Timelines

by Glyn Lloyd-Jones

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Note: This is a 6 track album, the full tracks will appear as a bonus upon purchase.


'Timelines' has taken on an almost mystical air for fans of Glyn Lloyd-Jones over the years. Mesmerised by his 'Ri' and 'Icesteps' albums, there was occasional mention of a precursor. Information was scant, but the mere fact that it existed "somewhere" led many to speculate on what sort of an album could spawn some of the finest melodic EM to come out of the UK in the past 25 years.

Well, the waiting is over. Here you can get your hands on that very album, remastered from Glyn's own master tape.

I almost feel obliged to set expectation. The equipment this was created on is rudimentary compared to many modern artists, or indeed many artists contemporary with the time. But I don't need to set expectation, because as soon as you hear the opening refrains of 'Icons' the quality just oozes out. Building on extended chords and a superb motif picked out on the classic 80's "flutey synth" the track literally explodes onto the soundstage at the 1:53 minute mark. This is sensational form right from the outset. The chord laden melody is quite simply brilliant, and brings to mind many sections of a TD concert contemporary with the time. As an added bonus, you can literally sing the tune and lyrics of 'Bent Cold Sidewalk' from TD's 'Cyclone' album to this section. "Upon this key, time will slide". Oh yes, time certainly does slide back to Glyn's cassette releases as the melodies soar through the soundstage. The track then takes on its own shape and personality. That ticking percussion is great, and all manner of motifs and melodies intertwine to form a work of pure brilliance.

'Reconstructing Charlie' was written to accompany a video showing a new technique for the photo-realistic reconstruction of a human head using computer graphics. It does sound very filmic with chattering percussion and sequencing, and a slightly more stripped down and atmospheric air. However the melodic undertones are constant and come more to the fore as a lead line grips the track and propels it to new heights. The complexity increases as Hyperborean percussion dances and more motifs weave a heady concoction of sound. With just under 2 minutes to go the track takes a more atmospheric twist with wonderful pads and synth leads backed by the merest hint of percussion.

'Pvision' utilises choppy percussion and a mazy tapestry of themes and pads to form a deceptively complex composition. At the midpoint trademark sequencing appears to add further lustre and the track then slowly shapeshifts into a markedly different mood as classic GLJ soloing appears.

On 'Timelines' you really start to hear that unique form of sequencing which Glyn can create, in isolation a complete work of melodic themes. Layer on that some great chords and the most delicious lead synths and you have another blistering track. Infection like this is so hard to create, yet it's almost reeled off at will on this track. The synths then leave to allow the percussive structure time to dominate, before the melodics return to create that awesome sound.

'Deadline' was written and recorded in under 1 week as an entry to the 1986 Roland Computer/Synthesiser Tape Contest (and indeed was one of the runners-up in the professional musicians' category!). Again it sounds very filmic, with distinct percussion forming the backdrop for strong themes. Again the soloing is sensational, complex and infectious. The arrangement is complex and the track twists and turns frequently to keep you guessing.

Finally 'Closing Titles' as its name suggests creates another soundtrack akin to TD's 'Firestarter' or 'Thief'. Carefully paced it brings the album to a satisfying close.

'Timelines' is a fascinating insight to the development of Glyn's trademark sound. The building blocks of 'Ri' and 'Icesteps' are evident for all to hear. Another fantastic GLJ album! (GG)

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released June 1, 1987

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