Artist: Pauline Anna Strom
Album: Echoes, Spaces, Lines

Released: 10 November 2023
Label: RVNG Intl

Echoes, Spaces, Lines Pauline Anna Strom
Star's End listeners will have first come in contact with Pauline Anna Strom through the frequent airings of her Plot Zero LP (in 1983, the year of its release) which was initially put out under the Trans-Millenia Consort handle. Contemporaneous releases by Michael Garrison, The Ghostwriters, The Nightcrawlers, Michael Stearns and a few other innovative musicians revealed to this enthusiastic audience that motivated artists and small independent labels were producing albums of high quality and unique vision outside and far above the mainstream channels and values of these times. The release of her Spectre the following year added to the remarkable feeling of the future that this genre exemplifies, and further established Strom's significance in the growing field of Spacemusic.

The four CD box set Echoes, Spaces, Lines (197:33) presents 32 tracks (three of which were previously unreleased) across four titles (one of which was previously unreleased) by Pauline Anna Strom: Trans-Millenia Consort (48:53) [1982], Plot Zero (40:23) [1983], Spectre (52:21) [1984] and Oceans of Tears (55:56) [recorded in 1982-1983]. A substantial document of one of Electronic Music's most inspired spirits this multi-disc, limited edition collector's item achieves even greater merit by including new cover art and an illuminating 16 page booklet, which are held along with the CDs inside of a 6" x 6" box, with all audio treated by the many modern methods meant to deliver today's fuller, richer sonic experience.

Strom's first offering Trans-Millenia Consort exists and flows without any regard to external factors. Its easy-breezy electro-zones and synth safe fantasies offer plenty of wonderful welcome details to secure your entry.

Originally issued under the alias Trans-Millenia Consort the subsequent Plot Zero and Spectre mark a turn towards a more mysterious and portentous expression of Spacemusic. With track titles like Mushroom Trip, Freebasing, Blood Thirst and Blood Celebrants it is doubtful that anyone would ever file these records in with the confections of the New Age Music section. Here we find a synthesist with a bold passion for sound and atmosphere. Haunting us with wild pleasures along a current of electrified artistry, the ascending rush, then descending calm of these classics imaginatively leads us into both nightmarish and redemptive realms.

Shaded and unsettled, Oceans of Tears guides us through deep brood moods up to contemplative atmospheres which hold, heighten and then lighten our feelings and moods. Pointing to endless future possibilities here Strom affirms the hopes of self-willed humanity. Eloquent melodic lines are produced through the smallest quantity of keyboards, yet yields the greatest number of meanings. Her realizations move at their own pace and speak in their own voice - the touching gravity ranging from that of a gentle lullaby to the charged poetry of the dreaming mind.

A captivating mental experience this music is trying to say something for which words have not yet been invented. Beckoning to us from across the decades the invitation to join her in this singularly original music space reaches us yet again, now in this treasured collection - where Pauline Anna Strom still calls on us to think about a time yet to come, and what our world could be.

- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END   4 January 2024

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