstone experimented with punk, heavy metal, and folk music until she co-formed the duo Enaid & Einalem with a musician friend named Melanie. While with the duo, she married like-minded musician David Arkenstone and formed the label Neo Pacifica with him. She broke out on her...
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Aquaria - A Liquid Blue Trancescape, Diane Arkenstone
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