Kurt Michaels | Inner Worlds - part one

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Electronic: Ambient Electronic: Ambient Moods: Type: Experimental
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Inner Worlds - part one

by Kurt Michaels

Unique form of ambient electronic & analog music, an organic soundscape of subtle and not so subtle influences, evoking a contemplative otherworldliness, massively visual and layered, ambiguously blended deepness, offering much to consider......
Genre: Electronic: Ambient
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Heaven?
14:46 $0.99
2. Nightmare Crossing Over
5:37 $0.99
3. Alien Presense
4:58 $0.99
4. The Village
7:04 $0.99
5. You Don't Say
3:19 $0.99
6. Inner Worlds
7:32 $0.99
7. Nervous Barnyard: Afterture & Rebirth
6:19 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The road that has led Kurt Michaels to the creation of "Inner Worlds, Pt. 1" has been a long and winding one; a circuitous route that has taken him through a thousand one-night stands.

Inspired as a child by a baby sitter who reminded him of Happy Days' Fonzie, Kurt would sit through makeshift concerts in lieu of bed time. Later, fueled with a stack of 45's and a transistor radio, Kurt became immersed in the Top 40 hit makers of the early sixties: Chuck Berry, Spencer Davis and Otis Day (yes, the fictitional R&B singer from Animal House), to name a few. When the Beatles came to America, Michaels' destiny became irrevocably cast to a future involving music.

Michaels' thirty-five year musical career has allowed him to share the stage with many of his jukebox heroes, including Berry, Davis, and Day, not to mention Wolfman Jack, Badfinger, Bobby Vinton, the Marvelletes, and the Chiffons. "[It] was a surreal, cartoonish experience, like scenes out of some Fellini movie. But in the end, what I got out of the experience was just that; out."
"Out" meaning the development of a harmonic palette that unabashedly defies conventional parameters.

Though Michaels would at one point turn his back on his first love to pursue what some would consider a "more practical lifestyle," he would eventually return.

The gift this prodigal son offers is "Inner Worlds, Pt. 1." And what a gift it is.

Described as "Olias of Sunhillow meets The Prisoner," Michaels provides a roller coaster of sensory delight, ranging from audio adrenaline to the strangely sublime. Michaels refers to his creation as "music by accident".

In creating this CD, Michaels tapped into a muse that in turn tore into his brain with a vengeance. He built a laboratory of sound within his Chicago-based headquarters and set himself loose upon it. Michaels describes his venture into "Inner Worlds Pt. 1" as a "schizophrenic mess that turned into a happy accident".

One track, "The Village," is a quantum visit to the Orwellian realm of the sixties controversial hit television series, "The Prisoner," where a British Secret Service Agent is incarcerated in a nightmarish psychedelic detention center. Michaels captures the flavor of the show and brings it into the now with flourish.

"The closest thing I can compare ["Inner Worlds, Pt 1"] to is something like Revolution 9 or Tomorrow Never Knows - you know, the phase when the Beatles were experimenting with the technology of the time, creating a collage of sounds and looping them together. "

When asked about his philosophy of "music by accident," he simply responds with the flippant aphorism: "[Music} is a force of nature - and if you are a musician, you are compelled to serve it."

And indeed, he does. If "Inner Worlds Pt 1" is Kurt Michaels in his "learning phase", Part Two is going to be out of this world.

"Happy accident," indeed.



to write a review

Joe Ross

An organic field blooming with ambient music and resonance
Kurt Michaels’ debut indie release “Inner Worlds part one” is an electronic soundcape that depicts a garden of aural scenery. Michaels is a soundscape architect who cultivates an organic field blooming with ambient music and resonance. He shrewdly sets the decorative stage with a somber 15-minute opener entitled “Heaven?” Indicative of the question mark in the piece’s title, he punctuates the song with numerous unexplained queries. Is this really Heaven? Is there any doubt or uncertainty? Is this atmospheric sound what we’ll hear beyond on the Golden Shore?

Micheals’ compositions invoke many surreal images. He forces us to ponder many questions that lack accurate and easy explanation. “Nightmare Crossing Over,” seques from a gong to chimes and percussion, all layered with the breathy sounds of synthesizer. I was actually agitated slightly by the ringing that permeates the first third of this composition. Michaels’ music is very terrestrial at times, but he also successfully takes us to other worlds in the borderless zone that lies beyond. At track three, “Alien Presence” is a good example with its chorus of ghostly bizarre voices. Whether terrestrial or extraterrestrial, the album, “Inner Worlds,” ignores certain spatial and temporal thresholds. Seven compositions float between the outland and the innerland, all layered to present the diversity of the universe from Michaels’ perspective.

For this reviewer, segments of “The Village” and “Inner Worlds” seem slightly cluttered with almost too many sounds on the palate, but I speculate that this many be the composer’s way of emphasizing the vicissitudes and mutability of life. His promo indicates that “The Village,” is actually “the darkest point in your journey, as you fight to assert your free will as a human being, against an Orwellian enemy whose identity is yet to be determined.” Michaels’ closer, “Nervous Barnyard: Afterture & Rebirth,” is a strange mix of animal cries, cacophony, and conflict that suggest an apocalyptic ending but deliver something entirely unexpected.

Kurt Michaels began his musical career in the sixties. His good fortune has allowed him to share the stage with Chuck Berry, Spencer Davis, Otis Day, Wolfman Jack, Badfinger, Bobby Vinton, Fabian, Scottie Moore (Elvis' guitar player), The Marvelletes, and The Chiffons. Looking for something different and new meaning, the Chicago-based Michaels developed “a harmonic palette that unabashedly defies conventional parameters.”

Inner Worlds takes us on a journey … no, actually more of an extended pilgrimage to the shrine of Mother Universe. The title cut is particularly sublime with its guitar riffs and rotational vertigo. For both aural and neural rapture, transport yourself to “Inner Worlds,” but don’t forget that The Outer Worlds may also want your attention for an equal amount of time. That’s enough reason alone to look forward to Michael’s sequel to part one. The continuum is not finite.

After building his sound laboratory, the musical futurist launched this adventurous expedition. He personally describes “Inner Worlds part one” as a “schizophrenic mess that turned into a happy accident.” He explains his “music by accident” as a force of nature that he is compelled to serve. Adages aside, Michaels is a fine electronic composer who transports us to a dimension where the exact coordinates are rather hard to define. (Joe Ross, Roseburg, Oregon)