Cosmic Morris
Cosmic Morris
   
Black Tempest

Secret Astronomies
Secret Astronomies

Brett at Norman Records wrote:

The music of Black Tempest is new to me but I know we've stocked a couple of his/her/their releases in the past (both self-released and via Apollolaan) and they seemed quite popular. I can see why as a fine skill at mining the cosmic gold mine has been displayed in the tracks on this new one thus far.. It's pure synth-powered sci-fi and the grainy quality of it suggests the hard variety (think the dirty, cobbled together Nostromo of Alien, battered, flickering computer systems and all) rather than the soft (all shiny surfaces, spotless uniforms and space dudes with nary a hair out of place). There are plently of Zombi moments as well as conjurings of Emeralds and the like but for the most part it's really got its own thing going on as it morphs from passage to passage, never stopping off in one place long enough for your interest to wander. I look forward to hearing more..

Dave W wrote in On the Decks (Rocket Recordings Blog):

The latest offering from the man known as Stephen Bradbury. Secret Astronomies picks up where his previous albums, Proxima and Ex-Proxima, left off. This 5 track album is more realized than his previous two, taking the listener further into space than ever before. The music of Black Tempest stretches out the boundaries between space and time. There is a teleporting effect to this music, making you feel as if you are floating in space. I look forward to seeing where Black Tempest goes next!

Steve Palmer at Terrascope wrote:

The brand new album "Secret Astronomies" from synth explorer Stephen Bradbury, aka Black Tempest. Earlier releases have shown Bradbury to be a master of tone, timbre and sequencing, and this is more than evident on the new album, which has to be his best so far. The album is split into five tracks, the first and last lengthy and related, with the middle three being considerably shorter. Opening with spacey electronics, 'Cosmic Wand' mutates into analogue swoops and radio sounds, before heading off into a rippling sequence reminiscent of the 'seventies classics. The sounds are perfectly judged, the sequences mesmeric. Further strange electronics emerge from the mix, and then another sequence, this one slower, almost whimsical, which battles noisy synths and effects as the track progresses. 'Whirling Wheel' changes the mood entirely, being a looped guitar piece that over its seven minutes evokes a strange landscape. It's both a contrast to the opening cut and a successful piece in its own right. 'Merunatia' is an lovely ambient interlude of organs and synths - again, highly effective - while 'Starway' is more of a dark dream painted in synths and deeply reverberated effects. The album concludes with the second half of the Cosmic Wand piece, which opens with stark electronica before heading off into a miasma of string synths, and then a quieter, spacier place filled with drones and shifting textures. All in all, this is superb listening. Recommended, and definitely one for those enamoured of the 'seventies Berlin sound, but also reminiscent of more recent artists such as Brendan Pollard.


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