The Silicon Scientist - Outside The Night
Synthpop The Silicon Scientist returns to dazzle us once again with his highly technical programming skills and musical arrangements. I've followed Stefan Bornhorst's music since 2006's 'Windows On The World' LP was released, which really added to the intrigue of his highly anticipated new album 'Outside The Night' double CD on Anna Logue Records. The CD is limited to 200 copies and comes in a gatefold Eco pack. The best part for listeners is that do you get 18 audio tracks; and you also get 42 more tracks in data format consisting of instrumental versions, demos and rough mixes making this a monster of a release timing out in over 5 hours! There is also a double LP gatefold version limited to 373 copies on 180 gram black vinyl. You can also access the data material with the purchase of the vinyl.

Throughout the entire output The Silicon Scientist takes the listener into beautifully crafted chimerical worlds where electronic dreams take the stage and pull us into many wondrous directions. Every track is carefully designed to elicit a dream-like response that weaves its themes into the coils our minds. The music generates a gentle force that seduces our senses. "Tonight" launches us into the silicon abyss with some enchanting sounds running side by side with soothing melodic robotic vocals tucked nicely into the fabric of the composition. There seems to be a yearning for the coming darkness. An image of two lovers finding happiness at nightfall or perhaps just an obsession with all things dark take the listener's imagination on a little stroll of wonder and excitement. "Tonight" is a brilliant harbinger of things to come on 'Outside The Night'. Besides the obvious use of the analogue equipment and the vocoder, we hear the grand electric piano, Tenayo autoharp and a 12 string acoustic guitar. Every detail strategically arranged to work flawlessly in the beautiful and intoxicating "Tonight".

"Changes" generates an upbeat 80's feel that at times reminds me of OMD. The vocals are still distant, melodic and gently distorted. This time the song seems to revolve around the theme of never ending daylight. It could be a dream? "The Longest Day" continues the dream-like peregrination through the slow-wave sleep state with dancing delta waves eventually giving way to the Beta 1 frequencies. There are some familiar sounds revisited from "Tonight" with the Tenayo autoharp and the vocoder. Again, The Silicon Scientist delivers top notch arrangements that could take the listener into altered states of consciousness.

"The Longest Day" is followed by our first of many instrumentals, "The Fall Part 1". It flows seamlessly into the layout and song order. More dreamy synths with darker tones painted into the sound layers.

"Sinister Street" clocks in at nearly 7 minutes. Like most Silicon Scientist tracks the vocals pieces are short and sweet. There may be a few lines that are repeated throughout. Most of the 6+ minutes are nicely arranged instrumental rides on "Sinister Street". "Why are we here? Why are we dancing?" are the standout lyrics. I don't know why they are there or even why they are dancing. I can only speculate that they are listening to 'Outside The Night'.

"On Her Own" continues the journey. This time a couple leaves Earth to explore space in an orange car that is headed directly for the sun. "Danger!! Will Robinson!!!!" comes to mind. The lyrics are hard to make out, but what I do know is they are headed for the sun. Somehow at the end of the song we hear the rolling waves on a beach. There must be a deeper meaning? No matter the lyrical content, The Silicon Scientist delivers high quality synthetic bliss. The lyrics are truly ancillary in the big picture. The placement and production of the vocal pieces are never the dominant characteristic of any song.

As a resident of the great state of New Jersey, I am only a short drive from any number of beaches. Each year, I look forward to late August as we venture down to Cape May for a short week's vacation to bid farewell to the hot summer months. The lighthouses are always a fascinating staple in the picturesque town. I remember being at the top of the lighthouse looking over the vast and endless ocean. At night I can see the lights from deep sea fishing boats and oil rigs. The sound of the crashing waves relaxes me as I stare for what seems like hours. The nighttime sky showers me with the radiance of the stars. For that brief moment nothing else matters. It's a moment of tranquility, a moment of serenity. I can easily transport myself back to those moments at will. "Lighthouse Part 1" takes on that memory by adding music to the experience. I feel as if it was written for me exclusively. "Lighthouse Part 2" is a short new age inspired instrumental with plenty of waves crashing and seagulls chirping. As the night grows old, this is when you realize your moments of tranquility are fading back to reality.

