Words Just Get In The Way -
Geoff Luty (UK)
Recently bought Create's latest
album Words Just Get In The Way and what a great listen it is.
The opener The Obsidian Eye which clocks in at 38 mins is
excellent, morphing from one section to the next. It contains
all the elements which make EM great, sequences, effects,
mellotron and lead melodies.
Next up is a collaboration featuring Hashtronaut on guitar
called Closer Than You Think. From the spacey opening which is
complemented by Floydish guitar textures from Hashtronaut the
piece moves along nicely on a bed of sequences, lead line
melodies and fine guitar playing by Hashtronaut.
The album closes with Slave To The Groove (A Sequencer Workout)
which is more in yer face heavy sequencer piece wrapped around
some phasey pad sounds and some more lead line melodies.
An exciting listen for sure and a nice addition to my Create
Words Just Get In The Way - John
Just finished listening to
"Words just get in the way". Very nice, better on the
second listen (I'm not sure the car stereo did it any favours).
I think the 2nd track is favourite - Hashy's guitar adds a depth
to it that really works.
Words Just Get In The Way -
Drone On (USA)
On Create's second
self-released project, coming close on the heels of his last
official release for Groove "In The Blink of an Eye,"
Steve Humphries eloquently proves once again he is a force to be
reckoned with amongst an international elite pantheon of artists
keeping the classic Berlin School EM sound alive, to include
Redshift, Free System Projekt, and Radio Massacre International.
"Words Just Get in the Way" unfolds in three long,
immersive pieces of electronic magic.
Opener "The Obsidian Eye" is a sprawling, moody
38-minute epic, morphing effortlessly between quiet cosmic
passages, mellotron sounds, sequencer interludes, and then back
again, never falling short of inventive themes and ideas or
getting stuck in one place for long. "Closer Than You
Think" is a more upbeat affair, but no less intense,
melding symphonic keys, mellotron sounds, Ashra-like rhythms,
and tasteful Gilmour-ish electric guitar solos courtesy of
Hashtronaut. RMI fans take note! An extremely effective track.
The final piece, "Slave to the Groove," is a darkly
visceral, apocalyptic masterpiece. Echoing, spiralling synth
notes dripping with menace and attitude give way to a hypnotic
sequence which builds with more mellotron sounds and soloing
into a miasma of eviscerating, swirling dark ambience.
But don't let my "words get in the way" as they do
this album little justice compared to hearing it for yourself.
Definitely an album no serious connoiseur of EM should be
Words Just Get In The Way - Alvaro
Excellent album, good sequencing and solos, fine guitar playing
by Hastronaut on track 2. Very good !
In the blink of an eye -
A live-in-the-studio jam titled
"No Inhibitions" kicks off this newest album by Create
aka Steve Humphries. There's an atmospheric intro with all sorts
of sharp synth sounds and a mournful Mellotron flute. A menacing
bass sequence seeps through the web of pads and effects. More
pulsations are added for what sounds like a rollercoaster of a
track. What we then get are a few really fat and screaming
solos. More resonant sequences are added as the tension
gradually builds. The melodic themes are rather spar.se but they
are effective nonetheless. The sequences subside around the
11-minute mark, leaving you alone in a sea of sharp synthesizers
and cosmic effects. A subtle pulse starts, growing in intensity.
Another sequence joins and in comes what sounds like the most
sonically rich section of this track. All kinds of electronic
pulsations, pads and melodic themes populate the sonic space
with a perfect mix between the propulsive and the abstract. The
track ends with yet another atmospheric section that sounds
similar to the one that opened this jam. Mysterious soundscape
gets the title track underway. Fast paced sequence glides
through, accompanied by high-flying pads. This is some excellent
music, very original. The atmosphere is that of mystery and
scientific exploration. A new tinkling sequence appears,
accompanied by yet another, grating pulsation. A lead line is
all it takes to complete the picture of this purely Berlin
School track. Mellotron strings are added for extra dramatics.
The bass pulse from the first half of this track returns in
solid form for the finale. Dramatic atmospheres and a melodic
theme straight from early 1980's Tangerine Dream welcome "A
Glimmer of Hope". This is the definitive moment of this
album - very nicely done! A fast sequence gradually develops
from under the surface of smooth Mellotron pads and fat,
screaming synth textures. This track has got some of the most
frenetic sequencing I have heard in a while. Not that it's
superfast but it's so assuring and bold, you have to hear it.
The rest is pretty much standard Create stuff, but the
sequencing really makes this track stand out. Interesting, we
need more stuff like that. "Rise To the Occasion" is
brought forth by means of quite dramatic pads and wonderful
cosmic effects. A pulse starts after 3 minutes, accompanied by
distant hi-hat-like claps. More typical laidback sequences are
added and a very nice melodic theme appears. Good!
"Collision" is another "live" jam recorded
in the studio in one take. Straight into business with this one
- a bass throb sets the pace, as a mournful Mellotron string
part wraps in up like a warm blanket. More sequences are added
and the sound gets fairly intense. Another sequence supports the
flow of a track that can only be described as "the hymn to
sequencing". Some of the pulsations remind me on
Wahnfried's "Time Actor". However, whereas on that
classic work the sequences are for the most part subtle, here,
they are loud and in your face. "In the Blink of An
Eye" is a fine work that relies even more on the sequencing
than Steve's previous efforts
In the blink of an eye -
Sylvain Lupari -
Guts Of Darkness
After the bubbling and spectral
Lost On An Island Of Adventure, Create continues its exploration
of the rhythms, sometimes sober or complex, which respire in
astral nebulosity. Masterised by Ron Boots, In The Blink Of An
Eye is divided into 2 parts; one live studios and the other part
in studio. An interesting approach, allowing us to seize the
structural evolutions of Stephen Humphries’s compositions.
Let‘s start with the live parts. The opening of No Inhibitions
is presenting with twisted waves undulating on circular
reverberations. A lyrical synth, with fluty breaths, circulates
in this static sound mass, adding a contrasting melody in a tide
of biting sound effects which spit industrialized dusts. Towards
the 4th minute, a heavy sequence appears from this sonorous
fixation lighting up a rhythm to constant arcs which open with
loudness on velvety stratums, brooding the movement of
apocalyptic serenades. From then on, a superb parade of
synthesized harmonies glance through this hopping rhythmic
structure before re-crossing the initial atmospheric movement in
middle-course, before taking back a more caustic rhythm on
synths more acutenesses.
Collisions present a more furtive, but rather heavy, sequential
structure which the measure grows on a synth to multiple layers,
as sedentary as fickle, where androgynous singing exercises
flirt with brief harmonious inserts.
The intro of In the Blink of the Eye, the title track, takes us
out quite straight ahead from the bosoms of No Inhibitions. The
rhythm settles down more quickly on a circular sequencer which
waves among brief brightness of an untimely keyboard. The rhythm
is heavy, wrapped by a synth to floating waves and waltzing
stratums which surround a more aggressive structure, fed by
robust solos which are getting lost in the multi-layers of a
synth to aggressive colors in accordance with the sequential
permutations. A good track with unexpected rhythmic turns,
branded by Create unique synthesized tone.
Quieter and slowly bring to daydreaming, A Glimmer of Hope
floats on pealed chords, hemmed by a coiling synth. Fine
percussions light up a rhythm which crescendoed out of breath,
from a static rhythm fed by a biting synth to infernal loops
which stagnate in a so electronic sea.
Rise to the Occasion begins in a cosmos with mellotron choir.
Fine rolling percussions breathe a light rhythm which forms a
strange cha-cha, worthy of Klaus Schulze good movements.
In the Blink of the Eye pursues the sound tradition of Create.
An album with unpredictable rhythms which surprise so much by
their permutations than their slow lascivious evolutions, in
particular on Rise to the Occasion.
A beautiful album which will please certainly to Create fans as
well as Air Sculpture and Klaus Schulze. Which is completely new
in the complex musical world of Stephen Humphries's Create.
In the blink of an eye - Matt
Howarth - Sonic Curiosity
This release from 2009
features 69 minutes of enthralling electronic music. Create is
Peaceful electronics are laced with gutsier enhancements.
Fundamental drones serve as an ethereal substructure for more
demonstrative melodics. Surging loops emerge to season the flow
with vigorous locomotion. An astral density is achieved and then
bolstered by additional layers of nimble-fingered keyboard
patterns. Fanciful diversions appear with regularity, keeping
the music entertaining and lively. The electronics resound with
deep intonations, delivering an oomph that is never murky.
Meanwhile, this heaviness is countered by the resolute presence
of more fanciful pitches that provide a pleasant propulsion. The
union of these elements establishes a rich panorama that is
flavored with glittering cosmic augmentations. While most of the
tracks feature no percussion, the cyclic application of strident
sounds provides a suitable rhythmic presence. In one piece, the
faux rhythms achieve a startling vitality; while in another
song, softly chugging beats establish an amiable tempo.
