THE MONUMENTS OF MARS
"Mark Dwane has established himself as one of the hottest and most prolific artists currently in the electronic-space music genre. On The Monuments Of Mars, Dwane takes the listener on a tour of Mars and introduces them to its cities, monuments,architecture and a highly advanced civilization. Dwane's approach to synthesizers is very different from others in that almost every sample and keyboard voice you hear is played or triggered by a MIDI guitar. This approach makes Dwane's music more expressive than most artists. The Monuments Of Mars is a breathtaking CD, full of powerful melodies, soaring anthemic themes, melodic rhythms and an overall fresh approach to electronic music composition." -- Houston WEST
"The cosmic appeal of this 1988 release is instantly obvious. Tonalities soar unhampered by atmospheric friction, harmonious riffs swell and unravel like sparkling lights in an always-dark sky. The presence of soft e-perc lends rhythm without earthiness to the pleasant tuneage, injecting lazy but compelling tempos to the electronic melodies. Mars is the focus of the instrumental music on this 39-minute CD, grounding the space music to closely examine the foreign geological formations of our curious planetary neighbor. The nature of sounds utilized by Dwane varies from the crystalline crispness of heavenly airs to the inspired heights of denser melodics. Although much of the music exudes a stately calm, elements of subtle dynamics scurry through the mix, accentuating riffs and focusing the music's emotional impact. This music may be ambient, but it also possesses strong compositional vibrancy. Delicate melodies assert themselves with understated power, contrasting aural textures with demonstrative ease." -- Matt Howarth / Space.com
"MONUMENTS OF MARS" is a classic work of super-sonic space music. From the dense waves of sound to the powerful currents of rhythm and deep resonant melodic themes, the entire production / conception is top notch. Add just the right mixture of spatial effects, literary cosmology and you have a great debut effort."-- Archie Patterson / EUROCK
"... The music not only has the exotic, visionary quality that so many people are looking for now, it actually conveys a sense of "place". The fact that everything but the percussion is MIDIed from guitar is astonishing, and contributes to the evocative and captivating immediacy of the music." -- Brian Earle, Clear Productions
"... I have seldom encountered a complete set of works such as "MONUMENTS", that has so enthralled me from the first time I heard it and failed to lose its intensity time after time. Discovering "MONUMENTS" is like finding a marvelous symphony in which every movement leaves the listener longing for more." -- Ken Keith, WCIN
"...Dwane vividly evokes an atmosphere of crumbling alien grandeur in these new-age instrumentals. A big, slow, timeless sound." -- Jim Aikin, Keyboard Magazine
"... Stunning work! Mark's compositions and personal style are completely original. Everybody, and I mean everybody that I know who has heard this album has been heartily impressed by it. You'll be too!" -- SYNTHESIS
ANGELS, ALIENS & ARCHETYPES
Back in the days of the New Age music heyday, I would tape Musical Starstreams' radio show while doing the church thing on Sunday mornings. I came home to find sometimes bland and boring selections or at other times gems. Well, one gem I got on tape was from Dwane's debut release, The Monuments Of Mars. What I heard was splendid and hear I sit now, years later reviewing Dwane's subsequent discography. I'm glad to say that Dwane hadn't lost any momentum or polish on Angels . . . and his signature sound is still present. This is rhythmic, electronic synth music on the same par as Tangerine Dream and the early solo works of Patrick O'Hearn. What I find very cool though is that Dwane does all of this myriad of soundforms through MIDI guitar! Percussion is R8 based. This is not snoozer ambient or introspective dronings but uplifting, lively, crystalline cathedrals of melody, beat, and the embellished gestalt of alien worlds. For the 6:07 piece, "Oracle" and the 3:30 "Lights In The Clouds", this disk is worth having. Each evoked an equally eerie effect. George "Star Wars" Lucas et al or Chris "X" files Carter of both need to hook up with Dwane for soundtrack work. It is hard to say more about this release other than this -- Dwane represents one of the best MIDI guitar composers and performers I have had the treat to discover. Strong recommendations. ~ John W. Patterson
"Angels, Aliens and Archetypes is a classic Mark Dwane CD from 1991. He recorded the entire album on MIDI guitar. And it is a classic space music set performed in the finest Berlin school tradition. The dense atmospheres, infinite loops and layers of sound are reminiscent - not derivative - of some of the legendary German electronicians like Manuel Gottsching, Edgar Froese and Klaus Schulze. But Mark is an American, hailing from Westlake, Ohio. And his style has unique traits of American e-music. Mark put strong feelings and deep spirituality into this album. That combination pays big dividend for deep listeners. That style was in its infancy in 1991. Mark, one of its progenitors, influenced a generation of electronicians. -- Jim Brenholts / Ambient Visions
"Do you ever get tired of space music that wanders around aimlessly and really never gets where it is going? Well, thank God there is Mark Dwane! Dwane continues his 'Sci-Fi' extravaganza in Angels, Aliens and Archetypes. Continued here is more of Dwane's powerful melodies and majestic themes. Dwane also lays down some hypnotic basslines and energetic rhythms that effortlessly glide you along from start to finish. Dwane's compositions show confidence as well as structure, there is a start and a finish. He never leaves you hanging which is nice because with the musical voyages Mark Dwane takes you on, you could never return without a team of astronomers in your hip pocket." -- Houston WEST
"Here, Dwane explores a tighter, more rhythmic sonic expression of his talent with this 1991 release. This time, the concept behind the instrumental music is one that draws comparisons between the extraterrestrial and the divine, finding archetypical parity in these cosmic mysteries in such pieces as 'Saucers over Nazca, ' 'Spirits of the Rainforest,' and 'Virtual Gods'. Although the main temperament is still ambient soundscapes, the use of recognizable guitar plays a more integral aspect amidst the sparkling electronic sounds. The application of up-tempo percussives adds a vivacious quality to the dreaminess, often resulting inrather dramatic passages. Shimmering tonalities share the sonic stage with urgent riffs and elegant crescendos. Dwane achieves a careful balance between power and calm, one that faces the sky with an open mind. The union of this strength and serenity can be felt in each textured note, as ethereal billows whirl into piercing expansions with comfortable ease. These compositions flaunt a sense of glory and wonder that is pleasantly gripping. The dynamics are tempered with restraint, producing 44 minutes of harmoniously glowing tuneage that is constantly hinting at outburst without ever losing perspective of the melody." -- Matt Howarth / Space.com
10 / 10 Highest Rating! -- CD Review
"A MIDI-Guitar is an oxymoron -- a self-contradictory device that allows a guitarist to trigger synthesizer modules and gain access to a palette of electronic sounds. In the words of ex-Police guitarist Andy Summers, it usually makes great guitarists sound like cheesy keyboardists. Mark Dwane tries to dispel that theory with "ANGELS, ALIENS & ARCHETYPES", on which his performance was played entirely on the synthesizer - guitar hybrid (with the exception of electronic percussion).
