Friday, 13 February 2009


Title: Solar-Fire
Format: 1 track promo CDr in colour paper sleeve, no catalogue reference, inside is a black envelope with red promo flyer sheet.
Edition: Unique promo - only 1 existing

Track Listing:
01. Solar-Fire 13.42

The modus operandi of this particular side-project is, according to the band's MySpace pages, as follows:

"COI was founded by A.W. in Spring 2007 - with this project A.W. try to create something unique, a crossover between 80´s pop music and nowadays neo classical music."

Formally the band's first release was the web-single "Ich tauche tiefer" and this one-off promo release post-dates that. Alex has kindly reminded me that this was a unique one-track CDr created for me, so forms a unique part of the collection. Incidentally, the red flyer notes "feel free to get in touch about the possible release of C.O.I.'s debut album."

Interestingly the cover of the paper sleeve refers to this release as "Fire", whereas the red flyer refers to "Solar-Fire", the track title.

In terms of influences, the MySpace site goes on to cite bands such as OMD, Penitent, DAF, J.M. Jarre, Yello, Ultravox, Elend and Laibach. Now this is alright with me - being of an age where I remember clearly how new and fresh Gary Numan's "Are Friends Electric" sounded when it first came out, and being a fan at school of Ultravox, Visage and OMD these influences sound just fine and dandy where I'm concerned. Nothing wrong with having an eclectic taste in your music, and better to create a new project to explore it than confuse old-school fans of, say, Hrossharsgrani by going all electro-pop on them.

So, what of "Solar-Fire"? Well, I like it! It starts with a quiet, swirling keyboard passage that would fit quite neatly on an Uruk-Hai track, so not a complete shock to the system to begin with. This fades into a second passage of light synths before a piano piece commences, forming a nice melody that leads into the song proper. Quite an ethereal atmosphere to this song, with haunting 'chants' in the background and then a development of the piano melody that fits into the 'neo-classical' intentions rather well. Very easy to listen to, and guaranteed not to scare granny....

The end of the piece is rather cool too, with strings coming in to create an upbeat melody over the synths, culminating in a rhythmic drum beat and 'bell' sound crescendo - reminding me a little of something Ultravox might have done circa "Rage In Eden" period.

As a taster of the new project - a winner!

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