Quality: 3.25 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 3.75 out of 5
I don't know, I guess this is where the Berlins school road of electronics comes to a dead end. Paul Haslinger is an alumni of Tangerine Dream, and the results do peek out on this soundtrack album. There's just enough of the old school and shades of engroovied darkness to catch my attention, but there's a lot of digital new wave and orchestral blunderbust gumming up the works as well. Still, Haslinger is keeping it more real than the Dream themselves have since something like 1986. Maybe this all works better if you're hearing it while gazing at 90's CGI on a massive Imax screen over at the local science center. You pick up the high chrome-based cassette tape in the gift store and it sound noticiably worse in the tape deck (sorry, I'm dating my analogy). Unfortunately for the travelers, it seems that this was actually one of those gift store VHS 'trip' videos, but it looks like I was spot on about the Playstation 1 quality CGI.
The shorter tracks fair the best and will more likely appeal to the psychonauts out there. "Lhodwi (frozen Chaos)" and "Dilgan (Burning Life)" are reasonable sound paintings in miniature, while the closing "The Remains of Time" fairs well with a few extra minutes. I guess "Entropy" is like the new-jack funk that they play in discotheque. There are a few tracks that make me want to instantly de-rez the digital orchestral. Tracks like "Traces of Infinity," "E'iah" pounds you over the head with that damned 'orchestra hit' sound. It may very well be a real orchestra, but it's still that damned 'orchestra hit' sound. "Dharmok (Bridging the Gap)" suffers from a touch of that as well, but the other 80% of the track is gliding ambient soundscapes.
I'm not quite sure why I'm reviewing this to be honest. It's right at the tail end of that period when every musician with some cash in their pocket was going as new and as digital as possible, and just before folks figured out that the analog stuff actually sounded a lot better (I believe Moog Cookbook was just starting to make that point on an indie label in 1998). I probably just have science center nostalgia. We have this in Atlanta:
Fernbank Science Center
And I've been trying to take my daughter to the science dome recently, but circumstance keeps getting in my way:
Saku Children's Science Dome for the Future