Andrews, Mike

Mike Andrews is a musician located in Amsterdam (the Netherlands). He is unashamedly influenced by both Vangelis and Jean Michel Jarre.
Andrews, Mike
Mike Andrews - Chronicles 1999 - 2003 (MP3 CD)

Artists: Mike Andrews
P: 2003

Here all 7 complete albums of Mike Andrews on a MP 3 CD. With original autograph of the artist.

Here the last copy!

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Mike Andrews - Retrospective

Artists: Mike Andrews
P: 2002

It's perhaps tempting to not get too excited when another artist comes along who's output is unashamedly influenced by some of the past masters – in this case primarily (but not exclusively) Vangelis and Jarre. Mike Andrews heralds from the same stable so-to- speak as FIN who's Jarre-influenced material so impressed a year or so ago (an album by FIN is due out in the not too distant future). Indeed why would one of the tracks here be titled 'FINalism' if it were not meant to be a tribute to an artist who can recreate Jarre's sound so meticulously? The attraction of artists like FIN, and perhaps Can Atilla and Arcane to to name a few others, is that that their material excels far beyond pure mimicry. And on the evidence of this album Mike Andrews is another who captures every sound, nuance and spirit and packages it into one spellbinding hour of Entertainment – and the capital E is no accident. Opening with 'Science and Fiction' we are treated to Mike Andrews full repertoire in one track. From delicate piano, to wall-of-sound symphonic vistas, the V-man's sonic trademarks are displayed with rare mastery. This is a nine-minute piece and it is laden with choice moments, with perhaps the last section which recreates the closing titles of Bladerunner the real icing on the cake (yes there's plenty of material for sequence fans here too). It's a brilliant opener. 'Sound of Silence' is a flowing, soothing 3 minute interlude which shows that this artist can find his own stylistic path, then 'Paradox' explodes onto the scene and what another fantastic cut this is. The sequencing is top notch, opening with menacing syncopations it develops into a infectious romp of the highest caliber, with a nod towards Andy Pickford in 'Maelstrom' form.'Synthopia' is not the slickest title I've encountered and does the music an injustice in many ways – despite it's relatively short 4 mins you can't second guess this piece – shapeshifting between electronic speech to massive sweeping pads, with a few 'Oxygene' style ricocheting bullets and some massive drum lines thrown in for good measure. A heady brew indeed. 'Song of the Spirits' adopts a lighter but no less effective approach. The beautiful main theme is deceptively strong, and it brings to mind some of my early 90's favourites such as Waveform or David Arkenstone. 'Nikki's Theme' continues in very much the same vein, and again the melodics are very strong this time picked out with an excellent guitar voice that lends easy comparison with Oldfield. With titles like 'O2-2001 Part 1' & 'Part 2' it's not hard to guess what's coming next, however 'Part 1' still surprises courtesy of the expertise with which Jarre's melodic finesse is analysed, deconstructed and recomposed into a fascinating thematic cocktail. 'Part 2' then adds the sequential ingredient and the imagery is complete – and totally fantastic. Dave Law's twee filter would start twitching with the next track 'Aura' but again it's delightfully composed and acts as the perfect intro to the next piece 'Just a Love Song' which for many may well be the highlight – and in this case the title would not suggest in a million years that this is very reminiscent of Vangelis's 'Antarktis' – for me one of Vangelis's very finest works and dare I say it this may even improve on the original. I don't make that statement lightly, but you just have to hear this to believe it. 'Wind off a Butterfly's Wings' proves that the strength of this album lies not in the track titles, however musically this is another choice cut – unashamedly commercial with a piano melody underpinned with a punchy rhythm. At the mid point however the butterfly mutates into a dragon fly and tears off at an impressive pace with uptempo rhythmics and synth lines. 'FINalism' initially deceives by having little reference to Jarre, but a couple of minutes in the trademark sequencing emerges and again we have another cracking track. 'Atlantis' is another superb slow paced, infectious and epic slab of symphonic synthesis, 'Moodswing' plays on an insistent beat and latterly threatens to break out into sequential pyrotechnics – the only disappointment is that it quickly changes direction yet again! Finally 'Jonathan's Tears' rounds off the album on a suitably powerful and poignant note. As I hinted in the introduction, the thing I like about this album the most is the high entertainment factor, it isn't trying to be anything obtuse, different or deep. It presents EM both derivative and innovative in a very high quality package. It's easy to enjoy and best of all grows with each listen, proving that this is no shallow offering which will fade quickly. If you like Vangelis, Jarre, or basically EM you can hum along to, take with you to work ingrained in the mind, or even something you can put on in the car without sideways glances from your other half – this is for you. Can't wait for the next album. Totally fantastic. (GG)