"Dwane sounds nothing like a guitarist. Instead he's a super-orchestra that careens through these energized compositions. His music is multilayered and interwoven like a Persian kaleidoscope, with already intricate patterns transmuted and shaded as they drive through powerful rhythms and heroic melodies. Dwane has clearly studied the teachings of the classic German sequencer school of music from Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, and Michael Hoenig. But rather than imitate, he's taken the next step on pieces such as "SAUCERS OVER NAZCA", which begins with a free-fall through a liquid prism before hurtling off into a percussive tribal dance. The title track is a monument of form and structure with churning, interlocked sequencers dancing in a mechanical ballet of counterpoint and polyrhythms. They, in turn, charge a heroic theme that reaches for the skies. Although "ANGELS, ALIENS & ARCHETYPES" maintains a flow on disc, each piece is like a different scene, from the joyous African percussives of "VIRTUAL GODS" to the horror film motifs of "LIGHTS IN THE CLOUDS", and the ominous grooves of "OBELISK" with its homage to Pink Floyd's pitch-bending whale cries from "Echoes".
"Mixing computer jargon, ancient mythology, and science fiction metaphors, this is the music of a cyberpunk dream -- "20 minutes into the future", to quote Max Headroom. Synthesizers make it easy for novices to create facile music and for veterans to coast on their reputations. While few offer the scope heard on "ANGELS, ALIENS & ARCHETYPES", after listening to Mark Dwane's compositions, you feel like you've really been somewhere." -- John Diliberto / ECHOES
"ANGELS, ALIENS & ARCHETYPES" conjures up images of ancient myths and civilizations, both terrestrial and extraterrestrial. Composed and performed entirely on the Midi-guitar, the music of Mark Dwane is as interesting and refreshing as the composer himself. The range of his ability and obvious mastery of technology is nothing short of breathtaking. I heartily recommend this finely crafted release by a genuinely sincere musical genius. -- Jeff Filbert / Music from the Global Village
"Spellbinding music created solely on the MIDI guitar, with some additional programmed percussion. Dwane's compositions are rich in imagery, effectively enabling you to conjure up the visions set forth in his electronic soundscapes. Witness "Virtual Gods", forceful and mighty in its tone, or pieces such as "Saucers Over Nazca", suggesting Steve Hillage's post-Gong work, and "Oracle", where Dwane establishes a mythic wall-of-sound and swirling electronics. The sheer range of tone colors and dynamics Dwane wrings out of his MIDI set-up is startling (no mushy new-age guitar music here!), and his soaring flights of fancy reveal a guitarist on equal rank with the best of his generation. -- Darren Bergstein / ie
THE ATLANTIS FACTOR
"On his last two discs, Mark Dwane introduced us to Mars and the extreme outer limits of space. With The Atlantis Factor, he takes us on a Jacques Cousteau styled voyage to gaze upon the lost city of Atlantis. Dwane continues his style from the previous two albums, however, with The Atlantis Factor one thing has changed, Mark Dwane now finds himself at the forefront of the space music genre. The Atlantis Factor contains warmth, grace, elegance, beauty and power. Dwane so vividly depicts the lost city with lush textures and mesmerizing melodies, leaving no stone unturned. Only a painter could offer a more detailed depiction. The Atlantis Factor contains the adventurous and 'no holds barred' originality that I hope will be found in 21st century space music." -- Houston WEST
"A neo-progressive rock quality dominates this 1993 release, as Dwane pursues the philosophy that Atlantis was the probable cradle of human civilization, aided by possible extraterrestrial dolphins and leonid creatures from Sirius. Dwane unites his emergent rhythmic sense with a quasi-symphonic ambience to produce 45 minutes of poignant and captivating instrumental music that seethes with aquatic and soaring aerial spirit. Joining the MIDI guitar driven electronics and languid e-perc, heavenly choirs and synthesized flutes attribute an edge of romantic fantasy to the cosmic airs. As the CD progresses, the listener is transported through this lost civilization's period of greatness with epic compositions of robust tranquillity and inspired melodies. So vivid is this music, one can clearly envision stately marble pillars with herculean seas lapping on forgotten shores. The melodies evoke grand crystals supplying incredible power and emotional focus for now-departed Atlanteans. This grandeur takes a dark and ominous turn near the conclusion of the CD, articulating Atlantis' downfall and dissolution with epic riffs tinged with an astral affinity. Just as this lost continent is a fixture of the humanracial consciousness, the impact of Dwane's music will not soon fade from your memory."-- Matt Howarth / Space.com
"THE ATLANTIS FACTOR" piqued my interest from the first note with it's mesmerizing harmonic structures, sparkling sounds, and enthralling polyrhythms. Drips and waves, seductive sirens, crystalline shafts of light ("THE FIRESTONE") and sonic echoes of swirling dolphins stimulate inner visions of mysterious and ancient civilization. The dark energies of Atlantis are expressed by music that sounds sawn and stretched beyond the comfort zone. The sky darkens and seagulls warn in "REIGN OF CHAOS" with voices like a Greek tragic choir leading into a pulsing swirl of ocean overcoming land. Finally, "ETERNAL ECHOES" floats abstract solo piano arpeggios against swirls and glitters of sound in a lyrical song of remembrance." -- Carol Wright, NAPRA Review
"... The Atlantis Factor is Mark's third release so far, as well as his best to date. Mark has stuck with the sounds and FX that made him so immensely popular right from the get-go with THE MONUMENTS OF MARS. And the increased use of rhythm and melodies on ANGELS, ALIENS & ARCHETYPES is carried forward here, too. Mark implements what worked so well on both previous albums along with fresh ideas culled from the subject matter he's tackling.
"All of the tracks on this CD refer to the lore surrounding the myth of the great island continent. Second song, "Chalidocean", is perhaps the best one because of its formidable compositional qualities, namely: a great melody and a nifty hook that'll stick in your mind and have you humming around the house. Because Chalidocean was the capital of Atlantis, Mark knew the song should be strong. If Chalidocean was the cornerstone to Atlantis, then "Chalidocean" should be the cornerstone of the album. Mark makes it so. The following piece, "The Firestone", is a spacy, mellow track yet it resounds with mysterious power, just as the firestone (the giant crystal which supplied power to all Atlantis) did. In "The Reign Of Chaos", Mark musically depicts the fall of Atlantis. Its first few minutes are serene and melodic until a thundering chorus of foreboding voices crashes in, disturbing the "normal" rhythms. Dolphin calls (used throughout the CD) become high pitched as if agitated, heavy percussion / drumming represent the ensuing chaos and impending doom, and, finally, we hear the rumble of Atlantis slowly sinking into its watery grave.
"No sinking into a watery grave for Mark, thank you very much, due to much deserved popular and critical acclaim, which has him comfortably buoyed upon the potentially treacherous Seas of Electronic Music." -- Jason Marcewicz, SYNTHESIS
"... This dynamic, creative album was performed entirely (save the drums) on MIDI guitar. Thematically it's of particular interest, as Mark uses all of the pieces to evoke the long-lost realm of Atlantis, in her glory and downfall.
