Grosskopf, Baltes, Heilhecker - Sunya Beat — The Jelenia Gora Sessions
(Ricochet Dream rd010, 2005, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2008-01-01Ricochet Dream sponsors an annual gathering of Tangerine Dream fans and bands. In 2004 the Ricochet Gathering occurred in Jelenia Gora, Poland and Sunya Beat's performance is captured on this CD. Sunya Beat is the trio of Harald Grosskopf on percussion, Steve Baltes on keyboards and synths, and Axel Manrico Heilhecker on guitar. The Jelenia Gora Sessions is a mixed bag of humdrum and outstanding tracks. The album openers, "Jelenia Sky" and "Miami," are hypnotic and eventually boring tracks of repetitive guitar riffing, synths, and drums. It is not until "Lys," "Landmarke," and "Gora Slide" where they hit their stride. Axel kicks it into gear with his excellent screaming raw guitar giving the music a Manuel Göttsching feel and Baltes even gets adventurous with his synths. Then with "Gamma Life" they regress to mundane New Age pabulum. The final track "Drum and Bond" starts out abstract and slowly integrates Harald's electronic and acoustic percussion. As the music builds over the next 10 minutes, you hear Axel riffing the James Bond theme to end the CD on a high note. This album is sure to please the diehard Tangerine Dream fan, though I have some reservations due to its unevenness from track to track.
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