This is not your ordinary New Age music! Gronau, a German composer and musician, adapts a massive spectrum of sounds and effects into layers of melody, harmony, and effect to produce what is surely a unique compilation of compositions.

The album takes advantage of the CD medium by providing a staggering array of 20 selections. The CD opens with the unassuming track “Night on the Roof.” This is followed by “Children in the Park,” a mellow, uplifting piece that features the voices of children in the background. Things start to get more interesting during the third track, “World in Your Arms” (4:55), which gives plenty of time for more melodic and harmonic development. A gentle pulse in the background keeps the melodic content from dragging. By the fourth track, “Traffic,” Gronau is into his groove. A jazz-fusion-type rhythm pushes the action forward. This particular piece and track 8, “Confirming the Question” are reminiscent of Weather Report’s “Heavy Weather” album.

Further tracks echo instrumental groups like Tangerine Dream and Joe Satriani. A few pieces hearken back to old Stevie Winwood/Traffic instrumental passages. The guitar work in “A Passion Play” gives the ambience of Joe Satriani or Robin Trower. There are bits and pieces of synthetic Hearts of Space-like material interspersed with songs featuring traditional instruments like piano and saxophone.

This is an entirely instrumental CD. The music is complex, multi-layered, and builds to logical peaks through the twenty tracks. I’d recommend this for ceremonial magicians with old-rock god leanings, and for coven work for groups that prefer something other than flutes and pianos, which can be pleasant but rather dull. Gronau has done a superlative job of introducing good melodic material with modern synthetic textures and energetic yet clean rhythms beneath. It’s very likable, and well worth checking out for something new, different, and multi-dimensional. I’ll be listening to this CD a lot in the future!

~review by Elizabeth Hazel

Artist: Uwe Gronau
Time Rider Music Publishing, 2012
Amazon: CD $12.07, MP3 $8.99

(Please see our other reviews of Mr. Gronau's previous albums, Time Rider and Midsummer)