Soniq Theater

Album Title: 
Stardust Memories
Release Date: 
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Review Type: 

Oh my, has it actually been 2 ½ years since Alfred Mueller (the sole person behind this one-man Sympho-Prog Rock project) contacted us last, because of the release of his Unknown Realities alum (posted 13/06/2010, that review is still available in this website's “Archive” section, should you suddenly become interested in checking out the man's antecedents)?

Well now, the man hasn't exactly been idle in that time, as since then he's issued two more albums, namely 2011's Force Majeure and 2012's Overnight Sensation. In fact, to call him a prolific songwriter would be a correct way to see him, as Stardust Memories is in fact the 13th album he releases since he started the Soniq Theater project in 1999. Granted, for the new album Alfred went a-grabbing into his cubbord of old recordings somewhat, and came out with three tracks. “Globular Cluster M55” goes back to October 1986, and “Infinity” is only slightly younger, having been recorded inn February 1987. As far as I can gather, the third track, “Break The Frame”, is also the only one on this album with electric guitar on it. It comes from a far younger session, recorded in October 1997, and it is also the only track on the album which features vocals. The 10 other songs on the album are of a more recent date, and bring the total length of the album to just over 56 minutes. If you didn't notice me writing there's only one track with electric guitar on it, then let me emphasize that fact again! Indeed, the music on Stardust Memories is keyboard-based and with a title like that, such is, in a way, to be expected. However, keyboards can have very diverging sounds, and Mueller has used that capability of the keyboard to the max to give each of his tunes a undertone. Also, as mentioned in that previous review, the man has garnered influences from different music genres, and he is an expert at colouring his music slightly different each time. The title track, for instance, is a great example of Progressive Space Synth Rock. The ensuing “Metropolis On Mars” on the other hand, has a touch of late '70s Synth Disco, while “Toccatina” has a definite Baroque style, but is surprisingly played on organ! Great idea!

Great musician, this! And you can listen to all his albums (as well as one with Rachel's Birthday) at his own website (www.) least, I guess so, because I didn't check whether it were full-length audio bits there. What's for sure, is that you can download all the music, and whether that happens against a fee, is something I leave you to discover on your own! Meanwhile, I've found a new album to add to my “Best Albums Of 2013”-lists!