Stevie Be Zet’s “Archaic Modulation” is definitely on the lighter side of ambient, veering into the “New Age” genre probably. It features the at-that-time quite typical, relatively “clean” synthesizer sound that I associate with the Trance genre releases from the German Eye-Q label during its heyday (famous for Sven Väth, Ralf Hildenbeutel, and many others).
I discovered Eye Q’s sublabel “Recycle Or Die” (ROD) by pure chance, while browsing the techno/trance section of our local record store. They had a compilation named “Silk“, featuring one track each from the first five ROD releases (funny enough, that compilation was released on the main label, Eye-Q). To say that I was fond of the music is an understatement. I always liked techno, trance and goa mostly for the electronic sounds. And the artists that I was “into” back then, listening to techno and trance, could also produce this kind of music, so melodious and full of depth? Wow!
I found Stevie Be Zet’s short track “Passion and Hope” on the Silk compilation one of the most beautiful ones. Suffice to say that I added all ROD releases to my music collection and I like them all, but as an entire album, I still enjoy Be Zet’s “Archaic Modulation” the most. Beautifully composed, soft, warm, and finely crafted sounds, emotional and pleasing melodies.
While compiling the albums for this series of blog posts, collecting links and all that, I listened to them repeatedly. And Archaic Modulation hasn’t lost any of its appeal to me. I can listen to the album again and again (four times actually in the last couple of days), and it doesn’t get tiring or boring at all. Simply beautiful and good music.
There was a period of time when the albums sold used at sky-high prices, especially the ones in the tin boxes. If you don’t care much about the condition of the cover (Digipaks often look rather beat up after a while) you can find most of them for under $15 used nowadays. If you just like the music, a download is probably the better alternative – unless you prefer physical media like I do.
Buy: used on discogs.com.