"Age Of Order" is a hard driven exposition, rhythmic plucked strings and swelling string sounds being pushed along by explosive percussion. "Chaldeocean", which was the capital city of Atlantis, has a jazz-rock feel, with bass and drums and sparse voices, flute, strings and guitar riding along. "The Firestone" thunderously evokes the mysterious vibrations of the giant crystal said to power the land. As a nice counterpoint, "Song Of The Dolphin" gives us a oceanically peaceful glimpse into an underwater realm, with strings, glissandos of harp, and serene high echoes of warm flute-like tones. Droning, brooding "Dark Energies" portrays the ominous signs and portents of impending cataclysm. The sky darkens and seagulls warn in "Reign Of Chaos", becoming alarming, with voices like a Greek tragic choir leading into a pulsing swirl of ocean overcoming land. Finally, "Eternal Echoes" of waves wash over us as strings and a piano sound a melancholy and lyrical song of remembrance.
"Dwane offers us his vivid, imaginative and deft interpretation of the ...legend? ... ancient history? You decide. Great for mind pictures, visioning & its vital electronic rock sensibilities." -- Don St. Clair, Heartsong Review
"For this 39-minute release from 1995, Dwane's focus shifts to comparisons between ancient themes and mysterious tomorrows. Contrasting Eastern sensibilities with modern riffs, Dwane generates a comfortable fusion, resulting in a tasty electronic flow injected with drama and surging waves of soft tempo. The bell-tones and wheezing keyboard rolls (all done on a MIDI guitar, remember) swim with similarly ethereal tones. These relaxing sonic waters are stirred by the luxurious percussions (all produced on Roland keyboards) that charge the tuneage with a soft and inspirational vigor. There are even a few passages that possess a recognizable guitar sound. Dwane's music walks a fine line between new age and ambient auralscapes. His music is often too grandiose to be new age, while possessing too much overt melody to remain unintrusive. Not unlike an evening thunderstorm, this music seems to fill the sky, refreshing the air with cleansing pulsations. Discharges of an electrical nature are subdued, transforming a distant rumble into satiny textures of closer proximity." -- Matt Howarth / Space.com
"Paradigm Shift is my fourth release. A paradigm is something serving as an example of how things should be done. I have rendered some abstract musical interpretations of this concept to correlate with subject matter that I feel could be considered relevant. Musically, this album has longer, more sensual compositions, and I feel it to be the most sophisticated body of work I have produced to date." -- Mark Dwane
"...On his fourth solo album, Mark Dwane continues the expansive synthesizer orchestrations that have gained him a strong cult following. Using a MIDI-guitar, rather than a keyboard, the Ohio- based composer's music has a spontaneous drive while maintaining the symphonic sensibilities of Vangelis. Dwane is creating truly modern music, born of technology and draped around imagery of possible futures and past mythologies. Unlike many of his contemporaries who are moving into texture music, Dwane maintains a strong melodic and rhythmic sensibility with detailed arrangements and original timbral designs." -- John Diliberto, Billboard
"...Conjuring up very melodic, symphonic sounding, beat driven synth-scapes, composer, Mark Dwane has produced perhaps his greatest recording yet. Comparable in scope and depth to some of the early '80's futuristic music from Patrick O'Hearn and Group 87, Dwane's appealing fourth solo album consists of dynamic, keyboard-like New Age soundscapes produced entirely on MIDI- Guitar. The metaphysical cover art gives an appropriate indication about the sonic wonders inside. For fans of synth masters like Jarre or Vangelis, PARADIGM SHIFT will surely be one of their most rewarding spins of 1996. All of Dwane's out-of- sight instrumental albums have garnered much critical acclaim for their state of the art and cosmic listening experiences." -- Robert Silverstein, Time And A Word
"...Arguably his finest album to date. As with so many new releases recently the opening title track grabs your attention immediately, an astonishing mass of power and sound achieved only through the use of MIDI-Guitar. The music simply sweeps and soars until we reach track 4, "The Pleiadian Paradigm", with its cold, glassy effects - mysterious and ethereal. The final two tracks are rich and luscious-sounding with some great guitar chords on "Paragons Of Light". It is truly wonderful to hear a musician get such a variation of sound. In a recent interview Mark Dwane said that he considers that this release is his most sophisticated body of work to date and it is difficult to argue with him - highly recommended." -- Bill Forbes, Midas Music-U.K.
"...Mark Dwane has a real touch for romantic space music with killer backbeats. His previous release, THE ATLANTIS FACTOR, was a mainstay on my carousel for I don't know how long. PARADIGM SHIFT delivers more of the same relaxed, cool space music that drifts out of the hi-fi with all the assurance of a finely tuned sports car." -- David Spalding, Korova Multimedia
"This signed, numbered limited edition is Mark's fifth and most ambitious release. It is the culmination of three years of studio work and, after a couple of careful listens stands out as his best to date. Incredibly strong compositions and well developed tracks of varying tempos retain his recognizable sound while adding new dimensions too. Mark generates all of his sounds through MIDI Guitar and he captures sci-fi space music and cruiser rocket styles like no other. These treasures are well worth it." -- Lloyd Barde / Backroads Music
"Imagery and imagination have much to do with absorbing the surrealistic soundscapes and inner/outer space journeys of Mark Dwane. He customarily hints at the inspiration behind his albums via song and album titles, liner notes and artwork. THE NEFILIM is no exception in this regard, cast by liner note excerpts from Breaking The Godspell by Neil Freer, in which Freer discusses the theory of humankind's evolution through extraterrestrial gene splicing. From that impressionistic launching pad we're treated to Dwane's alternately mysterious, awe-inspiring and playfully relaxing works of aural cinematography. Dwane does it all on MIDI Guitar. These multi-voiced compositions can assume a symphonic quality with little in way of overt melodic themes, though harmonic nuances abound. With titles like Lifeforms, Synthetic Species, and Genetic Drift, you know you're in for a musical trip to that little corner of your mind where old X-Files episodes happily reside in repeat mode." -- John Collinge / Progression Magazine
"With this 1998 release (a 47 minute-long Limited Edition CD), Dwane examines the concept of the origins of human intellect as a result of extraterrestrial intervention. The emphasis here, though, is not upon that actual intervention. Dwane focuses his instrumental expressions on the aspect that our species has evolved to a technological standpoint of near equality with these extraterrestrial "gods" (or Nefilim). Human consciousness has reached a stage where our own accomplishments rival those of our alien progenitors, transforming ourselves into the new Nefilim. Consisting of powerful yet gentle melodies, this electronic music stimulates the mind with subtle effect, prompting a restfulness that recharges the listener's own creative juices. The electronics moan and sweep with emotional content, boosting the listener's spirits in celebration of this scientific evolution. Soothing E-perc adds a suitably relaxed tempo to the tuneage, keeping the percussives as accompaniment rather than a driving force. There is profuse use of quasi-harp tones which lend a lighthearted heavenly quality to the harmonics. The frequent presence of wind as a bridge between songs enhances that heavenly aspect, firmly establishing the performing stage on majestic cloudbanks. Dwane's compelling compositions filter through these lofty mists like the radiant beams of a glorious sunrise, dosing the landscape with benign riffs and shrewd rhythms. The dominant factor in this music is the resultant sense of awe, delivered to the listener with each chord and sustained note." -- Matt Howarth / Space.com