These compositions employ a slow-building structure, starting
out as tenuous harmonics which steadily evolve into pastiches of
zealous vitality. A sense of growth is accomplished through the
constant expansion of melodies, yet the music rarely has any
urgency, with each escalation flowing naturally and unhurried. A
strong air of expectancy is generated as the intertwining riffs
compound into thrilling configurations that shimmer with
puissance and optimism.
In the blink of an eye -
Delicate rhythms and sequencers is the order of the day when
you put this baby in the Cd player. Create is quite well
known for their ability to invent dreamy/haunting yet bright and
uptempo Tangerine Dream alike music, and proof on that
can be heard already on their first record called 'Reflections
From The Inner Light'. They do continue, more or less Id
say, in the same 'Create sound' but this time they have
taken their creativity to a slightly higher level, and a very
good example on that can be heard on tracks such as 'Rise to
the occasion & Collide' which are stunning and marks Create
at their finest hour. Incredibly haunting & inventive from
start to finish.
If you liked their earlier albums then you can't go wrong with
this title, as this is definitely among their best work along
with 'Reflections From The Inner Light' & 'From Earth To
The verdict is, if you like hypnotizing soundwords with a dash
of good old TD sound and some haunting treats, then this
is for you! And certainly for those who are familiar with Create's
In the blink of an eye - Paul
“Welcome once again in the electronic world of
Create”. This is how
Englishman Steve Humphries opens the booklet of his new
cd “In The Blink Of An Eye” under his artistname Create.
Steve’s world is deeply rooted within the Berlin School style
of electronic music. This is a style in which he became a well
known and household name during the last years. He does this
solo as Create, as a duo with Jez Creek as Astrogator
or with a group of musicians as Quadra. In the beginning,
in his electronic world there was only place for a computer and
the Reason software but soon he started using hardware
synthesizers, new and old. And armed with this gear, he could
also play live as he proved on many occasions.
“In The Blink Of An Eye” contains music Steve
composed in his Backroom Studio. Two of the tracks, “No
Inhibitions” and “Collision”, were played live
in this studio. Steve’s music is beging built up in an
excellent way. Where many retro/Berlin School-musicians use long
intros with experimental effects and atmospheric sounds, Steve
gets to the point rather quickly and starts his sequencers, over
which he plays his solos and lays his retrosounds.
“No Inhibitions” is clearly a fine example of
The titletrack opens with soft and relaxing sounds, after which
a great sequence follows. To speed things up, he uses very
interesting rhythmic sounds in the thrusting “A Glimmer Of
Hope”. And just listen how fat the solo synths sound!
A metallic sequence dominates the wonderful crafted “Rise
To The Occasion”. Here, Steve’s love for one of the
Grandmasters of electronic music, Klaus Schulze, can be
“Collision” again is played live in the studio. It
contains a wonderful ongoing sequence that belongs to the most
innovative ever created.
“Wherever you are in the world so much can happen in The
Blink Of An Eye”, Steve says in the booklet. That is
absolutely true. Let’s just hope that his career in electronic
music will take many more blinks of the eye. This album proves
again that Steve has moved himself in the top of the
retro/Berlin School style of electronic music
Lost on an Island of Adventure
- Sylvain Lupari -
Guts Of Darkness
Welcome to the sonorous
complex universe of Create. As years go by this fervent fan of
Air Sculpure, and Tangerine Dream, forged a unique style with
its reedy synth to strident laments in a nebulous sound
environment where rhythm difficulty cuts his place in the
immense intergalactic maelstroms of Stephen Humphries works.
Inspired from the series Lost, Lost On An Island Of Adventure
does not get away from Create musical structures.
As soon as we hear the first keys of Just Above The Surface we
are plunged in a cosmic blackness which brings us back in the
70’s area; electronic twitters which fray in a dense mellotron
space, accompanied by a synth with dubious keys, creating an
embryonic melody. An intro in the pure Create tradition which
becomes animated quietly on a gallops sequence which crescende
on layers as melodious as hypnotic. The rhythm became heavy and
hammering, Just Above The Surface effectively depicts the
universe of contrast which we find on Lost One Year Island Of
Adventure. A heavy and very dark title fills up will spectral
mellotrons. The pace is very fragmentary and is mislaid in a
tinted ambient universe of a desolation that Create transposes
Out off Bounds offers a cosmic forest intro. Cries of birds and
animals on deviating mellotrons layers, a little bit as if our
mind was escaping us. A deafening sequence releases a rhythmic
paranoiac which undulates on a synth with the breaths of a
harmony quite as worrying. This hybrid atmosphere where the
Milky Ways meet some Amazonian elements continues on Follow the
Shoreline. An intriguing title which starts on deflecting layers
and some acute tinkling which inspire a beautiful dreamlike
flute. Follow the Shoreline is a cosmic kind of procession which
progresses on an almost hypnotic bass sequence. A galactic
cha-cha stuffed of splendid whistling solos which twist around a
pretty counting rhyme with tinkling minimalisms keys in a stiff
mellotron field. A beautiful track which plunges us in the
atmospheric portion of Lost On An Island Of Adventure with Run
This Island Life spreads heavy mellotron veils which reverberate
under a fragile flute. A poetic contrast from which a sequence
escapes on a delicate metallic gallop which animates a dubious
rhythmic, even incongruous in this misty opacity. Paradise is a
good track on Create 6th opus. Reverberating layers, animated of
threatening cymbals, in an atmosphere which seems about to burst
constantly. Around the 4th minute, a beautiful sequence floods
our ears, accompanied by Create caustic synths. A loud and
hypnotic moment, worthy of Redshift, Volt and TD’s Franke
years repertory, that dies out quietly in the rich atmospheric
pads of Create.
Heaven Waits (for Grandad) close this last work of Stephen
Humhpries with a sober and very atmospheric approach. Still
there, mellotrons are intense and superb. They endorse a sadness
which floats around in a heavy cosmic movement that silky
tinkling revive of a found happiness.
Do not like Create which wants. Stephen Humhpries developed the
art of complexity with dark albums of a sound density with very
tight links. Lost On An Island Of Adventure makes part of works
which are slowly tasted in order to seize all its dimension. A
beautiful album, Create's best to date.
Lost on an Island of Adventure
- Dene Bebbington
The latest studio album from
Create, Steve Humphries, is inspired by the TV series Lost and
dedicated to his Grandad who past away last year. By now Create
has set his stall out with a style based on the three act
paradigm started by Tangerine Dream in the 70s with a spacey
section, the addition of sequencing and melodies, then a spacey
denouement. Lost on an Island of Adventure follows in that
tradition apart from the closing piece.
Liquid spacey ripples shoot over a soundscape of cosmic drones
and washes in the opener “Just Above the Surface”. Further
washes add wisps of melody and then a burbling sequence fades in
along with a bleeping and percussive rhythm, all played in a
staccato manner and augmented by quickly meandering electrified
Steve has thrown in a surprisingly quirky piece called “This
Island Life” to catch out people like myself who think they
know what's coming next. Synth chords that expand out and die
away like a ghostly klaxon lead the way for a fat beepy rhythmic
loop, and later a space flute comes in to add an mysterious
atmosphere. I had to do a double take when first hearing this
piece because there's a constant sound which I can only describe
as similar to a vacuum cleaner continually groaning in the
The one track not following the three act path is “Heaven
Waits (for Grandad)”. Shiny flickering metallic drones sound
against a reverberating tone and heavenly male chorales of the
kind encountered on TD's Rubycon add an otherworldly aura. Along
with slow refrains the piece conveys a mix of emotions from
subdued weeping and letting go to the hope for an aferlife
awaiting the departed soul.
I wouldn't call myself a big fan of this kind of music. That
said, Lost on an Island of Adventure is more palatable than a
lot of music oriented around sequencing that I've encountered.
There's enough variety and a wonderful closing track to raise
this album above being a run of the mill quasi retro fest.
Space Time Continuum - Dene
Steve Humphries – aka Create
– gone back to structuring an album across several moderate
length tracks with Space Time Continuum. Anyone familiar with
his work to date won't be surprised by this album, though they
should enjoy it. Two of the tracks have already been heard at
Awakenings in 2006, and are presented here as re-recorded studio
The opening title track “Space Time Continuum” is superb.
