Mike Andrews / Time & Science


I think this album would appeal to fans of Otarion and Andy Pickford as it is music which is both immense in scale as well as melodically superb.

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Mike Andrews is unashamedly influenced by both Vangelis and Jean Michel Jarre. He consciously and unconsciously melds both these styles into his music though as his career progresses he is also developing something of a style of his own. His first ‘proper’ CD ‘Retrospective’ showed a highly impressive cross section of his work previously only available through the mp3 format. Here the tracks tend to lean towards the more powerful examples of his style though there are some more delicate numbers as well. All of Mike’s work is highly melodic but it never gets twee. The leads either flash at you like lasers or work on an almost subliminal level going straight for the soul .Most of the tracks here are parts of a piece called ‘Tides of Time’ but with other tracks inserted here and there flowing as one continues whole. The scene setter ‘Tides of Time (Intro)’ is a beautiful relaxed way to start the album. A lovely dreamy lead line floats above windy effects and shimmering drones. A powerful lead melody surges from the speakers over vast pads and explosions. Its extremely exciting almost apocalyptic stuff. Another explosion takes us into ‘Genesis’ and the pace slows. A lovely little motif hangs in the air as more melodic detail is added here and there. A slow ominous rumbling loop starts up contrasting with lead touches. ‘Part 2’ is something of a floater but also intense as the sound is multi layered and very dense. ‘Part 3’ is simply stunning. A slow but purposeful rhythm grabs the attention over which an absolutely devastating lead line combines with an equally melodic sequence. There are relatively few good tunesmiths in EM but compared to any of them melodies just don’t get any better than these. Its one of the most enjoyable tracks I have heard all year. ‘Part 4’ takes us to very 70s JMJ territory, especially in the melodic sequence department. The lead lines and all sort of other background detail are also dripping with Jarrisms. Its powerful but extremely enjoyable. Couldn’t keep myself still to it. Wonderful stuff! ‘Part 5’ is quite a contrast. From spooky beginnings we move to a very Vangelis inspired lead line. There is a feeling of pent up power then a rapid roller coaster of a sequence spews from the speakers. Vast ominous pads accompany it, those spooky little effects still in the background. The mood is lightened completely for ‘Fantasy’. This is as tender as the album gets. The melodies are just exquisite grabbing hold of the heart. Backing is provided by flutey synth and orchestral pads. It still has an immense epic feel to it however. Wordless vocal touches almost sing over the top as the mood becomes euphoric. I would think that John Dyson would have been proud to have composed it. Power and beauty in perfect harmony. ‘Part 6’ continues in a similar mood though initially it is much less dense consisting of solo piano. A sort of sawing bass sound is added giving it some attitude then little sequences are allowed to develop lower in the mix. Later in the track the piano disappears and the sequences and drums take over changing the mood completely as we motor forwards. ‘Part 7’ is initially a little like one of Jarre’s moodier more atmospheric numbers but then another sequence / rhythmic combination takes over and we get into an extremely pleasant body moving groove. I Have no idea why the next track is called ‘Interstellar Jazzcafe’ as it doesn’t sound remotely jazzy – just more Jarre in every department. The sequence bounces forth combing with typical sonic touches and lead lines from ‘Oxygene’ or ‘Equinoxe’. ‘Part 8’ has a mega ‘overcooked’ organ lead line out of which emerges a blistering sequence. ‘Apocalypse’ is appropriately titled and almost cinematic. Symphonic pads combine with an appropriate doom laden rhythm. A brighter sequence emerges in the fourth minute but the mood still remains intense ending with the sound of church bells. We finish with ‘Part 9’. A slow sequence full of attitude accompanies more symphonic pads. Again the intensity of the lead lines is almost overpowering and as with some of the other tracks has a somewhat end of the world feel. As well as the two musicians already mentioned I think this album would also appeal to fans of Otarion and Andy Pickford as it is music which is both immense in scale as well as melodically superb. (DL) ;\ ‘\’