Michael Brückner 100 Million Miles Under the Stars – Revisited
Updated: Jan 18
“Excellent from the first to the last second!”
An ambitious project totaling over 3 hours of high-quality electronic music (EM), ONE HUNDRED MILES UNDER THE STARS (Revisited) celebrates the 30th anniversary of Michael Brückner's career as a musician as well as the 10th anniversary of his very first CD which was released on the SynGate label in 2012. Those who know the very talented German composer and musician know that he never does things by halves. For this occasion, this anniversary edition of this very first album that I reviewed Michael, see the following link: 100 Million Miles Under the Stars, offers an album in its original version and a brand-new remixed version with the collaboration of guest musicians who are all quite famous. This new release is still presented by the German label and is available in a 2 CD(r) HQ edition, including both versions, and a 1 CD(r) HQ edition with the guest musicians. The purchase of either version also entitles you to 3 unreleased tracks, which were composed in addition to the original 2012 version, available in digital format only. There are very few notable differences between the majority of the reworked works that our favorite artists submit. No matter the occasion! Very often, the sound is amplified, and synth layers and some effects are added to deepen the ambiences and sometimes thicken the scenery. This is not the case with 100 MILLION MILES UNDER THE STARS (ReVisited). First of all, I had a lot of pleasure to rediscover the original version that I had forgotten on the counter of time. This is a very nice album by Michael Brückner. Left to a handful of musicians who have proven themselves in the world of EM, the original version of 100 Million Miles Under the Stars gets a total restoration preserving a few remnants left in the past Dave Bessell's contribution brings a more spectral dimension to Memo For Nemo (Part 1). The rubbery palpitations of the opening are still beating with an amorphous cadence. Bessell adds guitar chords and later layers of an ectoplasmic essence, faithful to his world, while MB infuses more dominance into the ambient elements and tonal envelope with wiisshh and woosshh that surround the track with more musical richness. More inspiring, the music also unfolds with more intensity, progressing to its rhythmic phase that will extend its psychedelic Electronica texture with more time on the clock. The Brückendorf Corporation, an obscure electronica project run by three anonymous characters (and usually under some other name), offers a continuous dance version of Memo for Nemo (Part 2). The ambiences are more subdued, and the organic portion of the rhythmic chords is more accentuated. Johan Tronestam brings a much more cosmic-seraphic touch to the very beautiful Cycle of Fire. The rhythmic portion is less jerky and is softened by orchestral textures of the Cosmos that reflect a nice symbiosis with the keyboard chords whose tones are stolen from the stars. The synth is grandiose and throws beautiful hazy melodies over a slightly spasmodic rhythm. These melodies become sketches of solos that tenderly envelop a very good progression of the rhythm which forsakes in this version the support of electronic tribal percussions. With the participation of Jörg Schaaf, Paradox Planet has a new look! First of all, the texture of the ambiences is darker and much more cosmic. The hollow winds have become heavy drones and their rhythm has more biting, more life, with sharp oscillations. And if the original version flirted with a good New Berlin School, Paradox Planet - Revisited embraces a form of stationary rhythm that is more appealing to the neurons. Monokosmos is reworked with the Argentinian musician M3NASH. After an iridescent chant from the synth, the track evolves by weak hummings of a bass structure. This slow rhythm is new, as well as these moans of synth which flow between arpeggios borrowed from the repertoire of Vangelis. Let's also note a beautiful Berliner movement that escapes from the percussion beats in the finale of Monokosmos - Revisited. In the realm of completely unexpected surprises, there is this participation of Ami Hassinen, from Nemesis, to whom Michael Brückner has entrusted the restructuring of Waves are Chasing the Wind. The new proposal chases away the fluty harmonies that float over bubbling percussions in a stationary texture of the original version. Waves are Chasing the Wind - Revisited evolves over a shroud of wiisshh and woosshh, as well as a carpet of oscillations that flicker brightly. The flute is replaced by spectral harmonies of a synth/guitar union that also coos brief solos, always very melodious. The nostalgic ones will notice this so characteristic sound of Nemesis throughout this new version of Waves are Chasing the Wind which is shorter, and proposes a rhythmic framework more intense and a little more electronic rock by the presence of the electric guitar, and its numerous solos, from the Finnish musician. The texture of the rhythmic riffs reminds us of U2 trying to do the New Berlin School. You have to hear the version with only the guitar! Hollan Holmes continues and completes the reconstruction of 100 MILLION MILES UNDER THE STARS (Revisited) with his vision and interpretation of the long title track. The opening is less cathedral-like and features a more cosmic vision. A chant of oscillations forms an ascending Berlin School structure immediately after the 3rd minute. Hollan embosses these cadenced coos with a symbiotic chirping shadow as the cosmic winds howl their beauty to a most dreamlike landscape. This chant constructed of repetitive loops goes into an atmospheric phase 2 minutes later. The second rhythmic phase emerges at the beginning of the 8th minute. The sequencer alternates its jumping keys that tickle our hearing from one ear to the other and then in a single file to finally get lost in an ending all of the nebulous mist. The structure, except for its introduction and its length, is similar to the original version but the more contemporary color suits well to this more electronic proposal of Hollan Holmes. The purchase of the album, whatever the chosen version, gives the right to 3 tracks in extra-bonus. We find the fluty synth in the jerkier rhythm of Waves are Chasing the Wind (2012 Alternative Mix), while the version with Ami Hassinen's guitar sounds like contemporary Manuel Göttsching. Surprising and very good for a track offered as a bonus. The bass is hot on this track. The only thing missing is Harald Grosskopf on drums! The alternative mix of the title track offers its segment of rhythm in the original over a distance of more than 11 minutes. The oscillations are both heavy and lively. Coupled with some good slamming percussive effects, this rhythm becomes almost hellish. We understand here that already in 2012, MB had a very advanced rhythmic Electronica vision. One can only salute the modesty and humility of Michael Brückner who left all the freedom to his friends-musicians-invited to reshape a first album that I had already named a masterpiece in 2012. 100 MILLION MILES UNDER THE STARS (Revisited) transcends the boundaries of the original version with the presence of guest artists who were not afraid to take the music and the ambiences of the original version out of its oneiric-cosmic cocoon. They bring to it dimensions of their own that give this new version of MB's landmark album some cosmic and rhythmic depths that are in tune with a more current ME, without denying the foundation of its origins. Excellent from the first to the last second!
For more information visit: 100 Million Miles Under The Stars - Revisited | Michael Brückner & Guests | Michael Brückner (bandcamp.com)