Deep droning cosmic winds and spacey whooshes give way to
excerpts of Hal speaking from the film 2001 A Space Odyssey and
wondrous refrains gracefully ebbing and flowing. Discordant
spacey noises then briefly intrude as a lead up to TD-esque
chorals which in turned are followed by a beeping sound
stuttering in and out of the foreground. A laid back percussive
and beat driven rhythm is overlaid by assorted rhythms and
melodies. This is a modern take, and an improvement, on the much
imitated mid-70s era TD
Each track follows a similar pattern with a spacey ambient lead
up to a rhythmic or sequencing passage followed by a short
reprise of the beginning for the denouement. This template isn't
used to recreate old TD though; while some similar sonic
elements are heard this is definitely Steve's own take on a well
Two tracks are more subdued than the rest. One of these is
“Ghost in the Machine”. Unsettling alien stuttering sounds
open up over slowly twisting pads. An eerie refrain that
wouldn't be out of place in a film then comes in briefly
followed by some of the chorals heard on other tracks. All this
builds up to a lazy tempo percussive rhythm and spooky sounds
with a high(ish) pitched sheen consort with more chorals.
Steve obviously still has his heart in the classic TD from the
70s. While I wasn't enthused about his previous album Kindred
Spirits I can say that Space Time Continuum is a better and more
Lost on an Island of Adventure
Here we have the latest release
from British electronic musician Steve Humphries aka Create.
"Just Above the Surface" begins in typical EM fashion,
with twittery effects and mysterious pads. Very soon, a moody
synthesizer melody is heard. However, things remain pretty much
retrained for a few minutes more. After the 5-minute mark we
hear the long-awaited sequences slowly creeping in. They are
supported by a heavy noisy rhythm and a symphonic lead line.
Another excellent upper register sequence joins and we are now
firmly in Berlin School territory. The music is unusually soft,
gentle and flowing for Create, which is mostly known for a
rougher, more biting sound. Not that it was an unwelcome change,
though. Excellent atmospheric section closes this epic track
that is, in many ways, a formulaic Berlin School composition and
yet has enough originality and new interesting sounds to really
keep your attention.
"Out of Bounds" begins with
phased pads and exotic effects (like tropic birds for instance).
Excellent synth lead line comes in, in stark contrast with the
sounds of wildlife. A curious sequence appears, making the track
sound more urgent and somewhat restless. A symphonic lead line
is a nice extra, before the atmospherics return and draw this
track to its close.
"Follow the Shoreline" begins
mysteriously with synth atmospheres and tinkling electronic
bells. The pads then take over, joined by high-pitched Mellotron
flutes. Nice atmosphere! A very unusual, slow sequence starts as
all of the above-mentioned elements appear in various
combinations. A high-pitched sequence appears, as an analogue
lead line plays on top. The track is finished with Mellotron
flutes and a lot of phased pads.
"Run For Cover"
introduces heavy rain / thunder effects and unnerving pads.
Interesting synth sounds compliment this moody and totally
atmospheric (no rhythms!) piece of music. "This Island
Life" begins with some twittering effects and pads. They
are combined with a low, siren like bass synth. Mellotron flutes
also appear in small doses. A sequence appears, sounding
somewhat out of tune. I am not sure if this is intentional or
not but it does create (no pun intended) a strange, vertigo-like
effect. Another sequence soon joins, and a very strange one it
is, too, sounding as if coming from a 1980's digital synth. The
third upper-register sequence compliments the first two,
creating (man, it becomes tough avoiding this!
a very intense sound.
"Paradise" begins with soft
atmospheres and some contrasting effects. A sharp, but at the
same time liquid lead line hints at the glory to come. A
sequence appears as the track gets even more dramatic. Fat,
dual-oscillator lead lines are very nice. As it turns out, the
sequencer part of this track was relatively short and three
minutes prior to the track's close, we are back to atmospherics.
"Heaven Waits" is a bonus track dedicated to Steve's
Grandad. Gentle pads and heavenly voices is what we get from the
beginning. The track sounds very emotional and sincere. Nice
Mellotron choirs are a classic extra. After a while we hear a
slow tinkling sequence, sounding very melodic and ethereal.
Although the track is somewhat different in style from the rest
of the material, I thought it was also one of the best tracks.
"Lost On An Island of Adventure" is certainly the best
one I've heard from Steve and it does manage to create that
special atmosphere of being on a deserted tropical island. Best
tracks: "Just Above the Surface" because it shows some
new sounds and possibly new style; and "Heaven Waits"
for its sheer emotional power. Get this album from Groove.
Lost on an Island of Adventure
- Press Information
During March 2007, Stephen Humphries had a nasty accident at
his work, leaving him house bound and unable to work properly
for four months. While being at home, the Englishman started
watching the TV-series “Lost”. The impressions of the show
about a plane crash, leaving the survivors trapped on an island
where all kinds of things are happening, inspired Stephen to
record some new material under his artist name Create. Stephen
has earned a special place in electronic music. He started with
only a computer and the Reason software but later on he became a
collector of synthesizers, new and old, and now has developed
kind of a name in the retro/Berlin School area of electronic
music. The nice thing about Stephen and his music is that it is
growing with every album. Especially his sequences (not an
unimportant element of retro-electronic music) are becoming
better and better and have a special place on “Lost On An
Island Of Adventure”.
The opening track “Just Above The Surface” has traces of
mid-seventies Klaus Schulze.
An eerie piece like “Run For Cover” captures the atmosphere
of the TV-series excellently. The best sequence on the album can
be heard on the outstanding track “Paradise”.
“Lost On An Island Of Adventure” has become Create’s best
album until this moment.
The last piece of music, “Heaven Waits (For Grandad)” is
dedicated to Stephen’s grandad who sadly passed away in
November 2007. Stephen manages to come with a fitting honor. It
means that music can say a lot and Stephen does that.
Space Time Continuum - Matt
Howarth - Sonic
This release from 2007 offers 61 minutes of astral electronic
Create is Stephen Humphries.
Grinding machinery is swamped by astral tonalities, establishing
a backdrop of celestial demeanor laced with heavenly chords.
Meanwhile, more keyboards trigger an assortment of glistening
electronics that provide the central melodies. These frontal
threads slowly evolve a modicum of pep while remaining studious
and pensive. A slow-build process propels the progression, riffs
and cycles regularly entering the flow and enhancing the
Utilizing a variety of sounds, Create fleshes out each song with
a diversity of crisp timbres and atmospheric textures. Bass
tones lurk deep in the streaming structure, supporting the bevy
of twinkling effects and dreamy sequencing.
A bit of e-perc is present in the music, usually somewhat
immersed so as to soften the beats, relegating the rhythms to a
deep immersion where their role becomes subliminal.
These compositions embody a tasty melange of cosmic airs rooted
with earthy sentiments. This mingling of outward expansion and
organic sources offers a balanced temperament, the spacey
passages are grounded by a human perspective.
A science fiction theme runs through this music, with the first
and last tracks dealing with astronomy, a cyberspace piece, and
an instrumental ode to cryogenics. Diverging from this genre,
one track (“Footprints in the Sand”) concentrates on
humanity’s historical survival.
Space Time Continuum -
Phil Derby -
Steve Humphries is back with Space
Time Continuum, and it’s a return to form in the style of his
first two albums, Reflections From The Inner Light and From
Earth To Mars, blending spacey atmospheric passages with retro
electronic music in the Berlin school style. He remarks that the
disc goes back to making shorter songs, but in EM that’s a
relative term, with 4 of the 5 tracks clocking in at 12 minutes
or more, though none over 15. While this may seem a rather dry,
technical observation it is an important distinction, as
Humphries’ musical ideas seem ideally suited to this length,
allowing enough time to develop but ending soon enough to avoid
aimless meandering which can sometimes plague longer pieces. The
title track starts with loads of atmosphere, from male choirs to
synth pads to various and sundry other electronic sounds and
effects. A slow simple sequence picks things up about a third of
the way through, along with a slowly shuffling beat and bright
synths. It stays low key, building only a bit but just right, a
very comfortable beginning. “Ghost in the Machine” starts
softly as well, a lilting little synth line introducing the
piece alongside some unique sound effects, sort of half static
half music that lends a fascinating character to it. This one
evolves in beautifully, subtle and remarkably expressive for EM.
“Cryogenics” takes things down a notch with a moody piece,
still with sequencing but lower in the mix. Synth oboes
alternate with mellotron flutes on “Footprints in the Sand,”
a traditional Berlin school number with hypnotic sequencing. The
last track completes a mostly mellow but highly successful
© 2007 Phil Derby / Electroambient Space
Space Time Continuum - Press Information
This is the
fourth CD by the English electronic musician Stephen Humphries,
better known as Create. In comparison to his first three CD’s,
Stephen has changed two things. First of all, he wanted to
return to recording shorter tracks. Secondly, he now only makes
use of hardware synthesizers (amongst them one of the flagship
synths of this time: the Alesis Andromeda) instead of software.