"Mark Dwane is one musician whose style is uniquely his own. He performs entirely on MIDI guitar, which is capable of producing sounds that are comparable to what you get with a synthesizer. Finally, Mark Dwane appears to have reached perfection. THE NEFILIM is an outstanding release with absolutely no weak spots. The MIDI guitarist strikes again! Very solid work." -- Wind And Wire
"Mark Dwane finally returns with a new CD and it picks up where PARADIGM SHIFT left off. Basing most of his music around his guitar synthesizer, Dwane unleashes arcing skyscraper melodies and elaborate orchestrations. THE NEFILIM are supposedly an alien race who populated the earth. This is a Limited Edition CD of only 3000. So get your copy soon of one of the Top 10 Essential Echodiscs of 1998." -- Echoes
"Solo space music acts are proliferating left and right on this shore and in Europe due in part to the availability of cheap keyboards and affordable recording technology. It's also a way for composers to quickly get down their work and sculpt a piece which sometimes may retain value in of itself. In contrast, regional artists are given independence and propensity for creating valid statements often alone and unaccompanied which stand up to any major label efforts. Mark Dwane is NOT the former of these trends, which I am happy to relate. THE NEFILIM is his fifth disc in a critically acclaimed catalog rooted in space, scientific, and Mythological related themes. Dwane has created six warm, textural representations of a god-like race within a MIDI framework, which holds your attention span and also evokes images of exotic foreign frontiers. The composer is an avowed guitarist who uses a combination of guitar triggered setups together with an array of modern synths to build memorable lush motifs. Dwane has a keen ear toward use of dynamics and melody, which he has been refining across his four previous works. At times the disc sounds like a very good soundtrack accompaniment to a quality sci-fi program like Babylon 5 (which does not mean it's cheesy). On the opening track, The Genesis Engram, the guitarist uses a mournful MIDI lead across swelling choir settings to create a sense of desperation or longingness. The disc would find a welcome home on the German label ErdenKlang." -- Expose Magazine
"Archives is a set of outtakes, alternate mixes and reworked versions from the vaults in Westlake, Ohio. Mark Dwane - the MIDI-guitarist's MIDI-guitarist - composed and performed these pieces from 1984 through 1995. It is a limited edition (500 copies) release. This CD features all the good things that listeners expect from synth guitar ambience - and then some! Mark's very dramatic style grabs listeners right away. There are no subtleties here. This music 'whacks listeners up side the head' like a two by four. It is not a painful experience at all. Deep listeners will feel the drifting effects as they enter a semi-conscious journey. The journey goes to different zones as Mark takes a retrospective and introspective tour of his brilliant career. This is more essential space music from a master of the craft. It has both historical and musical integrity." -- Jim Brenholts / Ambient Visions
"This [is] a superb collection of previously unreleased works and alternate mixes by Dwane. It's a collector's item, limited-edition CD-R, not available in stores. Only 500 have been burned; each being numbered and personally signed by Mark. Dwane has updated, extended, re-worked, and refined the best tracks collected out of his earlier MIDI guitar releases. I enjoyed this CD-R a great deal and it is worth grabbing as a good representative taste of the Dwane soundworld. He does amazing things with a guitar! In fact, you will rarely think a guitar is being used but that Tangerine Dream or Vangelis were all in the mix! I was especially happy when chatting with Dwane, before receiving this release, suggesting he extend certain songs from The Monuments of Mars, when he informed me Archives indeed had already included an extended version of TMoM's 'Eternity.' I wished he'd extended that track to about 10 or 15 minutes but I'll take even five minutes of eternity of the 'Dwane-man'. Recommended head-trip!" -- John W. Patterson
"Armed with his MIDI and electro-acoustic guitars, Dwane continues to explore the mysterious cosmos with such instrumental tracks as 'Forbidden Archeology,' 'Underwater Stargates,' and 'Hyperdimensional.' With an ambient basis of drifting atmospherics drenched with astral sensibilities, Dwane adds sedate percussives and sultry baselines to enhance his unearthly guitar. The latter instrument acts as an interface for a plethora of sounds, eerily and pensively creating a wondrous skyscape of dreamy melodies that capture even the shallowest imagination. But fear not, the presence of guitar can be heard in its traditional format too, with delicate chords wafting through the electronic mists, adding a touch of western mystery to the cosmic enigmas. The versatility of Dwane's music is exhibited in the arabesque strains in 'Under the Sphinx' and the lazily-funky rhythms in 'Geoglyphs.' The common element throughout this tuneage is a sense-of-wonder directed at the unknowable dilemmas that permeate space and time. Avoiding typical 'spacey noises,' Dwane generates a celestial mood with airy tones and sustains that echo forever in the listener's mind. This music possesses the distinction of fusing ambience with a degree of pep that refuses to conquer the mix, preferring instead to nudge the tempo into lively-but-dreamlike passages. The result is an engaging sonic experience that entertains while stimula ting the intellect. Three of the songs on this 48 minute CD from 2001, feature lush vocals supplied by Michelle Nader." -- Matt Howarth / Sonic Curiosity
"While bearing some unmistakable familiar musical touches from his previous albums, midi-guitarist Mark Dwane also manages to stand his earlier recorded work somewhat on end with his latest release, Planetary Mysteries, which is also both his first collaborative effort and his first use of true vocals. Joining Mark on the CD is Michelle Nader who has an appropriately otherworldly (via an almost omnipresent echo effect) voice but also a sensuous one as well. Who knew spacemusic could be sexy and also rock the cosmic house? Well, on this CD, it does - and then some!
"Now, before long-time Dwane fans get their cosmic undies in a bundle, not every cut has vocals on it, but even the vocal tracks are way cool, in my opinion. As I stated, Michelle's in fine voice and her talents begin on the opening track, 'Forbidden Archeology,' although there are only wordless vocalizings on this song. The cut sounds a little like Robyn Miller's soundtrack to Riven, as Dwane blends cascading bell-trees, swirling lower register washes, and muted guitar buzz-sawings with Nader's haunting and soaring chants. It's way cool for an album beginning!
"Erupting with exotic percussive effects, snaky midi-synths, and patented Dwane synth-choral effects, 'Under the Sphinx,' is moody, mysterious, and rocking in a mid-tempo vein. Using his midi-guitar like a violin, the cut veers into a sensual Middle Eastern/Ancient Egyptian sonic landscape. The first out-and-out vocal cut is next up. 'Planetary Energy' has a percolating mid-tempo rhythm, clear-as-a cosmic bell guitar work, thumping bass, and Michelle's soaring voice, singing lyrics like 'Silent structures/Ruins of time/Web of power/Intricate design.' Part of the lyrics on this cut are 'spoken' instead of sung, which I didn't mind at all since the accompanying music fits the mood so well.
