Germany is a country that has always been directly related to avant-garde and electronic music thanks to groups and musicians like Popol Vuh, Tangerine Dream, Kraftkwerk or Klaus Schulze. However, most people think of this electronic style as something that belongs to the seventies. A terrible mistake! It still exists nowadays and it is as interesting and revolutionary as it was 25 years ago. A proof of this is Foreign Spaces, a band that should be taken seriously in the world of electronic music. Although they are not the most innovative band (their style is mainly based on a more classic sound), they are indeed an excellent heir to the classic German bands in the electronic tradition.
Foreign Spaces is a trio that includes Georg Reiter, Lothar Lubitz and Christian Feher on keyboards and electronic percussion. "Phaeton" is their fourth album, after "UFO Breakfast" (1995), "Being Creature" (1996) and "Dark Star" (1997). It is an interesting collection of instrumental works that were recorded between 1998 and 2000.
The sound created by Foreign Spaces reminds of the classic Tangerine Dream ("Ricochet", "Stratosfear") and also includes some electronic percussion more in the style of Kraftwerk on pieces like "Blue Stream". The use of digital and analog synthesizers provides this band with a blend of sonorities that come from different time periods (analog for the seventies and digital for the eighties and nineties). Contrary to other electronic bands, their style is not ambient, thanks to the use of rhythm changes and varied moods.
Pieces like "Phaeton I-Planet" (17:39) and "Phaeton II-Lifeforms" (21:19) are two of the most impressive parts of the album, both of them full of different atmospheres and keyboard ambiance's. The length of these tracks only confirms how impressive electronic music can be. The use of minimalism is not part of Foreign Spaces music. However, "White Sunset" is the exception, given that it is actually a nice track in the style of Klaus Schulze. Put special interest in pieces like "Moonless" and "Spheric Architecture", two delicate themes with excellent musical arrangements. The album closes with "Phaeton III-Utopia", a majestic song of great beauty.
Another important detail that I have to mention is the artwork: the cover is excellent, its images do fit perfectly with electronic music. Moreover, the album includes a poster with the whole artwork. Great point!
To sum it up, it is important to say that the music of Foreign Spaces is refined electronic music with a seventies feeling. Their last album, "Phaeton", is an interesting album that will certainly please most fans of electronic music. If you are interested in this musical genre, get it, you will find it a quality purchase.