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Synth Album Review: "The Voyage" by Timecrawler 82

Karl is a longtime freelancer who's passionate about music, art, and writing.

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Overall Impressions

Timecrawler 82’s The Voyage is a lush sonic journey across galactic time and space. it uses a wide-ranging synth palette to paint intense auditory imagery and transport the listener to distant worlds. It intermingles melodic moments of explosive energy with melancholy and tender emotion as the album unfolds.

I am drawn to the atmosphere that The Voyage creates through sound. Timecrawler 82 lays down a mosaic of different tones, timbres and sensations to produce a richly layered journey through evocative imagery. The album radiates the sensation of sweeping through the stars, experiencing joy, loss, hope and pain on the journey.

Timecrawler 82’s melodic writing is another attractive aspect to The Voyage. He crafts emotionally complex melodies that carry the listener between triumph, tenderness, majesty and driving energy as they unfold, mirroring the story of adventures that span the stars. I enjoy the richness of his melodic language on the album.

The wide variety of synths on the album is also compelling to me. There are harsher, sharper tones that mix with crystalline sparkle and heart-warming glow as the different synths combine and contrast with one another. The end result has textural depth and engaging layers of interlocking sounds.

My Favourite Tracks Analyzed

“The Voyage” comes into being with a soft crackle like an old record and limpid, deep bass. Warm, digital-sounding synths form a majestic, sharply gruff note pattern. Throbbing percussion forms a steady pulse and bursts of electronic light echo out as a swirling note pattern gives way to the shaping pulse of dense percussion. Delicately floating, wriggling synth synth sounds form a caressing melody that I find touching in its hopeful ache.

Elevated, triumphant, brassy synth reaches for the skies while crystalline arpeggios spin. The lead melody exudes images of a great stellar journey while the steady drums throb and the arpeggios whirl. The melody is shadowed by a secondary synth line that is lighter and more gliding as the lead synth trumpets out positive feelings. There’s a return to a flowing, wandering synth that sails out over whorls of warm synth and glowing, flashing arpeggios keep washing through the music.

A huge retro drum pulses slowly a medium-high synth wave rises and falls to form a rippling sonic texture as Take Me Back begins. The drums burst widely into the music as throbbing bass supports the drifting, medium-high synth while Silvia’s smooth, unique and expressive vocals carry the mysterious vocal melody. There’s a melancholy, lost quality to the melody that suits the lyrics well.

Swirling synths wander ethereally and Silvia’s gentle voice is supported by the rhythmic power underneath it. Digital-sounding, medium-low synth roams in and the vocal melody has an empty, desolate feeling while the background is full of misty haze. This song’s sound is open and delicate, given shape and direction by the bass and percussion. Silvia’s voice has a distant, smooth quality to it as the throbbing continues. Shining synth cascades downwards in a steady pattern, steady as the wind keeps blowing around it.

This song’s narrator talks about how even though love is “kept in alien sanctuaries far across the universe” it still “radiates through galaxies” in “every molecule of us.” She asks the person she’s addressing to take her back to the place “where light would start through the black hole in your heart.” She talks about how the orbits of the planets “hold mute memories, traces of what’s left of us.”

“78th Sun” opens with a sustained, nasal-sounding synth that flows into the music as a gritty pulsation of lower sound moves. Trickling, twinkling sounds are cut into by a piano carrying a slightly nervous-sounding note pattern and more disjointed, cosmic-feeling synth. A high synth glides in through the music, playing pained notes that are broken by cut-glass sparkles. The oscillating bassline pulses and rough-edged, elevated synth tumbles and spins through the track.

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There’s a emotive power to the tenderly touching synth that slowly unfolds, glowing notes roaming through the track. The unique, hollow percussion has a distinct sound while gruffly repeating synth shimmers. Slipping, flowing synths intertwine as they cascade into the track over the bursting percussion. The lead synth has a glittering quality as it carries fragile notes in a washing pattern over the continual percussion and everything ends.

Massive, dense synths pulsate out into open space in reverberating lines that grow in energy and dynamism as “Space Tears” starts off. All of the sonic elements leap into motion as the beat grows smoother and faster on the massive drums. The lower musical elements form a powerful, catchy pulse that propels the song forward.

Bursting, flashing synths rise in a gleaming tide that arcs outwards while the addictive bass throb goes on. There’s a pleasing contrast as gentler, more caressing synths sail into the track in warming lines. A gliding, spaced-out synth drifts in uneven, flowing patterns that lap like soft waves while the drums are slower and burst more unevenly.

The more active drum and bass pulse returns while glittering synths float through the music with ease. There’s a lively motion to the bass and drum pattern while tight, high synths spin out in rapid arpeggios. Smoothly gliding synths slip through the music over the percussion and bass pulsation before the track ends.

“Kuiper Belt” comes to life with cosmic sounds and metallic tapping and clicking as a round, slightly distorted synth bubbles in a steady pattern. The huge retro drums throb and rising clouds of delicate synth move around a tender, tremulous melody. Sharper, minor key synth with a string-like quality cuts in to add texture while the gently enfolding melody is carried on elevated, shining synth.

The drum and bass heartbeat supports the round synth pattern trickling to create a liquid feeling. The secondary melody dances lightly through the track, sparkling with a fragile shine as the drums and bass provide structure to the music. There’s an enjoyable gossamer flow to the melody as it unfolds in easy going notes before the track winds down.

A voice singing in an ancient language moves through the breathy whorls of hazy sound that rise around it to begin “Aurora Borealis.” An oscillating, shifting arpeggio of tightly woven sound is broken by sunny flashes and digital sounds.

The drum and bass pulse shapes the music as the hurting, trembling synths climb in slow lines. The fragility and filmy lightness of the elevated synths adds a deeply soothing feeling for me. The high synths are supported by the whirling arpeggios and the steady drums as they wash in a tidal motion.

A melody slowly unfurls, rich with emotion and heart as it soars majestically. Popping, bouncing synths move with the continual throbbing of the percussion and bass. The ancient, reverent voice sings a song as old as human time over the motion below it and the swirling around it.

Conclusion

The Voyage is an astral synth journey full of musical detail, complex sonic interactions and rich in auditory imagery. Timecrawler 82 creates music here that is both touching and energizing. I hope he'll return to making more music soon!

© 2022 Karl Magi

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