"Now, obviously, the lyrics on this album (all by Dwane) are gonna be somewhat new agey/SF-oriented - but if you have followed Mark's recording career so far, what would you expect? After all, his albums have titles like The Monuments of Mars, Angels, Aliens and Archetypes, and The Atlantis Factor. Will you 'buy into' these lyrics? I dunno. I do, but that's me. I've always been interested in the paranormal to some degree and I definitely am a believer in UFOs. But if it all strikes you as or weird, well, so what? There's great music on this CD - just tune out the words, man!
"As I wrote earlier, compared to some earlier releases, Planetary Mysteries has more of a 'rock' sound than previous Dwane efforts, owing both to the rhythms and the more overt guitar elements on some tracks. 'Underwater Stargates' is a good example. It's another straight-ahead vocal track, and another good one. Michelle's echoed voice has a haunting quality early on (later she really lets it fly!), while Mark's lush strings and his plaintive strummed electric guitar combine to make this a 'space ballad' of sorts. When the (very earthly sounding) drums and bass kick in, the song slides comfortably over to a variant of prog rock. Maybe not as spacy as some fans would like, but there are still cool synths flying hither and thither among the chords and drums.
"Of the final three cuts, two more are instrumental and I like them both a lot. 'Geoglyphs' has a loping relaxed rhythm along with traditional sounding guitar as well as quavering synth choruses and other spacy textures, while 'Memory Alpha' is probably the closest to what most fans would consider 'true' spacemusic. Jeff Pearce-like guitar washes and midi-piano make this track the most serene one on the CD (maybe the only song that could truly be labeled as such, actually).
"I don't honestly know how Planetary Mysteries will play out with Mark Dwane's fans. Spacemusic and ambient fans can be notoriously fickle and some of them just hate vocals. Personally, I gotta congratulate Mark for striking out in some new directions. The more I play this album, the more I like it. At first when I heard it, I thought, 'What the hell?' But by the third listen, I started digging the abundant energy, catchy melodies, myriad cool midi-effects, and spotless production/engineering (this baby sounds FINE). Michelle and Mark make a great team and if this isn't what most would label as 'spacemusic' - well, whatever you call it, it sounds pretty damn good to me." -- Bill Binkelman / WIND and WIRE
"Planetary Mysteries is a set of mysterious deep space music from MIDI-guitarist Mark Dwane. Mark stepped up the ante on this disc. In addition to his customary guitar synthesizers, he uses 'electro-acoustic' guitars. And, an incredible female vocalist - Michelle Nader - adds some wide atmospheres to the proceedings. Her vocal stylings add another instrument to Mark's repertoire. It is crisp and almost staccato and the perfect accompaniment to Mark's deep spacescapes. Some of the vocals are wordless and others are terse poetry. Michelle's energy adds style and grace.
"Of course, it is not as if Mark needed more style and grace. His compositions have always teemed with both. But this set has exponential qualities. Michelle's energy energized Mark. His extra energy took Michelle up a notch. That, in turn, raised Mark to the next level, and so on. It became an infinite loop of emotion, Karma and tantric and holistic vibes. Mark's intuitive ability to compose and perform sci-fi mysteries and spacescapes has never been sharper. This is essential space ambience!" -- Jim Brenholts / Ambient Visions
"This is the first album of brand new music by Mark Dwane since 1998's limited edition CD The Nefilim. As with all of Mark's releases, he bases his inspiration on such esoteric subjects as possible alien life on Mars, the ever-mystical kingdom of Atlantis, and other thought provoking mysteries of planet Earth and beyond. Planetary Mysteries is no different and with such song titles as 'Under The Sphinx' and 'Planetary Energy' helping to engage the listener in a mystical sound environment that is both thrilling and reflective at the same time. A first for a Mark Dwane album is that there are some female vocals by Michelle Nader that appear on some of the tracks who happens to possess a distinct and powerful voice which adds a nice contrast to the album.
"'Forbidden Archeology' opens the album in a typical scene setting fashion, Michelle Nader's voice adding an atmospheric chanting overlaid with Mark's underlying MIDI guitar electronics which he lets bubble under the surface before the album gets into its stride, before 'Under The Sphinx' takes the center stage. A rhythmic sequence is immediately established before an Egyptian sounding melody is played along with the more upbeat and sharp electronics.
"Now 'Planetary Energy' could be described as the single of this album and showcases Michelle Nader's vocal talents to the fore. A very melodic collage of dynamic electronics combined with a song that is both catchy and memorable. This is a song that showcases Mark's deft ear for a strong melodic composition that appeals very much. Following this we have 'Underwater Stargates' and judging by the cover notes a Stargate is a UFO guiding place, a bit like a beacon if you like. In some ways this track is a bit like the previous but maybe a bit more laid back but none the less still a good track. 'Geoglyphs' is a mid-tempo piece of classic Dwane music, very melodic and relaxed.
"Things pick up-tempo slightly with 'Hyperdimensional' and the vocals are back, to entice the listener once more. Mark's use of his main instrumentation -- the MIDI guitar -- is generally well known. For those who do not know, there are no keyboards used on his electronic releases at all; it is all done with MIDI guitar, and very impressive and formidable the results are. It is not all electronic though as Mark includes in his palette of sounds some electro-acoustic guitars, which gives an added presence of interest. The last track 'Memory Alpha' brings the album to a close in a sedate relaxed way. Space piano type sounds mix with gliding mellow electronic refrains that bring the listener down from the power of what has gone before.
"Planetary Mysteries combines the best elements of Mark Dwanes music as well as his interests in all things mysterious that involve planet Earth. These interests show themselves admirably through his music and once you hear Planetary Mysteries, you will feel like you have really gone somewhere. Highly recommended." -- Gary Andrews / Ambient Visions
THE SIRIUS LINK
"Mark Dwane's midi-guitar music continues to evolve in a more progressive fusion direction on his latest recording, The Sirius Link. As on Planetary Mysteries (his previous release), some tracks stray far from the Ohio-based artist's spacemusic past, here integrating more aggressive rhythms and using his guitar in more conventional (relatively speaking) ways. The resulting music is high-energy, propulsive and both immensely and immediately listenable. I'd rank this as one of the best driving CDs of this year, easily. Between soaring midi-synths (controlled via the artist's guitars), electro-organic percussion beats as well as conventional drum kit work, lots of assorted spacy textures and effects, and perhaps the best outright guitar playing of Dwane's career so far, The Sirius Link, if it is given half a chance, could be this artist's breakthrough recording to a much broader audience.
"The title track wastes little time exploding onto the scene (after a brief sweep of synth wind intro), featuring patented Dwane MIDI arpeggios, dramatic chorale effects, cosmic synth work, and a great lead melody that soars and dips. When the hand drums come thundering in, it's like a wave of energy and rhythm sweep over the track and it just keeps building until all the elements coalesce to perfection. In contrast, 'Lion People' introduces what will be a dominant part of the remainder of this album, a particular style of guitar playing that closely parallels the same sound as New Age/Smooth Jazz artist Craig Chaquico (the guitar has that same shining/sparkling sonic characteristic). However, unlike Chaquico's smooth urban adult contemporary music, Dwane takes his guitar into a land of alien-ish sound effects, lush synth chorales, kinetic percussion treatments, and melodies that are anything but pedestrian. I really like this move for Dwane, which I would categorize as a hybrid of spacemusic and prog fusion, bringing the best of both genres to the table and yielding superb results from engineering, production, and compositional standpoints.
