It is hard to combine Chill Out and New Age music. Either the artist creates a song that has the easy listening qualities of chill out, but lacks the special atmosphere of New Age music. Or the artist creates a song that has the mytic, but isn’t quite chill. But it is possible to build a bridge between these two genres. A successful example of this is the album Movements by The Nexion Project. It has the best of two worlds, it is like a movement towards the new age of chill out.
Perhaps you remember what happened when Mike Oldfield tried to make a chill out album, the Tres Lunas project. This was for the most part too much new age for chill out fans and too easy listening for the new age crowd (but I liked it though, but just because it was so different from anything else by mr. Oldfield). But here comes The Nexion Project and shows how it can be done. The man behind The Nexion Project is Torok Zoltan. Movements was recorded in 2005.
Zoltan uses lush synth pads, light electronic piano, guitars and occasional flutes. And I must stress that the album is extremely well produced, to the brink of perfection. It is 75 minutes and 10 seconds long, with a total of 13 tracks. Every part of the album is quality, and you won’t hear a single weak melody. It is truly inspired. I can almost not believe that it is mastered by the artist himself, and not a world class producer. It is that good.
The album starts with a track entitled Opening. It is from the very beginning easy to hear that Zoltan is heavily inspired by Enigma (especially the more ambient parts of the MCMXC a.D. album). The only thing missing is Sandra’s voice saying Let the rhythm be your guiding light. But as soon as the second track, Parallel Dreams, starts you hear the difference: the wonderful, chill out atmosphere that is without the depth of Enigma (or depth of new age if you will). A Gregorian chant sample would have changed this in a heart beat, but Zoltan does not use this. And that’s great, since it keeps the mood easy and laid back.
Track three, Twilight, is a little bit darker. The piano sounds fresh, a bit like Robert Miles’ Children. From here on you can close your eyes, and let The Nexion Project take you to the next level of relaxation. Songs like Bodies, Ancient Lullabies and Falling are perfect chill out songs that also have a mystical (yet light) new age element. And, like Enigma’s MCMXC a.D. album, the songs does not tone out, but the next track takes over without a break. Wonderful for relaxation.
The most interesting track on the album is Way of Eternity. It is just as dramatic as the title implies: it reminds of Clint Mansell’s Lux Aeterna from the Requiem for a Dream soundtrack. The song has a marvelous build up. It is hard-hitting, aggressive, yet beautiful.
The last track on the album is The Road Home. The rhythm is easy and the guitar sample sounds care free. It is a perfect ending, in a quiet and slow way. Some might argue that there is not a lot of variation on the album, but I enjoy that it is consistent and complete. You don’t get a lot of surprises, but in a setting like this it is only positive.
Movements is all in all a simply irresistible album, filled with beautiful melodies and light beats. Put it in your playlist, and a dream world of rhythm and movements emerges. It doesn’t get better than that.
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