Galaxy (Boris Blenn)

Science of Ecstasy (2004) is well named. It's a rapturous, richly-textured melodic excursion where classic ambient landscapes are enriched with the sounds of trance, techno and electro. Think of it a kind a slow-mo space pop for armchair traveling.

artist:
Galaxy

country of origin:
Germany

style(s):
Ambient trance/techno, chillout, spacemusic, psychedelia, lounge

decades active:
00's - 10's

essential releases:

  • Science Of Ecstasy (2004, Chillcode)
  • Everlasting Tone (2010, Chillcode)

Reviewed by Mike G

Many artists from the global psytrance scene compose downtempo as well as dance music, as the pioneering compilation series Global Psychedelic Chill Out (2000-2003) first showed us. That's good news because the best talents on the scene often show a natural instinct for imaginative, emotional, transportive sounds that clearly extends beyond the dancefloor.

The spellbinding Science Of Ecstasy (2004) comes from German producer Boris Blenn aka Galaxy, who was better known to some listeners at the time as now defunct psytrance act Electric Universe. This all-instrumental opus is Blenn's third - but first proper downtempo - album under his Galaxy pseudonym and is nothing less than one of the best electronic albums of its kind released since the late 1960's. It a form of 21st century spacemusic, a psychedelic strand of electronica that can be traced to late-60's Pink Floyd and the following decade's Krautrock pioneers. That sound has developed and morphed over the years, most recently absorbing some of the colours and beats of modern dance music.

Science of Ecstasy is well named. It's a rapturous, richly-textured melodic excursion where classic ambient landscapes are enriched with the sounds of trance, techno and electro. Think of it a kind a slow-mo space pop for armchair traveling. The opening "Castle In The Blue Sky" sets the tone for pretty much the whole album. It teases with a long ambient intro, adding layers of sound with delay and reverb and building a slowly spinning melody, finally cascading over into a tight mid-tempo groove and electro bassline. It's to Blenn's enormous credit that the sheer prettiness of this album never becomes saccharine. Perhaps its the bittersweet moments that balance it out. "Disidentification" marries its sad, lovely melody with a kind of bleak, futurist longing that echoes the Detroit ambient techno of The Detroit Escalator Co and Carl Craig. The album closes with the beatless "Sunrise At Aguas Blancas", a drone-based piece of impressionism where short melodic phrases break the pristine surface like sunrays on dew. It's awe-inspiring, and the gentlest possible ending to a journey that's worth taking many times over.

So Science Of Ecstasy is Galaxy's masterpiece, but his long-awaited followup Everlasting Tone (2010) is also superb. Commendably, we don't get an obvious retread of its predecessor. Instead Blenn has fashioned a wholly synthetic brand of tuneful, futuristic lounge music; rich in details but never cluttered, otherwordly yet familiar, and with some warm, humming basslines that echo classic Jean Michel Jarre's analog classics.

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