The concluding routine to disc 1 takes us home with a mellow venture into relaxation with "Annex 1 DK86". The Silicon Scientist's instrumentals could easily be the soundtrack to meditation or even music a spa would play while you have a deep tissue massage or perhaps a mud bath in hypersaline environment as if you were actually in Lake Techirghiol in Romania.

As we move into the second disc of 'Outside The Night', there is no let down whatsoever. "Trinity Place" returns us to the form we heard with earlier tracks on disc 1 like "Tonight" and "Sinister Street". The dreamy feel to the synth arrangements take us to a place of lonely windy and rainy streets. "Trinity Place" seems to act as a refuge to get away from the loneliness and the harsh environments of the outside world. William Butler Yeats wrote several poems with escapism themes. Could this be The Silicon Scientists’ version of Yeats’ Innisfree or Byzantium works?

“Sundial” like the previous track delivers another nice synthpop feel with the usual vocal treatments. Once again our minds drift and merge into the musical landscape. The Silicon Scientist has a knack for creating music that generates a powerful connection with the music to the listener’s mind. We hardly notice we have become one with the music for a brief moment before we refocus to the tasks at hand.

“The Fall Part II” is a short instrumental featuring an electric grand piano. It lasts for only a minute, until the soothing sounds of “Pictures” takes over for the next six and half minutes. “Pictures” is another powerful example of the masterful arrangements that result in another brilliant display of skill that intoxicates the listener into semi-dream state trance as the music infiltrates each region of the brain.

“Annex II NY.89” is another track devoid of the vocal element. Like all of the instrumental pieces on the release, I do not consider them to be filler material. When you listen to The Silicon Scientist it has to be for the music. The vocal sections are just passengers on the arrangements. The vocals do add to the feeling of the music, but in some cases the song would be just as strong with them than without them. You can even test that theory on the data material mentioned later on in the article.

Perhaps my favorite track on ‘Outside The Night’ is called “Operators”. Again the music dominates and delivers an airy cosmic mid-tempo ride into the unknown. The louder I play the music the more I notice. The synth structures are diverse with a wide range of sound delivering memorable moments throughout. The vocoder emerges yet again defining the Silicon Scientist’s signature sound.

“European Parks In The Rain” is the longest song on the double disc clocking in at nearly 8 minutes. Although you can dance to most every track, this is the one I feel has the greatest pull to the dancefloor. A nice bassline is consistent and compliments the vocals. “European Parks In The Rain” is the most vocal of all the tracks. Along with “Operators” this is a top track that will surely convert a lot of listeners to become diehard Silicon Scientist fans!

“Annex III” is one more of several short instrumental pieces. The music is slow with some airy synths that are paralleled with a deeper sounding piece. It almost feels like the daylight is our protagonist and the dark plays the role of the antagonist. This is an ever-present theme throughout the album. It allows the mind to wander and come to its own conclusions. This theme may have been influenced by the final track on this monstrous opus which was originally written and performed by the legendary Adrian Borland of The Sound, Second Layer as well as his solo works. The Silicon Scientist, as a tribute to Adrian Borland’s musical legacy recreates the acoustic classic “Four Lonely Hours Away” into an electronic landscape of admiration and beauty. Along with “Four Lonely Hours Away” there are other nods to Mr. Borland with the track “European Streets In The Rain” which is witnessed in The Silicon Scientist’s “European Parks In The Rain”. Borland committed suicide in 1999 while recording his ‘Harmony And Destruction’ album, but to those that new him, he was murdered by his mental illness that he refused to be treated for. This may be the perfect cover to sum up the duality of light and darkness that exists in the overall theme of ‘Outside The Night’.

