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Words Just Get In The Way - Geoff Luty (UK)

Recently bought Create's latest album Words Just Get In The Way and what a great listen it is.
The opener The Obsidian Eye which clocks in at 38 mins is excellent, morphing from one section to the next. It contains all the elements which make EM great, sequences, effects, mellotron and lead melodies.
Next up is a collaboration featuring Hashtronaut on guitar called Closer Than You Think. From the spacey opening which is complemented by Floydish guitar textures from Hashtronaut the piece moves along nicely on a bed of sequences, lead line melodies and fine guitar playing by Hashtronaut.
The album closes with Slave To The Groove (A Sequencer Workout) which is more in yer face heavy sequencer piece wrapped around some phasey pad sounds and some more lead line melodies.

An exciting listen for sure and a nice addition to my Create collection.

Words Just Get In The Way - John Christian (Airsculpture)

Just finished listening to "Words just get in the way". Very nice, better on the second listen (I'm not sure the car stereo did it any favours). I think the 2nd track is favourite - Hashy's guitar adds a depth to it that really works.

Words Just Get In The Way - Drone On (USA)

On Create's second self-released project, coming close on the heels of his last official release for Groove "In The Blink of an Eye," Steve Humphries eloquently proves once again he is a force to be reckoned with amongst an international elite pantheon of artists keeping the classic Berlin School EM sound alive, to include Redshift, Free System Projekt, and Radio Massacre International. "Words Just Get in the Way" unfolds in three long, immersive pieces of electronic magic.

Opener "The Obsidian Eye" is a sprawling, moody 38-minute epic, morphing effortlessly between quiet cosmic passages, mellotron sounds, sequencer interludes, and then back again, never falling short of inventive themes and ideas or getting stuck in one place for long. "Closer Than You Think" is a more upbeat affair, but no less intense, melding symphonic keys, mellotron sounds, Ashra-like rhythms, and tasteful Gilmour-ish electric guitar solos courtesy of Hashtronaut. RMI fans take note! An extremely effective track. The final piece, "Slave to the Groove," is a darkly visceral, apocalyptic masterpiece. Echoing, spiralling synth notes dripping with menace and attitude give way to a hypnotic sequence which builds with more mellotron sounds and soloing into a miasma of eviscerating, swirling dark ambience.

But don't let my "words get in the way" as they do this album little justice compared to hearing it for yourself. Definitely an album no serious connoiseur of EM should be without...

Words Just Get In The Way - Alvaro (Spain) 

Excellent album, good sequencing and solos, fine guitar playing by Hastronaut on track 2. Very good !
In the blink of an eye - Artemi Pugachov

A live-in-the-studio jam titled "No Inhibitions" kicks off this newest album by Create aka Steve Humphries. There's an atmospheric intro with all sorts of sharp synth sounds and a mournful Mellotron flute. A menacing bass sequence seeps through the web of pads and effects. More pulsations are added for what sounds like a rollercoaster of a track. What we then get are a few really fat and screaming solos. More resonant sequences are added as the tension gradually builds. The melodic themes are rather spar.se but they are effective nonetheless. The sequences subside around the 11-minute mark, leaving you alone in a sea of sharp synthesizers and cosmic effects. A subtle pulse starts, growing in intensity. Another sequence joins and in comes what sounds like the most sonically rich section of this track. All kinds of electronic pulsations, pads and melodic themes populate the sonic space with a perfect mix between the propulsive and the abstract. The track ends with yet another atmospheric section that sounds similar to the one that opened this jam. Mysterious soundscape gets the title track underway. Fast paced sequence glides through, accompanied by high-flying pads. This is some excellent music, very original. The atmosphere is that of mystery and scientific exploration. A new tinkling sequence appears, accompanied by yet another, grating pulsation. A lead line is all it takes to complete the picture of this purely Berlin School track. Mellotron strings are added for extra dramatics. The bass pulse from the first half of this track returns in solid form for the finale. Dramatic atmospheres and a melodic theme straight from early 1980's Tangerine Dream welcome "A Glimmer of Hope". This is the definitive moment of this album - very nicely done! A fast sequence gradually develops from under the surface of smooth Mellotron pads and fat, screaming synth textures. This track has got some of the most frenetic sequencing I have heard in a while. Not that it's superfast but it's so assuring and bold, you have to hear it. The rest is pretty much standard Create stuff, but the sequencing really makes this track stand out. Interesting, we need more stuff like that. "Rise To the Occasion" is brought forth by means of quite dramatic pads and wonderful cosmic effects. A pulse starts after 3 minutes, accompanied by distant hi-hat-like claps. More typical laidback sequences are added and a very nice melodic theme appears. Good! "Collision" is another "live" jam recorded in the studio in one take. Straight into business with this one - a bass throb sets the pace, as a mournful Mellotron string part wraps in up like a warm blanket. More sequences are added and the sound gets fairly intense. Another sequence supports the flow of a track that can only be described as "the hymn to sequencing". Some of the pulsations remind me on Wahnfried's "Time Actor". However, whereas on that classic work the sequences are for the most part subtle, here, they are loud and in your face. "In the Blink of An Eye" is a fine work that relies even more on the sequencing than Steve's previous efforts

In the blink of an eye - Sylvain Lupari - Guts Of Darkness

After the bubbling and spectral Lost On An Island Of Adventure, Create continues its exploration of the rhythms, sometimes sober or complex, which respire in astral nebulosity. Masterised by Ron Boots, In The Blink Of An Eye is divided into 2 parts; one live studios and the other part in studio. An interesting approach, allowing us to seize the structural evolutions of Stephen Humphries’s compositions.

Let‘s start with the live parts. The opening of No Inhibitions is presenting with twisted waves undulating on circular reverberations. A lyrical synth, with fluty breaths, circulates in this static sound mass, adding a contrasting melody in a tide of biting sound effects which spit industrialized dusts. Towards the 4th minute, a heavy sequence appears from this sonorous fixation lighting up a rhythm to constant arcs which open with loudness on velvety stratums, brooding the movement of apocalyptic serenades. From then on, a superb parade of synthesized harmonies glance through this hopping rhythmic structure before re-crossing the initial atmospheric movement in middle-course, before taking back a more caustic rhythm on synths more acutenesses.
Collisions present a more furtive, but rather heavy, sequential structure which the measure grows on a synth to multiple layers, as sedentary as fickle, where androgynous singing exercises flirt with brief harmonious inserts.
The intro of In the Blink of the Eye, the title track, takes us out quite straight ahead from the bosoms of No Inhibitions. The rhythm settles down more quickly on a circular sequencer which waves among brief brightness of an untimely keyboard. The rhythm is heavy, wrapped by a synth to floating waves and waltzing stratums which surround a more aggressive structure, fed by robust solos which are getting lost in the multi-layers of a synth to aggressive colors in accordance with the sequential permutations. A good track with unexpected rhythmic turns, branded by Create unique synthesized tone.
Quieter and slowly bring to daydreaming, A Glimmer of Hope floats on pealed chords, hemmed by a coiling synth. Fine percussions light up a rhythm which crescendoed out of breath, from a static rhythm fed by a biting synth to infernal loops which stagnate in a so electronic sea.
Rise to the Occasion begins in a cosmos with mellotron choir. Fine rolling percussions breathe a light rhythm which forms a strange cha-cha, worthy of Klaus Schulze good movements.

In the Blink of the Eye pursues the sound tradition of Create. An album with unpredictable rhythms which surprise so much by their permutations than their slow lascivious evolutions, in particular on Rise to the Occasion.
A beautiful album which will please certainly to Create fans as well as Air Sculpture and Klaus Schulze. Which is completely new in the complex musical world of Stephen Humphries's Create.

In the blink of an eye - Matt Howarth - Sonic Curiosity

This release from 2009 features 69 minutes of enthralling electronic music. Create is Stephen Humphries.