"Not everything on the album is uptempo and high energy. 'The Mists of Uncertainty' features echoed piano and multiple layers of MIDI-synths that billow like wind-blown sails on a cosmic sea. Likewise, the closing cut, 'Binary Star,' is another drifting ambient-like selection, this one tinted with more overt spacemusic atmospheres and a sweeping sense of drama from floating washes and assorted background effects.
"There are four outstanding rhythmic tracks featuring trap kit and hand drums, progressive guitar and lots of tasty MIDI-synthesizers adding all kinds of melodic touches here and there. What snagged me on this recording was how catchy the music was without being too slick, commercial, or predictable. 'Stellar Presence' is anchored by nice thick bass rhythms while the guitar on 'Cosmological' sounds so much like Chaquico's work on his signature songs like 'Acoustic Highway' that if it weren't for the absence of anything approaching Smooth Jazz elements, you might be hard-pressed to tell this was Mark Dwane instead. Make no mistake, though, this is all Dwane. I only draw this comparison for the sake of describing the sound of the guitar, not the music itself. Dwane's compositions are every bit as accessible as Chaquico's, but are much more intriguing and densely layered, not to mention void of any jazzy underpinings. 'Quantum Leap' blends guitar with other Dwane MIDI-effects in a low key fashion, trading in the trap kit drums for hand drums.
"I don't know what the Mark Dwane fans who preferred The Monuments of Mars or similar earlier recordings will think of The Sirius Link (probably, they'll have the same reaction they had to Planetary Mysteries, although there are only a few wordless vocals on this album, as opposed to the real vocals on some tracks on P.M.). Myself, I love The Sirius Link, period. It's refreshingly short (about 47 minutes long) which for me is always a plus, the CD sounds like a million bucks in every respect, and features music that both kicks ass and soars the cosmic seas at the same time. How cool is that? Highly recommended!" -- Bill Binkelman/ Wind and Wire
"This time, Dwane adds electro-acoustic guitars to his repertoire of MIDI guitar, increasing the range of his sonic palette by counterpointing the synthetic with traditional resonance. Resisting the urge to indulge in space guitar, Dwane crafts his chords from a different vantage that is rooted in a classical temperament, resulting in a refreshing, unique sound for his harmonious inventions.
"Delicate strumming coexists with searing strings, a compendium that spawns a tasty atmosphere for the MIDI expressions that unfurl in a variety of sonic directions. Expansion is effortlessly accomplished, sending the listener to lofty heights. There, the intricate harmonics meld to form pleasant melodies riddled with a soft tension and a strong sense of cerebral illumination. Chilling winds caress the tuneage, evoking a crispness that fits well with the crystalline qualities exhibited by the music's overall demeanor. A sweeping perspective of the interstellar void as an emotional medium is captured, codified, and presented for the audience's enjoyment.
"Artificially induced percussives inject a stately vigor to these drifting melodies, a bounciness that is wholly appealing.
"Non-lyrical vocals are utilized few times to humanize the spacey music.
"Middle Eastern strains are present in some of this tuneage, tempering astral predilections with earthly influences. This generates a cosmic link between antediluvian cultures and outer space, a favorite topic for Dwane's engaging compositions.
"Enthralling and rewarding, this release explores sonic vistas that escalate ambience to a state of congenial stamina. -- Matt Howarth/ Sonic Curiosity
"What I love about the music that is covered on Ambient Visions is the diversity of what comes in to my PO Box and how great some of the music turns out to be. Though the name of the site has the word ambient in it I like to think that AV is open to many other types of instrumental music as well. Mark Dwane's CD 2012 is one of those albums that I liked from the first and have grown fonder of with repeated listenings as each time through the songs shows me different aspects of the music or of the atmospheres that Mark was able to create with this release. Mark is a fellow Ohioan who has been making music since 1988 on guitar and midi-synths ever since. This project was composed, performed and produced by Mark so his touch can be felt throughout the music and that touch shows a skillful hand indeed.
"One of my favorite songs on the CD is Codex (track 6) which begins with a simple repeated sequence and the sound of rain in the background. It builds ever so slowly and adds other instrumentation to augment the very basic pattern that has been repeating to this point. The synth is added to give it a smoother feel and then a more direct keyboard sound that still does not overpower the other elements of the song but rather joins them in creating a more complex palette of sounds to hold the listener's attention. Mark does not stop there with this song as about at the 4:30 point in the song drums are added to bring the song up to another level entirely. Mark never lets the drums overpower the basic vision of the song but rather lets them act to tie the entire song together with a more vivid feel that offers a climatic point to the music before drifting back down to the basic rhythm again and ending with just the repeating sequence and the rain. This song is very well done and it shows all too clearly that Mark is able to craft music that is effectively able to harmonize the dramatic and the subtle elements of his music into single compositions with great effect.
"That is not to say that all of Mark's music will be as subtle as Codex because another of my favorite tracks on this CD is Skywatchers which is the second song on 2012. This song jumps right out at you with a very catchy rhythm right from the start. From there it very quickly escalates into synths, an acoustic guitar and finally into a soaring electric guitar solo that rises above the other instrumentations to take the spotlight. This song is another great piece of work by Mark and really shows off his capable guitar playing and his production expertise as he weaves the instrumentation into an impressive final mix.
"As you may have guessed by the description many times Mark's music has more of a prog-rock feel to it than an ambient vibe. This is not a bad thing but a good thing. There are ambient and space elements in Mark's music below the surface or even a little more obvious than that but there are also very dramatic elements of prog-rock as well. 2012 consists of 7 songs that are all varying degrees of those elements. The Sacred Tree is a little more laid back with an acoustic guitar guiding you through the landscape along with some voices and processed bird sounds that are interspersed in the music to embellish the mellow feelings that the song generates in the listener. This song has a steady rhythm but nothing that really dominates the song. It is simply there to act as the canvas upon which the other elements of the song are painted on by Mark.
"Overall 2012 is a very enjoyable album and each song is an accomplishment in and of itself but when brought together into a single CD it takes the listener on a conceptual journey through the landscapes that Mark has skillfully created on this project. His storytelling is filled with elements that run the gamut from gentle and comforting to pulsing and soaring. There is an ebb and flow to the music that washes over the listener with dramatic elements and then eases back to more relaxing elements that caress and soothe the listener on their journey. I found that repeated listenings only enhanced how I felt about the music and added to my enjoyment of what Mark had created on 2012. With this release the listener will find a great CD filled with thoughtful, progressive and textured songs that will be sure to please anyone with a taste for music that showcases such a wide range of qualities. AV recommended CD." -- Michael Foster / Ambient Visions
"This release from 2007 offers 46 minutes of dreamy electronic music.
