Rob Gould - "Rendezvous With Rama" - Reviews

Keyboard virtuoso Rob Gould’s view that, “ I maybe took a little longer than I’d have hoped” seems to be a little harsh when listening to Rendezvous With Rama for the first time. A good wine can’t be rushed, this album shows that Rob is maturing well and exploring new areas of his creative talent.

Rob has taken his solo electronic style to a different planet or solar system as he heads off for his Rendezvous With Rama. Those expecting the dramatic film score style of Caves of Thunder, China or Wookey, may be in for a bit of a surprise. The album still contains the usual Gould melody and atmosphere, but Rob has been off exploring new frontiers, using more effects as we journey into the music.

Rama could probably be best described as a ‘classic’, (whatever that maybe), electronic album with a hint of today. Effects, loops and the normal trappings of state of the art electronica, blending with classical piano sounds, haunting voice, bass guitar, guitar and even didgeridoo!

The album runs in at over sixty minutes, with twenty seven ‘movements’, however, the album does play straight through, each segment blending and leading into the next making it somewhat, ‘radio unfriendly’. Don’t let that put you off!

How to describe the album in a few words? Well, I’ll have a go, a challenging listen, a departure from Rob’s previous works, inventive, charming, haunting and I suppose at times slightly disturbing. To try and listen to the album in small parts just doesn’t do it justice, it has to be appreciated as a complete work for the magic to really sink in!

Each segment of the overall work has its own feel, linked by Rob’s piano, which runs pretty much through the album, appearing, leading then fading only to return when the time is right.

An inventive, charming yet powerful release, fans of Rob’s earlier works may not take to this straight away, but fans of the more challenging electronic music of the Synth world should really take to this, hopefully winning Rob more fans. After all he deserves it.

Paul Baker
Rock 247 Radio

Based on the Arthur C. Clarke novel concerning the exploration of a giant alien cylinder that suddenly appears in the Solar System, this hour-long suite of music captures perfectly both the eerie atmosphere of the apparently-deserted Rama, and the ever-present sense of forboding that permeates the book, while at the same time standing up as an effective piece of synth-driven ambient music in its own right.

Rob has surpassed himself here, building up the tension and atmosphere with different textures as each piece segues seamlessly into its successor.

Nigel Moss and the other musicians make effective contributions, and Fiona Ford's angelic vocal here takes on an unearthly quality much in keeping with the beautiful but slightly disturbing feel of the album. The book's great, too!

Dave Winstanley
for the Classic Rock Society

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