Rey - Hidden vibrations - 1999
Rey is the pseudonym taken by Ulrik Rey Henningsen, a Danish-Spanish keyboardist who has decided to follow the path of electronic music, in a way that only few musicians did in the last few years. Even though his name is not very well-known on its own, this musician had already taken part to other ambient and electronic music projects during the nineties, among which a tribute to Tangerine Dream and another to eighties music.
Its important to notice that deciding to play electronic music can bring two main and usually negative consequences: sounding like a copy of some well known precursor or doing long and monotonous ambiance's that, in the long run, take away some of the initial interest for the record. The main feature in this musical style is to be able to create original music without making any of those two mistakes, and, take it from me, Henningsen did it wonderfully. Logically, his compositions have quite obvious influences from other electronic bands or musicians, but they only remain influences.
The tracks included in the album take elements of numerous electronic styles: "Sharmila" is a composition that seems to retake Jean Michel Jarres works of the eighties, but adding an ambient touch to them in the style of Tangerine Dream and samples usually heard in techno music. "Temple of Beyond" blends elements from the Klaus Schulze of the seventies and sounds that remind of the most recent Ash Ra Temple. The repetitive style of "Black Ocean" shows a marked tendency towards the 70s German school and the ambiance's developed in "Behind the Walls" would evoke a modern version of Tangerine Dreams "Stratosfear". One of the record best parts is the track "Silver", that includes a more rock style, rhythms taken after the experiments carried out in the eighties and rather melodic keyboard parts. Exploring mountains is a track that has a slight Tim Blake psychedelic touch and ambiance's in the style of Jarres "Equinox", quite original. "Confused Direction" even includes semi-ethnic rhythms and ambient parts related to them.
Stop!!!!! In a nutshell, this is a rather comprehensive record. A whole blend of influences and styles have given this musician a very promising debut. Another favorable point to Henningsen is that he managed to put together the essence of the classical electronic music sound and the modern technologies, given that in some parts, he even uses techno rhythms and techniques. Is it valid? It should be remembered that using a particular element can create variety in an album, abusing of it, though, can destroy it. A few years ago, Ash Ra Temple also made use of this element ("Live in Japan", 1997), and even if their album had some interesting parts, it was based on techno rhythm and as a follow up, was relatively disappointing. On the contrary, in this case, the use of the techno factor is moderate and creates a different sound on the record. Therefore, it is actually valid and makes it more original.
This is not just another electronic musician among others, Henningsen is more likely to be a worthy disciple of the greatest classical electronic musicians. I recommend to the fans of this style not to think twice and to buy "Hidden Vibrations" straight away. Electronic music needs new and original blood. Here is a good example of it.