Peaceful electronics are laced with gutsier enhancements. Fundamental drones serve as an ethereal substructure for more demonstrative melodics. Surging loops emerge to season the flow with vigorous locomotion. An astral density is achieved and then bolstered by additional layers of nimble-fingered keyboard patterns. Fanciful diversions appear with regularity, keeping the music entertaining and lively. The electronics resound with deep intonations, delivering an oomph that is never murky. Meanwhile, this heaviness is countered by the resolute presence of more fanciful pitches that provide a pleasant propulsion. The union of these elements establishes a rich panorama that is flavored with glittering cosmic augmentations. While most of the tracks feature no percussion, the cyclic application of strident sounds provides a suitable rhythmic presence. In one piece, the faux rhythms achieve a startling vitality; while in another song, softly chugging beats establish an amiable tempo.

These compositions employ a slow-building structure, starting out as tenuous harmonics which steadily evolve into pastiches of zealous vitality. A sense of growth is accomplished through the constant expansion of melodies, yet the music rarely has any urgency, with each escalation flowing naturally and unhurried. A strong air of expectancy is generated as the intertwining riffs compound into thrilling configurations that shimmer with puissance and optimism.
In the blink of an eye - Kristian Persson

Delicate rhythms and sequencers is the order of the day when you put this baby in the Cd player. Create is quite well known for their ability to invent dreamy/haunting yet bright and uptempo Tangerine Dream alike music, and proof on that can be heard already on their first record called 'Reflections From The Inner Light'. They do continue, more or less Id say, in the same 'Create sound' but this time they have taken their creativity to a slightly higher level, and a very good example on that can be heard on tracks such as 'Rise to the occasion & Collide' which are stunning and marks Create at their finest hour. Incredibly haunting & inventive from start to finish.
If you liked their earlier albums then you can't go wrong with this title, as this is definitely among their best work along with 'Reflections From The Inner Light' & 'From Earth To Mars'.

The verdict is, if you like hypnotizing soundwords with a dash of good old TD sound and some haunting treats, then this is for you! And certainly for those who are familiar with Create's music already.
A Keeper!
In the blink of an eye - Paul Rijkens

“Welcome once again in the electronic world of Create”
. This is how Englishman Steve Humphries opens the booklet of his new cd “In The Blink Of An Eye” under his artistname Create. Steve’s world is deeply rooted within the Berlin School style of electronic music. This is a style in which he became a well known and household name during the last years. He does this solo as Create, as a duo with Jez Creek as Astrogator or with a group of musicians as Quadra. In the beginning, in his electronic world there was only place for a computer and the Reason software but soon he started using hardware synthesizers, new and old. And armed with this gear, he could also play live as he proved on many occasions.

“In The Blink Of An Eye” contains music Steve composed in his Backroom Studio. Two of the tracks, “No Inhibitions” and “Collision”, were played live in this studio. Steve’s music is beging built up in an excellent way. Where many retro/Berlin School-musicians use long intros with experimental effects and atmospheric sounds, Steve gets to the point rather quickly and starts his sequencers, over which he plays his solos and lays his retrosounds.
“No Inhibitions” is clearly a fine example of Steve’s approach.
The titletrack opens with soft and relaxing sounds, after which a great sequence follows. To speed things up, he uses very interesting rhythmic sounds in the thrusting “A Glimmer Of Hope”. And just listen how fat the solo synths sound!
A metallic sequence dominates the wonderful crafted “Rise To The Occasion”. Here, Steve’s love for one of the Grandmasters of electronic music, Klaus Schulze, can be heard well.
“Collision” again is played live in the studio. It contains a wonderful ongoing sequence that belongs to the most innovative ever created.

“Wherever you are in the world so much can happen in The Blink Of An Eye”, Steve says in the booklet. That is absolutely true. Let’s just hope that his career in electronic music will take many more blinks of the eye. This album proves again that Steve has moved himself in the top of the retro/Berlin School style of electronic music
Lost on an Island of Adventure - Sylvain Lupari - Guts Of Darkness

Welcome to the sonorous complex universe of Create. As years go by this fervent fan of Air Sculpure, and Tangerine Dream, forged a unique style with its reedy synth to strident laments in a nebulous sound environment where rhythm difficulty cuts his place in the immense intergalactic maelstroms of Stephen Humphries works. Inspired from the series Lost, Lost On An Island Of Adventure does not get away from Create musical structures.

As soon as we hear the first keys of Just Above The Surface we are plunged in a cosmic blackness which brings us back in the 70’s area; electronic twitters which fray in a dense mellotron space, accompanied by a synth with dubious keys, creating an embryonic melody. An intro in the pure Create tradition which becomes animated quietly on a gallops sequence which crescende on layers as melodious as hypnotic. The rhythm became heavy and hammering, Just Above The Surface effectively depicts the universe of contrast which we find on Lost One Year Island Of Adventure. A heavy and very dark title fills up will spectral mellotrons. The pace is very fragmentary and is mislaid in a tinted ambient universe of a desolation that Create transposes with accuracy.

Out off Bounds offers a cosmic forest intro. Cries of birds and animals on deviating mellotrons layers, a little bit as if our mind was escaping us. A deafening sequence releases a rhythmic paranoiac which undulates on a synth with the breaths of a harmony quite as worrying. This hybrid atmosphere where the Milky Ways meet some Amazonian elements continues on Follow the Shoreline. An intriguing title which starts on deflecting layers and some acute tinkling which inspire a beautiful dreamlike flute. Follow the Shoreline is a cosmic kind of procession which progresses on an almost hypnotic bass sequence. A galactic cha-cha stuffed of splendid whistling solos which twist around a pretty counting rhyme with tinkling minimalisms keys in a stiff mellotron field. A beautiful track which plunges us in the atmospheric portion of Lost On An Island Of Adventure with Run for Cover.

This Island Life spreads heavy mellotron veils which reverberate under a fragile flute. A poetic contrast from which a sequence escapes on a delicate metallic gallop which animates a dubious rhythmic, even incongruous in this misty opacity. Paradise is a good track on Create 6th opus. Reverberating layers, animated of threatening cymbals, in an atmosphere which seems about to burst constantly. Around the 4th minute, a beautiful sequence floods our ears, accompanied by Create caustic synths. A loud and hypnotic moment, worthy of Redshift, Volt and TD’s Franke years repertory, that dies out quietly in the rich atmospheric pads of Create.

Heaven Waits (for Grandad) close this last work of Stephen Humhpries with a sober and very atmospheric approach. Still there, mellotrons are intense and superb. They endorse a sadness which floats around in a heavy cosmic movement that silky tinkling revive of a found happiness.

Do not like Create which wants. Stephen Humhpries developed the art of complexity with dark albums of a sound density with very tight links. Lost On An Island Of Adventure makes part of works which are slowly tasted in order to seize all its dimension. A beautiful album, Create's best to date.
Lost on an Island of Adventure - Dene Bebbington

The latest studio album from Create, Steve Humphries, is inspired by the TV series Lost and dedicated to his Grandad who past away last year. By now Create has set his stall out with a style based on the three act paradigm started by Tangerine Dream in the 70s with a spacey section, the addition of sequencing and melodies, then a spacey denouement. Lost on an Island of Adventure follows in that tradition apart from the closing piece.

Liquid spacey ripples shoot over a soundscape of cosmic drones and washes in the opener “Just Above the Surface”. Further washes add wisps of melody and then a burbling sequence fades in along with a bleeping and percussive rhythm, all played in a staccato manner and augmented by quickly meandering electrified notes.

Steve has thrown in a surprisingly quirky piece called “This Island Life” to catch out people like myself who think they know what's coming next. Synth chords that expand out and die away like a ghostly klaxon lead the way for a fat beepy rhythmic loop, and later a space flute comes in to add an mysterious atmosphere. I had to do a double take when first hearing this piece because there's a constant sound which I can only describe as similar to a vacuum cleaner continually groaning in the background.

The one track not following the three act path is “Heaven Waits (for Grandad)”. Shiny flickering metallic drones sound against a reverberating tone and heavenly male chorales of the kind encountered on TD's Rubycon add an otherworldly aura. Along with slow refrains the piece conveys a mix of emotions from subdued weeping and letting go to the hope for an aferlife awaiting the departed soul.

I wouldn't call myself a big fan of this kind of music. That said, Lost on an Island of Adventure is more palatable than a lot of music oriented around sequencing that I've encountered. There's enough variety and a wonderful closing track to raise this album above being a run of the mill quasi retro fest.

