Stefan Elefteriu’s “Quantum Gates” – Electronic Music Has Never Sounded So “Prog”

Editor’s note: Today we are happy to bring you a guest review of Stefan Elefteriu’s album, Quantum Gates, by Chloe Mogg, a UK-based singer/songwriter and music journalist. Typically electronic-style music might be considered on the fringes of what we cover here at Progarchy, but Stefan’s music is anything by typical.

Stefan has a fascinating story. He began studying violin at a young age in Communist Romania, but he ended up in a rock band called Blitz in the late 1970s. With communism forbidding privately owned businesses, Stefan built his own synthesizers, speakers, and other equipment so he could make theatrical soundtracks. With the fall of communism his career expanded into the film and advertising realms. Those influences are clear on Quantum Gates, but the album also features ethereal vocals at points. There are some heavier rock moments, while the rest of the album definitely has traits common with the more psychedelic side of prog. This isn’t techno dance music, which is what I usually think of when I think “electronic music.” This is serious music worthy of serious attention. It’s also very good. Since I clearly have much to learn about this kind of music, I’m happy to turn the rest of the review over to someone more knowledgeable:

Review by Chloe Mogg:

A journey through space, time and numerous musical genres, Stefan Elefteriu is an artist not afraid to think outside of the box. Progressive and electronic based, “Quantum Gates” is the latest release from the genius behind the music. An experience not for the faint hearted, “Quantum Gates” soars through realms of sci-fi based music straight from the soul. With quite the story behind his music, Stefan’s journey began by building his own synthesisers in Communist Romania to scoring a science fiction film. A multi-instrumentalist that creates music without boundaries, the truly immersive experience is suited for fans of classical, rock and electronic elements fused together. 

On the album, Stefan mentioned, “Twelve portals open to twelve different worlds awaiting discovery through imagination, fantasy and feelings… Go beyond the Quantum Gates and, with each re-listening, you will perceive new territories of musical expression. Let the evolution and permanent dialogue of the melodic lines – based on symphonic counterpoint – take you through a new multidimensional sound universe.”

Touching familiar ground that Vangelis, Pink Floyd, Enigma and Kraftwerk have been upon, Stefan’s album introduces parallel worlds of hope during the world’s current climate. Like something you’d hear on the Interstellar score, the vibrant journey is accessible yet armed with complexity. An escapism for fans across the globe, the talent that Stefan has is clear in the near release.

soundstreamsunday: “E2-E4” by Manuel Göttsching

TIU-noticias-Manuel-Göttsching-E2-E4-reedicion-1-705x495Manuel Göttsching was the guitarist for Ash Ra Tempel, a formative krautrock space jam band based in Berlin that included Klaus Schulze (post-Tangerine Dream/pre-solo) and Hartmut Enke. Göttsching made E2-E4 in 1981, years after Ash Ra’s heyday, as something to listen to on a plane trip. It became, upon its release in 1984, a classic of electronic house/dance and trance music, and is the natural descendant of Göttsching’s Inventions for Electric Guitar (1975). The piece is divided into tracks on CD but plays seemlessly across an hour as an integrated suite. Göttsching holds off on soloing for over 30 minutes, and when he let’s go it’s with the restraint of a jazz player. I’ve listened to this record maybe a dozen times over the last 20 years, so not a lot, but would never relinquish it. I have an idea that music like this (what Julian Cope might term “motorik”), when it’s at its best, can work like noise-cancelling headphones, as if by tapping into the wavelength of your brain’s “always on” subchannel it can then mirror and bring the mind’s noise to zero sum, creating a kind of peace not to be had elsewhere. Perhaps that’s a stretch, but, being in the deep with E2 E4, the background of the morning takes on a different kind of flow and light. Now, perhaps, a game of chess….

Available on Amazon

Soundstream Sunday Archive

soundstreamsunday: Sonnenblumenstahl by Ulrich Schnauss and Jonas Munk

schnaussmunk2I’m continuing with my Jonas Munk kick from two weeks ago, when I posted the fabulous Sun River stream, “Esperanza Villanueva”. “Sonnenblumenstahl” is a beautiful piece of Moebius/Roedelius/Plank-style krautrock from Munk’s and Ulrich Schnauss’s highly recommended 2011 full-length collaboration. Munk the guitarist and Schnauss the keyboardist have both left their influential mark on ambient techno, and together they make music that is generous, melodic, and open, combining the best of both their musics. This song could be from Cluster’s Sowiesoso (or Zuckerzeit, OR Grosses Wasser), but has a character uniquely its own.

Soundstream Sunday archive

New demo from Ezekiel Graves/Gravaphone

artworks-000087721505-fnusjh-t500x500Ezekiel (Zeke) Graves has a new demo out under the name Gravaphone.  Graves’s music, which I’ve reviewed on the pages of Progarchy before ( emerges from his North Carolina upbringing but is also informed by deep soundings of electronic music, British folk, and Krautrock.  I saw him perform this song live a few months ago, accompanied by a Fender Rhodes and fiddle, which gave the song a unique coloration, but I like what he’s done with it here as well, made it darker, spare, and electric.