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Project Moonbeam: Project Moonbeam

Some time ago, in the early 1990s, amidst this reviewer's fervor for a certain German band that had long since hit its creative peak, and another British band that had yet to, two CDs were dropped in my lap with an encouraging "You might like these." The CDs in question were the first two albums by Fonya the pseudonym of multi-instrumentalist Chris Fournier. Wanderers Of The Neverending Night and Soul Travels were indeed "pretty cool," both flopping down on the then much-less-cluttered desert plain between the grand sequencer designs of Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze and the rockier textures of Ozric Tentacles and Roger Powell.

Nearly two decades later, Fournier's compositional prowess has matured significantly. The music is more intricate, more nuanced, and oftimes just plain jammin.' Project Moonbeam is an extraction of works recorded over a period of three years as Fournier's new studio was coming together. Of the fourteen exquisite comps and jams, four are solo offerings, ten are collaborations. Fournier cites electric violinist and chief collaborator Cyndee Lee Rule for general advocacy and positive vibes in the post facto assembly of the recorded tracks.

Fournier's solo pieces "Depth," "Hydroid," Theme One," "Theme Two" are of the brooding, atmospheric (though not ambient) variety not dissimilar to '70s Tangerine Dream and Seventh Wave. Choice Moog, ARP, and Mellotron samples are the timbral meat in these matters, with bankable drum programming and a sophisticated guitar solo or two. The "band" pieces are simultaneously retro and contempo in feel; two are actual songs with lead vocals by Anthony Fournier ("Man I Was") and Nick Kerzner ("Speculation") that would sit comfortably on a couple mid-'80s Russ Ballard or Saga records, and that's not a bad thing. The instrumentals are the real draw, however, especially the evocative "Dionoga," which (to Fournier's credit) is "pieced together from various jam sessions." Hence perfectly seamless, "Dionoga" is well-tempered by Rule's and guitarist Steve Bosse's contributions. Drummers Tobe London and Jim Kelsey (and Fournier himself on "Unrestriction") lend a welcome organic air to the proceedings on "Glide," "Air," and "Quark," which, while stylistically worlds apart, mesh as well as Erik Norlander's "Metamorphosis" (with Virgil Donati) and drummer Brian Bennett's synth-dominated 1978 album Voyage (minus the disco influence). For the uninitiated, the composition and album in comparison are essentially synths-and-drums excursions.

Project Moonbeam will hopefully carry on, as Fonya "ended" in 2000. Fournier and Rule are respectively involved with numerous projects (Centric Jones and Scattered Planets being, respectively, their main preoccupations), but enabled by modern technology they make a great tandem.

Tracklist:

1. One More Trip 3:55
2. The Dream's Illusion 2:51
3. Speculation 6:36
4. Reality Is 4:23
5. Depths Unknown 3:16
6. Dionoga 2:28
7. Hydroid 3:58
8. Air 3:14
9. Theme One 4:48
10. Glide 3:01
11. Theme Two 3:36
12. Man I Was 4:04
13. Quarkz 5:06
14. Unrestriction 3:57

Total time 55:32

Added: December 1st 2008
Reviewer: Elias Granillo
Score:
Related Link: PROJECT MOONBEAM @ Myspace.com
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Language: english

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