Two of the five tracks on “Space Time Continuum”, the title
track and “Fading Lights Grow Brighter”, were first
performed at one of the “Awakenings”-gigs. Humphries’
music is a perfect blend of atmospheric sounds and perfectly
crafted sequences. On “Space Time Continuum” the best
sequences can be heard that he has created so far.
Take the title track, with which the CD opens. It starts real
spacey, even a bit eerie, with great effects and SF-voices.
After this a marvelous sequence enters and Stephen goes off with
fine solos. The album contains two of the greatest tracks he has
composed in his still short lived career. The first one is
“Cryogenics”. The piece begins with effects and Mellotron
strings, after which some excellent, menacing, sequences take
And if that is not enough, “Footprints in the Sand” shows
even greater sequences, as well as fine samples of the nostalgic
sounding Mellotron flute.
Well, is this music nostalgic or not? It brings back some of the
best from the Berlin School.
Space Time Continuum - Mike
Great sequencing, nice solos, gobs and gobs of mellotron,
should say mellotron heaven - lots of choirs and flute. Great
Space Time Continuum -
Stephen Humphries, aka Create, explains in the booklet he
found it time to release an album of shorter tracks as the
previous two cds contained only very long tracks.
Well, the five tracks on "Space Time Continuum"
continue in the characteristic Create-tradition, featuring both
prominent and more hold back analogue sequencing bathing in a
wide range of warm vintage textures, mellotron choirs,
improvisation and fx’s.
In addition, the very nice sequencing and music of on the fourth
track "Footprints in the Sand" seems a great tribute
to TD's track "Monolight".
It once again proves the dreamy electronic world of Create is
one which will continue to be loved and cherished by many
electronic music fans around the globe, due to its accessible
nature, mature composition and great sounds, but still leaving
room for lots of improvisation.
Well done, Stephen!
Space Time Continuum - Dave Law
This is the album by Create I
have been hoping for ever since I heard the demo to his first
album. To me the CD marks something of a coming of age, his very
best album so far. Deep, windy, swirling vortex sounds abound at
the beginning of the title track. We get a sample of the
computer from '2001 A Space Odyssey' telling Dave that all is
fine. Softer silken pads make a fleeting entrance then the
vortex returns. Another sample from the computer gives things a
darker twist before returning to soothing drones and ethereal
wordless choral effects. A slow high register sequence emerges.
A heavyish rhythm nicely fits alongside the pulsations. Lead
lines of varying intensity, some flutey whilst others laser
sharp, are released one by one. A further melodic sequence joins
the party. An impressive feature of the track is some lovely use
of mellotron. Indeed this can be said of much of the album.
'Ghost in the Machine' has a
very weird but extremely effective sound at the beginning. It is
almost as if it is speech but so distorted as to turn it into
unintelligible crackling static. Are we hearing someone trying
to communicate with us or is it just our imagination? A soft
contrasting melody floats through it all. It's an excellent
opening section which gets even better with the introduction of
more 'tron' and soft pads adding just a touch of melancholy. A
slow deep rhythm and percussion line take things gently forward.
'Cryogenics' begins with a lonesome flute and yet more mellotron.
It's all rather moody but also beautiful stuff. A slow pulse
gives a little structure whilst sedate sequence starts to form.
A rapid sequence is deployed increasing the excitement levels.
More sequencer lines seem to be coming all the time and as the
note count per second increases so does the pleasure level. An
Well if you still haven't had
enough tron, yet more gets 'Footprint in the Sand' underway. A
slow five-note sequence emerges from the lovely dreamy
atmosphere. Things continue to build in classic Berlin School
fashion as a second sequence joins the first, morphing nicely.
'Fading Lights Grow Brighter' is appropriately all rather
shimmering until ethereal mellotron arrives. We then get a
really effective, extremely bass heavy, melodic motif that
provides just the right darker contrast. A sequence does arrive
but it's rather subtle, fitting in with the mood of the rest of
the track. Overall though I did think that the track was a bit
plodding. The rest of the album was much better, the first track
especially being a real belter!
Space Time Continuum - Sylvain
Lupari - Guts
For its 5th opus, Create
invites us in a ‘’entre deux’’. A skilful mixture
between the cosmic vapours of Biospherical Imagery and the
fierceness of Kindred Spirits. Not that Space Time Continuum has
a violent temperament. It sails between random and the
minimalism with melancholic exhalations. The title track reveals
a very spacey cosmic intro where a voice announces with regret,
nothing can be done, or change. The tonality is equal to what
the waltzing images of 2001 A Space Odyssey induced; a kind
cosmico-dramatic fusion on calm, but arid, ethereal. The slow
orchestral movements sail on a gloomy sea. Follows, a beautiful
line with ascending reflections which cascades with softness,
maintaining this chimerical vision of a space drama. The rhythm
is soft and move slowly in spiral, like an abstract voyage in a
synthesize sinuosity. A bit as Phaedra, a beautiful ghostly
flute floods the emptiness. This opens a passage to heavy
percussions, with hasten beats, moulding finely to a minimalism
carrousel which filters its melody through synths with piercing
and etching solos.
Ghost in the Machine offers an atonic and spacey opening, to
sound effects with twisty and eclectic vocal breaths, as a
crumpling of emotions. The movement settles with slowness, as if
we look at an interstellar ballet where the gravitational
movements are of a poetic tangibility. Light percussions install
a sober rhythmic march, dress by beautiful languorous solos and
short mislaid melodies to livid colours. The crystalline flutes
of Cryogenics start a parallel structure to Ghost in the
Machine. Tasty the intro permutes in a nervous and hiccoughing
sequence about the 5th minute mark. The world of Create becomes
more agitate and offers a dense and animate musical colouring.
Mellotrons are dancing on haphazard sequences, but structured on
a steady rhythm, offering the best ingredients of a corrosive
and mocking Create.
Footprints in the Sand starts quietly; amber-coloured and fluty
mellotron which sails between the worlds of TD, Phaedra style,
and Air Sculpture before offering an intense and insistent
sequential movement. The sonorous impulsion is slow, but rushes
by heavy spiral sequencer which progresses on increasingly dense
and rhythmic cylindrical tangents layers. An impressive musical
journey which circulates through superb corridors, to ghostly
and orchestral synths. The comparison with the nebulas waves of
TD, at the time of Phaedra and Force Majeur, is impossible to
circumvent. By far, the best part on STC. It is all with
carefully that Fading Lights grow Brighter finishes Create 5th
opus of. Strongly atmospheric, nebulosity of sphere of
influences is heavy and is heartfelt on a space march on dubious
After each Create album, we are amaze to mention it has to be
his best. As if Stephen Humphries controls the art to mark-down
and innovate. In fact, the English synthesist is unaware of the
rules of membership, in order to have a better modelling of him
with the progressive passion that dictates him his approach. A
more contemporary writing where his emotions are etch with
heart, sense and heat. Space Time Continuum is a sublime cosmic
voyage on nervous and arrogant sequencers, an element which
follows Create to each creation.
Kindred Spirits - Dene
Create is the musician Steve Humphries. His fourth album Kindred
Spirits comprises two live tracks (recorded in 2005) and one
recorded in the studio which was originally intended as intro
music for one of the live performances. He uses hardware and
software synths to create music often rooted in the Berlin
School genre while not being just a Tangerine Dream soundalike.
The longest track (by far) is the slow burner “Kindred
Spirits” which begins the album. Layers of drones -- some
deep, some metallic and shiny -- swirl around each other while
periodically Jarre-esque spacey ripples shoot past. Soon a
plodding electronic rhythm like a slowed down sequence line
starts the move into Berlin School territory. Tangerine Dream-esque
space flute effects also come in now and again adding to the
otherworldly atmosphere. All this then morphs into a faintly
melodic sequencing passage before fading into an extended
A change of style occurs in the next piece “Biospherical
Remixed Energy”. A modern feel underlies this piece as spooky
synth lines and vocal effects briefly alternate before a
simplistic rhythm starts up. The rhythmic aspects then mutate to
become more insistent and are accompanied by melodic elements -
some subtle, others harshly flashing across the foreground. At
first I wasn't keen on this piece but somehow it's grown on me,
especially the second half which is kind of hypnotic.
Last, but shortest if not least, is “Secret Place”. Swirling
washes humming like a swarm of insects make a backdrop for an
almost gothic style melody and periodic thrumming bleeps. This
track celebrates the external peace but perhaps inner turmoil
which makes a hideaway so valuable.
Typically I'm ambivalent about Berlin School music since it's
not one of my favourite genres because it attracts of lot of
artists who mainly tread old ground. Kindred Spirits hasn't done
anything to change my perception, but as music in this genre
goes it's quite good and has some worthy passages.
Kindred Spirits - Artemi
This album is currently available only from the author's website
Note that the first 50 copies are signed and numbered editions.