 

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Mike Andrews - Time + Science

Artists: Mike Andrews
P: 2002
He consciously and unconsciously melds both these styles into his music though as his career progresses he is also developing something of a style of his own. His first 'proper' CD 'Retrospective' showed a highly impressive cross section of his work previously only available through the mp3 format. Here the tracks tend to lean towards the more powerful examples of his style though there are some more delicate numbers as well. All of Mike's work is highly melodic but it never gets twee. The leads either flash at you like lasers or work on an almost subliminal level going straight for the soul .Most of the tracks here are parts of a piece called 'Tides of Time' but with other tracks inserted here and there flowing as one continues whole. The scene setter 'Tides of Time (Intro)' is a beautiful relaxed way to start the album. A lovely dreamy lead line floats above windy effects and shimmering drones. A powerful lead melody surges from the speakers over vast pads and explosions. Its extremely exciting almost apocalyptic stuff. Another explosion takes us into 'Genesis' and the pace slows. A lovely little motif hangs in the air as more melodic detail is added here and there. A slow ominous rumbling loop starts up contrasting with lead touches. 'Part 2' is something of a floater but also intense as the sound is multi layered and very dense. 'Part 3' is simply stunning. A slow but purposeful rhythm grabs the attention over which an absolutely devastating lead line combines with an equally melodic sequence. There are relatively few good tunesmiths in EM but compared to any of them melodies just don't get any better than these. Its one of the most enjoyable tracks I have heard all year. 'Part 4' takes us to very 70s JMJ territory, especially in the melodic sequence department. The lead lines and all sort of other background detail are also dripping with Jarrisms. Its powerful but extremely enjoyable. Couldn't keep myself still to it. Wonderful stuff! 'Part 5' is quite a contrast. From spooky beginnings we move to a very Vangelis inspired lead line. There is a feeling of pent up power then a rapid roller coaster of a sequence spews from the speakers. Vast ominous pads accompany it, those spooky little effects still in the background. The mood is lightened completely for 'Fantasy'. This is as tender as the album gets. The melodies are just exquisite grabbing hold of the heart. Backing is provided by flutey synth and orchestral pads. It still has an immense epic feel to it however. Wordless vocal touches almost sing over the top as the mood becomes euphoric. I would think that John Dyson would have been proud to have composed it. Power and beauty in perfect harmony. 'Part 6' continues in a similar mood though initially it is much less dense consisting of solo piano. A sort of sawing bass sound is added giving it some attitude then little sequences are allowed to develop lower in the mix. Later in the track the piano disappears and the sequences and drums take over changing the mood completely as we motor forwards. 'Part 7' is initially a little like one of Jarre's moodier more atmospheric numbers but then another sequence / rhythmic combination takes over and we get into an extremely pleasant body moving groove. I have no idea why the next track is called 'Interstellar Jazzcafe' as it doesn't sound remotely jazzy - just more Jarre in every department. The sequence bounces forth combing with typical sonic touches and lead lines from 'Oxygene' or 'Equinoxe'. 'Part 8' has a mega 'overcooked' organ lead line out of which emerges a blistering sequence. 'Apocalypse' is appropriately titled and almost cinematic. Symphonic pads combine with an appropriate doom laden rhythm. A brighter sequence emerges in the fourth minute but the mood still remains intense ending with the sound of church bells. We finish with 'Part 9'. A slow sequence full of attitude accompanies more symphonic pads. Again the intensity of the lead lines is almost overpowering and as with some of the other tracks has a somewhat end of the world feel. As well as the two musicians already mentioned I think this album would also appeal to fans of Otarion and Andy Pickford as it is music which is both immense in scale as well as melodically superb.

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