"Lavish tonalities gather with dramatic intent, providing a dreamy foundation for Dwane's central themes and delicate embellishment. These airy passages establish a lush backdrop for Dwane's sultry guitarwork.
"Guitars (MIDI and conventional electric axes) supply a host of ethereal sounds that undulate and pulsate in the tuneage. Nimble fingers generate riffs of sparkling character, from strummed chords to ricocheting melodies to searing pyrotechnics, all combining in a slick mix to form beautiful melodies that seethe with vitality and spiritual potency. Harmonic elements blend with energetic melodies to generate sensuous tuneage that touches the soul with the same power that it stimulates the mind. The riffs intertwine and cavort with a relaxed vibrancy that achieves a heart-stirring cadence.
"There's some percussion, but many of the rhythms are created through guitar patterns that bounce with lively tempos. What e-perc there is resounds with soft impacts which somehow blaze with major passion despite their gentle presence.
"The compositions exhibit immense humanity with melodies that combine an atmospheric quality with a distinct strength. This fusion of vigor and dreaminess is quite remarkable and thoroughly satisfying. While inducing introspection and leisure, the tunes are equally capable of stimulating expansive elation and thrilling exultation." -- Matt Howarth / Sonic Curiosity
"Mark Dwane started playing spacemusic on guitar and (guitar) midi- synth in 1988 (The Monuments of Mars). 2012 is the next step in his evolution towards a more progressive fusion sound (a movement begun in earnest on Planetary Mysteries and continued on The Sirius Link. Dwane's albums are always steeped in either science fiction or mythological influences and this one is no exception, drawing its title from the Mayan culture and featuring titles that pertain to it. While some trademark musical elements from previous Dwane recordings are present (e.g. the chorals, crescendos, arpeggios and soaring synths on the opening title track), other parts of the album reflect a prog rock/jazz fusion influence laced with ambient/electronica textures. As is usual for Dwane, 2012 is filled with complex, propulsive, energizing and imaginative music recorded with sterling production values and textbook engineering.
"'Skywatchers' weds strummed guitars sparkling with chromium sheen, wailing tones and sequenced thumping rhythms. The emergence of stinging lead electric guitar and trap kit drums moves the piece into aggressive prog rock territory. At the start, 'Baktun Cycle' crackles with a thunderclap and moves briskly forward with midtempo sampled hand percussion and a variety of lead and rhythm guitars, along with background chorals and spacy waves of melody. Decidedly different, 'The Sacred Tree'features bird calls, some of which are altered to have a slightly alien-ish quality to them, slow measured tribal beats, what sounds like a wooden bass flute and some gentler world-fusion influenced guitar. 'The End of Time' has an ambient/spacemusic prologue of haunting male and female chorals set against a backdrop of pealing electric lead guitar, nicely echoed for an added eerie effect. When the rhythms are folded in, they are of a tribal fusion variety, not unlike those heard on recordings from Kudzu or perhaps Archetribe. The music ramps up the energy but not to an overpowering degree so that the mood stays mysterious and intense. Likewise, 'Codex' starts off quietly with falling rain and a repeating refrain on a shimmering harpsichord and synth. Trademark melodic textures are eased into the song as well as forceful piano. At about the half-way point (four and half minutes), trap kit drums pound out the midtempo rhythm and a new instrumental sound takes over the lead, before eventually submerging and leaving behind the opening instrumentation amidst the sound of rain again. 'Ascension' closes the album with the most overt prog-rock sound yet, anchored by lighting flashes of power chords and soaring leads, acoustic rhythm guitar and snare/bass drum beats. While slow in tempo, this may be the hardest Dwane has rocked. Had he placed this song anywhere but last on the album, I might've taken issue with the song itself. However, with its celebratory mood (note the song title) long fadeout and as the closing cut, I can't fault the artist, even though my personal taste runs toward the softer tracks on this CD.
"In some ways, the more powerful guitar chops and aggressive musical and rhythmic stylings of 2012 may actually increase Mark Dwane's audience, provided prog and fusion fans find out about it (hello, reviewers at Exposé magazine, are you listening?). Dwane's music has always contained dramatic and rhythmic elements (check out tracks like "Solstice Ritual" on The Monuments of Mars), but 2012 explores less spacy landscapes in favor of a blend of the accessible with the exotic. Solidly recommended for progressive fusion fans and those who like to crank their music up (which is what this release deserves)." -- Bill Binkelman / New Age Reporter
"Mark Dwane is a musician with a penchant for mystical, mythical and science fiction imagery. His second album was Angels, Aliens and Archetypes, The Atlantis Factor was a tone poem to the mythical lost city, and on The Nefilim he rendered an electro-symphony for an alien race of angels that seeded the gene pool of earth. Now, 2012 takes its title from the Mayan calendar, and the year that marks the end of the 12th Baktun, a cycle about 400 years long.
"From his first CD, 1988's The Monuments of Mars, Dwane has wed this imagery with a cinematic music that paints the sky in electronic colors and drives the grooves with interlocking sequencers and percussion. Dwane stands apart from most electronic musicians because he's not a laptop jockey or keyboard player. He's primarily a guitar player and his songs are built around electric and acoustic guitars, and most notably, his MIDI-guitar or guitar synthesizer. He uses this device to bring an orchestra of sounds to his strings.
"'Skywatchers' is quintessential Mark Dwane, with a surging, filtered electronic rhythm sequence demarcated by strumming acoustic guitar and topped by swelling string-like synthesizers and some of Mark's own patented sounds like an echoing glissando trumpet choir. While many electronic musicians have given up the art of the solo, Mark Dwane whips it out, with a melodic lead that builds off his kinetic grooves. As a guitarist, Dwane has a melodic gift and dramatic sensibility that set him apart. On a song like 'Baktun Cycle,' plucked strings play off each other in a contrapuntal loop, while guitar strums emerge into a chordal solo.
"Dwane makes effective use of environmental ambiences on songs like 'The Sacred Tree' as very electronic sounding birds create stereo glissandos across his flute melody, blending into the echoes and rustles like a neon-lit jungle. The sound of rain mimics an electronic rainstick on one track and accompanies electronic droplets on another.
