Thursday, March 9, 2023

Beyond the Pale By Michael Regina


Beyond the Pale


Michael Regina

Written by

Steve Sheppard


Electronic music is on the march like never before, but even more interesting, is each one I have reviewed lately is vastly different form the other, showing to me that the artists in question are really finding their inspirations from their own musical muses, and this new offering from Michael Regina is a fine example of 21st century electronic music, and is the journey we take right now.

Beyond the Pale is an 11 track release brimming full of variances of electronic genius, let’s start with one of my personal favourites the opener Ultra, now here is a sweet track, one with a sublime build and progression, and this marvellous piece truly reminded me of John Carpenters Assault on Prescient 13 back in the day.

There are some splendid effects and moods created on this album, some of which you will find on this next piece entitled Crystalline. A light keyboard presentation walks us into the arms of an undeniable percussive beat, the synths then swirl to calmly caress our voyage of plenty ahead.

Over the last three years of the pandemic, I seem to have spent a heck of a lot of time in my house, so I guess when I saw this track I was looking for an anthem for those years, and through To Be Home I found it. Here lays a respectful keyboard driven piece, one that harmonises with synths and a light percussion, to give us a memory filled palace of gratitude and comfort.

By Design for me was one of the most interesting pieces off the album, certain memories of those chill out years of the Buddha collections and Zen compilations came flooding back to me, but overall this was a really charming musical narrative that manifested something laid back and peaceful, whilst still employing a chilled beat along the way.

At the half way marker we come across probably one of the most powerful pieces off the release and called The Precipice, the keyboard structures and presentations in this one reminded me a lot of US instrumentalist Holland Phillips in style, Regina really produces a track here that stands out as a sublime musical creation of great intensity.

Now we come to that point in any album that is the most important, the title track, and here we find Beyond the Pale nestled in on the downward slide of the album, this would also turn out to be one of the most picturesque manifestations too, again through a gentle elevation of keyboard constructions and percussion, Michael makes an absolutely splendid almost anthem like title header of a composition.

Now as we edge slowly into the deeper waters of the album we come across my personal favourite off the collection, this amazing piece is called Dim the Sun, I loved this piece so much I had to play it several times over to truly appreciate all the nuances and effects, a rasping gale of a wind, a thunder strike, an onward soft palate of electronic effects, tones and vibrations, this is truly a special offering, and one that I could imagine doing well as a solo single as well.

When We Rise illustrated for me the artistic cleverness and skill set of the artist, here is a track that progressed slowly, manifesting a seemingly cautious approach, then gaining confidence and morphing into an almost David Arkenstone, Lord of the Rings styled segment, and perhaps even crossing the room from electronic to neo classical.

There is something here for every lover of EM, especially on pieces like Passages; a slow drifting reality takes us onward on a bed of synth magic, in a track that had an almost regal like mood to it, that it reminded me in parts of early Vangelis at times. The downbeat tempo and percussion here manifested a film score moment for the artist, and a song to be incredibly proud of.

The penultimate offering from the album was No Stopping Us, a gentle driving mood could be found on this last but one musical creation, one that contained a little 80’s energy and a memorable melody that once in your head refuses to part ways, now that’s got to be a good thing, this enabled us to smoothly transition into the final parting musical gift from the artist called Space for the Soul, this one really took me back to the early 70’s, a little WA WA peddle and a funky beat, an undeniable sound of a soulful organ, this last gift, was certainly one of the most inventive tracks to close out an album with, I loved it.

I would have to say that Beyond the Pale by Michael Regina is without doubt one of the most original electronic music based albums I have had to pleasure to review this year. This was a fun experience that took me personally through many decades past, and many memories hence; here is an album that any discerning electronic music lover should have within their own musical collection post haste.

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