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While this website has become known for its in-depth album and concert reviews, the digest contains concise comments on new music our audience has either recommended or might enjoy. Click on album covers or label names for links to further information. Click on the title to view the article.

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The Stars Are Real CD Cover
Image System Recordings 2005

Suzanne Sterling
Suzanne Sterling with Alcyone
Picture: Sergio Monsanto
Image Alcyone Music 2003
 

(03 September 2005) A duo from San Francisco, Alcyone is an electronic dance music act that has established itself with distinctive and innovative explorations into deep/tech house, trance, breaks, dub and ambient electronica. Their debut album, The Stars Are Real (System Recordings (USA) SYS1060-2) explores these various dance subgenres in nine exciting tracks. The sound is infectious and the listener can't help but move to the beat.

The Alcyone crew is composed of producer/keyboardist Alex Newman and vocalist/composer Suzanne Sterling. Both have a wealth of experience to this project from their studio and stage work as producer and lead vocalist of the electronic dance act Medicine Drum. They have also toured extensively in the USA as well as internationally.

Utilizing different sounds, each composition explores ambient, breaks, house, and mellow vocals to woo their audience. Suzanne Sterling's vocals in the first track, "Drift," are showcased in this delightful beginning to the CD. "Warm Fuzzy" continues with the contagious fervor, while "Black Arrow Dub" is much more peaceful and tranquil.

Alcyone incorporates elements of classic electronic music into this electrifying music. Their interpretations and creations stimulate the urge to dance and one can also just feel comfortable to sit back and listen. "Brighter" delves into deep house, which highlights the beat. Percussionist Jason "Drumfire" grooves with the Brazilian beat in "Pan Position." He is also a virtuoso with congas, bongos, timbales and djembes and describes himself as a "drum animal!"

A darker sound is found in "The Dunes" while "Reflections" changes tone to a softer, gentler sound. The tribal sounds of "Neptune" entice the listener and then incorporates ambient breaks. The final composition, "Starfields," combines trance and house to complete this dance feast.

Alcyone has become a popular choice with clubbers, festival-goers, and all-night party people, and led to peak-time performances at Earthdance, Harmony Festival, Burning Man's "Sol System," Solfest, Anon Salon's "Sea of Dreams," San Francisco "Decompression" (Suzanne photo) and many more events.

Their infectious music is stellar with lush electronic dance and chill tracks that come alive with the interpretive journey taken by Alex and Suzanne. Their compelling musicianship invites you to party along in their sonic dimension. The mix-up of deep chunky grooves, multi-layered synth textures, fiery percussion, and passionate, soaring vocals make Alcyone a standout.--Audrey Elliot in New York

 
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