"While so many electronic musicians have headed off into the drone zone of sonic abstraction, Mark Dwane is an artist who still believes in the power of melody, the grandeur of a big crescendo and the stories held within a dramatic turn. He brings it all together on his ninth CD, 2012, our Echoes CD of the Month for April 2007." -- John Diliberto / Echoes
"Mark Dwane is a guitarist, yes, but he's as iconoclastic in his approach to the instrument as 'guitarists' like Robert Fripp, Steve Hillage, Phil Manzanera, etc. A big proponent of MIDI and its varied interfaces, Dwane's finger-plucked chords are dominant in the mix, right as rain, and shine like the crown jewels, though cocooned within the symphonic glaze of numerous synths and other devices he not only expands his instrument's vocabulary but invents an entirely new syntax for its use. Calling out his favorite (and oft-used) pseudo-'prog' tropes offset by dungeons 'n' dragons sci-fi imagery, Dwane negates the faint whiff of cheese that tainted some of his recent ventures thanks to his dexterity, chops and compositional prowess. The widescreen production values don't hurt, either. The record sounds absolutely gorgeous, a touch no doubt sustained over many years behind the console jockeying sounds into just the right positions. Wander across 'Codex,' for example, Dwane orchestrating limpid pools of interweaving stringthings into which a summer shower pours out of the horizon, electronic gas bubbles softly rise, the atmosphere changes color, then out of nowhere drums beat out a chorus for the enveloping storm. All is not sturm und drang; both the title track and the closing 'Ascension' convey arch, sweeping Vangelis-like majesty in the brashest sense, but it's important to note that 2012's tone alternates between the triumphant and the tender, emotional states juggled with the utmost cunning. Even when Dwane's prog tendencies burst forth (obviously so on the Andy Pickford-esque space rock of 'Skywatchers'), he keeps things lively enough that only the most chastising of listeners would turn a deaf ear probably those listeners in a mad Rush wasting the years on their way to misguided 2112 nirvana." -- Darren Bergstein / E/I Magazine
A forerunner of combining instrumental rock with genres such as New Age and electronica since way back in the late ‘80s, guitarist Mark Dwane is a unique musician who deserves to be heard by fans of all the above genres. Dwane made headway with his widely acclaimed 2007 CD 2012, and now on the 2009 release of Other Worlds he breaks new ground with a CD that will thrill his long time fans and bring in a host of newcomers. Recorded at his hi-tech Trondant studios in Westlake, Ohio, Other Worlds is not only amazing from a musical / musician standpoint, but it’s amazingly well recorded without hardly a trace of distortion in the signal to noise chain. In other words, you don’t need a ten thousand dollar CD player to fully embrace Dwane’s modus operandi. One of those outstanding, vintage Sony CD players made when the company was perfecting the CD sound with their fabulous early ‘90s ES CD player series, is just the ticket to blow away the cobwebs out of your brain. As has already been pointed out, although he’s is a guitar player—and there’s plenty of amazing electric, midi and slide guitar work on Other Worlds—Dwane’s forte remains blurring the lines of musical reason by combining a series of challenging audio strategies that implement the guitar within a framework of a futuristic, near science fiction approach to musical concepts. A must for those who thrilled to the great music Jan Hammer was making during his brilliant instrumental rock Miami Vice era in the mid '80s, Dwane’s Other Worlds is a completely compelling and holistic musical experience just made for guitar fans who think more clearly ‘out of the box.’" -- Music Web Express
"The new installment ‘The Singularity’ expands alot on many of MD’s previous albums, but this time, perhaps in a more romantic & ambient/ethereal way if you ask me. The songs on ‘The Singularity’ are of the finest calibre available when it comes down to MIDI guitar soundscapes. There are so many precious and lush moments to find on this release, making it very hard to pick out any particular favorites. But my personal fave has to be ‘Event Horizon’. It’s one of those tracks that will stick in your head for a long time, and certainly even more so if you’re familiar with MD’s style from his earlier albums, ‘The Myth’ from 1985 immediately comes to mind.
"The album offers the listener a MIDI-guitar tour-de-force from start to finish, and the production and sound is better than ever. All this said, ‘The Singularity’ will appeal to both new and old Mark Dwane fans as this album has both something new and something old in the mix. It’s a highly versatile and atmospheric album and also probably one of his best albums to date, ‘Planetary Mysteries’ being his second best album according to me. Without a doubt a must-have in any New Age/Ambient collection!. Highly recommended! Buy…buy…buy!" -- Tangram Music Blog
"When it comes to the art of sonic guitar as written and performed within the realm of the New Age / Rock Fusion genre, few do it better than Ohio based Mark Dwane. The mwe3.com web site featured Mark’s 2009 album Other Worlds last time around and now in 2011, Mark has unveiled what some are already considering his ultimate recorded statement yet. Released at the close of 2011, The Singularity features ten original tracks, all composed, performed and produced by Dwane. Although the CD is self-produced, it is packaged within a truly amazing CD cover art that bespeaks of the music within. Dwane’s music is somewhat reminiscent of Jan Hammer’s late 1980’s, cinematic soundtrack music on Miramar, although clearly more omnipresent is Dwane's guitar sound, which although digitized, synthesized and computerized is still organic in its approach to guitar performance. Dwane has listed George Harrison and Jimmy Page among his early guitar influences and clearly, fans of Harrison’s more adventurous instrumental guitar works (anyone remember George's Wonderwall soundtrack?) should give Dwane’s latest masterpiece a spin. Check out The Singularity because of that cool cover art that conjures other worldly dimensions, but listen to it because of the music. www.MarkDwane.com" -- MWE3
"MARK DWANE: The Singularity (CD on Trondant Records).
:This release from 2011 offers 48 minutes of luminous electronic music.
"Exciting tuneage that combines electronics with synth guitar and e-perc.
"The electronics are versatile, running the gamut from background tonalities to more agile pulsations which flesh out the basic musical themes. An abundance of sneaky little effects are present in the tunes, creating inventive embellishment.
"The star here, though, is the guitar. Glistening chords are delivered from on-high, trickling down notes like a sparkling waterfall. Dreamy riffs are meticulously tailored to generate an all-encompassing serenity, but then this tranquility is given a tasty oomph as more nimble elements slide into play and escalate the music to a level of bewitching luster. Dwane has a way of fusing twang and sustain into an endearing reverberation that is uniquely appealing.
"E-perc plays an integral role, providing touches of rhythm that lend bouncy locomotion to the flowing music. The tempos are relaxed and maintain a secondary vantage, allowing the rest of the instrumentation to flourish. While the majority of the music is instrumental, heavenly chorales contribute a celestial flair at times. These compositions shine like luminous gems in a nocturnal environment. The pace may remain soothing, but the effects combine dreaminess with a sense of spry activity that is quite enticing.
"While most of the melodies are sweet and shimmering, hints of a gutsy puissance lurk within the mix, tickling the subconscious with their subliminal presence." -- Sonic Curiosity
5.0 out of 5 stars Majestic and beautiful release! Masterful!
Reviewed in the United States on August 14, 2014
Format: MP3 Music
Mark Dwane is easily one of the best and most captivating electronic synth/midi guitar composers on the planet. In fact, he and Vangelis are my 2 all time faves. 'Anomalies' is VERY impressive, with sweeping landscapes of midi guitar (and presumably other) synth sounds that capture the imagination. Mark's music is very accessible, introspective, and soulful. Clearly, it is borne out of perfection and mastery, yet connects on some kind of primal level (to me anyway). This was a review of the CD. Thanks.
This is a beautiful Cosmicesque album full of space music worthy of a big budget film akin to '2001 : A Space Odyssey'. My favourite tracks include Anomalies,God's creatures, River of Stars, and Precession of the Equinoxes. I totally enjoyed this musical delight, and repeatedly gets played by myself. 10/10.