Space Time Continuum - Dene Bebbington

Steve Humphries – aka Create – gone back to structuring an album across several moderate length tracks with Space Time Continuum. Anyone familiar with his work to date won't be surprised by this album, though they should enjoy it. Two of the tracks have already been heard at Awakenings in 2006, and are presented here as re-recorded studio versions.

The opening title track “Space Time Continuum” is superb. Deep droning cosmic winds and spacey whooshes give way to excerpts of Hal speaking from the film 2001 A Space Odyssey and wondrous refrains gracefully ebbing and flowing. Discordant spacey noises then briefly intrude as a lead up to TD-esque chorals which in turned are followed by a beeping sound stuttering in and out of the foreground. A laid back percussive and beat driven rhythm is overlaid by assorted rhythms and melodies. This is a modern take, and an improvement, on the much imitated mid-70s era TD

Each track follows a similar pattern with a spacey ambient lead up to a rhythmic or sequencing passage followed by a short reprise of the beginning for the denouement. This template isn't used to recreate old TD though; while some similar sonic elements are heard this is definitely Steve's own take on a well trodden path.

Two tracks are more subdued than the rest. One of these is “Ghost in the Machine”. Unsettling alien stuttering sounds open up over slowly twisting pads. An eerie refrain that wouldn't be out of place in a film then comes in briefly followed by some of the chorals heard on other tracks. All this builds up to a lazy tempo percussive rhythm and spooky sounds with a high(ish) pitched sheen consort with more chorals.

Steve obviously still has his heart in the classic TD from the 70s. While I wasn't enthused about his previous album Kindred Spirits I can say that Space Time Continuum is a better and more mature work.

Lost on an Island of Adventure - Artemi Pugachov

Here we have the latest release from British electronic musician Steve Humphries aka Create. 

"Just Above the Surface" begins in typical EM fashion, with twittery effects and mysterious pads. Very soon, a moody synthesizer melody is heard. However, things remain pretty much retrained for a few minutes more. After the 5-minute mark we hear the long-awaited sequences slowly creeping in. They are supported by a heavy noisy rhythm and a symphonic lead line. Another excellent upper register sequence joins and we are now firmly in Berlin School territory. The music is unusually soft, gentle and flowing for Create, which is mostly known for a rougher, more biting sound. Not that it was an unwelcome change, though. Excellent atmospheric section closes this epic track that is, in many ways, a formulaic Berlin School composition and yet has enough originality and new interesting sounds to really keep your attention. 

"Out of Bounds" begins with phased pads and exotic effects (like tropic birds for instance). Excellent synth lead line comes in, in stark contrast with the sounds of wildlife. A curious sequence appears, making the track sound more urgent and somewhat restless. A symphonic lead line is a nice extra, before the atmospherics return and draw this track to its close. 

"Follow the Shoreline" begins mysteriously with synth atmospheres and tinkling electronic bells. The pads then take over, joined by high-pitched Mellotron flutes. Nice atmosphere! A very unusual, slow sequence starts as all of the above-mentioned elements appear in various combinations. A high-pitched sequence appears, as an analogue lead line plays on top. The track is finished with Mellotron flutes and a lot of phased pads. 

"Run For Cover" introduces heavy rain / thunder effects and unnerving pads. Interesting synth sounds compliment this moody and totally atmospheric (no rhythms!) piece of music. "This Island Life" begins with some twittering effects and pads. They are combined with a low, siren like bass synth. Mellotron flutes also appear in small doses. A sequence appears, sounding somewhat out of tune. I am not sure if this is intentional or not but it does create (no pun intended) a strange, vertigo-like effect. Another sequence soon joins, and a very strange one it is, too, sounding as if coming from a 1980's digital synth. The third upper-register sequence compliments the first two, creating (man, it becomes tough avoiding this! :-) a very intense sound. 

"Paradise" begins with soft atmospheres and some contrasting effects. A sharp, but at the same time liquid lead line hints at the glory to come. A sequence appears as the track gets even more dramatic. Fat, dual-oscillator lead lines are very nice. As it turns out, the sequencer part of this track was relatively short and three minutes prior to the track's close, we are back to atmospherics. 

"Heaven Waits" is a bonus track dedicated to Steve's Grandad. Gentle pads and heavenly voices is what we get from the beginning. The track sounds very emotional and sincere. Nice Mellotron choirs are a classic extra. After a while we hear a slow tinkling sequence, sounding very melodic and ethereal. Although the track is somewhat different in style from the rest of the material, I thought it was also one of the best tracks. 

"Lost On An Island of Adventure" is certainly the best one I've heard from Steve and it does manage to create that special atmosphere of being on a deserted tropical island. Best tracks: "Just Above the Surface" because it shows some new sounds and possibly new style; and "Heaven Waits" for its sheer emotional power. Get this album from Groove.

Lost on an Island of Adventure - Press Information

During March 2007, Stephen Humphries had a nasty accident at his work, leaving him house bound and unable to work properly for four months. While being at home, the Englishman started watching the TV-series “Lost”. The impressions of the show about a plane crash, leaving the survivors trapped on an island where all kinds of things are happening, inspired Stephen to record some new material under his artist name Create. Stephen has earned a special place in electronic music. He started with only a computer and the Reason software but later on he became a collector of synthesizers, new and old, and now has developed kind of a name in the retro/Berlin School area of electronic music. The nice thing about Stephen and his music is that it is growing with every album. Especially his sequences (not an unimportant element of retro-electronic music) are becoming better and better and have a special place on “Lost On An Island Of Adventure”.
The opening track “Just Above The Surface” has traces of mid-seventies Klaus Schulze.
An eerie piece like “Run For Cover” captures the atmosphere of the TV-series excellently. The best sequence on the album can be heard on the outstanding track “Paradise”.
“Lost On An Island Of Adventure” has become Create’s best album until this moment.
The last piece of music, “Heaven Waits (For Grandad)” is dedicated to Stephen’s grandad who sadly passed away in November 2007. Stephen manages to come with a fitting honor. It means that music can say a lot and Stephen does that.

Press Information

Space Time Continuum - Matt Howarth - Sonic Curiosity

This release from 2007 offers 61 minutes of astral electronic music.
Create is Stephen Humphries.

Grinding machinery is swamped by astral tonalities, establishing a backdrop of celestial demeanor laced with heavenly chords. Meanwhile, more keyboards trigger an assortment of glistening electronics that provide the central melodies. These frontal threads slowly evolve a modicum of pep while remaining studious and pensive. A slow-build process propels the progression, riffs and cycles regularly entering the flow and enhancing the music’s density.
Utilizing a variety of sounds, Create fleshes out each song with a diversity of crisp timbres and atmospheric textures. Bass tones lurk deep in the streaming structure, supporting the bevy of twinkling effects and dreamy sequencing.
A bit of e-perc is present in the music, usually somewhat immersed so as to soften the beats, relegating the rhythms to a deep immersion where their role becomes subliminal.
These compositions embody a tasty melange of cosmic airs rooted with earthy sentiments. This mingling of outward expansion and organic sources offers a balanced temperament, the spacey passages are grounded by a human perspective.

A science fiction theme runs through this music, with the first and last tracks dealing with astronomy, a cyberspace piece, and an instrumental ode to cryogenics. Diverging from this genre, one track (“Footprints in the Sand”) concentrates on humanity’s historical survival.
Space Time Continuum - Phil Derby - ElectroAmbient Space

Steve Humphries is back with Space Time Continuum, and it’s a return to form in the style of his first two albums, Reflections From The Inner Light and From Earth To Mars, blending spacey atmospheric passages with retro electronic music in the Berlin school style. He remarks that the disc goes back to making shorter songs, but in EM that’s a relative term, with 4 of the 5 tracks clocking in at 12 minutes or more, though none over 15. While this may seem a rather dry, technical observation it is an important distinction, as Humphries’ musical ideas seem ideally suited to this length, allowing enough time to develop but ending soon enough to avoid aimless meandering which can sometimes plague longer pieces. The title track starts with loads of atmosphere, from male choirs to synth pads to various and sundry other electronic sounds and effects. A slow simple sequence picks things up about a third of the way through, along with a slowly shuffling beat and bright synths. It stays low key, building only a bit but just right, a very comfortable beginning. “Ghost in the Machine” starts softly as well, a lilting little synth line introducing the piece alongside some unique sound effects, sort of half static half music that lends a fascinating character to it. This one evolves in beautifully, subtle and remarkably expressive for EM. “Cryogenics” takes things down a notch with a moody piece, still with sequencing but lower in the mix. Synth oboes alternate with mellotron flutes on “Footprints in the Sand,” a traditional Berlin school number with hypnotic sequencing. The last track completes a mostly mellow but highly successful outing.

