Under The Dome / Over The Pond

£7.99 £4.99

A very special release which encompasses the best from UtD’s appearance on Chuck van Zyl’s Star’s End radio show in the early hours of Sunday 14th September 2003.

Category: Tags: ,


A very special release which encompasses the best from UtD’s appearance on Chuck van Zyl’s Star’s End radio show in the early hours of Sunday 14th September 2003. The cover is great, mimicking TD’s legendary ‘Encore’. First thing to say is that UtD produced music for the show which was very much in tune with the late hour at which it was broadcast, so don’t expect traditional UtD fayre. But do expect a release of the very highest calibre. The set opens with ‘The Rhode Ahead’ which is a delightful section played on a electric piano voice. The melody is subtle and brilliant, the atmosphere generated is perfect for (as the track suggests) the journey ahead. Next we get an 11 and a half minute piece called ‘Wired Beneath the Hot Spot’ which rides in on a syncopating sequence. Through headphones the stereo really plays tricks with the ears. This sequence remains the focal point, allowed to flourish in isolation for a significant period, but is does the job wonderfully well because it constantly mutates in shape and sound. Eventually subtle synth lines tentatively join in, but they are pitched carefully to meld with the overall nature of the piece. Latterly a choir style voice is utilised, again to great effect. I would have been happier had this track been 5 minutes shorter, but that’s mainly because I can’t wait to get to the next pieces which are breathtaking. ‘Careful With That Patch, Jolene’ features a steady, brooding, pulsing sequence backed by classic retro synth voices. The feeling of mid 70’s TD is captured perfectly, and again a great facet of the track is the melodic content, deftly delivered via subtle riffs and themes. Again the clock runs to 11 and a half minutes but this time it’s over in a flash, the piece slowly building anticipation which is delivered in exceptional style with ‘Thunder Over City Hall’. The way the sequence emerges from the previous track and builds into a rampant wall of pulsations is pure genius. And the way it is achieved without the use of multiple layers is amazing. And to top it all we get the trademark UtD rasping synth theme thrown in for good measure. And the form continues right into ‘Love Park’, this time the sequence is transposed to produce an even higher melodic air. This is sensational stuff! Proceedings are then wound down and the melody picked out on electric piano. Cue shivers down the spine. ‘Espresso Shake’ is another sequence/synth delight, and the way all the sounds seem to shift and mutate constantly is fascinating. This is perhaps the most recognisable UtD section so far, whereas ”White Dog’ is exactly the opposite. Minimalist atmospherics of the highest merit, it’s a beautifully pitched piece which sent the tone for the very Eno-esqu ‘Title10’ which in the same vein as Eno’s ‘An Ending (Ascent)’ deserves to be heard on TV far and wide. The guitar treatments are quite simply gob smacking. ‘Beast in the Cellar’ is another atmospheric piece but has a more edgy nature, leaving ‘Morning Glory’ to end with more of those brilliant guitar effects, touch of Vangelis too. The music brilliantly evokes images of the sun rising after a doomy night. As I suggested earlier, this is not the usual UtD style of EM. What is it however is a fascinating and unique mix of ambient, retro, Berlin School and melodic EM. Usually my own preference is for the more melodic approach, yet paradoxically the more I hear this the more I think it’s the best UtD release so far. Unmissable. (GG) ;\ ‘\’