Rezi auf EPRR (European Progressive Rock Review), 28.06.05

Thomas Glönkler - AUSZEIT

"Thomas Gloenkler was formerly the guitarist and main songwriter of the German progressive band ICU, a band whose career was highlighted in the nineties by supporting Pendragon. Since then, Thomas has been busy working as an artist. His pictures have been exhibited all over Europe. He has always regarded himself as both painter and musician.

He went on recording material for a solo album, a slow process because of an approach that sees art and music as the realisation of images and visions that both artist and audience can make their own."

That last paragraph holds the key as to the influences and direction that this album has successfully conveyed. Anyone hoping for progressive influences here will find them filtering to the surface, but only occasionally. At the heart of this instrumental album, tracks "Mobil Steril", Hic et Nunc" and "Kjolur", you will find it hovering between the electric approach that Rockenfield/Speer delivered on their "Hells Canyon" and Mike Oldfield's "Guitars" album.

Thereafter, this release is firmly in the style of the more picturesque material similar to the artists who appeared on the Windham Hill label, such as Mike Marshall, Darol Anger and Will Ackerman. In the late 80's, this album would have been deemed "New Age", unfortunately people shun this term now; they look upon it with distaste, labelling it as light, insignificant and a dying hippy movement; how misguided.

Nowadays, people born after the 80's or those who look for modern terms may call this ambient, soundtrack or film score. Whatever one chooses to label this music, the images certainly fly around whilst listening to it and it certainly captures thoughts that trigger my imagination. The guitar is strongly represented but more importantly the keys and the flute give this album a complete soundscape.

The more I listened to this music, the more it grew in stature and became stronger and more vivid. With good use of the flute, one can almost hear Gandalf's influences and the band Shadowfax , especially when, on track one "Auszeit", the flute resembles the Lyricon. That said, in composing this type of music it would be nigh impossible not to soak up some these masters' influences. This album is a pleasure to listen to, especially if you need to relax and escape from life. This most certainly joins E.P.R.R. albums of 2005. 100%


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