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CD REVIEW: Catherine Duc - Visions and Dreams

By Cyrus Rhodes

 

 

 

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Artist: Catherine Duc
Album: Visions and Dreams
Label: Orchard
Website
: www.catherineduc.com

Genre: Ambient, Celtic, Eletronica

Sounds Like: Enigma, Deep Forest

Technical Grade: 8/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 7/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 8/10
Songwriting Skills: 8/10
Performance Skill: 7/10
Best Songs: Essence of Dreams, Secret Sanctuary, Incense  

Weakness: Predictable rhythms, lacks bottom end, melodies sound hot within the mix

CD REVIEW:

Melbourne, Australian composer Catherine Duc releases “Visions and Dreams” in June, 2005. This is her debut release.  

Logging in at just over 41 minutes the CD kicks things off with “Essence of Dreams” a peaceful intro piece with hypnotic groove, and impressive mystic flutes and a barrage of vocal textures. Track 2 “Dancing in the Mist” delivers yet another impressive techo-type flow, with nice harp accents, and strong melodic foundation. Track 3 “Evocation” is another melody with driving rhythm, impressive vocal harmonies, and industrial-type textures and overtones. The music itself has a vibe reminiscent to Deep Forest or Enigma with robotic techno grooves, and honey coated vocal accents. Duc’s writing style is melodic, warm, and enjoyable. As this CD slowly unfolds its obvious Duc’s music has everything you would expect from an Ambient production. The musical touches of guitar, flute, and vocals are very well placed and extremely effective within the context of the mix. You will discover rich ambience everywhere, coupled with many passionate melodies all gently taking you by the hand and leading you on journey around the world. From positive melodies like “One Autumn Day”, “Midsummer Twilight” to worldly ballads like “Secret Sanctuary” and “Incense” these songs will lift your spirit while filling your sonic space with peaceful tranquility. The CD end on a positive note with the finale ballad “In the Light of Day”

Many of the rhythms presented on “Visions and Dreams” tend to be robotic, dry, and predictable. Listen to “Track 9 “Rivulet” to hear what I’m talking about. The bass grooves sound very robotic, and lack what I would call a serious bottom end. A few of the songs pushing 5 minutes will test your attention span. The presentation lacks detailed information about the artist in question, including a photo or bio. If you listen to “Visions and Dreams” on headphones many of the primary melodies are textures are very in your face, and will overwhelm your ears making you instinctively want to turn the volume down. Indicating a bit hot within the mix.   

Overall this release from Catherine Duc has some truly impressive moments. Its strong suit is the rich sonic layering, Industrial-type beats and sampling, and overall consistency of the music. I did not fail to notice many amazing industrial accents woven deep within the fabric of the music. Duc displays some brilliant creativity here, and has solid instincts when it comes to her overall writing style, vocal harmonies, and melodic accents. Catherine Duc is a brilliant composer, and if you are a fan of all things ambient you should dive head first into “Visions and Dreams” as soon as possible.

Cyrus Rhodes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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