New Green/clear blue

Dan Hartman

Private Music 2032-2-P, 1989
Sigh of Relief ****
Romance ****
New Green/clear blue ***
The Swan ****
Beautiful Mist ***
Alpha Waves ***
Adrift in a Red Sky ***
Scaramanga ***
Soviet Nights **
Hope of No End ***
Home ***

composed by Hartman; ambient treatment on "The Swan" by Baumann
produced by Hartman

"The subconscious mind is a powerful world possessing experiences and feelings we do not necessarily recognize in our daily movements; but nonetheless they influence our entire lives. The tones and shades in this collection were performed live and intuitively for the purpose of opening channels by which the listener may visit their own subconscious." - Dan Hartman

Dan Hartman is better known as a dance producer, co-writing hits like Black Box's "Ride on Time" and working with Holly Johnson, but here is another side to Hartman. New Green/clear blue is ambient but not New Age, with a sense of unease to what should be relaxing. The result is melancholy, perhaps reminiscent of Vangelis' music for "Blade Runner", but with a more abstract use of sound. The choice of 'Cold War' titles like "Soviet Nights" and "Scaramanga" or the more general "Hope of No End" add to the foreboding. The result is worthy of attention in the opening piece, "Sigh of Relief".

Sadly, the rest of the album does not work as well as its beginning: some comes across as superfluous to me, although I am not generally an aficionado of the more ambient scene. Unlike pieces like "Romance" or "The Swan", later pieces may lack a sense of completeness or resolution. There is some use of repeating themes throughout the album, but you must be in the right mood to pick up on them.

Tangerine Dream's Peter Baumann guests, mixing "Scaramanga" and performing 'ambient treatment' on "The Swan". The results, however, are hard to distinguish from Hartman's own work. On the other hand, Hartman gives a distinct Tangerine Dream undercurrent to "Alpha Waves".

Henry Potts, 31 Mar 97

Originally posted to,,

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