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Edge of Human


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Edge of Human

‘Edge of Human’ is a powerful, melodic journey, throughout which Bekki builds on her style of supreme melody, concentrating as much on the synthetic as the symphonic, while adding even more creativity, warmth and depth to her emotional instrumental music compositions.

As well as synths, Bekki plays flute and the album also features guitar by Paul Barraclough as the music strikingly merges melodic new age/electronic music with an emotive, rhythmic style that crosses synth pop, electronic and classical moods. There are rich melodies, lush orchestration, creative energy and intricate sequencing that pulls together all the best elements from her previous albums.

‘Edge of Human’ is rich in substance and style and a triumphant release that confirms Bekki stature as one of the leading composers of melodic electronic music.

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11 reviews for Edge of Human

  1. Mark S.

    I just wanted to write and commend you on yet another outstanding album. Ephemeris and The Human Edge are amongst the most emotive things you’ve ever written, and Where Times Collide and The Azmara Variations are two of the best pieces of filmic music never to be used in a soundtrack. When it comes to melodies it seems that nobody can hold a candle to you. Can’t wait for the next masterpiece. Peace, and congratulations.

  2. Colin F. (fan)

    I’m speechless. Yes, I am. I took delivery of “Edge of Human” this morning and I’ve been playing it non-stop ever since. I can’t even pick a favourite track, they’re all excellent (although I think “Ephemeris” might just have the lead. It’s a beautiful piece of music, and when the guitar comes in I get shivers down my spine). It’s been well worth the wait for this masterpiece. You just get better and better. AD Music have a rare and wonderful talent in you.

  3. Carla T. (fan)

    I just wanted to write and thank you for releasing what for me is one of the most inspirational albums I’ve heard in years. Your gift for melody is astonishing, a breath of fresh air in an increasingly stale genre. I’ve loved everything you’ve released but along with Innersense this one is my favourite. Hearing this kind of music makes me proud to be a fellow woman.

  4. Graham P.

    After what seems like an eternity I finally got my copy of ‘Edge of Human’ just over 24 hours ago, yet I must have listened to the entire album at least 10 times now. Yes, it really is that good! For me, the whole Electronic Music scene has been starved of both great artists and great music lately. There are many sub-genres to the EM scene, my pick being the powerful, emotive, highly melodic symphonic music. Basically, a good honest tune! Other artists that feature highly in my EM collection are Jean Michel Jarre, Andy Pickford, Mike Andrews (never heard of him, right?!), Tangerine Dream and Vangelis.

    If you are new to Bekki’s music but enjoy the kind of music I described above, ‘Edge of Human’ will be sure to delight. If you have followed Bekki’s work, then what are you waiting for?! Of the 10 tracks on this album, there is not one filler. Every single track has enough energy to stand out on its own. Believe me, I’ve tried to find one that doesn’t, because it’s not often I like 100% of the tracks on an album! Even the two versions of ‘Amber Dawn’ at the beginning and end of the album sound different enough to capture your full attention (unlike some remixes). The opening track is fantastic, very reminiscent of Enya’s style to start with, but the star of the show for me is ‘Ever-Changing Calm’. This track is probably the most “electronic” of them all, and played loud it just screams to be played even louder!

    Releases like this are few and far-between, and artists that produce them even more so. Bekki just takes things to a whole different level. No, I’m not a commercial outfit promoting for my own personal gain, I’m just an ordinary EM fan who appreciates good music when he hears it! So, to wrap up, if I had to list my all-time top 10 EM albums, I can honestly say that ‘Edge of Human’ would be right up there with the best of them. Thanks for a stunning album Bekki, looking forward to the next release!

  5. Eugene W.

    An absolutely fantastic album. I find it quite ironic that in this massively male-dominated genre, it’s a woman who has the balls to show everyone how it should be done.

