REVIEWS SPACECRAFT: 'Cybersphere' Space For Music Records On their album 'Cybersphere', Spacecraft continues their exploration of the vast uncharted territory of spacemusic. Syncopated electronic blips interlock beneath thick buzzy lead lines. Deep guitar plucks and slides reverberate and intertwine with a rising human voice. Synth pads and modulated effects descend into darkness through to light. In Spacecraft's music we hear the singing of the planets, the unity of the universe, a quality of clarity and transparency as we are transported out to infinite space and returning - in stark contrast alone and unteathered, a victim of the chill of electronics. 'Cybersphere' connects well with great sonic character as well as ample cerebral content, measurable not in megabytes but in the human response. 'Cybersphere' is a distinctive and complex collage of classic themes rendered in original and unforgettable ways. Reviewed by Chuck van Zyl, host of the Gathering Concert Series and Star's End Radio Program Spacecraft - 'Cybersphere' (SpaceForMusic.com, SFM32001, CD, 2001) The ever-evolving Spacecraft now adds Josie Phelan on electric cello to the established nucleus of Tony Gerber, Giles Reaves, and the husband and wife team of John Rose and Diane Timmons. The ten tracks presented here are some of the strongest yet for the space music collective. 'Creative Acceleration' is trademark Spacecraft, with strong sequencing and guitars, and Timmons' lovely voice-as-instrument vocals. Though hints of classic influences like Tangerine Dream are often present, Spacecraft has developed a signature sound that is growing more recognisable with each release. Despite the personnel changes, Spacecraft has managed to be remarkably consistent. Flutes are a nice touch on 'Anima-Machina,' as they seem to echo in the distance. Light synthesizer pads and tinkling electronics over the top set a bright mood that contrasts nicely with the haunting flutes. The first half of the track is floating music, featuring slow, liquid tones from Gerber's guitar. A rapid but quiet sequence appears, eventually joined by organ, which lends intensity to the proceedings. The sequencer seems to dance all around it, and what was once a languishing piece of music is now quite active. 'Fragile' is appropriately named, brief and delicate, with beautiful subtleties in the form of piano and a few synthesizers. It is elegant and a bit sad. 'Tunnel' is a swirling, hypnotic piece in the tradition of earlier works by Michael Stearns like M'Ocean, with a hint of Phillip Glass. 'House Of Gaudi' is dramatic, building to a crescendo of organ, guitars, and thunder. Jazz is an occasional influence throughout Spacecraft's albums, appearing here in the form of 'Blue Planet Blue,' with a jazz bass line and a wailing sound that seems like a strange hybrid of guitar and harmonica, quite distinctive and effective. Even tracks like 'Interlude,' which is a formless ambient bridging piece, are interesting in and of themselves. The disc is strong throughout, with a particularly good finish in the last three tracks, which comprise 25 minutes of stellar space music. 2001 (c) Phil Derby / Sequences Magazine SPACECRAFT: 'Cybersphere' Space For Music Records 'Cybersphere' is an elegant melange of sequences, atmospheres and uplifting minimalism. Given those characteristics, it could only be a Spacecraft CD. Tony Gerber, Diane Timmons, John Rose, Giles Reaves and Josie Phelan created this stunning soundscape during two concerts in the Cybersphere Planetarium at the Renaissance Center in Tennessee. It has everything that listeners have come to expect and cherish from this veteran ensemble and then some! Josie (a new member) adds an electric cello that brings just a touch of melancholy to the proceedings. It balances the joyous and triumphal soundscape expertly. The disc contains over an hour of Spacecraft's signature meditative and introspective stylings. [The high mark of the disc is the densely sequenced and brilliant 'House of Gaudi.' (Spacecraft contributed that piece to 'Tracks Across the Universe.' It is on CD #3.)] The release is on a standard CD on the Spaceformusic.com Records label. It is destined to be both classic and unforgettable! Jim Brenholts - Author of 'Tracks Across the Universe' SPACECRAFT 'Cybersphere' Space For Music Records Ahh... The new age ambient music composer, alone with the synthesizer and keyboard, wearing a billowy shirt, surrounded by new age paraphenalia and burning just the right kind of incense. It's an image that may come to mind when you think of this genre of music. Local spacemusic group Spacecraft is able to (quietly) shatter these stereotypes. With the vastness of space as inspiration, this five person group creates a luscious soundtrack to the cosmos, making this group a natural to use planetariums as a setting for their live performances. And indeed this CD was recorded during two live shows at the Cybersphere Planetarium in Tennessee. While there is a lot of the expected swirling synthesizer textures, their sound is infused with other natural instruments. Guitar, pipe organ, electric cello, percussion and piano flow in and out adding a warmth to the sound textures. Vocalist Diane Timmons adds that extra layer of humanity with her angelic echoing voice, albeit sparingly. Her sound is such a marvel it is surprising not to hear her more in this recording. It's hard to get mainstream audiences to listen to music that doesn't follow that expected 4/4 beat. They simply don't know what to do with it: no predictable beat, no lyrics to hold on to, no hit single. But it all seems to make sense when you are staring out at the stars, or at least the images of them in the planetarium. Then it seems like so much more than background music. -Jim Shambu - Ace Weekly July 5, 2001 Spacecraft - 'Cybersphere' (SpaceForMusic.com, SFM32001, CD, 2001) This is a return to top form for Tony Gerber's ever-evolving electronic space music collective. The core group of players is still intact, with the addition of Josie Phelan on electric cello. After a couple of diversions into different styles, such as the minimal, earthy Summer Town, and a collection of short melodic works, Kaleida Dreams, the band goes back to their strength, a blend of classic space and electronic music with a perfect balance between improvisational floating and structured melodic passages. 'Creative Acceleration' begins the disc with beautiful, ethereal guitars and slow, spacey synthesizers. A light, bubbly sequencer passage then ensues. All the touches are just right. Recorded live at the Cybersphere Planetarium, it's hard to believe that this was largely done on the fly. The music shows a deft touch throughout, with delicate gems like 'Fragile' interspersed with more energetic, intense pieces like 'Tunnel.' The latter has a low rumbling bass sequence, soaring strings, and Diane Timmons' wordless vocals softly flowing in the background. The sounds are quite varied, including fairly dominant church organ on 'House of Gaudi.' Booming tympani somehow isn't out of place on 'Reach Out,' an otherwise very expansive, spacious piece, again nicely featuring Timmons. Phelan's cello is a welcome addition, notable at several points throughout. Cybersphere ranks with Hummel and Earthtime Tapestry as the band's best. 2001 (c) Phil Derby / Exposé Magazine.