|THE LAST CITY (Sci-fi series vol.1)|
the beginning of the third world war be followed by a devastating earthquake
on a global scale that causes a bible-like flood, leaving the planet
completely destroyed? Well, apparently the answer is yes. Most of the
world population have died, All cities have crumbled down and none
of them exists any longer. Only one city has miraculously survived:
Zareth, the last city on Earth...
This sci-fi apocalyptic tale begins, appropriately enough, at "The Beginning," a swirling moody piece that sets the tone for the story.
The title track is bright and majestic befitting the theme. Despite the dark subject matter, this mellow track has Mac's characteristic bouncy upbeat rhythm and melody.
"Endless Rain" features a funky little bass line and a nice vintage synth lead. Bright piano complements the mood as well.
"Transition" has a similar vibe for a while, but then gets really rocking at the end.
Nicely contrasting this is "Null," with ominous male choirs, dark airy synths, and drums playing in the background like a processional. A nice little sequence picks up the pace midway through although the tone remains subdued.
"Street of Survivors" begins as a quirky experimental piece with samples that form the most unusual percussion, though it eventually moves back into familiar melodious Mac territory.
"Crumbling Buildings" is the longest and best track, a fantastic retro outing with a steady backbeat, warm synth pads, and perfectly restrained sequencing.
"Zareth" sounds like Vangelis, ending the disc with a regal flourish.
Phil Derby, Electroambient Space (U.S.A.) - Click HERE to visit his website
This new CD by Mac existed for years only in his mind and now he decided to finally record it to disc for us. I'm really glad he did 'cause The Last City is a great concept CD laid out in 9 different and diverse tracks that will remain for years in my player and collection.
Track 1- "The Beginning" - opens with a layer of sounds and fx. This is the kind of soundscape that I particulary like, full of harmonics and atonal influences brought together in an interesting mix by a skilled musician.
"The Last City" (track two) is built around a melodic line that opens the door to an 80's bass sound. It is supported by strong arrangements in the keyboards and string sections. This track has a kind of 'lost' and deserted feeling and would make a great filmscore.
"Endless Rain" (track 3) is built even further upon this road and some medieval influences (I keep hearing those lute-like music lines sometimes in Mac's music ); arrangement and sound pallette are never too far away. Very nice composition and all tracks are done without loops or samples.
Track 4 - "Transition" - opens with drums, some well placed atonal bells, another nice bass, an organ line, and develops further with vowel like sounds. It all has the purpose to build up tension for a magisterial break that is followed by a synth guitar that comes dangerously close to live guitar. It is here again that Mac demonstrates his ability as musician and composer.
"Null," the fifth track of the album, starts with a swirling pool of interesting sounds, out of which a sequence line is born. This track is so perfectly balanced that it makes you grab for the repeat knob. I did it three times - eh eh eh :)
"After the Quake" has the rather unpleasant disadvantage to come next, but the problem is solved with strong inventive sounds and a powerful symphonic arrangement. I would say 'Yes' and by this I'm not only reffering to the opposite of no...
"Street of Survivors" sets an industrial feel for starting and makes its way to sequencer lines supported by an army of voices. Again Mac seems to be never out of inspiration and each track takes you to another part of the story.
Track 8 - "Crumbling Buildings" - comes rollin' in with fat sequencer lines, perfect sounds/strings/accompaniments... It's the kind of music that can give me chills on a hot summer day. Need I say more?
"Zareth," the last track, gets it all well together to close the album. Mac succeeds in making a worthy finale and owns the ability/talent to express himself by composing or tellin' a tale by using his instruments.
Godfried Stockman, musician (Belgium) Click HERE to visit his website