Stranger Days

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David Wright talks about ‘Stranger Days’

Stranger Days

‘Stranger Days’ is the brand new double album from the UK’s Symphonic Synth Music artist David Wright. It is an ambitious project containing new material plus reworked versions of a handful of older tracks. At times spacey, eerie, other worldly and ethereal there is still plenty  of room for the emotive melodies we all know and love in David Wright’s music, as well as the exploration of some new sonic territories.

‘Stranger Days’ is a kind of retrospective in terms of influences and styles, and includes tracks inspired by Tangerine Dream, Edgar Froese, Klaus Schulze, Vangelis, Neuronium and Kitaro. However, the music remains very much in David Wright’s melodious and thematic style, crossing electronic, new age, space rock and chill-out genres. It also includes music featuring Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock, Robert Fox, Carys and other musicians.

‘Stranger Days’ contains music that has originated over the past three decades, offering a broad, diverse and complete spectrum of the many sides to David Wright’s brand of “Electronic Music”. From the deeply reflective tones of his more atmospheric material to the huge, grandiose Vangelis inspired melodies – it is all here!

The double CD comes with a 12 page booklet, the download version a 22 page booklet.

It has been a labour of love, taking 18 months to complete. It incorporates music from live performances, studio sessions (in some instances overlooked and forgotten!) and reworked tracks and remixes.does contains a lot of new and previously unreleased music. The epic 60 minute title track, for example, is a studio re-imagining of new electronic music originally recorded live at E-Scape 2015 and previously unreleased studio recordings. There are other new tracks recorded between 2012 and 2018, some featuring the beautiful voice of Carys, alongside re-workings of older (some might say obscure?) tracks like ‘Colours of the Night’,  ‘Glass Mountains’ (also featuring Carys) and more. It also features previously unreleased music with Robert Fox and Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock.

This album is available to download and on factory pressed, replicated CD (double). Check out our FAQ page for more information.

Reviews

  1. Steve Sheppard

    Your review *Stranger Days by David Wright
    There is a true vibrancy to this latest release by master electronic composer David Wright. Stranger Days is a reflective look over the musical shoulder perhaps, but Wright seems to be somewhat revitalised, and that energy can be felt in this literally breath taking new double album. On this epic release, Wright embraces past, present and future, and musically the legions of electronic music fans will be baying at the door for the official release of this new collection of inspirational compositions.
    Steve Sheppard
    http://www.oneworldmusic.co.uk

  2. David Shoesmith

    Stunning new Double album from the UK’s best-loved Symphonic Synth Music artist, incorporating styles that have originated over the past three decades!

    It’s an ambitious project containing New Material plus some new versions of a handful of older tracks – A kind of retrospective in terms of influences and styles, and includes a VANGELIS inspired track, a TANGERINE DREAM inspired track and an EDGAR FROESE inspired track!

    The styles cover David’s 30 years in the business, and includes material recorded with other artists, such as a Previously Unreleased track with KLAUS HOFFMANN HOOK (of MIND OVER MATTER / COSMIC HOFFMANN) one with CARYS and another with ROBERT FOX.

    Davis Wright says of the album …
    “‘Stranger Days’ was originally intended to be straightforward compilation, but it evolved into a journey; a journey through sound and styles reflecting the luminaries of the electronic music genre whose music I have loved since the early 1970’s and whose influences have shaped my music since I recorded my first album in 1989.
    So as a result, this album includes a lot of new and previously unreleased music alongside re-recordings of a handful of tracks.
    It has been a labour of love, taking 18 months to complete. It incorporates music from live performances, studio sessions (in some instances tracks that were overlooked and forgotten!) and reworked tracks and remixes.
    It also includes some collaborations with and input from friends and musical colleagues whose influences have helped evolve and mature my musical output over the years. I hope that they feel as enriched by the process as I have been.
    Stranger Days also marks a change for me, a shift if you will, into possible new directions. What will those directions be and where will they take me? I have no idea … but I do know I still have more to say … and so I will continue to produce my vision of electronic music.”

    ‘Stranger Days’ CD comes with an 12-Page Booklet, (22 pager with the download) and here are some details of all the tracks in contains…

    Disc 1 …
    ‘A Moments Contemplation’ was composed and recorded in 2018 specifically as the opening track for ‘Stranger Days’, and as the title suggests, it is indeed a very beautiful, contemplative and emotional piece of music.