The CD is beautifully packed in a black mini-DVD case with
stylish artwork showing Steve performing live. It's not by
accident that I mention this, as "Kindred Spirits" is
basically a collection of live recordings from E-Live and
Awakenings festivals (both recordings made in 2005). So what
about the music? After an atmospheric introduction with lots of
synth pads, dark droning synths and twittering effects we get a
raspy low sequence coupled with Mellotron flute. The music is
slow but somewhat menacing. A stomping rhythm develops after 10
minutes, taking our imagination to places distant and unknown. I
love that Mellotron flute refrain. An upbeat sequence suddenly
appears, somewhat interrupting the flow. An aggressive lead line
cries on top, really adding that necessary bite. By now the
music has become extremely intense. The sequence then subsides
and so does the stomping rhythm. Strange chirping sounds over
growling synths and ethereal pads is what we get for a few
moments, before a Mellotron flute takes over. A two note
sequence appears and after a while develops into a fully shaped
pattern. After a while another, high-pitched sequence appears. A
solo enters playing in a somewhat Arabic mode, reminding a bit
on Seventies' Schulze. The sequences and all other melodic
elements soon subside, leaving us in a windswept landscape. This
section is an expression of desolation, emptiness and doom.
Somewhat whimsical lead line tries to break through the mist but
doesn't succeed. Only the Mellotron flute weeps in the distance.
Soon a great melodic sequence arrives that, for some reason,
reminds me more on Jarre than on his German cohorts. An
electronic rhythm appears and settles things into a groove.
Excellent hypnotizing section that makes me reach for that
volume button. Pity it's over too soon and we're back to
atmospherics. Not that I don't like Steve's atmospherics, of
course. Strange dry saw-wave sequence appears. A 4/4, bit
techno-ish rhythm appears. Thankfully, things never become
overtly Techno or dance floor friendly. In the end it's just
good old Create dabbling with New Berlin School aesthetics. Nice
try! "Biospherical Remixed Imagery" starts with
strange Industrial tones. After a few minutes a sawing sequence
appears as the lead lines play over the top. I must say it's a
rather strange track with somewhat disjointed elements, although
of course it could have been the intention. Pretty intriguing
stuff. Half way into the track an excellent sequence appears
taking us back to more typical sequencer EM realms. Finally,
"Secret Place" is the only studio track on this
release. It consists of melancholic synth pads and a great
simple melody played with a nice synth patch. I think it's one
of the gentlest tracks by Create. If you like Berlin School, I
suggest that you grab "Kindred Spirits" before it's
Kindred Spirits - Jeff Misner
Create's offering of Kindred Spirits is a wonderful CD, in a
limited edition of 50. This is the kind of music many of us long
to hear, but our old favorites don't make anymore. It stands
firmly in the old school, with an added fresh approach and feel
that makes it much more than a copy of anything you've heard
previously. The title track, at 46:32, is the longest on the CD
and moves between spacey and sequenced elements. It seems much
shorter, as the listener is drawn into the music, and it's over
before you know it. The second track, Biospherical Remixed
Imagery, kicks it up a bit. This a live version of the track
Biospherical Imagery, from the CD of the same name. A more
aggressive, louder set of sequences is used, but there is still
the backbone of spacey, atmospheric sounds. The closing track
was intended to be intro music for a live performance. It works
well as a closer too, as it has an overall slower, more sparse
A really good CD, that I find ends up in the CD player quite
often. I can't recommend it highly enough. If you are a fan of
Jarre, Tangerine Dream, or Klaus Schulze, this one will delight
Kindred Spirits - Roy Jackson
Kindred Spirits is another great slice of
electronica from Steve Humphries. The epic 46 minute
title track is a superb sonic journey traveling through
a complex mosaic of sounds and effects, it's also wonderfully
atmospheric. We open with a bassy drone in the
background, cosmic twitters and a slow bassy sequencer
line. From here we travel forward on a constantly
morphing journey of sound. Lovely lead lines, a flutey
synth motif appears and then resurfaces from time to time
throughout the track. Steve creates layer upon layer of
sound and effects that come in and fade out, one minute
in the foreground and then in the background, then being
replaced by new sounds as we constantly move forward and discover
new horizons. He really is a master of arrangement, he
seems to be able to keep his music effortlessly moving
along, never stagnating or with any theme outstaying
its welcome. He also shifts so easily from one gear
to another and it all feels so natural and organic, he knows
exactly where he's going and the listener feels totally at
ease with him at the helm. There are some great effects
used throughout the track, including industrial sounds, otherworldly
wood or marshland insects, and lovely otherworldly waves and wind effects, all coming in and out and creating a
great atmospheric backdrop to the other elements in the
mix. Steve has a superb feel for rhythm too which he
interjects throughout the track. He also uses his sequencers
very effectively, sometimes in the background and then taking
the lead themselves. Sometimes moving slowly and then at other
times really stepping up in gear and getting the adrenalin
flowing. He also uses more than one sequencer line at a time,
and at one point has one rapid pulsed sequence
riding on the back of a slower moving one to great effect.
Eventually we come to a catchy beat driven section, with great
lead melodies and sounds coming in and out, creating a
fairly frothy mix but it's never twee. All this
eventually fades away and we are left with waves gently
crashing against the shore before the this wonderful epic
piece comes to a highly satisfying conclusion.
Biospherical Remixed Imagery commences with a
sci-fi soundtrack vibe, eerie echoey sounds and an electric
current effect darting across the aural landscape. A
choppy sequencer beat comes in overlayed with angelic voices. This
soon gives way to a techno beat and a bouncy
sequencer line and some lovely melodies are played on top
of this. This all keeps morphing and shifting and is highly
entertaining and finally returns to the original slightly
eerie opening sounds we were introduced to at the
beginning of the track. Great stuff !!
The final track Secret Place could have been
composed by Jean Michel Jarre, and is that good that JMJ would
be more than happy to claim it as one of his own. It really is
a beautiful melodic track with wonderful atmosphere and
for me a tinge of melancholy. Simply brilliant !!
This really is a fantastic album and once more Steve
displays what a master of this genre he is. I highly recommend
Spirits - Matt Howarth -
from 2007 offers 67 minutes of live electronic music.
The first track
was recorded at Create's E-Live performance in the Netherlands
on October 15, 2005. At 46 minutes in length, it occupies the
bulk of this CD. The music is a masterful structure of
slow-building textures laced with melodic aspects which combine
to generate a haunting journey through ethereal realms of
glistening electronics. Airy tonalities serve as an evolving
backdrop for a host of effects that gradually achieve critical
mass and explode with demonstrative presence. A series of
divergent keyboard riffs cascade with urgency, immersing the
audience in appealing passages of high drama. Some e-perc is
utilized near the piece's end; otherwise rhythms are
accomplished through the application of cyclic electronic
patterns. Energetic sentiments generally dominate this
Also featured is
a 14 minute track culled from Create's Awakenings performance in
Leeds, UK, on August 12, 2005. This piece is slightly more
aggressive in its use of piercing pitches swimming in moody
textures. When things get going, the music is shrill, the melody
insistent and captivating. (A much longer version of this song
can be found on Create's "Biospherical Imagery" CD on
Groove Unlimited. Go here
for a review of that album.)
concludes with a 6 minute studio track that explores more somber
terrain with twinkling notes bobbing about in a pool of pensive
tones. These elements achieve a stately crescendo.
Kindred Spirits - Sylvain
Lupari - Guts
new Create album causes as much curiosity as a new Redshift or
Gert Emmens album. It is to say to which point Stephen Humphries
reached the statute of artists impossible to circumvent in so
little time. Kindred Spirits is an album which mark-down from
its predecessors by his swiftness and its rage. Create is simply
on fire and balances us an extremely powerful album. Presented
at the E-Live Festival in Eindhoven Netherlands on October 15th
2005, Kindred Spirits is an epic title, divided into 7 segments.
