Live at the London Planetarium

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Live at the London Planetarium

Melodic & esoteric electronic music. Marks a turning point in David Wright’s career, bringing in influences and textures from outside the traditional EM sphere.

Live albums can be strange and unpredictable. Often failing to match the studio versions, yet David Wright gets it right on this one, with 40 minutes of brand new material as well as reworked versions of previously issued material.

‘Landing’ gets the set off to a powerful start and ‘Enchantress’ is suitably mystical and dramatic, augmented by Nik Smiths tasteful guitar work. ‘Rysheara’, one of Davids finest pieces, is reworked with more powerful percussion, Nik Smith’s guitar and subtle changes in the melody. The power chords and lead lines transform this into an almost fully blown rock outing. ‘Images’ harks back to the earlier days of David’s romantic music whilst ‘London’ combines all the elements of Davids newer approach, including a funkier rhythm and range of textures.

David Wright now seems to be able to integrate his intrinsic melodic sensibilities with a broader agenda of emotions and styles, whilst exploring the more minimalist ambience pioneered by his ‘Beyond the Airwaves’. As a result of this and the extra dimension provided by Nik Smiths guitar, the music is more focused than before.

Clearly inspired by the setting, David Wright’s performances here succeeds in capturing the new organic approach and genuinely offers up some of his finest work too date.

The original 1997 CD is no longer available, but the download version of the original CD is available from this page.

Remastered CD due soon here.

Reviews

  1. Archie Patterson, Eurock. (USA)

    One of the best of the UK synthesists fuses his gift for melody with a unique combination of spacial ambiences and powerful rhythms to create a stunning soundscape that is both provocative and cerebral.

  2. Andy G (CDS)

    Wow, what a stunning album this is! Recorded in October 1995, the normally laid back DW style has taken a back seat for parts of this live performance and it takes David into some new areas of instrumental music too. The addition of some superb progressive style electric guitar passages (courtesy of Nik Smith) intermingled with the majestic power of the vast soundscapes created by the massed sounds of the keyboards make for much heavier DW music. As you might expect from a Planetarium gig, there is a spacey theme. But there is also much more than that and indeed, tracks like the opening ‘Landing’ are intense and powerfully portrayed powerfully portrayed with synths soaring, rumbling and swirling all around you. The more familiar melodic, romantic facet of David’s music is also well covered throughout the excellent 12 tracks featured here, some of which are going to amaze regular David Wright fans plus collect quite a few new friends along the way.

  3. Alan Freeman. Audion

    For those who love David Wright’s blend of atmospheric and rhythmic synth, this will certainly be welcome as David has encapsulated numerous musical elements into his own style, bridging synth and rock genres. As this is a live recording, it’s largely down to the additional input of Nik Smith to add a wealth of fluid guitar lines and colouring to the music. Those who like the genre are sure to love it.

    A.F. Audion 1997

  4. Pat Nugent, NAV

    Live at the London Planetarium takes you on an electronic musical voyage to outer space……and back. With over 75 minutes of music, David Wright (keyboards) and Nik Smith (guitars, programming) delivers a moving and adventurous panorama of sound.

    The recording portrays similarities to Christopher Franke’s The London Concert and Tangerine Dream live albums of the early 80’s (Logos, Live Miles etc). Each song flows to the next, some ethereal, others more up tempo such as ‘Rysheara’. The duo even offer up a little electro-improvisation on ‘Running Cloud’.

    Live is well recorded, original and exciting. Programmers should have many choices on this album.

    Pat Nugent, NAV

  5. Macromusica

    Este nuevo album del sintetista britanico, grabado en directo los dias 14 y 15 octubre de 1995 en el Planetario de Londres, supone un importante salto cualitativo para la hasta ahora no demasiado brillante carrera de Wright, si exceptuamos su trabajo co Code Indigo. Se incluyen 12 temas, muchos de ellos especialmente compuestos para esta grabacion, aunque no hay grandes novedades con respecto a los anteriores discos de su autor, a medio camino entre la musica planeadora y el tecno actual.

    Macromusica – Spain 1997

  6. Steve Smith, Sequences

    Concert Review – An evening under the stars with David Wright & Jonn Serrie
    Friday October 13th 1995.

