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Beyond City Light

4.7 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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When infinity is the core of your creative palette, some things just take time. Beyond City Light arrives seven years after keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist Jon Jenkins released Flow, his first solo recording and a sterling piece of mind-stretching, deep-space sound design. Beyond City Light travels a similar path, with some variation, as it gradually transports listeners deep into the sonic ether. Jenkins in places supplements his spacious, resonant, slowly unfurling soundscapes with textures from flutes, wordless female vocals, and more emphatic percussion. While generally a good move, it tends to make a few selections, notably the Tangerine Dream-inspired "Through City Light," a little busy. Beyond that quibble, Jenkins--an admirer of Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel-era Genesis, and other progressive-leaning acts--crafts some splendid mental theater here, particularly the opening track and the concluding five selections, highlighted by the benevolent celestial sheen captured in "Sky of Surrender." For fans of electronic/ambient recordings who prefer the mostly atmospheric, occasionally rhythmic region of the progressive-music continuum, Jenkins is a composer worth noting. --Terry Wood
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 12, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Spotted Peccary
  • ASIN: B0007X9U4C
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,299 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Jon Jenkins has many albums to his credit, including Flow and Continuum which I feel marks his success in the ambient market. He has worked with such notable names as David Helping, Paul Lackey and Jeff Pearce.

His style is self described as Ambient - Electronic Esoterica and I couldn't agree more. Sometimes bordering on classical with an electronic touch, sometimes almost space music, sometimes a touch of jazz, Jon Jenkins has created a style within a style of music making his compositions unique in a genera that is typically identified as a non-descript style of music.

This CD is not the usual ambient production in that it is not meant to be soft and non-intrusive as much ambient is. This CD is meant to be turned up and listened to... this is a feel the music CD that will leave you wanting more. Jon Jenkins takes ambient to new ground here with some very powerful compositions. There are ten tracks all deserving of serious consideration.

The first track The Calling offers space synth and ethereal vocals that rises and fall to rise again in a progression piece. Filled with emotional stanzas, this piece could be considered an introduction to the balance of the work.

The first piece works into the second piece called Zzyzx Road. This is keyboard with synth backfill that provides a lovely composition, both strong and emotional. A very lovely melody is carried throughout the piece, making this a memorable track in a place where melody is not always memorable, but usually intentionally abstract. This is a very remarkable composition giving ambient music a definition.

Through City Light returns to the spacey electronica with a clearly identifiable beat and a hint of keyboard melody that tickles the mind as it sweeps you into the mood.
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I have aproximately 250 ambient CDs and this is one of my favorites. Very nice work. I hope that Mr. Jenkins will produce very soon some new material because this is simply a CD of outstanding beauty and we really need more of this kind.
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"Flow" raised the bar so high that it is impossible to match. Yet, even though it isn't quite up there with "Flow", Jenkins' third, and to date, last solo album, "Beyond City Light" is still a magnificent epic masterpiece. Seven years after "Flow", BCL has such a unique and distinct feel that it still took me to another plane of reality when I first heard it.

"The Calling" has a suspensful feel with a haunting female voice and a cold, wintry beautiful feel. "Zzyzx Road" has a much more dramatic, and more intense feel. The title track has a haunting blend of fast rhythm and a radiant ambient atmosphere.
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Take your favorite cd by Tangerine Dream, Steve Roach & Patrick O'Hearn, toss them into a blender and this is what you get! A nice, pleasent listening experience. Mr. Jenkins has studied the Masters well & put a lot of their ideas into his music. Which, as I've mentioned before, makes for a mighty fine cd.
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If I Had One Wish for this CD it would be that Jon Jenkins re-release an edition without the crashing Tom-Tom's. In virtually every piece on this disk you're lulled into highly creative and lush sonic landscapes and then WHAM! there go the crashing Tom-Tom's. This has been a trademark of Jon and David Helpling. For my part I truly enjoy the artistry that both composer/performers possess but their compositions don't always lend themselves toward peaceful meditation or bliss. The samples that are available for this album may lead you to believe that the tracks float from beginning to end in the same vein as the sample; then about 3/4's way in the crashing Tom-Tom's break your spell. It would be like getting doused with ice water just before a climax! Don't get me wrong, I like this album a lot but I bought it based on the samples provided and was somewhat disappointed by the Soundtrack-Like injection of, otherwise, disconcerting percussion. If you're looking for tracks to accompany yoga, meditation, sleep, reading or just general relaxation I think that Jon Serrie, Jon Mark, Steve Roach, Thom Brennan and Jun-Ichi Kamiyama present tracks that are more relaxingly consistent from beginning to end.
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