Robert Rich’s Premonitions 1980-1985

4th January 2015

Title: Premonitions 1980-1985

Label: Vinyl On Demand

An experimental electronica artist, this 4LP box set that examines Rich’s early career, most of the included music is previously unreleased or has only ever appeared in very limited fashion on cassette tape via the Auric Label or Swedish Psychout Productions (aka Multimood).

In technical terms, the box set has been beautifully remastered to take advantage of its nightmarish frequencies. The soundstage has been set up almost theatrically with a deep, 3D effect that spins away towards the perfectly mounted central stereo image. In fact, in purely technical terms, listening to this album on a quality reference is like the first time you may have tried a good quality pair of 3D glasses on a top notch flat screen TV.

The effects are quite arresting. Trekkies will love it, for example. It certainly has that cosmic singularity about it. In fact, there is certainly a deep space flavour to the box set with its vintage synths and swirling, rotational patterns that swoop and dip, spiral and spin uncontrollably into the atmosphere: which is maybe why this initial record features the side-long track, ‘Selene & Ether’.

Disc two has a sense of being rather more down to earth. It is quite meditative in a serious way. A work of concentration that contrasts with disc one’s expansive view on the universe. In fact, disc two’s repetitive rhythms lend themselves to more introverted, introspective examinations. Disc three reflects the natural world, the world around us and how we fit in it while the final disc takes us on a journey inside our mind. If anything, this is the biggest, most daunting piece of music of the entire box set. The expanse is limitless. A sequence of soundscapes without boundaries, in fact. Overall? This is quite an affecting symphony of electronica.