Jun 2013 08

Mike Oldfield - Tubular BeatsMike Oldfield
Category: Electronic / Trance
Album: Tubular Beats
Stars: 3
Blurb: This newest reinterpretation of classic material avoids the crude exploitation of the landmark Tubular Bells release, even if its sounds are still overtly familiar.


Not many albums in the history of electronic music enjoyed a success as lasting and genre defining as Mike Oldfield’s 1973 debut Tubular Bells. In spite of where one is coming from and where one’s musical erogenous zones reside, in the 40 years since its conception, Oldfield’s classic managed to penetrate the entirety of mainstream music and its countless reissues and sequels provided the then 19-year-old pioneer with a musical perpetuum mobile; a self spinning record that reached the furthest corners of global consciousness. As time went on, the seminal Tubular Bells was endlessly diluted, but this newest assumed cash in is strangely compelling, offering a reinvented set of tracks from the early days of Mike Oldfield’s career, redone for the purpose of an era no longer estranged by the prospect of electronic music but in fact saturated by it.

Some of the most recognizable hits are remixed by the trance duo of Torsten Stenzel – York and Oldfield himself making for a fascinating binary clash of aesthetics with some of the trademarks of the latter’s progressive methods enhanced, for the purpose of the clubbing generation, by the clean and crisp techno vibe. The majestic opening tones of The Songs of Distant Earth’s “Let There be Light” slowly give way to soothing, sparse electronica and the reverberating guitar hook remains intact, reinforced by the moody ambient quality of the new instrumentation. It is apparent that Oldfield’s control over the feel and direction of the album allowed all of his music to retain its unique dramatic properties. The otherworldly and exotic textures of “Ommadawn” might have been replaced by the dynamic layering of beats, synthesizers, and original samples, but its atmospheric soundscape is still potently resonant. It’s two of the classic pop singles, however, that seem to benefit the most from the spanking new coat of electro makeup. “To France” and “Moonlight Shadow” lose none of their instantaneous appeal and are vibrant and reinvigorating tunes full of danceable, house energy. The latter in its euro dance incarnation is no less dated, but indeed appears to be in its natural habitat driven by sweet vocals and a lively techno arrangement.

From the iconic cover to musical covers themselves, a feeling of distrust permeates the opening moments of Tubular Beats. It is not until all but the most fundamental ties with the original are severed in the listener’s head that suspiciousness gives way to the simplistic but entertaining alchemy of the record; one to be quickly forgotten and ultimately outlived by the brilliance and influential longevity of Oldfield’s previous work but certainly enjoyable. If anything, it’s a nice introduction for the electro generation that might have missed the ‘70s classic and a reminder to everyone else where that famous Exorcist motif comes from.
Track list:

  1. Let There be Light (York Remix)
  2. Far Above the Clouds (York Remix)
  3. Ommadawn (Mike Oldfield & York Remix)
  4. Guilty (Mike Oldfield & York Remix)
  5. Tubular Bells (Mike Oldfield & York Remix)
  6. To France (Radio Remix)
  7. Northstar (Mike Oldfield & York Remix)
  8. Moonlight Shadow (Radio Remix)
  9. Guilty (York & Mike’s Electrofunk Mix)
  10. Tubular Bells 2 (Mike Oldfield & York Remix)
  11. Never Too Far (featuring Tarja Turunen)

Mike Oldfield Website http://mikeoldfieldofficial.com
Mike Oldfield MySpace http://www.myspace.com/mikeoldfieldsucks
Mike Oldfield Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MikeOldfieldOfficial
Eagle Rock Entertainment Website http://www.eagle-rock.com
Eagle Rock Entertainment Facebook https://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt
Eagle Rock Entertainment Twitter https://twitter.com/EagleRockNews
EarMUSIC Website http://www.ear-music.net
EarMUSIC MySpace http://www.myspace.com/earmusicofficial
EarMUSIC Facebook https://www.facebook.com/earmusicofficial
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Damian Glowinkowski (DamienG)

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