© 2007 Phil Derby / Electroambient Space

Space Time Continuum - Press Information

This is the fourth CD by the English electronic musician Stephen Humphries, better known as Create. In comparison to his first three CD’s, Stephen has changed two things. First of all, he wanted to return to recording shorter tracks. Secondly, he now only makes use of hardware synthesizers (amongst them one of the flagship synths of this time: the Alesis Andromeda) instead of software.
Two of the five tracks on “Space Time Continuum”, the title track and “Fading Lights Grow Brighter”, were first performed at one of the “Awakenings”-gigs. Humphries’ music is a perfect blend of atmospheric sounds and perfectly crafted sequences. On “Space Time Continuum” the best sequences can be heard that he has created so far.
Take the title track, with which the CD opens. It starts real spacey, even a bit eerie, with great effects and SF-voices. After this a marvelous sequence enters and Stephen goes off with fine solos. The album contains two of the greatest tracks he has composed in his still short lived career. The first one is “Cryogenics”. The piece begins with effects and Mellotron strings, after which some excellent, menacing, sequences take over.
And if that is not enough, “Footprints in the Sand” shows even greater sequences, as well as fine samples of the nostalgic sounding Mellotron flute.
Well, is this music nostalgic or not? It brings back some of the best from the Berlin School.

Space Time Continuum - Mike Valant

Great sequencing, nice solos, gobs and gobs of mellotron, should say mellotron heaven - lots of choirs and flute. Great job Steve!
Space Time Continuum - Bert Strolenberg

Stephen Humphries, aka Create, explains in the booklet he found it time to release an album of shorter tracks as the previous two cds contained only very long tracks.

Well, the five tracks on "Space Time Continuum" continue in the characteristic Create-tradition, featuring both prominent and more hold back analogue sequencing bathing in a wide range of warm vintage textures, mellotron choirs, improvisation and fx’s.
In addition, the very nice sequencing and music of on the fourth track "Footprints in the Sand" seems a great tribute to TD's track "Monolight".

It once again proves the dreamy electronic world of Create is one which will continue to be loved and cherished by many electronic music fans around the globe, due to its accessible nature, mature composition and great sounds, but still leaving room for lots of improvisation.
Well done, Stephen!
Space Time Continuum - Dave Law - Synth Music Direct

This is the album by Create I have been hoping for ever since I heard the demo to his first album. To me the CD marks something of a coming of age, his very best album so far. Deep, windy, swirling vortex sounds abound at the beginning of the title track. We get a sample of the computer from '2001 A Space Odyssey' telling Dave that all is fine. Softer silken pads make a fleeting entrance then the vortex returns. Another sample from the computer gives things a darker twist before returning to soothing drones and ethereal wordless choral effects. A slow high register sequence emerges. A heavyish rhythm nicely fits alongside the pulsations. Lead lines of varying intensity, some flutey whilst others laser sharp, are released one by one. A further melodic sequence joins the party. An impressive feature of the track is some lovely use of mellotron. Indeed this can be said of much of the album.

'Ghost in the Machine' has a very weird but extremely effective sound at the beginning. It is almost as if it is speech but so distorted as to turn it into unintelligible crackling static. Are we hearing someone trying to communicate with us or is it just our imagination? A soft contrasting melody floats through it all. It's an excellent opening section which gets even better with the introduction of more 'tron' and soft pads adding just a touch of melancholy. A slow deep rhythm and percussion line take things gently forward. 'Cryogenics' begins with a lonesome flute and yet more mellotron. It's all rather moody but also beautiful stuff. A slow pulse gives a little structure whilst sedate sequence starts to form. A rapid sequence is deployed increasing the excitement levels. More sequencer lines seem to be coming all the time and as the note count per second increases so does the pleasure level. An excellent track.

Well if you still haven't had enough tron, yet more gets 'Footprint in the Sand' underway. A slow five-note sequence emerges from the lovely dreamy atmosphere. Things continue to build in classic Berlin School fashion as a second sequence joins the first, morphing nicely. 'Fading Lights Grow Brighter' is appropriately all rather shimmering until ethereal mellotron arrives. We then get a really effective, extremely bass heavy, melodic motif that provides just the right darker contrast. A sequence does arrive but it's rather subtle, fitting in with the mood of the rest of the track. Overall though I did think that the track was a bit plodding. The rest of the album was much better, the first track especially being a real belter!

Space Time Continuum - Sylvain Lupari - Guts of Darkness

For its 5th opus, Create invites us in a ‘’entre deux’’. A skilful mixture between the cosmic vapours of Biospherical Imagery and the fierceness of Kindred Spirits. Not that Space Time Continuum has a violent temperament. It sails between random and the minimalism with melancholic exhalations. The title track reveals a very spacey cosmic intro where a voice announces with regret, nothing can be done, or change. The tonality is equal to what the waltzing images of 2001 A Space Odyssey induced; a kind cosmico-dramatic fusion on calm, but arid, ethereal. The slow orchestral movements sail on a gloomy sea. Follows, a beautiful line with ascending reflections which cascades with softness, maintaining this chimerical vision of a space drama. The rhythm is soft and move slowly in spiral, like an abstract voyage in a synthesize sinuosity. A bit as Phaedra, a beautiful ghostly flute floods the emptiness. This opens a passage to heavy percussions, with hasten beats, moulding finely to a minimalism carrousel which filters its melody through synths with piercing and etching solos.

Ghost in the Machine offers an atonic and spacey opening, to sound effects with twisty and eclectic vocal breaths, as a crumpling of emotions. The movement settles with slowness, as if we look at an interstellar ballet where the gravitational movements are of a poetic tangibility. Light percussions install a sober rhythmic march, dress by beautiful languorous solos and short mislaid melodies to livid colours. The crystalline flutes of Cryogenics start a parallel structure to Ghost in the Machine. Tasty the intro permutes in a nervous and hiccoughing sequence about the 5th minute mark. The world of Create becomes more agitate and offers a dense and animate musical colouring. Mellotrons are dancing on haphazard sequences, but structured on a steady rhythm, offering the best ingredients of a corrosive and mocking Create.

Footprints in the Sand starts quietly; amber-coloured and fluty mellotron which sails between the worlds of TD, Phaedra style, and Air Sculpture before offering an intense and insistent sequential movement. The sonorous impulsion is slow, but rushes by heavy spiral sequencer which progresses on increasingly dense and rhythmic cylindrical tangents layers. An impressive musical journey which circulates through superb corridors, to ghostly and orchestral synths. The comparison with the nebulas waves of TD, at the time of Phaedra and Force Majeur, is impossible to circumvent. By far, the best part on STC. It is all with carefully that Fading Lights grow Brighter finishes Create 5th opus of. Strongly atmospheric, nebulosity of sphere of influences is heavy and is heartfelt on a space march on dubious tempos.

After each Create album, we are amaze to mention it has to be his best. As if Stephen Humphries controls the art to mark-down and innovate. In fact, the English synthesist is unaware of the rules of membership, in order to have a better modelling of him with the progressive passion that dictates him his approach. A more contemporary writing where his emotions are etch with heart, sense and heat. Space Time Continuum is a sublime cosmic voyage on nervous and arrogant sequencers, an element which follows Create to each creation.

Kindred Spirits - Dene Bebbington

Create is the musician Steve Humphries. His fourth album Kindred Spirits comprises two live tracks (recorded in 2005) and one recorded in the studio which was originally intended as intro music for one of the live performances. He uses hardware and software synths to create music often rooted in the Berlin School genre while not being just a Tangerine Dream soundalike.

