The first 222 copies of this box set are numbered and signed by Der Spyra himself. The presentation is beautiful, the box containing 3 individual slip cases containing the CDs, all rounded off by a 16 page full colour booklet.
'Live in Berlin.de' opens with 'Intro', a hugely atmospheric 10 minute collage of drifting sounds. 'Here We Stand' continues the atmospheric approach, restrained power is the order of the day with elongated synth pads, this time with a slightly more symphonic edge which brings a noteof anticipation and optimism. Of course after a total of 15 mins of atmos the yearning for sequenced grooves starts to take over, and that craving is answered by the next track 'Cardioid' which builds up the tempo to a magnificent crescendo, then segues into 'Under the bridge' which deconstructs the sequence voices with twisted mutations. The voices then stabilise and huge synth pads come to the fore to swamp the
sequence - the mixture is quite simply magnificent.
Again the music segues into the next track 'Slow Steam Engine' and the syncopations continue with a slightly more industrial edge. Things calm
down with 'Tired Steel Out There' which again is excellent, but then 'Breath (main theme)' appears, and what a track this is! Must admit if I'd have played this first I'd have mistaken it for an AirSculpture disc, the sequencing is not dissimilar and the guitar type vox is especially trademark.. At the half way mark however Spyra's rich percussives and drums stamp his own personality on the track. Tracks 8 '...at night...' and 9 'Coming upFrom the East' contrast atmos and sequencer rhythmics again, the latter being especially appealing as it builds into another crescendo to herald the final piece 'Fleeing Westwards'. This is a magnificent CD - and what a concert it must have been. Jodrell Bank please!!
On to 'The Bright Side of the Sun' and immediately 'Rememberance' impresses. The choppy beat is carried along by a chunky sequence, soon
accompanied by a delightful synth theme. The main feature here is how delightfully melodic this piece is. Interestingly the sleevenotes reveal that this is the earliest piece on show here - 1996. 'Rain on Water' is presents the classic Spyra formula of syncopating sequences and lush synth pads which change into vintage mellotron flute style voices when the track is fully established. 'Last Train to Bayreuth' is Spyra's own
interpretation of Schulze's 'Bayreuth Return' and as you may have already guessed it's totally fantastic - a wall of sensational sequencing.
'Chord3organ' has a simplistic beauty you'll find hard to believe, this really is a grower and a delightful surprise in terms of showing the wide capabilities of der Spyra to adapt to many forms of EM. However, even the beauty of this track is perhaps surpassed by 'Mentalized', at 14.31 the longest piece on show - and what a slab of blissed out chill this is. The subtle synth textures and subliminal electronic lattice which weaves its way through the piece are beguiling. This is mind blowing stuff.
Finally 'San Tommaso Eqed' which ends on a more symphonic and slightly foreboding note. It's a good track but slightly disappointing because another sequence romp would have rounded an album of such stature off even more satisfactorily. Even so, this album totally rocks.
And now for CD 3, 'Motion Picture Music' which weighs in at a hefty 16 tracks. And this is a CD which underlines what a prodigious talent Spyra really is. This CD features so many styles, from commercial rhythms to quirky fascination, house to chill, symphonic to atmospheric. There's a
surprise around every corner, producing sounds and structures you wouldn't have associated with Spyra in a million years. Check out the Keith
Emerson style antics on 'The March of the Dwarves' for example. Or the Deep Forest touch on 'Ethnoo' It's all here, and performed brilliantly.
This CD package may well be Sprya's defining moment. A totally essential package, and if you want the signed versions be quick!