John Lyell & Brent A. Reiland | Synthetic Universe

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Electronic: Ambient Electronic: Ambient Moods: Type: Instrumental
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Synthetic Universe

by John Lyell & Brent A. Reiland

A warm, light and thought provoking Ambient Electronic Experience that relaxes your mind, takes you on a journey and crosses the boundaries of Space and Time ..
Genre: Electronic: Ambient
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Ethereal Float
9:36 album only
2. Dream of the Solstice
7:15 album only
3. Planetary Caverns
6:56 album only
4. Afterlife
7:36 album only
5. The Edge of Forever
7:26 album only
6. Enigmatic Muse
6:41 album only
7. Pleiadean Sky
6:01 album only
8. Cosmic Serengeti
9:33 album only
9. Zone 5
7:28 album only
10. Light Years Away
9:03 album only


Album Notes
"Synthetic Universe" is an instrumental synthesizer based Ambient Electronic, Film, and Space Music mix that was Composed, Performed, Engineered and Produced at their own project studios in Minneapolis, MN. It is the long awaited follow up CD to their 1998 debut "Wormholes."

Longtime friends Brent Reiland and John Lyell have traveled similar paths to stand where they do today. Between these two talented young composers/musicians, they have studied almost every major instrument as well as composition in almost every musical genre. With over a decade of friendship, creativity and performance, they are now partners in their own record label (Solar Wind Productions) based out of Minneapolis, MN.

John Lyell - After a decade of studio work performing, writing and recording with numerous rock bands (Sweet Mary, Vendetta) in Los Angeles, California and Minnesota, Lyell decided to pursue a different avenue where he could utilize his talent for writing and performing instrumental music. Lyell has settled comfortably into the new age genre. From his studio in Minnesota, he writes, produces and engineers thought provoking New Age, Ambient Electronic, Space, Film and Psychedelic Rock music.

Brent Reiland - Over the last 20 years, Reiland has written music in almost every genre-rock, blues/jazz, folk, pop, easy listening, psychedelic, classical and new age. Reiland has studied music and theory at the collegiate level and is most comfortable performing on guitar, piano and keyboard instruments. Working from his Minnesota based studio, Reiland likes to incorporate his interests in astronomy, photography, art, astrophysics and the supernatural into his new age music projects.



to write a review

CD Baby

Dreamy, ambient soundscapes are not really designed to grab your attention or even hold it; rather, to make you let go of it. However, this album does both at one and the same time. If you're needing to let your brain swim a little and happen to also enjoy Sting-like sonorities, this album could be just what you need for your Recover-from-the-Western-World First Aid Kit. Perfect for meditation or as a cheaper alternative to Kava Kava, we highly recommend this album.

Bob H.

Awesome ambient creation
Very soothing music, I find it great to workout to or relax to after a long day at work. I would highly recommend this CD!!!

Andrew Gill

Cerebral, dreamlike, outer-worldy, surreal but nevertheless infintely relaxing
The CD is ideal for those late night periods when one
simply wants to 'chill'. The selections/tracks are each
relatively dreamlike and quiet without becoming repetitious.
Melodious, mystical sounds [electronic soundscapes] which
encourage quiet reflection. Great music to mediate by or
simply to relax with. The tracks are not too dark such
as with some ambient music but have moments of quiet
surreal beauty.

Michelle B.

Great for changing the mood
This is a great CD to change the atmosphere. The first time I put it in, I went from uptight to relaxed in a few minutes. I found my mind wandering to soothing places and my mood completely changed. Highly recommended for stress release, meditation or as inspiration!

Linda Fasterling

A definite "must have"!
I first heard a selection (Cosmic Serengheti) from this CD while listening to "Hearts of Space" on a local NPR station. I was driving back from Chicago, it was a dark, starry night and the music could not have been more perfect for the drive. I spent the next year searching for the song (and album)! Although not previously familiar with the artists this album captures all aspects of new age genre. It's both soothing and exciting and sure to be enjoyed by young and old. For those familiar with the european techno genre, you'll be pleasantly surprised by several of the selections. This is a great album to add to your collection or to have to start your collection. Enjoy!


This CD will appeal to the fans of "SONGS OF DISTANT EARTH".It is sweet,melodious,soothing,and one that is like sweet nectar of honey to the ears.I think it's of the finest CDs ever heard-and I've heard plenty.One thing that is rare about this CD is that every track is super wonderful.You won't be disappointed if you get this CD-in fact,you'll wonder how you could have gone this long and not heard it.Thanks for a SPECTACULAR CD.

Nice sequenced and rhythmless spaced out electronix
These guys’ first release that I reviewed was very much that Wavestar gestalt as in lotsa synths and a healthy dose of spaced out guitar. This latest release opens with an early 80s Tangerine Dream feel. Think Tangram. Easy-going, relaxingly sequenced, flowing and essentially well-done T. Dreamy material describes the first two tracks. Then things open up into more spacious territory of droning, swelling
ambience with a space music/ alien spelunking adventure mood. Envision Brannan Lane colliding with Robert Scott Thompson and add a bit of dread looming throughout.

Those folks digging the insertion of tribal rhythms and tranced out pipings with ethereal piano will like track four. (I am no fan of this type world music trance ambience. Skip track . . .) We jump back to subtle
sequencing and relaxing synth swells and meanderings. My mind goes back to those many Euro synth releases of the early 80s once such was more widely in vogue. Interestingly nostalgic but not anything new overall happening here . . .

Halfway into this disc things mutate again -- formless, shapeless, wandering synthscapes ambience with a sprinkling of harp-voiced synths. I recall Emerald Web’s work. Next track, ping-pong sequencing is back but with that soft lilting and angelic Suzanne Doucet warmth. So very new agey but with just enough spacey synth swells and fly-bys.

Track eight and the tribal rhythms return for a space jaunt to cosmic plains of Africa. My first impression was early, early Patrick O’Hearn and his percussive synth works. (Next track please . . .) Track nine swings back around to that warm-toned minimalism of Suzanne Doucet and leans into the healing territory of Steven Halpern. Oh so analog this all feels, I must find my rainbow-hued meditation glasses . . . I am getting very sleepy here in a nice way but I sense nano-techs coursing through me . . .
removing my ability to stop buying hot pink, self-actualization, ozone generatorsszzzz . . .

Outro track is drones of space ambience that Tony Gerber and gang would whole-heartedly swoon over and I find it the best piece on the disc. That monstrous Klaus Schulze-ian/ Steve Roach-ish church organ drone makes me feel like I am in a grand cathedral in flight to the edge of eternity, to the Realms of the Holy of Holies. This is music to disappear by. Very, very nice.

Overall, I’d have to say this release gets about a 7 out of ten as sequencing is really “olde school/ olde hat” for my tastes. I have done that scene too, too many times so long ago. Also, I rarely enjoy tribal percussives and that whole world music gig with synths. My call. When I
look for space music/ ambient electronics it needs more innovative textures and structure and it should transport me 100% into other worlds, other times, other psychological states. Only the last track, “Light Years Away”, had this quality. If all the tracks, had been of this caliber and
style, (which clearly Lyell and Reiland can do!), then I’d have given this release a solid 10. To me, Synthetic Universe only represents a sort of showcase of all the neat and creative aspects these artists can produce.

Synthetic Universe is well done, but not a remarkable nor a cohesive concept release. Much within will be familiar and perhaps pleasant territory to synth fans but many of us “synth-heads” seek a novel rush of serotonin these days. Keep at it John and Brent!

~ John W. Patterson,