    Never having visited the London Planetarium before, but having been given other peoples impressions, added to the interest and excitement of turning up at the event billed as “An evening under the stars” on Friday 13th I was expecting good things to happen. Perhaps there was a hint in the date as to the lack of support for the event on this particular day. Are EM fans superstitious? It was certainly advertised well enough. I understand the second night was much better attended, hurrah!!

    Anyone missing both nights missed the chance of witnessing a unique experience. Schulze had played here years ago to a packed house, but that itself was an event. This may hopefully be a forerunner of more concerts at this particular venue, if talk on the nigh was anything to go by. It’s certainly a pretty impressive way of experiencing electronic music. Just to sit back and witness the visual effects of the planetarium, complemented by two top exponents of the genre, was certainly a delight in itself.

    On stage first was Jonn Serrie. The tall Canadian delighting us with his intro to each piece of music. He took the audience in the palm of his hand, asking them if they had their loved ones with them, participating in a way beyond listening and watching. He’s obviously a romantic at heart and this is displayed in much of the newer material. Personally, I preferred his earlier material, and the two consecutive tracks from “Planetary chronicles” and “Flight Path” to me were the highlights, with more depth and power in them. Perhaps the problem with the more mellow, romantic tracks was that for me, my loved one was over 100 miles away, so I couldn’t quite enjoy the music in the way Jonn was suggesting!

    If that was a good start, what followed after the break was superb. Having not experienced David Wright’s music live before, but having all his recorded works, I was expecting quite long passages of mellow spacey sounds. It was, first of all, a surprise to see a Fender Stratocaster plugged in and ready for action. Another possible clue was the supplied information sheet stating “A compilation of old and NEW music”.

    When Nik picked up the strat it was soon clear it wasn’t just for show. It was in the hands of someone who could handle a lead guitar. Both David and Nik set out with a vengeance with powerful chords from the synths, heavy sequences supplemented by some high class guitar playing. Perhaps this was just a heavy intro to some more restrained pieces, I thought?! And sure enough, the mood did slow to quieter, more experimental sounds, but it wasn’t long before we were back into more powerful segments. There were some recognisable passages from “Dissimilar Views” and “Moments In Time” and was that a hint of “Marilynmba” at the end? Perhaps not, but generally it was a flowing progression of superb electronic music. It was difficult to know what to watch with the artists so close, and in such a position to see all the movements so clearly. But with sweeping skyscapes unfolding above capturing your attention it was quite spectacular, with night time starlit heavens and moonlit drifting clouds, deep space panoramas and shooting stars forming revolving patterns. Some of us were impressed enough to want to return another time to see the whole everyday Planetarium show.

    Credit must be given to David Wright and Jonn Serrie for performing so well in front of the small Friday audience. The two artists must also be applauded for their willingness to perform live, which we the fans are really crying out for. It can’t be emphasised enough to the ones who sit at home in front of their hi-fi gear saying how good the music is, when the musicians who do perform live do not get the support. It’s all very well talking about EM dying! Get out there, you don’t know what you’re missing!!

    For those who did attend, the benefits of a small audience was the chance to talk to the musicians themselves who made the effort to chat before and after the gig. Do any other forms of music have the appearing artists mixing with the audience as much as in EM.? I think not!

    Steve Smith, Sequences 1996

  7. Sequences

    Live albums can be strange and unpredictable. Often failing to match the studio versions, the music, without the fireworks and dancing muppets, can be disposable.
    David Wright gets it right on this one, with 40 minutes of brand new material as well as reworked versions of previously issued material.

    ‘Landing’ gets the set off to a powerful start and ‘Enchantress’ is suitably mystical and dramatic, augmented by Nik Smiths tasteful guitar work. ‘Rysheara’, one of Davids finest pieces, is reworked with more powerful percussion, Nik Smiths guitar and subtle changes in the melody. The power chords and lead lines, courtasy of Smith, transform this into an almost fully blown rock outing. ‘Images’ harks back to the earlier days of Davids romantic music whilst ‘London’ combines all the elements of Davids newer approach, including a funkier rhythm and range of textures.

    Wright now seems to be able to integrate his intrinsic melodicism with a broader agenda of emotions and styles, whilst exploring the more minimalist ambience pioneered by his ‘Beyond the Airwaves’. As a result of this and the extra dimension provided by Nik Smiths guitar, the music is more focused than before.

    Clearly inspired by the setting, Wrights performances here succeeds in capturing the new organic approach and genuinely offers up some of his finest work too date.

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Live at The London Planetarium on iTunes