The data tracks include instrumental versions of the album as well as many rough takes and demos. I found the rough drafts and demo versions very entertaining. When you learn that there are hours of extra music in data form, you think it is probably all extra stuff that wasn’t good enough for the album. I look at it from the perspective; there were still more opportunities to push the each track to another level of creativity in the eyes and mind of The Silicon Scientists himself, Stefan Bornhorst. For example, there are versions of “Operators”, “Pictures” and “Rainstars” from 2009 that allow you insight to the origins of the tracks through their years of development. I really enjoyed the gear used to produce “Polymoogie (Demo-9 2009)” and “On Her Own (Polymoogie + Solina Studio Run-through 5.2013)”. Both tracks captured my ears with the basslines, deep synth tones and twinkling keys .The rough mix versions of “Lighthouse’, “Trinity Place” and “Tonight” will not only have you scratching your head as to why these are inferior versions of the final version, but also marvel at the fact that Stefan Bornhorst wasn’t 100% satisfied with the earlier output. Many musicians would have been happy with the earlier version and left it as the final version. The funny thing about these so-called rough mixes and even the demos is that I feel they are for the most part good enough to be the final product. Stefan Bornhorst gives us a detailed look into the evolution of his music. As a non-musician, I found that data material is a perfect counterpart to the proper album because it showed not only development of the songs on ‘Outside The Night’, but it gave us hint to how much of a perfectionist Bornhorst may actually be. I found myself drawn to each and every track. I absolutely respect the fact that the artist pushed the boundaries into new territory, giving this entire album top rankings in the Silicon Scientists’ mysterious universe.

‘Outside The Night’ is a classy release worthy of all the praise and adoration it has received and certainly will receive. The labels and the artists work hard to bring new and innovative bands to the forefront. I really hope the press this album gets from all great webzines, magazines and websites open some more eyes and ears to the wonderful world of underground electronic music. My tip to you is this. Go to Anna Logue Records on the Web and tell Mr. Schaffer you want to purchase some Silicon Scientist. It will be one of the best moves of your life. Cheers!
5
Brutal Resonance

The Silicon Scientist - Outside The Night

The Silicon Scientist returns to dazzle us once again with his highly technical programming skills and musical arrangements. I've followed Stefan Bornhorst's music since 2006's 'Windows On The World' LP was released, which really added to the intrigue of his highly anticipated new album 'Outside The Night' double CD on Anna Logue Records. The CD is limited to 200 copies and comes in a gatefold Eco pack. The best part for listeners is that do you get 18 audio tracks; and you also get 42 more tracks in data format consisting of instrumental versions, demos and rough mixes making this a monster of a release timing out in over 5 hours! There is also a double LP gatefold version limited to 373 copies on 180 gram black vinyl. You can also access the data material with the purchase of the vinyl.

Throughout the entire output The Silicon Scientist takes the listener into beautifully crafted chimerical worlds where electronic dreams take the stage and pull us into many wondrous directions. Every track is carefully designed to elicit a dream-like response that weaves its themes into the coils our minds. The music generates a gentle force that seduces our senses. "Tonight" launches us into the silicon abyss with some enchanting sounds running side by side with soothing melodic robotic vocals tucked nicely into the fabric of the composition. There seems to be a yearning for the coming darkness. An image of two lovers finding happiness at nightfall or perhaps just an obsession with all things dark take the listener's imagination on a little stroll of wonder and excitement. "Tonight" is a brilliant harbinger of things to come on 'Outside The Night'. Besides the obvious use of the analogue equipment and the vocoder, we hear the grand electric piano, Tenayo autoharp and a 12 string acoustic guitar. Every detail strategically arranged to work flawlessly in the beautiful and intoxicating "Tonight".

"Changes" generates an upbeat 80's feel that at times reminds me of OMD. The vocals are still distant, melodic and gently distorted. This time the song seems to revolve around the theme of never ending daylight. It could be a dream? "The Longest Day" continues the dream-like peregrination through the slow-wave sleep state with dancing delta waves eventually giving way to the Beta 1 frequencies. There are some familiar sounds revisited from "Tonight" with the Tenayo autoharp and the vocoder. Again, The Silicon Scientist delivers top notch arrangements that could take the listener into altered states of consciousness.