The longest track (by far) is the slow burner “Kindred Spirits” which begins the album. Layers of drones -- some deep, some metallic and shiny -- swirl around each other while periodically Jarre-esque spacey ripples shoot past. Soon a plodding electronic rhythm like a slowed down sequence line starts the move into Berlin School territory. Tangerine Dream-esque space flute effects also come in now and again adding to the otherworldly atmosphere. All this then morphs into a faintly melodic sequencing passage before fading into an extended denouement.

A change of style occurs in the next piece “Biospherical Remixed Energy”. A modern feel underlies this piece as spooky synth lines and vocal effects briefly alternate before a simplistic rhythm starts up. The rhythmic aspects then mutate to become more insistent and are accompanied by melodic elements - some subtle, others harshly flashing across the foreground. At first I wasn't keen on this piece but somehow it's grown on me, especially the second half which is kind of hypnotic.

Last, but shortest if not least, is “Secret Place”. Swirling washes humming like a swarm of insects make a backdrop for an almost gothic style melody and periodic thrumming bleeps. This track celebrates the external peace but perhaps inner turmoil which makes a hideaway so valuable.

Typically I'm ambivalent about Berlin School music since it's not one of my favourite genres because it attracts of lot of artists who mainly tread old ground. Kindred Spirits hasn't done anything to change my perception, but as music in this genre goes it's quite good and has some worthy passages.
Kindred Spirits - Artemi Pugachov

This album is currently available only from the author's website at http://www.create-em.co.uk. Note that the first 50 copies are signed and numbered editions. The CD is beautifully packed in a black mini-DVD case with stylish artwork showing Steve performing live. It's not by accident that I mention this, as "Kindred Spirits" is basically a collection of live recordings from E-Live and Awakenings festivals (both recordings made in 2005). So what about the music? After an atmospheric introduction with lots of synth pads, dark droning synths and twittering effects we get a raspy low sequence coupled with Mellotron flute. The music is slow but somewhat menacing. A stomping rhythm develops after 10 minutes, taking our imagination to places distant and unknown. I love that Mellotron flute refrain. An upbeat sequence suddenly appears, somewhat interrupting the flow. An aggressive lead line cries on top, really adding that necessary bite. By now the music has become extremely intense. The sequence then subsides and so does the stomping rhythm. Strange chirping sounds over growling synths and ethereal pads is what we get for a few moments, before a Mellotron flute takes over. A two note sequence appears and after a while develops into a fully shaped pattern. After a while another, high-pitched sequence appears. A solo enters playing in a somewhat Arabic mode, reminding a bit on Seventies' Schulze. The sequences and all other melodic elements soon subside, leaving us in a windswept landscape. This section is an expression of desolation, emptiness and doom. Somewhat whimsical lead line tries to break through the mist but doesn't succeed. Only the Mellotron flute weeps in the distance. Soon a great melodic sequence arrives that, for some reason, reminds me more on Jarre than on his German cohorts. An electronic rhythm appears and settles things into a groove. Excellent hypnotizing section that makes me reach for that volume button. Pity it's over too soon and we're back to atmospherics. Not that I don't like Steve's atmospherics, of course. Strange dry saw-wave sequence appears. A 4/4, bit techno-ish rhythm appears. Thankfully, things never become overtly Techno or dance floor friendly. In the end it's just good old Create dabbling with New Berlin School aesthetics. Nice try! "Biospherical Remixed Imagery" starts with strange Industrial tones. After a few minutes a sawing sequence appears as the lead lines play over the top. I must say it's a rather strange track with somewhat disjointed elements, although of course it could have been the intention. Pretty intriguing stuff. Half way into the track an excellent sequence appears taking us back to more typical sequencer EM realms. Finally, "Secret Place" is the only studio track on this release. It consists of melancholic synth pads and a great simple melody played with a nice synth patch. I think it's one of the gentlest tracks by Create. If you like Berlin School, I suggest that you grab "Kindred Spirits" before it's gone.
Kindred Spirits - Jeff Misner

Create's offering of Kindred Spirits is a wonderful CD, in a limited edition of 50. This is the kind of music many of us long to hear, but our old favorites don't make anymore. It stands firmly in the old school, with an added fresh approach and feel that makes it much more than a copy of anything you've heard previously. The title track, at 46:32, is the longest on the CD and moves between spacey and sequenced elements. It seems much shorter, as the listener is drawn into the music, and it's over before you know it. The second track, Biospherical Remixed Imagery, kicks it up a bit. This a live version of the track Biospherical Imagery, from the CD of the same name. A more aggressive, louder set of sequences is used, but there is still the backbone of spacey, atmospheric sounds. The closing track was intended to be intro music for a live performance. It works well as a closer too, as it has an overall slower, more sparse approach.

A really good CD, that I find ends up in the CD player quite often. I can't recommend it highly enough. If you are a fan of Jarre, Tangerine Dream, or Klaus Schulze, this one will delight you.
Kindred Spirits - Roy Jackson

Kindred Spirits is another great slice of electronica from Steve Humphries. The epic 46 minute title track is a superb sonic journey traveling through a complex mosaic of sounds and effects, it's also wonderfully atmospheric. We open with a bassy drone in the background, cosmic twitters and a slow bassy sequencer line. From here we travel forward on a constantly morphing journey of sound. Lovely lead lines, a flutey synth motif appears and then resurfaces from time to time throughout the track. Steve creates layer upon layer of sound and effects that come in and fade out, one minute in the foreground and then in the background, then being replaced by new sounds as we constantly move forward and discover new horizons. He really is a master of arrangement, he seems to be able to keep his music effortlessly moving along, never stagnating or with any theme outstaying its welcome. He also shifts so easily from one gear to another and it all feels so natural and organic, he knows exactly where he's going and the listener feels totally at ease with him at the helm. There are some great effects used throughout the track, including industrial sounds, otherworldly wood or marshland insects, and lovely otherworldly waves and wind effects, all coming in and out and creating a great atmospheric backdrop to the other elements in the mix. Steve has a superb feel for rhythm too which he interjects throughout the track. He also uses his sequencers very effectively, sometimes in the background and then taking the lead themselves. Sometimes moving slowly and then at other times really stepping up in gear and getting the adrenalin flowing. He also uses more than one sequencer line at a time, and at one point has one rapid pulsed sequence riding on the back of a slower moving one to great effect. Eventually we come to a catchy beat driven section, with great lead melodies and sounds coming in and out, creating a fairly frothy mix but it's never twee. All this eventually fades away and we are left with waves gently crashing against the shore before the this wonderful epic piece comes to a highly satisfying conclusion.   

Biospherical Remixed Imagery commences with a sci-fi soundtrack vibe, eerie echoey sounds and an electric current effect darting across the aural landscape. A choppy sequencer beat comes in overlayed with angelic voices. This soon gives way to a techno beat and a bouncy sequencer line and some lovely melodies are played on top of this. This all keeps morphing and shifting and is highly entertaining and finally returns to the original slightly eerie opening sounds we were introduced to at the beginning of the track. Great stuff !!   

The final track Secret Place could have been composed by Jean Michel Jarre, and is that good that JMJ would be more than happy to claim it as one of his own. It really is a beautiful melodic track with wonderful atmosphere and for me a tinge of melancholy. Simply brilliant !!   

This really is a fantastic album and once more Steve displays what a master of this genre he is. I highly recommend it.

Kindred Spirits - Matt Howarth - Sonic Curiosity

This release from 2007 offers 67 minutes of live electronic music.

Create is Stephen Humphries.

The first track was recorded at Create's E-Live performance in the Netherlands on October 15, 2005. At 46 minutes in length, it occupies the bulk of this CD. The music is a masterful structure of slow-building textures laced with melodic aspects which combine to generate a haunting journey through ethereal realms of glistening electronics. Airy tonalities serve as an evolving backdrop for a host of effects that gradually achieve critical mass and explode with demonstrative presence. A series of divergent keyboard riffs cascade with urgency, immersing the audience in appealing passages of high drama. Some e-perc is utilized near the piece's end; otherwise rhythms are accomplished through the application of cyclic electronic patterns. Energetic sentiments generally dominate this composition.