A weak drone amplifies on a synth which is mould in an
introspective way, among cosmic sound effects and beautiful
static pads that raise a rich sound already in place. Throughout
this superb piece, Create will multiply the appearance of these
heavy, rich and spongy pads. They will be mould to multiple
modulations, and will seize the rhythms of a suave and sensual
heaviness. As this one that follows this intro. An enormous,
slow beat as a big heavy rock which turns lasciviously, in an
astonishing gesture for a piece of EM. A fluty mellotron is
stuck to the movements which vary the intensities and rhythms,
following tirelessly its rhythmical climbing. With each ethereal
intervention, follows an animated movement that raises
intensity. Giving an effect of amplification which will go up
until a soft techno beat towards its end.
from the 13th minute, the tempo and the structure are already
not the same ones any more. Under virulent solos and abrupt
modulations, Stephen Humphries overcomes rhythms and modulations
with through its intense layers and its superb mellotrons
breaths which combine hard structures to atmospheric moments. A
genius track with dynamic sequences and pulsations, even
voracious, which reserve us some surprises, including a
succulent hypnotic sequence, which takes form around the 31st
minute. Kindred Spirits is definitively the biggest piece that
Create wrote to date.
its title indicates it, Biospherical Remixed Imagery is a re
work and shorter version, of Biospherical Imagery, written in
2004 and which was reproduced on the album of the same name last
year. Played in concert, Create bet on a more rhythmic side than
atmospheric, plunging a bit more Kindred Spirits in a very
sequence and up beat universe. Secret Place finishes this last
opus on an ethereal note, more serene. Recorded in Backroom
Studio, this track was to be Create opener of the E-Live
festival. Indeed that would have been a very effective opening
for boosted Kindred Spirits.
is evolutions since the publication of Reflections from the
Inner Light in 2004. Stephen Humphries takes a step of giant who
separates him from the rising generation of EM. He is now part
of the elite that will influence those who seek to make their
place and mark the history of EM with an album like Kindred
Spirits. Seldom I heard as much rhythms in a so long track such
as the opening title. A musical monument which will become a
reference. Right now, it’s the best so far in 2007.
Biospherical Imagery - Sylvain
Lupari - Guts
Create it is the Englishman Steve Humphries, a long time
Internet friend. A newcomer, who had agreeably surprised lots of
people with its 1st opus Reflections from the Inner
Light, released in 2004. Since, it’s the mob, great sells, top
ten and appearances on several EM Festivals. We hear the so
personal sound approach of Create synths here and there on
Festivals and compilations. Besides, he was part of the big
names who gave a posthumous homage to Robert Moog on Analogy, by
kicking the opening the with impetuous Analogue Revival, a title
you have to put your hands on. The more furious electronic swirl
I heard since Roach’s Empetus and Stormwarning. Biospherical
Imagery is, already, Create 3rd opus, and hold your
hat with iron wire. Just the title track itself is awesome and a
good reason to buy this cd. A long 47 minutes track which is in
the Revival Analogue stride. Don’t trust, or judge the track
by his atmospheric intro where heteroclite noises cross sounds
of metal and waves cosmic which retain their ardour with
distress. Because gradually, a fine synthetic line is dandle and
the first blows of sequence are felt. The beat is hatched and
strikes with rotary percussions. On a good bass line, synths
screams fuse with strength and Biospherical Imagery flies away.
All along, rhythms cross sequences which alternate between
fragile ambient and constant tempos. The bass, the percussions
are nervous on synth lines in constant effervescence. The
atmosphere drones on grave synthetic choirs and sonorities as
acute as corrosive. This is 47 minutes of great synthetic art.
a so insane title, Endless Corridors gives us a break. Like
Mystery Voices, it’s a title as atmospheric as dark. A similar
ambiance reigns on Signs of Life intro where a synth whistles in
nebulosity blackness. Heavy keys pulsate and dance a hypnotic
air. Heavier sequences modify their tonalities without changing
the anaesthetic course of their gravities. As you could guess
Signs of Life is a very deep and heavy track. The Day After
closes on a synthetic avalanche. The rhythm is light and bathes
in a thick synthetic pad which hangs to a groovy bass line. A
good sequential title to end a solid opus.
for big thrills of experimental and electronic music?
Biospherical Imagery is one of the solids titles so far this
year. With this title, Stephen Humphries shows an astonishing
maturity and an artistic arrogance worthy of the great names.
The kind of cemetery work, so much it is daring and audacity. A
skilful mixture between atmospheres and powerful rhythms. The
title track is absolutely brilliant, a must. Nearly 50 infernal
minutes to play at high volume, and there it is no warrant that
the painting on the walls will hold. To get without faults.
Biospherical Imagery - Matt Howarth -
This release from 2006 offers
79 minutes of stately electronic music.
Create is Stephen Humphries.
On November 11, 2004, Humphries
performed his debut concert as Create in Nottingham in the UK.
Immediately afterward, with the music still fresh in his mind,
he set about recording studio versions of the material from that
gig. This is what can be found on this CD, with the addition of
two short ambient interludes which were recorded late in 2005.
A 47 minute version of the
title track occupies the majority of this CD. Luxurious textures
serves as a seductive intro to the piece, drawing in the
listener for the gradual emergence of e-perc rhythms and more
demonstrative electronics. Keyboards generate serpentine riffs
amid a rising tide of resourceful tonalities. The mesh
progresses with evolutionary disposition, flowing through a
series of increasingly more complex patterns, striving with each
passing moment to achieve a state beyond mesmerization. Urgency
is established as the cycles accrete strength and complexity.
Periodically, the music features brief breathing spaces while it
reorganizes itself for the next mutation. With each successive
plateau, the harmonies grow denser and the melodies attain more
intensity. As the drama continues, a cosmic demeanor is
introduced, flavoring the organic sound with astral qualities.
The ultimate crescendo throbs with compelling verve and vigorous
The other tracks exhibit the
same regal mien, employing a slowburn pace that moves from
floating personality to nimble-fingered intricacy. The
electronics blend crystalline aspects with earthier elements,
producing thrilling tuneage of vibrant character.
The pair of ambient interludes
are just that, exampling Humphries' acumen with atmospheric
structure that is far from minimal.
Biospherical Imagery -
Artemi Pugachov - Encyclopedia of Electronic Music
The title track is one big chunk of synthesis that clocks at 46+
minutes. Drones, cosmic flashes, distorted sequences let us fly
through the cosmos being surrounded by poisonous gas nebulae.
The atmosphere is that of immense grandeur and epicness. A
rhythm develops that only supports the soundscape, without
dominating. A sequence appears and the melodic motifs make our
cosmos a slightly more hospitable place. However, a solo rips
through the miasma of sounds like a lightning bolt through the
sky. The rhythm abandons us, but not the sequences that now have
us flying through space at quite a pace. Everything calms down
and we prepare for another vista. Engines roar while a bass
sequence develops and mutates, the rhythms supporting it. This
is EM that has guts. Heavy stuff. Melodies and sounds from the
first part return and haunt us like ghosts on a hungry day.
Sequences pulsate like hot hearts of the planets we pass on our
journey through space that's full of wonders, excitement and
adventure. We are then left alone in dark space once again,
awaiting, wondering what comes next. Mysterious lead line warns
us of the coming danger. Beeping notes hurtle forward like radar
signals that let us know about the alien ships coming. The
rhythms that appear are much heavier this time. However, we are
soon left with yet another atmospheric section. We see colourful
gas clouds passing by as the aliens escort us to their homeworld.
Otherworldly fx and distorted spacey notes herald our entering
into the alien realms. Everything around you is so unfamiliar,
but beautiful. Strange sampled-voice effects only add to the
strangeness of it all. Pulsing sequences appear as we enter the
alien solar system, a green star warming a planet that's so
similar, and yet so different from our own Earth. Rhythms
pulsate as you can see all the alien machinery in work and the
large stations they've created orbiting the planets. Everything
glows with different colours, resulting in a rainbow-like
experience. At this point there's a hell of a lot of sequences
to be heard, from the bass ones to the higher register
pulsations. Deep drones, ethereal pads and the subsiding
sequences end this enjoyable trip on a mysterious, but not dark,
note, as if we are left alone in the space once again, wondering
when we can achieve what this ancient race has. Maybe once we
give up stupid things like always fighting each other for our
own prejudice? Perhaps.
Track two is called "Endless Corridors" and indeed, it
sounds like constantly speeding through the hyperspace (we are
returning home now). Very evocative music.
"Signs of Life" starts in a really deep and out-there
manner. It's like we unexpectedly discover signs of (alien) life
in an unlikely corner of the Universe. Frigid, icy winds blow
above the surface of a snowy planet. A chunky mid-paced sequence
rushes forward as the alien fx and whistling synths cast their
spell. A heavier galloping bass sequence is added to the flow to
make up for one rollercoaster of a track. Higher register
sequences complete the picture as we scan the planet to see
where the signals are coming from. An atmospheric section
follows with strange noises indicating that a huge ocean is
concealed below the thick layer of ice. The bass sequence
returns as we begin drilling the ice to reach the alien ocean.
Finally the sequences subside as we discover huge transparent
cities hidden underneath.
As we approach the city we hear "Mysterious Voices"
which is probably the language of these aquatic creatures. We
can't understand what they're saying but they do show us around
and we only have to wonder what great civilization they managed
to create is such a rigid and inhospitable place. The track is
all distorted effects, drones and background Mellotron choir.
