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Steve Hillage - Rainbow Dome Musick

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    Rainbow Dome Musick is an album of ambient music released in 1979 by Steve Hillage, with collaborations of his long-time partner Miquette Giraudy. It was later ranked as one of the 1,000 greatest albums of all time by The Guardian-Wikipedia Artist's Notes: Recorded for the Rainbow Dome at the Festival For Mind-Body-Spirit Olympia, London April 21-29,1979
    Track Listings:
    1. Garden Of Paradise 23:09
    2. Four Ever Rainbow 20:30
    Total Time: 43:39
    Artist Name(s):
    Steve Hillage
    Producer(s):
    Steve Hillage
    Release Year: 1979
    Style:
    Ambient, Drone, Experimental
    Album Type:
    Studio
    Formats:
    Cassette, Compact Disc, LP 33 1/3
    Cover & Packge Design:
    Rupert Atwill/Laserphase
    Label / Publishing
    Label Name:
    Virgin
    Catalog Number(s):
    CDVR1
    Location:
    London, England
    Sources
    Editions / Reissues
    Album Locator
    [+] Amazon
    [+] Amoeba
    [+] Discogs
    [+] Ebay
    [+] Google
    [+] YouTube

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Michael Hodgson

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   1 of 1 member found this review helpful 1 / 1 member

What a fascinating one-off `Rainbow Dome Musick' turned out to be in the diverse catalogue of guitarist Steve Hillage, as well as a completely ground-breaking work overall. He may have offered sublime Canterbury Scene-related offerings such as `Fish Rising' (not to mention his time with Gong and Arzachel) and spacey rock works with the trio of `L', `Motivation Radio' and `Green', but this 1979 album he composed with his partner Miquette Giraudy is something else entirely. Recorded especially for the Rainbow Dome at the Festival for Mind-Body-Spirit at the Olympia London that ran from April 21-29 in 1979, it has become one of the seminal and definitive ambient/progressive electronic works of the Seventies that still maintains its incredible status to this day.

The album is split into two completely instrumental side-long pieces. `Garden of Paradise' is a pool of soft running calming streams, meditative chimes, shimmering electric piano tiptoes, glissando guitar wisps, rippling loops and weeping ethereal guitar strains that gradually build in rapturous ecstasy. Ebbing washes of spacey wavering synths seem to hover in the air, a sense of reflective stillness pervading the mood. The second side's `Four Ever Rainbow' holds soothing chimes, groaning electronic trickles, mysterious electronic drifts, tranquil delays of electric guitars, time-altering synth caresses rising and falling, and waves of serene glissando strains reach for the heavens lifting aching veils of angelic cries.

`Rainbow Dome Musick' is just as iconic as other albums that successfully blended spacey electronics and new age/ambient atmospheres with guitar such as Ashra's `New Age of Earth', and it's one of the few albums that can completely alter the ambience and temperature of your environment. `Rainbow Dome Musick' was an album way ahead of its time when it was released, its aura and mystique has maintained for over 35 years now, and it still sounds absolutely timeless today.

Five stars for a classic and definitive ambient/electronic/new-age work.

(This review first appeared on the Prog Archives on January 13th, 2016).

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