    ‘Re-Connected’ was originally released on the 2012 album: ‘Connected’, but it’s a track that David always felt could have been “stronger”, and now it is … if you like your Vangelis, you’ll love this one for sure!

    The spacey and melodic: ‘Beyond Glass Mountains’ was a popular track from the 1993 ‘Ocean Watch’ album, and this entirely new, reworked version is based on the impromptu ‘live’ performance of the track given at the 2017 Schwingenhaun Garden Party concert. The music is eerie yet melodic with ethereal Mellotron-like strings playing a strong part as they well up through a web of intricate synth patterns with added heavenly voices courtesy of Carys.

    ‘Walking With Ghosts’ is one of David’s most popular albums and always a favourite at concerts – this studio ‘Fantasy Mix’ version is a 2017 concert arrangement of the piece. After the initial synth lead passes it sounds like a synth string quartet at times and then the inclusion of fine, spacey high register synth melodies backed by heavenly choral arrangements puts it firmly in cosmic territory – This realty is classic David Wright!

    ‘Krystal Halls’ is a gentle piece with a psychedelic edge that features the late, great Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock, or Cosmic Hoffmann as many knew the MIND OVER MATTER musician. David and Klaus recorded this piece together sometime between 2011 and 2013 – Says David: “I remember doing the rhythm, sequences and synth parts as a bed for his wonderful guitar work and we had intended to evolve it more and discussed it just two weeks before his untimely death in October 2017. Klaus was a wonderful human being and a great musical talent – I so enjoyed my time with him both musically and socially.”
    As a tribute to Klaus, there is another version of this track performed with CODE INDIGO in 2017 and that can be found on the ‘E-Scape 2018’ compilation CD.

    ‘Always Tomorrow’ is typical David Wright – a very romantic track full of pure, exquisite flowing melody set over a tight rhythmic structure – this gentle, yet evocative piece has a kind of “old fashioned” feel about it – Beautiful!

    ‘Once Upon A Dream’ is a rhythmic/sequencer-based track that originated from an idea in 2015 and finished in 2018 for this ‘Stranger Days’ album. It is a modern TANGERINE DREAM inspired piece with intricate synth textures and melodies going on throughout, with some added distant vocal effects in the background.

    ‘Stranger Days – Parts 1-7’ is a bit of an epic, clocking in at over half an hour! This is the album’s spacey, atmospheric biggie! Says David: “This piece has evolved since I first started writing it in 2014. Sections of it have been performed live on several occasions. I wanted to create an epic journey and it has evolved into something I’m particularly proud of; the flow, the themes and the numerous moods and styles – I even injected humour at one point. I finally completed it early in 2018. As a footnote, the original 15 minute musical idea was to have been on the 2017 ‘Prophecy’ album before ‘Prophecy’ became the collaboration with Carys.”
    Totally different from anything else on this double disc set, the title track sounds as challenging to the listener as it probably did to the musician that created it! Opening in the dark reaches of the cosmos with a sombre melody line drifting lost in the ether, it then cross-fades into ‘Part 2’ which is a sequenced passage with a jittery improvised melody that seems to stutter around the soundstage with all manner of effects and sampled sounds all around, and as the track builds the melody becomes more fluent and confident. As we roll over into the 3rd Part the synth lead is now up in the mix and dancing around without a care in the world with added, almost Caribbean percussive sounds decorating the mix. ‘Part 4’ starts out much more subdued, but then elements of the more traditional David Wright sounds emerge with multi-synth melodies really getting into gear over a host of vari-textured rhythms. Without a break ‘Part 5’ surges in on a flow of improvised melodic charm, before an atmospheric crossover leads into the slow marching electronic rhythm that is ‘Part 6’ where we enter a jungle-land of sounds and effects from which a soft lead melody emerges and improvises on high before the sounds of splashing synths introduces ‘Part 7’ – the finale.
    This ‘Stranger Days’ track has been something very different for a David Wright piece, going to places I have not heard this musician dare enter before – a kind of sonic progression though time and space from start to finish, and the kind of track that will deliver more from each new airing!

