The English synthduo VoLt, consisting of the experienced electronic musicians Michael Shipway and Steve Smith, has (in case of releasing studioalbums) been on hold since their excellent 2007 album “Nucleosynthesis”. But individually the guys weren’t on hold at all. Shipway has recently released the great album “The Three Towers” which he recorded together with guitarplayer Gareth Jones under the “bandname” Lamp. Smith has made a wonderful album called “Phoenix Rising” as Steve Smith And The Tylas Cyndrome.
But now it is time again for VoLt.
Shipway and Smith have the gift to compose electronic music that clearly has it’s roots in the retro-electronic music but actually has removed itself a lot from “Berlin”, so to say. They manage to combine the traditional elements like long sequencerpassages, ambient intros and analog effects with a great deal of melody and that is a wonderful thing. ”Circuits”, their fifth album on the Groove Unlimited label, consists of three long tracks, varying from 19:20 minutes to 21:36 minutes. The titletrack opens the cd with widely stretched effects, after which beautiful atmospheric sounds fall in. The guys play a wide line of fine instruments, like the impressive Korg Oasys. Slow sequences come in and they start soloing softly. The sequences become fuller, accompanied by rhythms, and a wonderful melodically track is born. The second piece “Ohms Law” starts with massive vocal sounds en effects. The sequences and rhythms that follow have references to the classic Jean Michel Jarre “Oxygene” and “Equinoxe”, keeping the mix between retro and melody in tact. The electric guitar-like solosound is very good. Darkness opens the last composition “Firewire”. It almost feels like you are inside a cathedral during a Tangerine Dream-concert halfway the seventies. Than melody enters and the for VoLt so typically thrusting sequences are added. This ends the cd in an almost euphoric way.
It is good to have VoLt back after five years. Michael and Steve are really two unique electronic musicians with their special way of retro. Let us hope the next one will not take another five years.