California synthesist Walter Holland has commanded a sterling rep--at least in underground circles--for symphonic Teutonica that often comes across as an unholy merger of Tangerine Dream and Pink Floyd. Amber Route, Holland's first band before he went solo, released two highly sought-after albums that have become something like cult objects among the electronic/space prog congnescenti. Relic, an offshoot of the Projekt label, has finally committed to the digital domain Amber Route's singular debut.
Both Holland and multi-instrumentalist Richard Watson have created a series of perplexing, oddball works that resists easy categorization. Amber Route tilts the axis between organic rock and cosmic space freakout--to often jarring effect. The 16-minute epic "Asteroid Joroid," replete with the smell of burning synthesizers and sounds hijacked from a long-lost Cosmic Jokers session, most significantly reveals this upheaval. A welcome reissue, the disc has been impeccably remastered and boasts a sound that resurrects the group's vinyl-stuck sonic beasties.