"The Longest Day" is followed by our first of many instrumentals, "The Fall Part 1". It flows seamlessly into the layout and song order. More dreamy synths with darker tones painted into the sound layers.

"Sinister Street" clocks in at nearly 7 minutes. Like most Silicon Scientist tracks the vocals pieces are short and sweet. There may be a few lines that are repeated throughout. Most of the 6+ minutes are nicely arranged instrumental rides on "Sinister Street". "Why are we here? Why are we dancing?" are the standout lyrics. I don't know why they are there or even why they are dancing. I can only speculate that they are listening to 'Outside The Night'.

"On Her Own" continues the journey. This time a couple leaves Earth to explore space in an orange car that is headed directly for the sun. "Danger!! Will Robinson!!!!" comes to mind. The lyrics are hard to make out, but what I do know is they are headed for the sun. Somehow at the end of the song we hear the rolling waves on a beach. There must be a deeper meaning? No matter the lyrical content, The Silicon Scientist delivers high quality synthetic bliss. The lyrics are truly ancillary in the big picture. The placement and production of the vocal pieces are never the dominant characteristic of any song.

As a resident of the great state of New Jersey, I am only a short drive from any number of beaches. Each year, I look forward to late August as we venture down to Cape May for a short week's vacation to bid farewell to the hot summer months. The lighthouses are always a fascinating staple in the picturesque town. I remember being at the top of the lighthouse looking over the vast and endless ocean. At night I can see the lights from deep sea fishing boats and oil rigs. The sound of the crashing waves relaxes me as I stare for what seems like hours. The nighttime sky showers me with the radiance of the stars. For that brief moment nothing else matters. It's a moment of tranquility, a moment of serenity. I can easily transport myself back to those moments at will. "Lighthouse Part 1" takes on that memory by adding music to the experience. I feel as if it was written for me exclusively. "Lighthouse Part 2" is a short new age inspired instrumental with plenty of waves crashing and seagulls chirping. As the night grows old, this is when you realize your moments of tranquility are fading back to reality.

The concluding routine to disc 1 takes us home with a mellow venture into relaxation with "Annex 1 DK86". The Silicon Scientist's instrumentals could easily be the soundtrack to meditation or even music a spa would play while you have a deep tissue massage or perhaps a mud bath in hypersaline environment as if you were actually in Lake Techirghiol in Romania.

As we move into the second disc of 'Outside The Night', there is no let down whatsoever. "Trinity Place" returns us to the form we heard with earlier tracks on disc 1 like "Tonight" and "Sinister Street". The dreamy feel to the synth arrangements take us to a place of lonely windy and rainy streets. "Trinity Place" seems to act as a refuge to get away from the loneliness and the harsh environments of the outside world. William Butler Yeats wrote several poems with escapism themes. Could this be The Silicon Scientists’ version of Yeats’ Innisfree or Byzantium works?

“Sundial” like the previous track delivers another nice synthpop feel with the usual vocal treatments. Once again our minds drift and merge into the musical landscape. The Silicon Scientist has a knack for creating music that generates a powerful connection with the music to the listener’s mind. We hardly notice we have become one with the music for a brief moment before we refocus to the tasks at hand.

“The Fall Part II” is a short instrumental featuring an electric grand piano. It lasts for only a minute, until the soothing sounds of “Pictures” takes over for the next six and half minutes. “Pictures” is another powerful example of the masterful arrangements that result in another brilliant display of skill that intoxicates the listener into semi-dream state trance as the music infiltrates each region of the brain.

“Annex II NY.89” is another track devoid of the vocal element. Like all of the instrumental pieces on the release, I do not consider them to be filler material. When you listen to The Silicon Scientist it has to be for the music. The vocal sections are just passengers on the arrangements. The vocals do add to the feeling of the music, but in some cases the song would be just as strong with them than without them. You can even test that theory on the data material mentioned later on in the article.

