Mike McLatchey 11-August-2002 Nada

While Celestial Harmonies has done an excellent job on the reissues of the late 70s/early 80s albums of ex-Between musician Peter Michael Hamel, there are several earlier releases by him that have yet to see full, legitimate reissues. Nada was originally released on Wergo in 1977 and is a prelude to the spacious and occasionally minimalist Terry Riley-meets-Klaus Schulze style that one can find on albums like Colours of Time, Bardo and Transition. Like on Transition, Hamel works in several modes from glorious piano solos to long-form pieces of electronica, such as the near-24 minute "Beyond the Wall of Sleep," yet another classic with a Lovecraftian title. In fact, it is this massive epic that makes Nada an on-the-edge-of-classic release. "Beyond" inhabits territories similar to Schulze's Timewind, a contemplative inner/outer space drone whose rich keyboards set the stage for "sequenced" organ patterns whose resemblance to Riley's music outweighs its resemblance to that of Schulze. Why Hamels' name is often forgotten when one recites the German pioneers of the 70s is surprising. Because Nada holds up quite well to Schulze's albums from the same year.

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