Also featured is a 14 minute track culled from Create's Awakenings performance in Leeds, UK, on August 12, 2005. This piece is slightly more aggressive in its use of piercing pitches swimming in moody textures. When things get going, the music is shrill, the melody insistent and captivating. (A much longer version of this song can be found on Create's "Biospherical Imagery" CD on Groove Unlimited. Go here for a review of that album.)

This release concludes with a 6 minute studio track that explores more somber terrain with twinkling notes bobbing about in a pool of pensive tones. These elements achieve a stately crescendo.

Kindred Spirits - Sylvain Lupari - Guts of Darkness


A new Create album causes as much curiosity as a new Redshift or Gert Emmens album. It is to say to which point Stephen Humphries reached the statute of artists impossible to circumvent in so little time. Kindred Spirits is an album which mark-down from its predecessors by his swiftness and its rage. Create is simply on fire and balances us an extremely powerful album. Presented at the E-Live Festival in Eindhoven Netherlands on October 15th 2005, Kindred Spirits is an epic title, divided into 7 segments. A weak drone amplifies on a synth which is mould in an introspective way, among cosmic sound effects and beautiful static pads that raise a rich sound already in place. Throughout this superb piece, Create will multiply the appearance of these heavy, rich and spongy pads. They will be mould to multiple modulations, and will seize the rhythms of a suave and sensual heaviness. As this one that follows this intro. An enormous, slow beat as a big heavy rock which turns lasciviously, in an astonishing gesture for a piece of EM. A fluty mellotron is stuck to the movements which vary the intensities and rhythms, following tirelessly its rhythmical climbing. With each ethereal intervention, follows an animated movement that raises intensity. Giving an effect of amplification which will go up until a soft techno beat towards its end.

But from the 13th minute, the tempo and the structure are already not the same ones any more. Under virulent solos and abrupt modulations, Stephen Humphries overcomes rhythms and modulations with through its intense layers and its superb mellotrons breaths which combine hard structures to atmospheric moments. A genius track with dynamic sequences and pulsations, even voracious, which reserve us some surprises, including a succulent hypnotic sequence, which takes form around the 31st minute. Kindred Spirits is definitively the biggest piece that Create wrote to date.

As its title indicates it, Biospherical Remixed Imagery is a re work and shorter version, of Biospherical Imagery, written in 2004 and which was reproduced on the album of the same name last year. Played in concert, Create bet on a more rhythmic side than atmospheric, plunging a bit more Kindred Spirits in a very sequence and up beat universe. Secret Place finishes this last opus on an ethereal note, more serene. Recorded in Backroom Studio, this track was to be Create opener of the E-Live festival. Indeed that would have been a very effective opening for boosted Kindred Spirits.

That is evolutions since the publication of Reflections from the Inner Light in 2004. Stephen Humphries takes a step of giant who separates him from the rising generation of EM. He is now part of the elite that will influence those who seek to make their place and mark the history of EM with an album like Kindred Spirits. Seldom I heard as much rhythms in a so long track such as the opening title. A musical monument which will become a reference. Right now, it’s the best so far in 2007.

Biospherical Imagery - Sylvain Lupari - Guts of Darkness

Create it is the Englishman Steve Humphries, a long time Internet friend. A newcomer, who had agreeably surprised lots of people with its 1st opus Reflections from the Inner Light, released in 2004. Since, it’s the mob, great sells, top ten and appearances on several EM Festivals. We hear the so personal sound approach of Create synths here and there on Festivals and compilations. Besides, he was part of the big names who gave a posthumous homage to Robert Moog on Analogy, by kicking the opening the with impetuous Analogue Revival, a title you have to put your hands on. The more furious electronic swirl I heard since Roach’s Empetus and Stormwarning. Biospherical Imagery is, already, Create 3rd opus, and hold your hat with iron wire. Just the title track itself is awesome and a good reason to buy this cd. A long 47 minutes track which is in the Revival Analogue stride. Don’t trust, or judge the track by his atmospheric intro where heteroclite noises cross sounds of metal and waves cosmic which retain their ardour with distress. Because gradually, a fine synthetic line is dandle and the first blows of sequence are felt. The beat is hatched and strikes with rotary percussions. On a good bass line, synths screams fuse with strength and Biospherical Imagery flies away. All along, rhythms cross sequences which alternate between fragile ambient and constant tempos. The bass, the percussions are nervous on synth lines in constant effervescence. The atmosphere drones on grave synthetic choirs and sonorities as acute as corrosive. This is 47 minutes of great synthetic art.

After a so insane title, Endless Corridors gives us a break. Like Mystery Voices, it’s a title as atmospheric as dark. A similar ambiance reigns on Signs of Life intro where a synth whistles in nebulosity blackness. Heavy keys pulsate and dance a hypnotic air. Heavier sequences modify their tonalities without changing the anaesthetic course of their gravities. As you could guess Signs of Life is a very deep and heavy track. The Day After closes on a synthetic avalanche. The rhythm is light and bathes in a thick synthetic pad which hangs to a groovy bass line. A good sequential title to end a solid opus.

Feel for big thrills of experimental and electronic music? Biospherical Imagery is one of the solids titles so far this year. With this title, Stephen Humphries shows an astonishing maturity and an artistic arrogance worthy of the great names. The kind of cemetery work, so much it is daring and audacity. A skilful mixture between atmospheres and powerful rhythms. The title track is absolutely brilliant, a must. Nearly 50 infernal minutes to play at high volume, and there it is no warrant that the painting on the walls will hold. To get without faults.

Biospherical Imagery - Matt Howarth - Sonic Curiosity

This release from 2006 offers 79 minutes of stately electronic music.

Create is Stephen Humphries.

On November 11, 2004, Humphries performed his debut concert as Create in Nottingham in the UK. Immediately afterward, with the music still fresh in his mind, he set about recording studio versions of the material from that gig. This is what can be found on this CD, with the addition of two short ambient interludes which were recorded late in 2005.

A 47 minute version of the title track occupies the majority of this CD. Luxurious textures serves as a seductive intro to the piece, drawing in the listener for the gradual emergence of e-perc rhythms and more demonstrative electronics. Keyboards generate serpentine riffs amid a rising tide of resourceful tonalities. The mesh progresses with evolutionary disposition, flowing through a series of increasingly more complex patterns, striving with each passing moment to achieve a state beyond mesmerization. Urgency is established as the cycles accrete strength and complexity. Periodically, the music features brief breathing spaces while it reorganizes itself for the next mutation. With each successive plateau, the harmonies grow denser and the melodies attain more intensity. As the drama continues, a cosmic demeanor is introduced, flavoring the organic sound with astral qualities. The ultimate crescendo throbs with compelling verve and vigorous passion.

The other tracks exhibit the same regal mien, employing a slowburn pace that moves from floating personality to nimble-fingered intricacy. The electronics blend crystalline aspects with earthier elements, producing thrilling tuneage of vibrant character.

The pair of ambient interludes are just that, exampling Humphries' acumen with atmospheric structure that is far from minimal.

Biospherical Imagery -  Artemi Pugachov - Encyclopedia of Electronic Music

The title track is one big chunk of synthesis that clocks at 46+ minutes. Drones, cosmic flashes, distorted sequences let us fly through the cosmos being surrounded by poisonous gas nebulae. The atmosphere is that of immense grandeur and epicness. A rhythm develops that only supports the soundscape, without dominating. A sequence appears and the melodic motifs make our cosmos a slightly more hospitable place. However, a solo rips through the miasma of sounds like a lightning bolt through the sky. The rhythm abandons us, but not the sequences that now have us flying through space at quite a pace. Everything calms down and we prepare for another vista. Engines roar while a bass sequence develops and mutates, the rhythms supporting it. This is EM that has guts. Heavy stuff. Melodies and sounds from the first part return and haunt us like ghosts on a hungry day. Sequences pulsate like hot hearts of the planets we pass on our journey through space that's full of wonders, excitement and adventure. We are then left alone in dark space once again, awaiting, wondering what comes next. Mysterious lead line warns us of the coming danger. Beeping notes hurtle forward like radar signals that let us know about the alien ships coming. The rhythms that appear are much heavier this time. However, we are soon left with yet another atmospheric section. We see colourful gas clouds passing by as the aliens escort us to their homeworld. Otherworldly fx and distorted spacey notes herald our entering into the alien realms. Everything around you is so unfamiliar, but beautiful. Strange sampled-voice effects only add to the strangeness of it all. Pulsing sequences appear as we enter the alien solar system, a green star warming a planet that's so similar, and yet so different from our own Earth. Rhythms pulsate as you can see all the alien machinery in work and the large stations they've created orbiting the planets. Everything glows with different colours, resulting in a rainbow-like experience. At this point there's a hell of a lot of sequences to be heard, from the bass ones to the higher register pulsations. Deep drones, ethereal pads and the subsiding sequences end this enjoyable trip on a mysterious, but not dark, note, as if we are left alone in the space once again, wondering when we can achieve what this ancient race has. Maybe once we give up stupid things like always fighting each other for our own prejudice? Perhaps.