    Disc 2 …
    Originally written in 1995, ‘Rysheara’ is one of David’s most commercially successful tracks and it opens Disc 2 on a euphoric high. This 2018 ultra melodious version, together with its massive choral synth arrangements is taken from a 2013 live performance also featuring the stunning guitar work of Lee Morant. The track has been arranged to be in keeping with the feel of the original and it wouldn’t sound out of place of a symphonic Progressive rock album!

    ‘Call To Me’ was recorded with vocalist Carys and this is a 2018 remix of the track originally featured on the ‘Beyond The Airwaves – Volume 2’ album. This recreation gives it a totally new emphases and identity, expanding it into a kind of jazzy chill-out style piece.

    Next up is a 2018 chill remix of ‘Walking With Ghosts’ that was created by Dave Massey. This is the 4th DJMass remix of the track, with three other versions on the ‘Walking With Ghosts’ Remix EP released in 2018.
    David Wright always felt this to be the strongest of these remixed versions – with its cascading, sweeping keyboard layers and haunting, hook-laden synth melody leading the way over a flowing, driving rhythm and background echoed voices, this is one cracking performance.

    ‘Melt Away’ is a reworked theme from the ‘Meltdown’ album by CODE INDIGO that was originally set to be part of a proposed chill out project that didn’t materialise. With voices added by Carys, the track was performed at a 2017 concert in Norway, the track has the stirring, pulsating rhythmic structure and background effects that offers up the feel of something in the area of ENIGMA.

    ‘Harmonic Heaven – Parts 1 & 2’ came from an idea originally conceived in 2016 and completed in May 2018.
    ‘Part 1’ is initially atmospheric but gradually a theme emerges from a cloudy haze in the form of majestic male and high-register angelic female choirs. ‘Part 2’ sees the arrival of a slow undulating rhythm as layers of sweeping string synths are generated and spread over the soundstage to dramatic effect and including some chord changes as it evolves and builds towards a glorious panoramic sonic view.

    ‘Light Source’ – Parts 1 & 2’ both came from studio sessions in 2016 and 2017 and are an unashamed tribute to the solo work of the late great Edgar Froese. ‘Part 1’ features a fantastic, melodic lead synth melody lead set over rich, bass tones and a tight backbeat rhythm. This moves directly through to ‘Part 2’ where gentle flute-like textures dance around the semi-dissolving rhythm, followed by what sounds like a synth viola which takes up a slightly different interpretation of the melody line – a really cool track that I’m certain Edgar would approve of!
    This is one of those tracks that apparently required very little post-production – the music just works!

    ‘Colours Of The Night’ is a 2018 version of the original from the 1991 album: ‘Marilynmba’. Always a popular piece, this was one of the first tracks David re-recorded for the original compilation album idea in 2017. Starting out sounding like a piece done entirely using Mellotron layers it gradually focuses of a strong, yet sombre flute-like melody line set over droning strings and strict rhythm and this is one of the these tracks that tugs at the heart strings.

    ‘Forgotten Symphony – Movements 1-4’ is a newly found work originally put together with Robert Fox circa 2012 and then somehow forgotten about! After re-surfacing in 2017, David expanded the sections to 4 parts and added additional strings (Mellotron and the likes), effects and rhythms, ending up with one mighty fine piece of classy, semi-classical symphonic synthesizer music.

    Containing superb music that has originated over the past three decades, ‘Stranger Days’ offers you a broad, diverse and complete spectrum of the many sides to David Wright’s brand of “Electronic Music”. From the deeply reflective tones of his more atmospheric material to the huge, grandiose Vangelis inspired melodies – it is all here! At times spacey, eerie, other worldly and ethereal there is still always plenty room for the emotive melodies we all know and love in David’s music, and with the added variations brought about by the inclusion of material produced with and influenced by other notable artists from the EM genre, you can hear a further expansion of his trademarked sound, as well as the exploration of some new sonic territories.

    A terrific value-for-money double CD set that comes highly recommended.

