WL//WH Review: “Songs From A Constellation” LP by ANDY OPPENHEIMER & CRYSTALLINE STRICTURE [Tonn Recordings]

 WL//WH Review  Andy Oppenheimer & Crystalline Stricture

On June 5, a significant album by two acclaimed artists surfaced via the home of select synth record label TONN Recordings (Belfast); Andy Oppenheimer from the legendary minimal electronic music acts Oppenheimer Analysis and Oppenheimer MK II and the essential coldwave electronic musician, and ‘craftsman’ Crystalline Stricture, presented the album “Songs For A Constellation” which is a collaborative concept album based on the Ancient Greek myth of Orion and Artemis.

This record will appeal to experimental and minimal electronic music fans, including musicians and listeners in the new wave movement. Still, first, I want to tell you a beloved and heartfelt story from our ancient mythology: a myth about a Goddess and a mere mortal. Artemis and Orion in Greek mythology are lovers who face a tragic ending in their love story. The relationship between Orion, a mere mortal, and Artemis, the goddess of hunting, was devastated by none other than her twin brother, Apollo, who was provoked by his jealousy…Artemis was the Greek goddess of hunting, vegetation, wild animals, wilderness, childbirth, and chastity in ancient Greek mythology and religion (the Olympian religion). Orion was gifted with a fine physique, and good looks, possessing great prowess as a hunter despite being a mere mortal. They were lovers who hunted together…Artemis and Orion fell madly in love with each other, they became lovers, friends, and each other’s companions when hunting or exploring Her forests. Artemis was very fond of Orion, the only person she ever cared for…unknown to them, Apollo became jealous of their friendship…and the story has many events involving jealousy, envy, killing, and the starry night sky…in the famous version of their love story, Artemis killed Orion by accident because of Apollo’s deception. While Orion swims away to escape from a monstrous scorpion sent by Apollo, the goddess throws her arrow accurately without recognizing who the person really is as she can only see his head in the distance. Apollo’s overprotectiveness toward his sister and jealousy of her love for Orion leads to the death of the hunter…full of anguish and regret, the goddess took Orion’s body using her silver moon chariot and placed her lover in the sky as a tribute to her friend who bears the same name, the Orion Constellation…the story of the tragedy between them spread across Crete. Artemis appealed to Asclepius, the god of medicine who specialized in healing, to bring Orion back to life but Zeus refused the idea of bringing the dead back to life as there was a fine line between gods and mere mortals. Orion then gains immortality by living among the stars in the sky…

The Orion Constellation

Back to our times now and back to this amazing record, you will see song titles like “Love The Hunter”, “Please Don’t Kill Me”, “Animals”, “Ballad Of Artemis & Orion” (ft. Mary McIntyre from Tonn Recordings), “Forever Fire”, and more, music has the power to transport the listener on an incredible journey through circuits, knobs, synthesizers, and vocals that describe a story in a robotic-wise manner. However, when two talented musicians as such collaborate, the result is an impressive album from start to finish, and the record label is fully aware of this fact. I would describe the album as alternative astral electro-pop music, but it’s more than that…

…there are things here that seem to modernize the past or ‘events’ that come to the ears as a retro past, among new machines and more like returning to the future of this music.

I have loved Greek mythology since studying Classics at school and Greek philosophy at university. Also astronomy – especially the wonders of the Orion constellation – including a vast star set to produce the biggest explosion ever seen from Earth. And this, with my great love of composing & singing songs, have all come together in this album. The wonderful story behind its making – Alan (Crystalline Stricture) is one of the authors in my Astronomy book “Stars of Orion”! – I already knew him from when he produced a fantastic remix of a track I did with Mahk Rumbae as Oppenheimer MkII: Out in the Field. Alan and I met up in London and he suggested we put together some songs.Andy Oppenheimer says about the background of the album

As a fan of minimal electronic music, I definitely took the chance to work with Andy. His seminal Oppenheimer Analysis track “Devils Dancers” always gets a dance floor going. I wanted to do something a little different but that still had a colder edge to it. Harder analogue synth and lead lines helped push the driving theme of the album, of love and death. It was a challenge doing an album about such a topic, but actually, it has SO much to offer, I could hardly stop writing more and more tracks. Both Andy and I agreed to limit the tracks, also taking the excellent advice of Mary from TONN, who also guested in track 4. It was fun.Alan (Crystalline Stricture) quote

But however you take it, and however you think and listen to it, let it take you alone by itself, as this album contains amazing and so groovy music and all in a minimal format… what could be more comprehensive and straightforward than that? Synthesizers come like a side-frontal black hole that will leave you on the other side over robust and a little abstract (robotic) rhythms to continue listening to an epic of rare inspiration and aesthetics. I don’t really have a favorite track from the album yet because I can pick one at random and let it play through to the next one without interruption. However, the album works perfectly on random selection as well. But I guess that the creators of the “Songs From A Constellation” LP want you to listen to it from beginning to end non-stop and to let it dance you as it is meant to be…and it’s an amazing experience by all means!!! So, here is the soundtrack of a thundering ancient tale created by two men with ‘mythical’ skills!!!

Keep up with the artists:

TONN Recordings | Website | Bandcamp | SoundcloudYouTube |  Instagram |

ANDY OPPENHEIMER | Website | O. AnalysisFacebook | O. MK II |

CRYSTALLINE STRICTURE | Facebook | Soundcloud | MindBurner |

Written by Loud Cities’ Mike

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