Van & Borner - Miracles

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Independent
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 43:38:00

Electronic progressive rock is a maddeningly complex affair for even the most knowledgeable of prog scholars, among which, yours truly should mention, I don't find myself. Sure, back when bands like Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream were starting out it didn't take the collective intelligence of Einstein, Newton, and Monica Lewinsky to categorize the budding movement and shelf appropriate new bands under it. But nowadays, it would take Einstein squared plus exponential Newton minus half Lewinsky to figure out what is and what isn't, what is related and what isn't, and whether or not anyone gives a damn anymore. And the whole reason for the long-winded introduction featuring illustrated scientists and unorthodox cigar users is Van & Borner, a Polish entity that sounds mostly like new age, but which can also slide under the electronic prog rock category thanks to the development of dudes like the well-known Teuton Klaus Schulze.

Miracles is, like most new age affairs, a collection of tracks that avoids being very demanding emotionally, instead floating placidly with vague atmospheres of sound and catchy Enya-like vocal lines that are both easy to remember and forget. Little is surprising or unexpected, and the obvious homogeinity of texture and ideas could initially obscure guest Darek Budkiewicz's goregously tasteful bass work, which is undoubtedly the most rewarding aspect of the album. That and "Lullaby For Goodnight," a beautiful melancholy piece that offers the listener the only truly poignant moment in the proceedings and one that clearly stands out from what otherwise seems like a continuous string of similar ideas. Otherwise, Miracles is simply a run-of-the-mill product of this type of electronic exploration: nothing that will offend the ears, but nothing that will make a lasting impression on them either.

Having said that, it becomes almost imperative to make clear that there is nothing inherently wrong with Barbara Zielinska-Van and Sabina Borner's abilities in creating new age music that is slightly trippy and fully atmospheric; something that they are indeed very capable of producing, with a level of quality that surpasses that of many other purveyors of this style. It's just that, regardless of the crystalline production and apparent cohesiveness, it's hard to even pay attention throughout most of Miracles, with one's brain switching to background music mode every three seconds until track 8 comes in.

Similar artists: Klaus Schulze, Enya

Shadow Dancing (6:36) / Walking In Clouds (3:44) /. Golden Spirits (7:28) / Masai Boy (4:06) / Evening On The Island (4:46) / Miracles (3:20) / Mystic (5:26) / Lullaby For Goodnight (4:28) / Walking In Clouds (R.V.) (3:44)

Barbara Zielinska-Van - synthesizers
Sabina Borner - synthesize

Guest musicians: Darek Budkiewicz - bass
Marek Görlitz - guitars
Jola Literska - vocals

Barbara Zielinska-Van - Wizje (1995)
Van & Borner - Koledy (1999)
Barbara Zielinska-Van - Muzyka Ilustracyjna (1999)
Barbara Zielinska-Van - Secret Garden (2002)
Various - Skladanka El-Projekt (2002)
Van & Borner - Miracles (2003)
Van - "I Fly" (2005)

Genre: Electronic

Origin PL

Added: August 6th 2005
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Artist website:
Hits: 882
Language: english


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