  6. Synth Music Direct.

    Orchestral pads and angelic wordless vocal colouring provide a gorgeous opening to ‘Amber Dawn (Twilight Mix)’. An exquisite plucked string melody, which is mirrored by an impressive sequence, reaches for the heart. Comparisons to Andy Pickford’s solo works have been made in the past and never more so would this apply. Energetic drums surge forward creating a wonderful feeling of euphoric joy. The awesome melodies come one after another, displaying a sensitive feminine touch. ‘First Light (awakening)’ has a decidedly Tangerine Dream ‘Legend’ feel. Massed strings swell creating a tremendously lush and uplifting backing over which faintly Celtic sounding lead lines whisper delicately from the middle of the mix. ‘Firewalk’ is like an orchestral score, all moody and brooding but with rousing, almost militaristic, drums. On ‘Ephemeris’ Gregorian chants mix with soprano voices creating the most tender of sounds over which a delicate tinkling sequence and stunning cello lead, complimented by equally as impressive acoustic guitar, weave their gorgeous magic. Electronic Music doesn’t get any more beautiful than this.

    ‘Where Times Collide’ is a very busy number where drum flourishes drive over soft wordless vocal pads, sawing strings and massed choir effects heightening the excitement. Music to accompany an army surging over rolling hills! It’s back to brooding realms for ‘The Azmara Variations’. There is a slightly Eastern sound to the melodies but the backing once again made me think of ‘Legend’. The mood lifts after the half way mark as brass leads alternate with strings then piano as we reach a joyous conclusion. Sequences bounce from the speakers as ‘Ever-Changing Calm’ surges forward. It’s such a fun track full of syncopation and life. It’s impossible to keep the body still. Dance, jump around the room- punch the air- whatever, as long as you don’t remain on the sofa! One of my favourite tracks on the album. ‘Xanthe’s Garden’ is initially another tender one with brass lead floating above windy effects. After this intro however rhythmic guitar and drums add a little pace but without completely overpowering the delicate melody.

    ‘The Human Edge’ is again somewhat Pickford-like during one of his more tender moments. Acoustic guitar mixes with gorgeous string sounds, weaving the most wonderful uplifting melodies that reach right for the soul. We finish with the original version of ‘Amber Dawn’ that appeared on the compilation album ‘The Sky Goes all the way Home’. Melodically it is just as strong as the version which started the album but overall is more tender, with less of the driving power but all the beauty.

  7. Compact Disc Services.

    The UK Mistress of Melody took her early inspirations from the likes of Mark Shreeve and Andy Pickford – but whatever you level at Bekki Williams, the one thing that always remains paramount is that this lady can sure write a catchy tune! But, unlike the syrupy world of mediocre malady that is the commercial, film-ridden, synth fraternity, she writes tunes that have substance, strength, pace and direction. All of which is why a new album from her is immediate – there’s no “getting into it”, no “play it three or four times to see what it’s all about” – none of that. This album sets its stall from start to finish, and that is a playing field where you’re out to have fun.

    From slower tunes such as the delightful light majesty of ‘First Light’ through orchestral-laden splendour in the form of ‘Where Times Collide’ to the richly expansive deceleration of ‘The Azmara Variations’, this is an album of vast, stretched-out melody-laden mini-epics and, like fellow label mate Robert Fox, she has a flair for the huge sweeping chords that cover you like a prairie wind coming down from the canyons on a summer heat.

    ‘Edge Of Human’ is quite orchestral sounding for the most part, occasionally more “Euro” when the sequencers come into play, but it always has a vast depth of layers and textures in abundance. This is the musical equivalent of a meal at The Ritz, where the end result is always guaranteed satisfaction and, after too much of a good thing, the thought that some day soon, you’d love to do it all over again.

  8. Cue Records (Ger)

    Bekki Williams, one of the best artists of the E-music scene, introduces her fourth album. With Edge of Human she goes yet further down the path of melodic sequencer music. Synth choirs blend with synth solos on some outstanding catchy hits. If you need something fast for the trip in the car, or if you need to be cheerfully woken up in the morning, you should let this sunshine in.

