Personnel: Paul Lawler (guitar, synthesizer, bass guitar); A.E. Paterra (synthesizer, drums).
Audio Mixer: Paul Lawler.
Recording information: Straylight Studios, Pittsburgh, PA; Treelady Studios, Turtle Creek, PA.
Pittsburgh-based drummer and synthesizer player A.E. Paterra (of Zombi and Majeure) joins British film composer and new age musician Paul Lawler for the suspenseful collaboration known as Contact. Their work blends slick synth arpeggios and muscular drumming, and it often ends up sounding like theme music to a flashy '80s action movie (with more than a hint of sci-fi), or a really intense wildlife documentary. The synths boldly take charge, wailing out triumphant melodies which soar out toward the stratosphere. The opening title track alternates between sounding like a Keith Emerson organ freakout and the theme to some long-lost Mad Max sequel. Other tracks have more of a cosmic disco beat to them. The sparkling "Grand Detector" seems to echo Space's "Magic Fly" a bit, at least until the last minute or so, when it breaks out of the 4/4 beat and the guitar brings a touch of jazz fusion to the song. "Dawn Star" is a much calmer track that comes close to being Balearic disco, with lightly funky guitar licks, soft, glistening waves of synth, and a tame, muted rhythm. Much more intense is "Sensorium," which contains pounding drums and glorious melodies showering from gray storm clouds. The album isn't too far removed from what fans of Paterra's other ventures are used to, but it's definitely more propulsive and driving than some of Majeure's more spaced-out moments, and it rarely ventures into Rush territory the way Zombi occasionally does. Instead, it's a thrilling imaginary soundtrack to an outer space adventure flick dating from well before the CGI era. ~ Paul Simpson