    Dave Shoesmith – Compact Disc Services

  3. Sylvain Lupari

    What makes a new David Wright album a highly anticipated event in EM circles? However, the friendly English musician has nothing to do with the Berlin School style for a long time. Moreover, his very melodious and symphonic approach, which I consider equal to that of Vangelis since the album Direct published in 1988, led him to flirt with the borders of a New Age worthy of the voracity of the media and the public American. Yet despite this approach, his albums follow each other and show much more depth than New Age. Expected for a long time, and repeatedly postponed, “Stranger Days” is still the umpteenth proof. Behind a flawless production driven by arrangements as intricate as highly stigmatized in the crystal of emotions, this imposing double album is in fact an improbable overview of the career of the greatest melodist in EM. Through some new pieces of music and long concept tracks that will amaze on a first listen and will seduce on each new one, also are hiding old titles and some recent ones that have been reworked to the full satisfaction of this artist who is behind this wave of the England School style in the mid-80’s.
    This new adventure begins with the slow astral flight of tender layers full of seraphic violins of “A Moments’ Contemplation”. Composed specifically like the desired opening of “Stranger Days”, the music reflects the spirit of its title with a contemplative vision composed with the idea of igniting the flame of our emotions from the first moments of this double album. It’s almost successful. Otherwise, it’s an excellent prelude to the superb and very catchy “Re-Connected” that was on the EP Walking with Ghosts (The Remixes), made in early June 2018. The titles “Walking with Ghosts Fantasy” and “Walking with Ghosts (Chilled remix)” were also part of this 40-minute auditory adventure. I wasn’t really sure, I don’t have the artwork beneath my eyes, but it seemed to me that I had already heard “Beyond Glass Mountains”. And that’s true since it’s a reworked version of Glass Mountains appeared on Ocean Watch. The version proposed here is more orchestral with new electronic effects and the sweet voice of Carys gives a depth to this title became more heavenly. A very New Age lunar ballad! “Krystal Halls” is a title composed with Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock which was interpreted by Code Indigo on the album E-Scape 2018. Now, let’s talk about the new music! “Always Tomorrow” is a sweet electronic ballad typical of David Wright’s signature. Beautiful and catchy, we can’t just not like its simplicity. Probably inspired by the Miramar years of Tangerine Dream, with its effects of sweet and distant voices and its bongos, “Once Upon a Dream” is also in the well-known David’s register with a nervous rhythm encircled by multiple synth textures including one with saxophone aromas which is charmer of senses. From the top of its 35 minutes and its 7 parts, the title-piece is a real monument of modern EM where rhythm, atmosphere and melody flirt in an environment where multiple sound effects are as synonymous of researches and as well dosed. A cosmic breeze lands on a sequencer which sculpts a slow and ominous pulsating rhythm. Sonic filaments whirl around this opening, drifting into a black hole where sound beings are formed. Intense, the slow procession is covered with a layer of tones that a synth pierces with its melodious approach. This synth goes on with its solos and harmonies in a second part whose rhythm takes more shape and turns into a mini Silver Scale of Tangerine Dream. Guitar riffs whip this very Berlin School rhythmic invasion that rolls like a train going up a hill. Tinkling and seductive percussive effects give tonus to this structure well decorated by solos that roll in loops and in effects that give it a slightly spicy velvet texture. We arrive at Part 4 and the rhythm is always hypnotic in a sonic uproar that keeps us awake and keeps our ears on the alert. Coated of orchestral layers a little more melodious, the part 5 keeps its rhythmic instinct which will gradually fade out in the ambiances of the 7th part. An epic title which shows that David Wright can be at ease as much as in the melodic structures easy to commercialize than in a very good Berlin School visited with a creative approach. We get a grip on ourselves and put the CD 2 in the player.
    That’s with a revamped version of an old David Wright’s classic that awaits our ears. Performed in concert, “Rysheara (2018 version)” evolves in electronic rock mode well played and where the synth of David Wright and the guitar of Lee Morant exchange very good solos. The identity of the original title, which appears on the Dissimilar Views album, is almost intact, even in its more rock approach and stretched out of more than 3 minutes. “Call to Me (2018 remix)” is already in its third remix since it was released on Beyond the Airwaves Volume 2. It’s still a light track, Carys’ voice goes very well with David Wright’s ethereal harmonies, very close to the borders of Enigma, just like “Melt Away”, and which also has some Lounge or Chill Out essences. “Harmonic Heaven (Parts 1 & 2)” bears the colors of its title with a slow exploration in an astral universe. Voices of nymphs from the heavens adorn a landscape of celestial ambiences that reach back to our ears with slow movements of violins, leading a semi-nervous and semi-controlled rhythm with a good mesh of sequences and percussions in the 2nd part. That remains a symphonic music that befits well in the territories of an ambient New Age. “Light Source (Parts 1 & 2)” is on the other hand more animated and loaded with good synth solos whose signature of David Wright is undeniable. The music switches to a good rock with an amazing play of percussions. The harmonies are woven by the continuous presence of solos and David puts down here and there effects that constantly charm the listening, including one where the movement of percussion stumbles. It’s very close to David Wright’s first albums. The second part exposes a violin texture in the solos and the rhythm breathes more of its heaviness with a good presence of the bass. Taken out, in order to have a sonic surgery, from the Marylinmba album back in 1998, “Colors of the Night” is another good electronic ballad with a synth whose violins and flute harmonies are very poignant. A unique ballad in the very romantic style of David Wright. Arranged with Robert Fox, “The Forgotten Symphony (Movements 1-4)” completes this massive work with a music gently animated by an ambient vision. The rhythm barely breathes with a bass sequences’ pattern and a bass line behind the barrage of violins where some fragile piano notes are preludes to harmonious passages, including this nice peasant flute with the bucolic charms of The Keep. Provided with beautiful winks to the great masters of EM, the music is based on intense orchestrations lying by a very emotional play of the Mellotron. And when it’s not this Mellotron flute that assails our emotions, it’s the piano that triturates them with excellent passages just as poignant. Original sound effects, such as the laughing laughter of a strange bird or the clatter of a deregulated clock, adorn this fascinating procession which ends with a clannish dance approach and a strong oriental fragrance.
    Monumental in all aspects, this “Stranger Days” presents David Wright’s nearly 30-year of career in a solid double album where all styles and years coexist inside the same artwork. Around 16 tracks and more than 2:30hrs of music, David Wright displays his immense melodic talent in a music which flirts bluntly between the borders of Easy Listening, New Age, England School and Berlin School with a little more creative zest in long structures, especially in “Stranger Days (Parts 1-7)”. Without being essential, the remixes are quite delicious to the ears. But aren’t those small details that make of a new album of David Wright a highly anticipated event in the circles of the EM?
    Sylvain Lupari (August 27th, 2018) ****½*
    synth&sequences.com

