Thought Guild

Electronic music now well and truly has a history, and Thought Guild - the late Christopher Cameron (1966-2011) and Alpha Wave Movement's Gregory Kyryluck - are in a sense re-creating history by using vintage analogue synthesisers to capture a particularly rich sound that once dominated European electronic music.

artist:
Thought Guild

country of origin:
USA

style(s):
Spacemusic, Berlin-school ambient, psychedelia, analog synth

decades active:
00's - 10's

essential releases:

  • Context (2002, Harmonic Resonance)
  • Continuum (2005, Harmonic Resonance)
  • Third Voyage (2012, Harmonic Resonance)

Reviewed by Mike G

Ever since Tangerine Dream's rapid decent into creative oblivion after the 1980's, the hole they left in Berlin-school ambient has been more than ably filled by the likes of Stellardrone, Alpha Wave Movement, X1 Project and even a few of the old-school originals like Klaus Schulze. To that list you can also add American duo Thought Guild.

Electronic music now well and truly has a history, and Thought Guild - the late Christopher Cameron (1966-2011) and Alpha Wave Movement's Gregory Kyryluck - are in a sense re-creating history by using vintage analogue synthesisers to capture a particularly rich sound that once dominated European electronic music. It's not quite nostalgia however; its more a case playing with a sound palette that's been around a long time and using both period analogue instruments and modern digital tools.

Context (2002), Continuum (2005) and posthumous Third Voyage (2012) are all heavy on reference points; the sequencer-driven ambient trance of Tangerine Dream's mid-70s to mid-80's albums, peak period Ashra and Klaus Schulze, the filmic world of Vangelis and the beautiful environmental ambience of early Steve Roach. The music is retro enough to tickle the ears of longtime genre fans while also contemporary enough to seduce lovers of ambient dance music. "Distant Star" from the first album is a perfect evocation of the Vangelis' score for Blade Runner and actually ranks alongside that's soundtrack's very best moments. Also outstanding is the gently rhythmic "Semiotic Sequence" with its exquisitely rich and spacey harmonies.

What really impresses is the duo's knack for gradually layering sounds multiple melody lines and building momentum without giving in to cheese or bombast ala Michael Garrison or latter-day Tangerine Dream. Restraint is a gift, and these albums walk the Berlin-school path with quiet grace.

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