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Product Format: CD               ** Regular Stock Item **

Price: £8.33 (exc) £9.99 (inc)


Self-composed, performed, arranged & produced this 3rd and final album in the ‘Vanguard’ trilogy, concludes AP’s vision of pulsating & melodic electronica!

The AD Music Introduction…
Once again, the music effortlessly crosses the boundaries between traditional electronic music and contemporary electronica while also including downtempo and chill styles. ‘Vanguard 3’ presents some compelling and creative music - 10 superbly constructed, interlinked tracks, all characterised by strong rhythms, sequences and terrific melodies. Indeed, this is probably the strongest of the trilogy in terms of song melodies. The album has a laid back feeling of ‘ease’ and the craftsmanship of the music is superb - the whole body of work album really does have a gorgeous feel.
Andy Pickford really shows how his music and production have matured here as he continues to expand and explore musical styles, but without ever losing sight of his true EM roots. If you enjoyed the first two albums in the ‘Vanguard’ series, then you’re certainly going to love this one too!

The CDS Review…
‘Free All Angels’ and ‘Ritual’ open ‘Vanguard-3’ in the more modern electronica style of the first two albums in the series with repeated phrases and melodies being beautifully layered worked and developed, and great use of different style choral effects that add a new dimension to his sound armoury. However, when ‘Could You Cry?’ arrives we are transported right back to the classic early years with an old style melodic ballad that has a vocal part and a superb keyboard arrangement that is complimented by some truly great synth soloing.
‘Rise’ has another string melody line as it blends the old with the new and makes a pretty decent job of it, whilst ‘Schadenfreude’ is an instrumental in a similar vein – quite laid back, but its rousing melody line and a feeling of restrained power adds weight in terms of its finished production.
Speaking of power, the fifteen-minute plus ‘Ahnenerbe’ throws restraint right out the window, because this is one epic piece in terms of layering and production – here Andy becomes the Phil Spector of the EM world with this wall of sound production!
It opens in drifting space with background sample voice recordings as distant synth chords gradually layering over each other like a gathering array of cumulous clouds. Distant angelic choral voices provide an ethereal feel as rampaging sequencer effects coming drifting up through the hazy mix. More and more synth melodies and themes are continuously added to the massive, constantly building sound as it continues to grow and develop without any break to the point it is so heavy in sound you feel it could implode on itself at any time. There is no real light or shade for the entire span of this epic piece, it’s just one massive wall of melodic sound all built around a simple, ecclesiastical choral phrase until is slowly disperses towards the close with a long drifting fade-out that leads to more sampled voice-overs
‘Transit’ moves back to a lighter sequenced rhythmic style with a strong brassy melody line that’s initially deliberately kept back in the mix but pushes forward the track continues. Rhythmically it’s a very busy piece that seems evoke imagery of speeded-up vehicle scene in some super sci-fi movie with all manner of vehicles darting here and there on a multi-lane freeway. Or perhaps skyway even!
‘Elektra’ is another of Andy’s ballad style tracks that opens as a gentle piano driven piece with added voice samples set over an unusual rhythmic pattern. A violin-like synth melody sweeps in to take the track on an almost classically oriented path. The warm flowing energy is joined by ethereal female choral effects that weaves in and out of the mix as the track’s melodic refrain echoes past Pickford melancholy with ease.
‘Ascendance’ emerges in ethereal cosmic ground with distant choral voices forming a ghostly backdrop with symphonic string textures before a downtempo rhythm kicks in and takes the piece off down a different path with chilling, streaming synth effects running down either side of the central rhythm creating a magical five minutes of celestial, visionary synth music.
‘Wished’ enters to the sounds of a superb set of synth chords with an emerging intricate rhythm coming in on top as the sound develops. These chords swell and sway as the track develops with filmic style synth melodies adding thematic energy before it all winds down and closes the album in rather beautiful fashion.

OK, while this is still not the tightly constructed Pickford tracks of the past, it’s nearer than some of his more recent works have been. It is music that is awash with rich melodies and intriguing ideas, but the melodies don’t take over and lead the tracks in the normal sense, often preferred to form part of a massive panoramic picture. This is immersive electronic music that surrounds and envelopes you rather than taking you on some kind of thrilling audio trip, and you can get lost in it’s, at times, dense, heavily populated soundscapes for a while before emerging dazed in wonderment at the other side.
The directions Andy has chosen are more about feel and at times massively produced soundscapes than anything else. He appears to have moved well past the simplistic, ear-grabbing “tunes” of the past into a whole new way of working with sound creating that casts a while different spell than before, whilst still using many of the older principles that brought his so much popularity back in the 90’s heyday of electronic music.
Repeated plays of ‘Vanguard-3’ are will open up many new avenues of sound and music for a whole plethora of “Electronic Music” fans I’m sure, but on the two I’ve had so far I can hear a pretty impressive production that offers many different entry points to a world of new and exciting experiences within before everyone comes together at the same exit point!

Also available by ANDY PICKFORD…
DARKLANDS (12” Vinyl EP – Ambient Remixes / Signed!) 12V – Stock # 258756
DYSTOPIA-THE PICKFORD FILES (1998) CD - Stock # 383221
LINEAR FUNCTIONS (Mega-Rare Deleted Rarity) CASSETTE - Stock # 439286
LUGHNASAD (2002) CD - Stock # 740066
NEMESIS (Long Deleted & Rare 1998 Studio Album) CD – Stock # 842055
TERRAFORMER (2015) CD - Stock # 1873079
VANGUARD-PART 1 (2015) CD - Stock # 1773400
VANGUARD-PART 2 (2016) CD - Stock # 1873079
WORKS-VOLUME 1 (Deleted Live At EMMA 1994) CD - Stock # 559880

‘Vanguard-Part 3’ is released on 12th May 2017.


01. Free All Angels (6:06)
02. Ritual [electro mix] (7:19)
03. Could You Cry? (5:07)
04. Rise (6:58)
05. Schadenfreude (5:53)
06. Ahnenerbe (15:45)
07. Transit (6:03)
08. Elektra (5:57)
09. Ascendance (5:47)
10. Wished (6:24)

TPT - 71:18