A stately sense of grandeur radiates throughout Michael Regina’s regal procession of “Zentronique”. Forgoing trendiness, he opts for a timelessness to inform the majority of these pieces. Elements of soul, funk, classical, dance, all within a distinctly ambient framework means the tracks work best when taken in as a singular whole. With every piece akin to a suite in a greater symphony. Melodies possess a rich history to them for the way the many different instruments shift gives them an almost fourth world aspect to them, completely transcending categorization to become a universe unto themselves.
The living, breathing quality of the album recalls the brilliant mixture of ambience alongside psychedelic tinge of the Future Sound of London’s “Lifeforms”. Akin to that piece, Michael Regina lets their sounds breathe. Sculpting the aural universe with such care, the rhythms possess a visceral power, halfway between EDM and a tribal procession. Classical elements emerge to frame this sound, drawing as much from Klaus Schulze’s early pieces to the blissful vistas of 70s-era Tangerine Dream. Patience proves to be the trick for nothing about the sound is rushed. Rather, the many elements are given ample time to explore every nook and cranny.
From afar comes the dreamy drones of “Frontiers” which opens the album up with a Wagnerian flair. The buildup has a martial presence at first before softening into something more soothing and cinematic. With “The Gates” things slow down dramatically as the melody seems to simply waft up into the sky. Piano anchors the dramatic flourishes of “All Good Things”. Deliberately paced the way the riffs emerge lend it a regal state of being. Easy to get lost in the pulsing rhythms of “Connections” make it the clear highlight. Driving through with so much razor-sharp clarity the song blends ambience with a krautrock-like affect. Heavenly, wordless choirs highlight the hallowed spirit of “Human Condition” with its delicate gestures.
Grandiose organ begins the elaborate title track “Zentronique”. A mysterious aura permeates the piece, making it another highlight. The way the song seems to rotate letting each angle of the sound emerge gives it an origami-like element. Like a long-lost early Autechre track, there is something so captivating and yearning with the fragile “Maxim M Chill”. Spacious textures intermingle on the colossal jams of “In the Ether”. On “Hybrid” a sci-fi ethos takes hold as the whole piece seems to virtually float on by. Thoughtful odes radiate throughout the gentle ebb and flow of “Communion”. Bass anchors the playful finale of “Hello Together”.
“Zentronique” embraces an orchestral otherworldliness proving Michael Regina to be a true navigator in a sea of sound.