Track two is called "Endless Corridors" and indeed, it sounds like constantly speeding through the hyperspace (we are returning home now). Very evocative music.

"Signs of Life" starts in a really deep and out-there manner. It's like we unexpectedly discover signs of (alien) life in an unlikely corner of the Universe. Frigid, icy winds blow above the surface of a snowy planet. A chunky mid-paced sequence rushes forward as the alien fx and whistling synths cast their spell. A heavier galloping bass sequence is added to the flow to make up for one rollercoaster of a track. Higher register sequences complete the picture as we scan the planet to see where the signals are coming from. An atmospheric section follows with strange noises indicating that a huge ocean is concealed below the thick layer of ice. The bass sequence returns as we begin drilling the ice to reach the alien ocean. Finally the sequences subside as we discover huge transparent cities hidden underneath.

As we approach the city we hear "Mysterious Voices" which is probably the language of these aquatic creatures. We can't understand what they're saying but they do show us around and we only have to wonder what great civilization they managed to create is such a rigid and inhospitable place. The track is all distorted effects, drones and background Mellotron choir.

"The Day After" we fly through space in our own little spaceship, its engine purring slightly in the background, thinking about the marvelous discoveries we did lately. It's a very beautiful, cosmic and bright track, with steady rhythms and great melodic motifs. "Biospherical Imagery" is by far the most coherent and atmospheric album by Create. Well done!

© 2006 Artemi Pugachov

Biospherical Imagery - Dave Cable - Synth Music Direct

'Biospherical Imageryy' is the new album from Create, AKA Steve Humphries and is the follow up to his 'From Earth to Mars' album, which according to the notes states was recorded entirely on virtual/soft synths. However with a studio upgrade during 2004 he made the transition to hardware keyboards. Work started on the album way back in June 2004 and some of the music on offer here is represented as studio versions of live material dating from that period and indeed the first Create gig in November of that year.

The album itself features a decent blend of both analogue and digital equipment and is quite varied throughout, with the five tracks on offer ranging from three minutes to a whopping forty-six! It is in fact this epic piece that opens the set.

'Biospherical Imagery' starts off with a low string/drone sound over cosmic effects. A 'square' type lead then enters just after the first minute which is then followed by a slightly metallic sounding sequencer pattern. Further chord patterns are added before a string theme is introduced. Just after the six minute mark a rhythm pattern is introduced, closely followed by a new theme and a pleasant mix of sequencer patterns, creating a somewhat powerful sound field. An analogue lead then enters before the sequencers and percussion loop disappears right back to the standard drones that opened this piece. However it is not long before a bass sequencer pattern emerges over light percussion, the former becoming slightly resonant. Bass percussion elements take hold together with light string textures and further percussive elements. By the fifteen minute mark the piece is once again, back where it started with the dark string/drones section. Another percussion loop enters and another 'square' lead theme is introduced. A slightly off tempo sequencer pattern emerges adding slight obscurity to the proceedings while quite far back in the mix lies a decent percussion loop. The sequencer pattern pushes forward adding a new dynamic theme, which intensifies this particular section of the piece satisfactorily. At twenty three minutes it's back to the dark drones again and a minute later a cosmic theme is introduced with an array of underlying synth patterns and occasional effects. High string chords appear in the mix later and at thirty minutes it's back into cosmic effects and synth chord mode. In a slight change of direction obscure voice samples are added and a sequencer pattern emerges together with an effective high string theme. Deep cosmic effects help to expand this section and the sequencer part becomes more prominent. Another theme begins over a bass percussion loop and eventually new sequencer effects are added. The piece ends almost as it started with the metallic sounding sequencer pattern over washes of chords and effects.

'Endless Corridors' in complete contrast at just over five minutes is a minimalistic piece relying on low drones and effects. There is a high level of obscurity in this piece through the effects but this eventually leads into an atmospheric lead theme above high choral and string textures. Completely sequencer free.

'Signs of Life' appears via some decent high cosmic, panned chords. Bass effects are then added closely followed by a low drone. A theme is introduced with occasional white noise effects. The cosmic chords re-emerge later and at around five minutes a rather simplistic sequencer pattern is generated. This eventually becomes delayed over washes of effects building in intensity. Past the seven minute mark the sequencer pattern becomes more intricate and light percussion elements are added. At eleven minutes a metallic bass pattern begins and the piece eventually ends on washes of light cosmic effects and resonant chords.

'Mystery Voices' not surprisingly is a piece shrouded in mystery and features what sounds like a Mellotron choir sample. Extra themes are introduced but the piece manages to remain stubborn not deviating in its mysterious structure.

The final track, 'The Day After' begins with a mid range cosmic drone. Before the first minute is out light percussive elements enter over synth chords. A string theme carries the piece forward and a more stable percussion loop takes hold, slightly off tempo. A theme is introduced at just over 3 minutes but the piece subsides slightly leaving just a drone and the main theme. The rhythm section returns at around four minutes over further synth chords and an analogue styled theme before finally coming to rest on a bed of effects.

Overall this is a fairly good album, with plenty going on in the mix throughout its duration. It's difficult to compare this artist's work with other musicians but I would recommend this album to those who prefer their music with a more cosmic orientation. (DC)

From Earth to Mars - Matt Howarth - Sonic Curiosity

This CD from 2005 offers 75 minutes of eloquent electronic music.

Create is Stephen Humphries.

Delicate keyboards generate languid foundations, establishing regions of shimmering chords upon which the melodic electronics shine like jubilant stars. Lavish passages of layered textures unfurl, gradually building strength until the sky is thick with luxurious harmonics. Then the cycles that have been mounting vigor and volume emerge to command the mix with their velvet expressions.

Tenuous e-perc rises to a position of authority, becoming more demonstrative and lending lively rhythms to the flow.

Meanwhile, those mounting cycles cast off their restraint and commence resounding with engaging power. Evolving and intermingling, these riffs grow piercing while retaining a soft edge that evokes a dreamy voyage beyond Earth's atmosphere.

Mechanical sounds appear, flavoring the second track with tension that swiftly matures into a provocative drama. Sweet keyboard loops provide a congenial counterpoint that lightens the intensity as they merge with the clanking machinery.

The title track continues this dramatic interplay of dark and fancy. Pulsating patterns accrete with stolid determination, producing dense anticipation. This expectancy is rewarded once the lighter riffs enter the mix. Accompanied by elegant beats that prudently remain immersed in the flow, the composition seethes with potency and continues to thicken. Clocking in at nearly 20 minutes in length, this song as adequate time to build nicely to a passionate crescendo wherein all the elements flourish to remarkable altitudes.

All of the compositions here display this mounting grandeur, exhaling creativity until the music is ready to burst with vitality.

© 2006 Matt Howarth

From Earth To Mars

This is Steve Humphries second album as Create, and the first one I've purchased, and I have to say I've quickly become a big fan of his work. There are many retro references to be found on this album if you're attentive, and the least bit interested in that sort of thing. But that for me doesn't define this album, as it is a unique and hugely enjoyable experience, and very fresh and up to date. It's certainly not bogged down in the past.  For the most part, great sequencer rhythms prevail on this album, overlaid with lovely musical touches that delight and entertain.The stand out track for me is the title track, From Earth to Mars, which has a wicked groove running throughout it, which I was powerless to resist and just had to get down to. However this is not a dance record I assure you. But if you can resist the groove laid down by Steve in the afore mentioned track, you are a better man than me. It's not a one track album either, and is very consistent throughout. It will be one you'll want to play again and again, as it rewards you with something new every time. I highly recommend it.   