"The Day After" we fly through space in our own little
spaceship, its engine purring slightly in the background,
thinking about the marvelous discoveries we did lately. It's a
very beautiful, cosmic and bright track, with steady rhythms and
great melodic motifs. "Biospherical Imagery" is by far
the most coherent and atmospheric album by Create. Well done!
Biospherical Imagery - Dave
Cable - Synth
'Biospherical Imageryy' is the
new album from Create, AKA Steve Humphries and is the follow up
to his 'From Earth to Mars' album, which according to the notes
states was recorded entirely on virtual/soft synths. However
with a studio upgrade during 2004 he made the transition to
hardware keyboards. Work started on the album way back in June
2004 and some of the music on offer here is represented as
studio versions of live material dating from that period and
indeed the first Create gig in November of that year.
The album itself features a
decent blend of both analogue and digital equipment and is quite
varied throughout, with the five tracks on offer ranging from
three minutes to a whopping forty-six! It is in fact this epic
piece that opens the set.
'Biospherical Imagery' starts
off with a low string/drone sound over cosmic effects. A
'square' type lead then enters just after the first minute which
is then followed by a slightly metallic sounding sequencer
pattern. Further chord patterns are added before a string theme
is introduced. Just after the six minute mark a rhythm pattern
is introduced, closely followed by a new theme and a pleasant
mix of sequencer patterns, creating a somewhat powerful sound
field. An analogue lead then enters before the sequencers and
percussion loop disappears right back to the standard drones
that opened this piece. However it is not long before a bass
sequencer pattern emerges over light percussion, the former
becoming slightly resonant. Bass percussion elements take hold
together with light string textures and further percussive
elements. By the fifteen minute mark the piece is once again,
back where it started with the dark string/drones section.
Another percussion loop enters and another 'square' lead theme
is introduced. A slightly off tempo sequencer pattern emerges
adding slight obscurity to the proceedings while quite far back
in the mix lies a decent percussion loop. The sequencer pattern
pushes forward adding a new dynamic theme, which intensifies
this particular section of the piece satisfactorily. At twenty
three minutes it's back to the dark drones again and a minute
later a cosmic theme is introduced with an array of underlying
synth patterns and occasional effects. High string chords appear
in the mix later and at thirty minutes it's back into cosmic
effects and synth chord mode. In a slight change of direction
obscure voice samples are added and a sequencer pattern emerges
together with an effective high string theme. Deep cosmic
effects help to expand this section and the sequencer part
becomes more prominent. Another theme begins over a bass
percussion loop and eventually new sequencer effects are added.
The piece ends almost as it started with the metallic sounding
sequencer pattern over washes of chords and effects.
'Endless Corridors' in complete
contrast at just over five minutes is a minimalistic piece
relying on low drones and effects. There is a high level of
obscurity in this piece through the effects but this eventually
leads into an atmospheric lead theme above high choral and
string textures. Completely sequencer free.
'Signs of Life' appears via
some decent high cosmic, panned chords. Bass effects are then
added closely followed by a low drone. A theme is introduced
with occasional white noise effects. The cosmic chords re-emerge
later and at around five minutes a rather simplistic sequencer
pattern is generated. This eventually becomes delayed over
washes of effects building in intensity. Past the seven minute
mark the sequencer pattern becomes more intricate and light
percussion elements are added. At eleven minutes a metallic bass
pattern begins and the piece eventually ends on washes of light
cosmic effects and resonant chords.
'Mystery Voices' not
surprisingly is a piece shrouded in mystery and features what
sounds like a Mellotron choir sample. Extra themes are
introduced but the piece manages to remain stubborn not
deviating in its mysterious structure.
The final track, 'The Day
After' begins with a mid range cosmic drone. Before the first
minute is out light percussive elements enter over synth chords.
A string theme carries the piece forward and a more stable
percussion loop takes hold, slightly off tempo. A theme is
introduced at just over 3 minutes but the piece subsides
slightly leaving just a drone and the main theme. The rhythm
section returns at around four minutes over further synth chords
and an analogue styled theme before finally coming to rest on a
bed of effects.
Overall this is a fairly good
album, with plenty going on in the mix throughout its duration.
It's difficult to compare this artist's work with other
musicians but I would recommend this album to those who prefer
their music with a more cosmic orientation. (DC)
From Earth to
Mars - Matt Howarth -
This CD from
2005 offers 75 minutes of eloquent electronic music.
keyboards generate languid foundations, establishing regions of
shimmering chords upon which the melodic electronics shine like
jubilant stars. Lavish passages of layered textures unfurl,
gradually building strength until the sky is thick with
luxurious harmonics. Then the cycles that have been mounting
vigor and volume emerge to command the mix with their velvet
rises to a position of authority, becoming more demonstrative
and lending lively rhythms to the flow.
mounting cycles cast off their restraint and commence resounding
with engaging power. Evolving and intermingling, these riffs
grow piercing while retaining a soft edge that evokes a dreamy
voyage beyond Earth's atmosphere.
sounds appear, flavoring the second track with tension that
swiftly matures into a provocative drama. Sweet keyboard loops
provide a congenial counterpoint that lightens the intensity as
they merge with the clanking machinery.
The title track
continues this dramatic interplay of dark and fancy. Pulsating
patterns accrete with stolid determination, producing dense
anticipation. This expectancy is rewarded once the lighter riffs
enter the mix. Accompanied by elegant beats that prudently
remain immersed in the flow, the composition seethes with
potency and continues to thicken. Clocking in at nearly 20
minutes in length, this song as adequate time to build nicely to
a passionate crescendo wherein all the elements flourish to
All of the
compositions here display this mounting grandeur, exhaling
creativity until the music is ready to burst with vitality.
From Earth To Mars
This is Steve Humphries second album as Create, and the first
one I've purchased, and I have to say I've quickly become a
big fan of his work. There are many retro
references to be found on
this album if you're attentive, and the least bit interested
in that sort of thing. But that for me doesn't define this
album, as it is a unique and hugely enjoyable experience, and
very fresh and up to date. It's certainly not bogged down
in the past.
For the most part, great sequencer rhythms prevail on
this album, overlaid with lovely musical touches that
delight and entertain.The stand out track for me is the
title track, From Earth to Mars, which has a wicked groove
running throughout it, which I was powerless to resist and
just had to get down to. However this is not a dance
record I assure you. But if you can resist the groove laid down
by Steve in the afore mentioned track, you are a
better man than me. It's not a one track album
either, and is very consistent throughout. It will be
one you'll want to play again and again, as it rewards
you with something new every time. I highly recommend it.
Roy Jackson (UK)
From Earth To Mars - CD
There must be some kind of
thing going on with musicians whereby, if you're that way
inclined, once you've "done your Tangerine Dream"
album, you can then take a deep breath, move on and see what
else is out there - and that's exactly what Create has done
here. But before you switch off, let me tell you that the
sequencers are still there, the layers of cosmic synths are
still there, the soaring seventies melodies are still there - in
fact everything you like about "Berlin School' styled music
- IS still there! What's changed is what the guy's done with it.
He's taken all these elements and created an album that is very
dense, very busy, extremely layered and textured, always with
much on which to focus, as the electronic warmth shines through
from the awesome seas of synths and sequencers, occasional
Mellotron, thudding bass, swooshing space synths and almost
industrial sounding space effects, all combining on 7 tracks
that have been arranged and crafted with care, attention and an
eye for detail. There's nothing here that a fan of this style of
music won't enjoy, while at the same time, there's nothing here
that screams "Tangerine Dream copyist" with anything
like a loud voice. In its way, it's more intense than anything
you'll have heard from the TD camp, while at the same time
possessing much in the way of warmth and emotion. But above all,
there is a real sense of musical adventure and exploration -
this is a journey you should be extremely happy to take, because
you are in the company of a musician you can trust. There are
melodies a-plenty, and nothing that's "difficult"
sounding, while all the tracks, especially the near twenty
minute title track, possess that all-important flow and drive
that makes you want to stay with the composition to the end. A
difficult album to review but a superb one to hear - this is the
sound of someone doing something inventive with familiar tools -
and it works just fine.
From Earth To Mars -
Phil Derby -
Steve Humphries is back
with his follow up to his strong debut Reflections From The
Inner Light. Once again he has created a disc rife with classic
space and retro sounds, presented in a fresh way, sure to please
most discriminating e-music fans.
"Light Bank" builds and builds in a thoroughly
enjoyable manner, a terrific track to start things out. Though
the sounds are familiar and again pay homage to his
favorite band AirSculpture, the arrangements are
invigorating and exciting.
Even better is the exquisite title track. A steady thumping beat
and synths find a cool groove and run with it for nearly 20
minutes. I think of AirSculpture's excellent first album
Impossible Geometries when I hear this one.