  4. Ross McGibbon

    David is possibly the best known British exponent of the type of Electronic Music that came to attention through German bands such as Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze or Popol Vuh. He runs his own label and organises an annual EM festival. He’s worked with a number of collaborators and each bends his music slightly to a different shape. This is one of the shapes I prefer and you could do worse than check out his compilation, Stranger Days (though only to pinpoint your next album to check out).

    I like an album that is consistent in tone, especially when it is one of this style, where it’s likely to be a mood-setting accompaniment to part of my day. It’s definitely rich in content, so I hesitate to call it ambient, but there is no doubt you’ll use it as a tool to soundtrack part of your day. It’s a spacey journey through the oceans and interstellar space.

    The album opens with slow deep sounds, washes of bass. It develops gently and progresses through a musical journey. A filmic journey. A fiddle sounds in the distance, scratchy and real-sounding as the sequencers make patterns on a musical lake. The fiddle sweetens to a melodic and typically David Wright line.

    A breathy female voice (Carys) singing vaguely middle-eastern melodies arrives with chugging synth rhythms. Now we are up to full power for Ocean To Stars. Vangelis-type melodies and keyboard sounds play their part. Some of the melodies are a little sweet for my taste compared to the old German Kosmische Musik bands that I like but are not out of step with today’s European EM sounds. In fact, they carry more depth than their European contemporaries.

    Big synth rhythms feature alternately and a variety of instruments take lead melodies. Carys reappears with wordless song that reminds me of the Hiawatha segment of Mike Oldfield’s Incantations. Whales Weep Not has breathy spoken word from Carys atop a distant male chorus – it recalls aspects of post-rave chill band, Enigma. Then it is back to sweeping tunes and finely-tooled machine beats and a final build up to big wordless chorus.

    This is an album for sinking deep into a thoughtful state with. It paints in broad strokes and sweeps confidently through the places between places, the wide oceans and the dark of space. It’s a bit trippy, a bit hippy and most definitely an album out of step with time and place.

    Ross McGibbon – Vanguard Online

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