  9. Sonic Sense magazine

    If ever you can bank on an artist turning out first-rate work every time, that artist would have to be Bekki Williams. Her new release, “Edge of Human”, is very different in feel to her previous epic, “Innersense”, and yet you can tell immediately that it was penned by the same person. The well-structured classical elements, the powerful orchestration, the effortlessly flowing melodies, they’re all still there on “Edge” – but there’s one major difference. This time you get the distinct impression that the composer wasn’t breaking her heart when she wrote it. That’s not to say that there’s not just as much emotion packed into this release as her previous one, there is, it’s just a different kind of emotion. “Edge” is, if anything, more dynamic than “Innersense” and the emotion that comes through the most strongly is hope.

    “Amber Dawn (Twilight Mix)” transforms what was originally a ballad track into a dance-floor stormer. It works amazingly well, with synth sequences bursting out of the speakers and new rhythms that back the original melodies perfectly. “First Light (The Awakening)” sees Bekki in typical romantic orchestral mode. Lilting melodies, lashings of strings, powerful crescendos, soaring electric guitar lead lines – this one packs all of Bekki’s trademarks into a single track. A winner. “Firewalk” is an oddity because it’s not EM, it’s not New Age and it’s not even exactly classical. What it is is catchy and filmic in an almost military kind of way, with foreboding drums and moody string and brass leads. I’ll be humming this for weeks. “Ephemeris” is a haunting and beautiful piece complete with Gregorian chants. Gregorian chants aren’t to everyone’s taste but I personally loved the use of them here. Cello and guitar add warmth and depth to an already emotive piece.

    “Where Times Collide” should be in a film somewhere. Somehow Bekki manages to pack a whole world of power and dynamics into just two minutes. This one is awesome for that fact alone. Turn the volume up full to do this one justice! “The Azmara Variations” is essentially a shorter version of “Azmara” from “Shadow of the Wind”, but what makes it interesting is the eerie build-up and the omission of all but the strongest melodic elements. I like this a lot. Sometimes less really is more. “Ever-Changing Calm” is anything but calm! Frenetic sequencing, blistering lead lines, driving rhythms, what more could any synth-lover ask for? This track was apparently started just after Bekki wrote “Elysian Fields” and it shows, as it has the same feel as tracks such as “Megaera” and “A Glance from Medusa”. That’s definitely no bad thing! “Xanthe’s Garden” reminded me of lazy Sundays in the sun, glass of cold beer in hand. It has a genuine “feelgood” factor about it, thanks largely to some great laid-back guitar work. Oboes, strings, bells and pan-pipes add to the overall feeling of well-being. Nice.

    “The Human Edge” is orchestral yet rhythmic, with some really memorable melodies and a great sax lead thrown in for good measure. This is the style for which Bekki is perhaps best known, and it wouldn’t surprise me if this one became a favourite amongst her fans. “Amber Dawn (Original Version)” is a track that I’ve always liked, ever since it was originally released some years ago on the “Sky Goes All The Way Home” compilation. Packed full of memorable and dreamy themes, it’s nice to finally see this piece on one of Bekki’s solo albums as well, where it belongs.

    In summary, this is an outstanding album which demonstrates why Bekki has long been known as “The Mistress of Melody” in some circles. Her work is highly accessible and it’s also consistently good, so I’m sure it comes as no surprise when I say that I recommend this album unreservedly, especially to anyone who likes their music to be melodic, warm, and written from the heart.

  10. Sequences

    I have to admit that I didn’t know the music of Bekki Williams when I put on this CD. I remember reading about her in those old Voyager Magazines in the 90s, but I hadn’t heard a second of her music until today. To be a woman in the very male-dominated world of electronic music is special in itself, and I had a feeling that Bekki’s music would sound a bit like the romantic moods of an artist like Suzanne Ciani or Constance Demby. I wasn’t particularly correct. This CD, her fourth album and almost seven years in the making, was a great positive surprise for this reviewer. Melodic, exciting, energetic and well-performed music, the 47 minutes on this disc were over pretty quickly. Of course AD Music is known for several high-quality releases, and that may have been a quality-sign in itself.