The great music continues with "Gethsemane", another
energizer sure to get your brain tripping out to the hypnotic
sequencing and your toes tapping to the infectious
Continuing on to "Solar Flare," Steve relentlessly
keeps the energy and the fun going. Once it picks up speed this
one is almost dance-floor ready, though still firmly rooted in
"Re-Entry" has a steady rhythm as well, and is full of
great synth sounds. No synth oboes or guitars, just 100% pure
"Goodbye" is a soft, tasteful tribute to the late
Michael Garrison, a beautiful gently layered piece to close
things out. From Earth To Mars is excellent from start to
© 2005 Phil Derby
Reflections From the Inner
Phil Derby -
is one of the newest members of the EM scene, Steve Humphries
from the UK. The opening track "Narissa" is a
tribute to Airsculpture and Steve does an admirable job
of paying homage to them.
The atmospheric beginning, the sequence fading in, the high thin
synth lead, are all traits of Airsculpture's signature
sound, their essence adeptly distilled without being blatantly
copied. If anything Steve adds a few extra layers and touches,
keeping the music moving along a bit more than Airsculpture.
If Airsculpture were to add just a few Techno elements
and a bit more structure, the end result might sound very much
like "Dark Skies" the catchy second number.
"Touching The Void" swooshes in on the solar
wind, joined bypads and the Berlin school staple, Mellotron
flute. Once the steady beat and sequence come in, this 14 minute
track catches it's groove and rides it to the end in fine form.
"Medusa" starts with some cool knob twisting
and then string sounds are added to give the track an ambient
"Surface Control" picks up speed quicker than
most, a brisk toe tapper with yet another variety of electronic
elements seamlessly joined together in very entertaining
The formula is much the same on the final three tracks, but in
each and every case it works so well. Is there room for yet
another entrant into the Berlin School?
From the Inner Light -
- Progressive Soundscapes Radio
just wanted to write, and tell you that your new CD, Reflections
From The Inner Light, is simply magnificent.
I've been playing tracks from it regularly on my station for a
few weeks now, and this evening we aired it in it's entirety.
The listeners absolutely love it.
Personally I think it's just absolutely incredible.
Though there are obvious similarities to what everyone calls the
"Berlin-School era of electronics" the feel and sound
of this disc is very contemporary and breathes with a vibrancy,
freshness and originality all it's own. Great job and I hope to
be hearing more work from you in the near future.
All the best,
From the Inner Light -
- Encyclopedia of Electronic Music
Reflections From the Inner Light was realized via
software means only, Stephen really stretches the limits of his
instrumentation on this release, creating an album of well
crafted Berlin School EM.
"Narissa" starts with mysterious synth chords
that, after a while are joined by nice lead lines. This is
wonderfully atmospheric and quite effective. Soon the sequences
emerge that make this a classic formula Berlin School track.
Very nice rhythms as well, and a haunting Mellotron flute /
synth combination at the end.
"Dark Skies", not surprisingly, starts with
dark synth drone and analogue-sounding lead line, soon joined by
effects and synth pads. Slowly the rhythm / sequence elements
take over, making this an edgy and stomping EM number. Got my
toe tapping to this one. The track is finished off by
threatening bass synth lines.
The next cut is "Touching the Void". Again, we
hear a dark introduction and a haunting Mellotron flute refrain.
Soon after the 3 minute mark, the sequences are introduced along
with a rhythm, although everything stays very atmospheric and
moody. The track has got an unusual solo timbre that I found
"Medusa" is the shortest track of the lot and
is dominated by EMS-like effects and Mellotron choir / synth
lead / atmosphere tandem. Nice!
"Surface Control" is initially a major-key,
cheerful track, which then becomes very urgent and exciting. One
of the best compositions on the album - I really enjoyed this
one, including the superb soloing.
"Downside Up" - a deep introduction, with
whooshing synths and processed pad sounds. But the track's main
asset are the sequences, that are rich in color and yet subtle
and very effective. There's also a Mellotron flute to be heard.
The rhythm is relaxed, resulting in a laid-back mysterious EM
track with just the right amount of rhythmic propulsion.
"Kaleid" is another one of those "floating
mysterious introduction-long sequencer part-mysterious
ending" tracks. It's a classic Berlin School formula that
always works when done with attitude, as is the case with "Kaleid".
"Chasing the One" is the last track and the
best composition on the entire album. Sounds different to what
has come before (Mellotron choir, repetitive structure, very
prominent bass sequence), but that's part of its charm, I guess.
It's like chasing some ship in a space convoy. Very evocative.
If you enjoy the Berlin School of Electronic Music, Reflections
From the Inner Light will give you more than a hour of pure
From the Inner Light -
always is pleasant to listen to well elaborated, varied sounds,
giving the impression that the musician possesses an excellent
mastery of his instruments.
In "Reflections from the Inner Light", we find
an artist who has a great skill in the musical technique as well
as the necessary technology. By means of a very successfully
achieved orchestra of virtual analogue synthesizers, Create
weaves a collection of melodic pieces, fresh, lively.
The style, bold and avantgarde as it is, is situated on the
border between Space Music and the most strong areas of Synth-Pop.
From the Inner Light -
Matt Howarth -
release from 2004 features 78 minutes of languid Berlin School
Create is the brainchild of British synthesist Stephen
Soothing electronic textures usher the audience from the real
world into a realm of glistening unreality. As cyclic sequencing
emerges, the harmonic flow coalesces with gentle substance.
Sounds thicken without amassing weight, marshaling the
appearance of an escalation of velocity and the introduction of
a core theme. Additional patterns join the mix, some of them
surfacing to function as cybernetic rhythms. A shriller
definition enters the flow, achieving a state of electrified
puissance that pulses with an inner verve. Softly muffled
percussion provides an understated cushion to support the manner
in which everything else surges with tempered animation.
Waves of artificial surf gurgle and bubble amid a mounting
harmonic, very reminiscent of early Klaus Schulze. This gives
birth to a luxuriant structure of repetitious loops which
eventually lose their redundancy and forge off to generate fresh
patterns of lustrous design. Each new riff embodies its own
radiance, and as these newborn specimens cluster, the melodies
pursue collateral essences.
Interesting tidbit: although this music sounds like it’s full
of mellotrons and analogue synthis, Humphries generates
everything using software.
From the Inner Light -
- Ambient Visions
Create is the Englishman Stephen Humphries.
His debut-CD with the great title of “Reflections From The
Inner Light” is dedicated to the Berlin School. There are
a lot of retro-EM CD's released at this point in time, so to
attract attention to yourself you must come up with something
special. Humphries does that. What is striking about his
music is the fact that he doesn't make use of instruments like
Mellotrons and analog synthesizers but that he does everything
with the aid of software.
The difference cannot be heard. In eight pieces he exploits the
diverse corners of the Berlin School in an intriguing way.
From the Inner Light -
homages/revisitations to Berlin school EM, this album by Create
(Stephen Humphries) is a solid effort. I personally
prefer the music of the neo-Berlin artists, e.g. Gert Emmens,
Paul Ellis, Dom F. Scab, John Lakveet, but
as straight-up Germanic sequencers and synthesizers go, these
eight tracks illustrate Humphries' talent and creativity
(no pun intended) when it comes to sculpting rhythmic and also
spacy electronic music. I would've preferred shorter tracks
(three of the eight are in the thirteen minute range) because,
frankly, when sticking to the retro Berlin school sound, there's
only so much you can do with soloing keyboards gliding on top of
sequences, no matter how inventive you are or how interesting
you try to make it.
That said, "Dark Skies" is a great and
ultra-moody piece of music that builds slowly but inexorably
from spacey beginnings to become an explosive combination of
laser zapping synths, percolating bass beats, cybernetic
textural effects, and sweeping dramatic keyboards. The soloing
later in the song, buoyed by frenetic drumming, is among the
best on the album.
Of the longer tracks, "Touching the Void" comes
the closest to satisfying my tastes. The dramatic swells and
undulating drones at the outset are joined by flute lines cast
in a forlorn light. When sequencing hits later in the song, Humphries
balances retaining the air of drama and eeriness that was
prevalent earlier with more dynamic energy expressed through an
evolving assortment of beats and rhythms.
"Medusa" (a shorter song) is noteworthy for its
alien bird-call effects and relative downbeat nature; it's
almost dirge-like at times and always moody.
The album closer, "Chasing the One" is another
song I enjoyed, this time owing to Humphries
transformation of the track from quasi-Vangelis bombast
to propulsive rhythms and dramatic strings and finally to one of
the best sequences on the CD, brimming with electronic
impulsiveness intermixed with chiming/resonating tones.
While I wouldn't go so far as to say Reflections from the
Inner Light is a great album, I can understand why fans of
retro-Berlin music are excited by the emergence of yet another
talented practitioner of the subgenre. If you count yourself in
that subculture, this album will meet or exceed your