This album contains music that was recorded in 1996 for various installations. It is the first time this material gets released to the public.
The first track called "The Seed" is a "Berlin School" number, with melodic sequencing and atmospheres. It's a bit untypical for Guido Meyer and pretty good. If you like Tangerine Dream's output from early 80's or even some of their sequencer-based material from the 90's, you will enjoy this one!
"Confused Hunchback" is a short reflective piece that sounds like a musical sketch rather than a full-blown composition.
"Useless Toys" relies on a rhythm / sequence combination and is much more representative of Guido Meyer's output. The track reminds on the material heard on "Episodes 1".
"A Pair of Shoes" is once again a reflective electric piano piece similar to "Confused Hunchback".
"Ramon" is a cheerful rhythmic piece but rather generic. The melodies are good but the sound pallette is rather lackluster.
"Way Home" contains GREAT (and I mean it) melodic sequencing and a bit harder rhythms than what I'm used to hear on Guido Meyer's records. Overall, this composition has some slight techno leanings that, however, do not alter the general impression I get from this track. Nice one! Who said accessible music can't be good? This may be not the most serious composition on Earth but who cares if it makes you move?! The desire is strong to press the "repeat" button, but I have to go on with my review.
"Gazah Stripe" starts with well-crafted rhythms but after a while a growling synth enters that is joined by mysterious melodic theme. This track is strongly reminiscent of Tangerine Dream's strongest moments from late 80's. The synth solos on this track are simply excellent! This is complex, expressive, melodic EM of the highest order.
On "Your Fields" electronic marimbas are introduced along with synthesized saxes that together make up for some exotic brew of sounds. Things get even more intriguing as more sounds are introduced and Guido improvises on top of the track's rhythmic base. Mournful strings are introduced and the mood changes from exotic to melancholic nostalgia. There is a romantic flair about this track that is so slight it's hardly perceivable but it does add a lot of charm to this unusual composition. The mood then swings back to exotic lounge as brighter chords replace the nostalgic ones.
"Installations" sounds more like a miscellaneous bunch of tracks rather than a "proper" album. However, there are some real gems here that are up there in the highest league of Guido Meyer compositions.
Highlights: "The Seed", "Way Home", "Gazah Stripe", "Your Fields".
Best track: "Gazah Stripe".
2006. Artemi Pugachov / Encyclopedia of Electronic Music