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AXESS - CHAMELEON (2003)

Product Format: CD               ** Regular Stock Item **

Price: £12.49 (exc) £14.99 (inc)

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Heavily influenced by early “EM” pioneers: JARRE (melodies) & TANGERINE DREAM (sequencers), with Axel’s unique character developing throughout.

Back in 2008, we were totally blown away by former PYRAMID PEAK member Axel Stupplich’s ‘Voices At Dawn’ album issued under the name AXESS. Playing analogue, digital & native synthesizers, AXESS delivered over 67 minutes of powerful, melodic, rhythmic electronic music on an album that was a total thriller from start to finish, alive with sounds that echoed classic JEAN-MICHEL JARRE and TANGERINE DREAM!
When ‘Fusion’, the stunning follow-up to ‘Voices’ came along in 2010, we just had to delve further into the AXESS and related back-catalogue, and on the back of these exciting two releases we then went on to discover this and other AXESS related titles.
In 2004 and 2010 Axel teamed up with multi-talented German musician Max Schiefele who was working under the name MAXXESS and playing electric & acoustic guitars and synthesizers, and together the pair produced two exciting albums under the AXESS-MAXXESS banner.
For AXESS-MAXXESS (and MAXXESS solo albums) you have to think instrumental PINK FLOYD / PORCUPINE TREE meets TANGERINE DREAM - A progressive-electronic crossover, where synthesizers and electric guitars meet in an exciting meld of instrumental fusion that delivers similarly high-energy, melodic music to that on the AXESS albums, but with an added progressive edge brought by the inclusion of the equally melodic, but heavier feel of the MAXXESS guitar sound.

‘Chameleon’ is the 2nd album from Axel Stupplich’s AXESS project. Released in 2003, it features 6 lengthy tracks spread over just under seventy minutes. ‘Alien’ opens the CD sounding like a souped-up Jarre gone “Berlin School” style - fast sequencer rhythms allied to sparkling melodies, but oddly ending in a hail of darkly spacey synthscapes.
‘Desire’ is all sequencers, synth choirs, and swirling effects – but not much else – solid enough, but a little cold and mechanical sounding and lacking in warmth.
On ‘Floating’ things deteriorate a bit with a drum machine driven piece overlaid by an undistinguished melody.
The title track lasts almost twenty minutes and starts very promisingly, with bass sequencers and echoed leads swirling all over the place. Strings arrive and the track begins to build and drive, with a lone synth lead going where many have trodden before, then its into a cosmic synth middle bit before the sequencers start up again and it just keeps on going from there. ‘Sirius Mystery’ is very spacey and symphonic for the first few minutes, and then it breaks onto a rhythm with tuneful overlays that echo Jean-Michel Jarre at times. Background space strings provide added atmosphere while lead synth melodies soar over the top – pity about the rather primitive, mechanical sounding drum machine - well, it is 2003 after all - but it doesn’t detract from the theme of the track too much. ‘A Dream Is Always A Dream’ opens slow and atmospheric before a slow-paced rhythm kicks in and builds on towards the close of the album with seas of symphonic space synths straddled by simple little synth melodies and in the end, one big theme.
While it’s not the most awe-inspiring synth album you’ve ever heard, extremely pleasant it is, it was early days for AXESS and a pretty decent effort for the time, with a definite promise of greater things to come – and how they did!


AXESS: CHAMELEON Track List:

01. Alien (9:57)
02. Desire (11:25)
03. Floating (7:45)
04. Chameleon (19:44)
05. Sirius Mystery (9:33)
06. A Dream Is Always A Dream (11:30)

TPT - 69:56