Born and raised in Trondheim, Norway, Ketil Lien (who also records as Wim) is a producer of electronic soundscapes that often traverse the boundaries of ambient, chill-out, new age and cinema-inspired compositions. With several albums released on the long-standing English label, AD Music, his past works have joined the ranks of those by other prominent recording artists and label-mates such as David Wright, Ian Boddy and Richard Bone. Comprised of ten compositions spanning approximately fifty-three minutes, The Second Dimension is both classic and outstanding electronic-space music, noted by the incorporation of both modern and vintage synthesizers, and often recalls the works of Tangerine Dream (especially some of their 1980’s-era albums), Vangelis and Jean Michel-Jarre, while also bearing the notably edgier, often danceable electronic stylings of Depeche Mode and Erasure.

The opening piece, “Celestial Beginning”, alludes to the mysteries of space and time, as wordless celestial voices swoosh upon electronic tribal-esque percussion, which gradually morph into a downtempo trance rhythm. An enchanting composition reminiscent of cinematic fantasy, this mood is revisited frequently on much of the album. “City Moods” further picks up the pace with dynamic sequencers and a space-trance rhythm, particularly recalling that of Jean Michel-Jarre’s Oxygene and Equinoxe albums, but with a more modern flair. Slowing things down to an almost dreamlike standstill is “Diamond Beach”, an especially beautiful composition and easily my favorite track on the album. Enshrouded in an ethereal haze of synthesizers that are underscored by a chill-tempo rhythm, the piece seemingly recalls the oft-depicted idyllic scenery of a classic fantasy film. “Elysian” is another favorite that seemingly imparts images of a mythical hyperborean land with its icy timbres, foggy chords and deep, billowing resonance. Equally captivating is the gently rhythmic and spacey number, “Lost in Orbit”, which initially treads along darker terrain with its opening gusty drones and foreboding machinery-like sounds that slowly give way to an approaching horizon of distant light. The title track, “The Second Dimension”, is likewise particularly alluring with its dreamy, floating textures comprised of hovering celestial voices and driftingly bouncy bell-tones. Perfectly concluding the album is “The Sleepwalker”, a most enchantingly haunting composition noted by drifty piano and harp textures with an overall encompassing soundscape that bears stylistic hallmarks of Vangelis.

Often shifting back and forth between dynamic dance sensibilities and dreamy ambient bliss, The Second Dimension takes its listener on an exciting adventure full of retro-futuristic, cinematic soundscapes. A fantastic album in its entirety, Ketil Lien’s latest release is simply a must-have for fans of classic electronic space music, as well as the sci-fi and fantasy genres! ~Candice Michelle

Links & Purchase: Ketil Lien, Amazon, iTunes

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