See also - Landscapes In Thin Air
Dead Mind delves further into the archive of Dutch electronic music pioneer, Enno Velthuys, with these two latest vinyl editions of his early 80s cassette work. It's interesting to address these two sets of recordings at the same time, as even though they were released just three years apart, they represent Velthuys at different stages in his creative process. Now over 40 years old, Ontmoeting was his very first published work, each track untitled, which probably reveals just how much of an explorative period this was for Velthuys. Here he's indulging and walking around ideas, where long-form ethereal drift - what we might call ambient or even new age - shares space with more conventional European minimal synth experiments, but always retaining a kind of dramatic, or dare i say 'cinematic', quality. It's the latter idea which is most obviously brought to the fore on Landscapes In Thin Air, his third album originally released in 1985. As the title might suggest (surely Windham Hill must have kicked themselves for not using this before him?), this is the record on which Velthuys fully realises his ambient vision, vaporous compositions that nonetheless feel charged with meaning, or at the very least, suggestion. More of that paradoxical 'ambient' music that feels too engaging to exist solely in the background. Velthuys is great with the eliciting of emotion, and like we've discussed elsewhere with similarly key figures in experimental music, succeeds in being able to position the human at the centre of his work. Which makes both these records a compelling portrait of an important artist in the evolution of European electronic music.