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Steffie Moonlady and Dennis Haklar

To the Universe

Review by Gary Hill

The music on this album is unique. There is an ancient quality to it, but it's also modern. It's largely atmospheric and dreamy. It's also captivating. There is a magical quality to it. While it's not so much progressive rock, it is definitely progressive music.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2021  Volume 6. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2021.

Track by Track Review
Awakening
This rises up gradually with an ambient texture. This is very textural and soundscape oriented. It's quite artistic.
Ocean Moon
While the previous song had hints of non-lyrical vocals, this has real singing. The vocals have an airy, gentle quality to them. There are classical elements to this song, and also folk ones. It's another dreamy, mellow piece of art music at its core, though. It really brings an almost otherworldly vibe. There are some particularly intricate guitar parts to this.
To the Universe
There are things about this that might make one think of the mellow side of early King Crimson. The song has some intriguing layers. It almost feels like the middle ground between the first two pieces, more song-like than the opener, but more pure art than the song that preceded it. There are some really spacey things at play at times. There is some cool, almost jazzy guitar work later.
Dream Blossom
Dreamy, old-world tones merge with a spacey, timeless quality. There are hints of Asian music in the mix on this. This gets pretty dramatic and quietly intense as it continues.
New Moon
With folk and dreamy prog in the mix, this feels a lot like something that would have fit on Jon Anderson's Olias of Sunhillow album to me. This instrumental almost feels like a connecting piece in some ways.
Earth's Wind
There is an almost angelic quality to the vocals on this. The song has a cool almost psychedelic instrumental approach. The result of combining those two things is a track that's one of the strongest and most beautiful on the whole disc.
Great Spirit Moon
This piece has hints of more rocking sound brought by the electric guitar, but it's not anything close to what you'd consider as a hard rocker. It remains slow moving and atmospheric. The vocal have a quiet power and majesty to them. This is quite artsy and effective at the same time.
Tamparawa
This piece has some of the most rocking elements of the whole disc. There is a trippy kind of prog turned psychedelic angle to this piece. It actually gets pretty crazed at times.
Beautiful Child
I dig the dreamy kind of world meets folk vibe of this. There are some still dreamy, artsy sort of proggy textures over the top, but overall this is a more Earthy kind of number.
Rainforest
Not a big change, this has more of that dreamy kind of texture along with organic vibes. It's slow moving and quite pretty in a rather moody way.
Epilogue
There is quite a bit of silence at the start of this. It gradually rises upward as it continues, with a more soundscape kind of vibe. It feels more tied to the opener of the album, and I think they are supposed to be sort of book ends. There are some rather ominous sounding, almost symphonic things at play as it reaches toward its closing.

 

 
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