Angel Tears

Way of the Mystic (aka Vol. 1)

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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason

A solid debut from this Israeli progressive trance duo, 1998's Angel Tears mostly stays away from the clich├ęs of the ethnic electronic or tribal techno subgenres. Though Middle Eastern and Indian voices and instruments (mostly sampled, but some live) drift through this spaciously-produced album, the emphasis remains on Momi Ochiron and Sebastian James Taylor's songs, which sound strongly rooted in English progressive rock of the '70s. The acoustic guitar at the heart of "Midbar Sinai" owes a lot to Mike Oldfield, and other tracks, particularly "The Way of the Mystic," recall Fragile-era Yes given a beatbox update. As always with ambient techno, the instrumental and vocal textures are paramount, but, unusually for this genre, the melodies of these lengthy tunes are largely memorable, and moods and arrangements vary widely from song to song. By gearing their music for situations other than the chill-out rooms at raves, Angel Tears have made an album that both invites and rewards close listening.

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