Artist/ Band: Soniq Theater
Title: Force Majeure
Label: Self release
Year of Release: 2011
Offical Artist/ Band Link

The Review:

Prolific German multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Alfred Mueller is prolific in the sense Kit Watkins once was, releasing self-produced albums in a timely manner, and in Mueller's case, one album per year, save 2001, going back to 2000. Force Majeure is his latest work, an expectedly keyboard-intensive affair that balances symphonic progressive flair with enough Teutonic gloom to give away at least some of his (synthesizer-using) musical influences, not excluding the likes of the aforementioned Watkins and Eloy's Hannes Folberth and Michel Gerlach. Mueller's "synthetic" palette leans more to the digital side of things, but the timbres are well-designed and lend themselves well to the compositions, e.g. the Wakeman-esque licks in "Vapor Trails." Guitar parts seem to be executed with samples ("Spring Fever") but are employed with convincing utility. Interestingly, aside from the anthemic rock of "In The Spirit Of Things" and the neo-classical flair of the uptempo "Russian Dance," a piece like "Wasteland" conveys, with its lush textures, programmed arpeggio and sampled percussion — of the organic variety: steel drums, tabla, log drum — a reverence for German electronic music of the sort released by Innovative Communications comes to the fore. Indeed, "Wasteland" isn't unlike some of the world-flavored electronic music recorded by (ex-Release Music Orchestra bassist) Frank Fischer for the I.C. label.

For a keyboards-and-electronics-driven venture, Alfred Mueller's, or Soniq Theater's, 2011 release Force Majeure is a winner. Also noteworthy is, in spite of a rather peculiar title, the ghost of Berlin School — a la Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze — is largely absent on the album.

Reviewed by Elias Granillo Jr. on January 15th, 2012


01. In The Spirit Of Things 3:58
02. Vapor Trails 4:56
03. Spring Fever 5:54
04. Force Majeure 8:02
05. Grand Canyon 4:18
06. Icicles 3:58
07. The Shuffle 4:08
08. Wasteland 5:12
09. The Travels Of Marco Polo 6:31
10. Russian Dance 2:15
11. Piccard’s Flight 5:05

Reviewed Discography

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