    The disc starts with possibly the best track, the Twilight Mix of “Amber Dawn”, originally a track from 1999. After what sounds like an Enya-like opening, a brilliant Jan Hammer-like mood sets in and a massive driving rhythmic melodic electronica piece develops. Williams shows how good she is with tunes and melodies, and that surely gives a plus in my book. “First Light” (“The Awakening”) starts more down-tempo before it takes off with a rhythmic, powerful, symphonic part. Very filmic music that would function really well in a film – and not unsurprisingly she mentions on her site that film composers like Hans Zimmer, Thomas Newman, Graeme Revell and Brad Fiedel belong to her favourites. “Firewalk” was originally written for a game, which explains the dramatic nature of the piece. Bekki surely has more talent than several other composers writing game music. Also the next two tracks, “Ephemeris” and “Where Times Collide” are from the game score. The first one has more of a melancholic mood, a nice guitar by Paul Barraclough and an inevitable Enigma-feel with the choir sounds. The second one is very brief and is even more dramatic with that sampled choir.

    The cinematic mood continues with “The Azmara Variations” which segues into a rhythmic and melodic part and then closes with a nice piano solo. “Ever-Changing Calm” is up-tempo and almost housey, a really powerhouse melodic sequencer-tune that Andy Pickford would have been proud of. Electronic music for the dance floor perhaps which again shows the composer’s talent. “Xanthe’s Garden” is almost radio-friendly pop music based on an oboe-melody that Bekki wrote more than 15 years ago, some rhythm guitar and clever synth solos. “The Human Edge”, dedicated to her father who passed away in 2005, is another nice and melodic tune with a sampled violin that takes off and grooves seriously, a melodic gift that just *has* to be enjoyed. The last track is the Original Version of “Amber Dawn”. It’s a celestial melody but it misses the power of the Twilight Mix and goes a fine line in crossing into Richard Clayderman territory.

    All in all “Edge Of Human” is a splendid album of melodic electronic music from the UK, highly enjoyable and fun to listen to. If the CD will stand the test of time is impossible to say though, and perhaps it’s not an especially “deep” album – but it’s good right now, and that’s what counts the most.

  11. Sonic Curiosity.

    The music of Bekki Williams possesses a rich humanity and lush drama that marks her as a talent to watch – and enjoy. This release from 2007 offers 48 minutes of wonderful electronic music. Williams plays synthesisers and flutes. She is joined by Paul Barraclough on guitar. Heavenly choirs (or “voicey bits” as she calls them) establish a celestial milieu for the entrance of dreamily bouncy electronics and mildly peppy e-perc. Which swiftly escalates, becoming bouncier and more astral with more jovial rhythms.

    Sequencing bubbles with earnest vitality. Keyboards achieve a majestic stature, delivering melodies of sparkling definition. The electronics resound with a variety of sounds, deep and visceral, airy and fanciful, mixing harpsichord strains with recital piano and nimble-fingered synthesisers. Some of the tunes display a thrilling classical edge with synthesised strings, while other tracks strike right for the soul with jubilant rhythms. Either way, the music radiates an outstanding epic proportion. The percussives may be synthetic, but they bristle with a deeply human character, passionate despite their understated presence. At other times, the tempos swell with pulse-stimulating grandeur.

    Fertile guitar adds an earthy touch to the luxurious tuneage. A strong congenial disposition saturates this music. The music exudes a sense of breathtaking radiance. Imagine new age EM infused with a vibrant vigour and glistening charm. The compositions are tight and excellently structured, lacking any indulgence or unnecessary dalliance. The songs get right to the point with superb melodies whose emotional glory is delightful and cannot be denied.

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