Perhaps my favorite track on ‘Outside The Night’ is called “Operators”. Again the music dominates and delivers an airy cosmic mid-tempo ride into the unknown. The louder I play the music the more I notice. The synth structures are diverse with a wide range of sound delivering memorable moments throughout. The vocoder emerges yet again defining the Silicon Scientist’s signature sound.

“European Parks In The Rain” is the longest song on the double disc clocking in at nearly 8 minutes. Although you can dance to most every track, this is the one I feel has the greatest pull to the dancefloor. A nice bassline is consistent and compliments the vocals. “European Parks In The Rain” is the most vocal of all the tracks. Along with “Operators” this is a top track that will surely convert a lot of listeners to become diehard Silicon Scientist fans!

“Annex III” is one more of several short instrumental pieces. The music is slow with some airy synths that are paralleled with a deeper sounding piece. It almost feels like the daylight is our protagonist and the dark plays the role of the antagonist. This is an ever-present theme throughout the album. It allows the mind to wander and come to its own conclusions. This theme may have been influenced by the final track on this monstrous opus which was originally written and performed by the legendary Adrian Borland of The Sound, Second Layer as well as his solo works. The Silicon Scientist, as a tribute to Adrian Borland’s musical legacy recreates the acoustic classic “Four Lonely Hours Away” into an electronic landscape of admiration and beauty. Along with “Four Lonely Hours Away” there are other nods to Mr. Borland with the track “European Streets In The Rain” which is witnessed in The Silicon Scientist’s “European Parks In The Rain”. Borland committed suicide in 1999 while recording his ‘Harmony And Destruction’ album, but to those that new him, he was murdered by his mental illness that he refused to be treated for. This may be the perfect cover to sum up the duality of light and darkness that exists in the overall theme of ‘Outside The Night’.

The data tracks include instrumental versions of the album as well as many rough takes and demos. I found the rough drafts and demo versions very entertaining. When you learn that there are hours of extra music in data form, you think it is probably all extra stuff that wasn’t good enough for the album. I look at it from the perspective; there were still more opportunities to push the each track to another level of creativity in the eyes and mind of The Silicon Scientists himself, Stefan Bornhorst. For example, there are versions of “Operators”, “Pictures” and “Rainstars” from 2009 that allow you insight to the origins of the tracks through their years of development. I really enjoyed the gear used to produce “Polymoogie (Demo-9 2009)” and “On Her Own (Polymoogie + Solina Studio Run-through 5.2013)”. Both tracks captured my ears with the basslines, deep synth tones and twinkling keys .The rough mix versions of “Lighthouse’, “Trinity Place” and “Tonight” will not only have you scratching your head as to why these are inferior versions of the final version, but also marvel at the fact that Stefan Bornhorst wasn’t 100% satisfied with the earlier output. Many musicians would have been happy with the earlier version and left it as the final version. The funny thing about these so-called rough mixes and even the demos is that I feel they are for the most part good enough to be the final product. Stefan Bornhorst gives us a detailed look into the evolution of his music. As a non-musician, I found that data material is a perfect counterpart to the proper album because it showed not only development of the songs on ‘Outside The Night’, but it gave us hint to how much of a perfectionist Bornhorst may actually be. I found myself drawn to each and every track. I absolutely respect the fact that the artist pushed the boundaries into new territory, giving this entire album top rankings in the Silicon Scientists’ mysterious universe.

‘Outside The Night’ is a classy release worthy of all the praise and adoration it has received and certainly will receive. The labels and the artists work hard to bring new and innovative bands to the forefront. I really hope the press this album gets from all great webzines, magazines and websites open some more eyes and ears to the wonderful world of underground electronic music. My tip to you is this. Go to Anna Logue Records on the Web and tell Mr. Schaffer you want to purchase some Silicon Scientist. It will be one of the best moves of your life. Cheers! Dec 11 2015

Luke Jacobs

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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