Thomas Pospiech a.k.a. Planet B‘s latest release MIDIval Tourist is a wonderfully groovy and hypnotic full length down-tempo album. This album is a follow up to his 2014 debut release, Omboclat.
MIDIval Tourist features tracks with broad use of midi instruments, with parts weaving seamlessly together. The album has a rock influenced bass and drum rhythm sound which is always driving but never overpowering. These rhythms support various melodies that are arranged harmoniously and are embellished by the use of smooth pads to create a satisfying and well balanced sonic spectrum.
Following fairly close to Omboclat’s footsteps, MIDIval Tourist is more influenced by classical European instruments and sounds, with less influence taken from psychill (though those psychedelic frequencies occasionally sneak in to tweek the brain waves); the experience is less experimental and more focused towards a unique sound compared to its predecessor.
As if warming up for a rock concert, “Treck” opens with bass and drums before the spacey evolving synths meet the listeners’ ears, taken on a sonic current met by washy auxiliary percussion. With the perfect amount of dissonance, it sets the mood for the album as having deep grooves and wonderfully disorienting, dreamlike synths.
Afterwards the album takes you down into “Bust 95”’s dark driving bass and electric piano samples. “Marley’s Dream” and “Serce” are well arranged, embellished by classical instruments with beautiful lines and swells. They are the two grooviest tracks on the album, great for the dance floor.
The albums’ title track is tastefully crunchy with a strong distorted lead and uplifting high frequency swells. The overlays of percussion loops envelope the track without diminishing the effect of the pads and melodies. “Alone never more” opens almost sad and reminiscent of 80s sci-fi sounds until the cool pizzicato string bass comes in, the high percussion sparks and ignites, symphony parts sing gracefully along with bright tasteful synthesis and the dance beat kicks in.
The opening synths in “Nowy” are other-worldly and ethereal. The drums and bass make the track rock ballad-esque with catchy melodies as the castanet march pushes forward. The grand piano is placed tastefully and will nestle its way into your head. “Swim” brings the album to a close, soft sad and gentle, but always grooving and pulsing along. The use of the electric piano in this track is diverse from melodic twinkles to melancholic chords.
MIDIval Tourist is an album with a lot of heart and love poured into it. The evolution from Omboclat to MIDIval Tourist is steady and strong, an expansion on a similar story, yet more direct and powerful. This album is never hard on the ears, uses melody and harmony to captivate the audience, making it an album that holds one’s interest throughout. I have enjoyed it more and more with every listen.
Written and produced by Thomas Pospiech
Mastering by Mike Phillips.
Artwork by Marzattaxx.