The Abstrakce label here initiate a new series of split LPs with this pairing of Jonas Reinhardt and Jurgen Muller (aka Norm Chambers). Both these guys love kosmischey synth music, especially when a not-entirely-true narrative is involved, and The Encyclopedia of Civilizations Vol. 1: Egypt is a great example of their work. Beautiful letterpressed sleeve and an included booklet too!
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- The Encyclopedia of Civilizations Vol. 1: Egypt by Jonas Reinhardt / Jürgen Müller
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In which Jonas Reinhardt and Jürgen Müller take it in turns to channel ancient Egyptian spirits through their synths, set to: maximum widescreen trippy Kosmische. The Encyclopedia of Civilizations Vol. 1: Egypt is, you won’t be exceedingly surprised to learn, the first in a planned series of split LPs wherein the selected artists offer their re-imagined interpretations of ancient civilizations and their culture. Listener, please find in these grooves some beautifully twinkling and expansive synths for your nighttime zoning out pleasure.
Reinhardt opens his side of the record with ‘Kushite Kings’, immediately plying his dense layers of harmonic synth for a full and deep shade of psychedelic arpeggiation. The track was seemingly inspired by the aforenamed Kushite and their invasion of 8th-century BC Egypt, thereafter ruling as pharaohs of the 25th dynasty for a century. And then the tone continues to darken, as on ‘Of Amunmose’ -- a prince of the 18th dynasty, no less -- with its chanting over Klaus Schulze-ish synth; and the hypnosis-enabling ‘Hathor’s Trance’ with washes of white noise for the full ambient / Kosmiche effect.
Jürgen Müller -- aka Panabrite -- sets his modular synths to M. Geddes Gengras mode and sounds like the post-party chill that the foreign rulers of northern Egypt (‘Hyksos’) in the 15th dynasty may have made, had they invented electricity... and synthesizers. I guess we’ll never know. It’s certainly the more relaxing and spartan sounding of the sides; ‘Garden of Nephthys’ consists of lovely layers of watery, almost Gamelan-like metallic percussion and washes of minor chord ambience. It’s gorgeous. As is the packaging, with Egyptian colours (sand, electric blue) making up the colour scheme in a traditional letterpress design. Also includes 10-page fact-filled historical booklet with images of Egyptian landscapes and artefacts. Totally beautiful.
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