Roy Jackson (UK)

From Earth To Mars - CD Services

There must be some kind of thing going on with musicians whereby, if you're that way inclined, once you've "done your Tangerine Dream" album, you can then take a deep breath, move on and see what else is out there - and that's exactly what Create has done here. But before you switch off, let me tell you that the sequencers are still there, the layers of cosmic synths are still there, the soaring seventies melodies are still there - in fact everything you like about "Berlin School' styled music - IS still there! What's changed is what the guy's done with it. He's taken all these elements and created an album that is very dense, very busy, extremely layered and textured, always with much on which to focus, as the electronic warmth shines through from the awesome seas of synths and sequencers, occasional Mellotron, thudding bass, swooshing space synths and almost industrial sounding space effects, all combining on 7 tracks that have been arranged and crafted with care, attention and an eye for detail. There's nothing here that a fan of this style of music won't enjoy, while at the same time, there's nothing here that screams "Tangerine Dream copyist" with anything like a loud voice. In its way, it's more intense than anything you'll have heard from the TD camp, while at the same time possessing much in the way of warmth and emotion. But above all, there is a real sense of musical adventure and exploration - this is a journey you should be extremely happy to take, because you are in the company of a musician you can trust. There are melodies a-plenty, and nothing that's "difficult" sounding, while all the tracks, especially the near twenty minute title track, possess that all-important flow and drive that makes you want to stay with the composition to the end. A difficult album to review but a superb one to hear - this is the sound of someone doing something inventive with familiar tools - and it works just fine.

From Earth To Mars - Phil Derby - ElectroAmbient Space

Steve Humphries is back with his follow up to his strong debut Reflections From The Inner Light. Once again he has created a disc rife with classic space and retro sounds, presented in a fresh way, sure to please most discriminating e-music fans. 
"Light Bank" builds and builds in a thoroughly enjoyable manner, a terrific track to start things out. Though the sounds are familiar and again pay homage to his  favorite band AirSculpture, the arrangements are  invigorating and exciting. 
Even better is the exquisite title track. A steady thumping beat and synths find a cool groove and run with it for nearly 20 minutes. I think of AirSculpture's excellent first album Impossible  Geometries when I hear this one. 
The great music continues with "Gethsemane", another energizer sure to get your brain tripping out to the hypnotic sequencing and your toes tapping to the infectious rhythms. 
Continuing on to "Solar Flare," Steve relentlessly keeps the energy and the fun going. Once it picks up speed this one is almost dance-floor ready, though still firmly rooted in Teutonic origins. 
"Re-Entry" has a steady rhythm as well, and is full of great synth sounds. No synth oboes or guitars, just 100% pure electronic bliss. 
"Goodbye" is a soft, tasteful tribute to the late Michael Garrison, a beautiful gently layered piece to close things out. From Earth To Mars is excellent from start to finish.

© 2005 Phil Derby

Reflections From the Inner Light - Phil Derby - ElectroAmbient Space

Create is one of the newest members of the EM scene, Steve Humphries from the UK. The opening track "Narissa" is a tribute to Airsculpture and Steve does an admirable job of paying homage to them.
The atmospheric beginning, the sequence fading in, the high thin synth lead, are all traits of Airsculpture's signature sound, their essence adeptly distilled without being blatantly copied. If anything Steve adds a few extra layers and touches, keeping the music moving along a bit more than Airsculpture.

If Airsculpture were to add just a few Techno elements and a bit more structure, the end result might sound very much like "Dark Skies" the catchy second number.
"Touching The Void" swooshes in on the solar wind, joined bypads and the Berlin school staple, Mellotron flute. Once the steady beat and sequence come in, this 14 minute track catches it's groove and rides it to the end in fine form.
"Medusa" starts with some cool knob twisting and then string sounds are added to give the track an ambient feel.
"Surface Control" picks up speed quicker than most, a brisk toe tapper with yet another variety of electronic elements seamlessly joined together in very entertaining fashion.

The formula is much the same on the final three tracks, but in each and every case it works so well. Is there room for yet another entrant into the Berlin School?
Most definitely!

© 2004 Phil Derby

Reflections From the Inner Light - John Garaguso - Progressive Soundscapes Radio

I just wanted to write, and tell you that your new CD, Reflections From The Inner Light, is simply magnificent.
I've been playing tracks from it regularly on my station for a few weeks now, and this evening we aired it in it's entirety. The listeners absolutely love it.
Personally I think it's just absolutely incredible.
Though there are obvious similarities to what everyone calls the "Berlin-School era of electronics" the feel and sound of this disc is very contemporary and breathes with a vibrancy, freshness and originality all it's own. Great job and I hope to be hearing more work from you in the near future.
All the best,

© 2004 John Garaguso

Reflections From the Inner Light - Artemi Pugachov - Encyclopedia of Electronic Music

Although Reflections From the Inner Light was realized via software means only, Stephen really stretches the limits of his instrumentation on this release, creating an album of well crafted Berlin School EM.

"Narissa" starts with mysterious synth chords that, after a while are joined by nice lead lines. This is wonderfully atmospheric and quite effective. Soon the sequences emerge that make this a classic formula Berlin School track. Very nice rhythms as well, and a haunting Mellotron flute / synth combination at the end.
"Dark Skies", not surprisingly, starts with dark synth drone and analogue-sounding lead line, soon joined by effects and synth pads. Slowly the rhythm / sequence elements take over, making this an edgy and stomping EM number. Got my toe tapping to this one. The track is finished off by threatening bass synth lines.
The next cut is "Touching the Void". Again, we hear a dark introduction and a haunting Mellotron flute refrain. Soon after the 3 minute mark, the sequences are introduced along with a rhythm, although everything stays very atmospheric and moody. The track has got an unusual solo timbre that I found very pleasant.
"Medusa" is the shortest track of the lot and is dominated by EMS-like effects and Mellotron choir / synth lead / atmosphere tandem. Nice!
"Surface Control" is initially a major-key, cheerful track, which then becomes very urgent and exciting. One of the best compositions on the album - I really enjoyed this one, including the superb soloing.
"Downside Up" - a deep introduction, with whooshing synths and processed pad sounds. But the track's main asset are the sequences, that are rich in color and yet subtle and very effective. There's also a Mellotron flute to be heard. The rhythm is relaxed, resulting in a laid-back mysterious EM track with just the right amount of rhythmic propulsion.
"Kaleid" is another one of those "floating mysterious introduction-long sequencer part-mysterious ending" tracks. It's a classic Berlin School formula that always works when done with attitude, as is the case with "Kaleid".
"Chasing the One" is the last track and the best composition on the entire album. Sounds different to what has come before (Mellotron choir, repetitive structure, very prominent bass sequence), but that's part of its charm, I guess. It's like chasing some ship in a space convoy. Very evocative.

If you enjoy the Berlin School of Electronic Music, Reflections From the Inner Light will give you more than a hour of pure listening enjoyment.

© 2005 Artemi Pugachov

Reflections From the Inner Light - Eduardo Fontana

It always is pleasant to listen to well elaborated, varied sounds, giving the impression that the musician possesses an excellent mastery of his instruments.
In "Reflections from the Inner Light", we find an artist who has a great skill in the musical technique as well as the necessary technology. By means of a very successfully achieved orchestra of virtual analogue synthesizers, Create weaves a collection of melodic pieces, fresh, lively.
The style, bold and avantgarde as it is, is situated on the border between Space Music and the most strong areas of Synth-Pop.

© 2004 Eduardo Fontana

Reflections From the Inner Light - Matt Howarth - Sonic Curiosity

This release from 2004 features 78 minutes of languid Berlin School electronics.
Create is the brainchild of British synthesist Stephen Humphries.

Soothing electronic textures usher the audience from the real world into a realm of glistening unreality. As cyclic sequencing emerges, the harmonic flow coalesces with gentle substance. Sounds thicken without amassing weight, marshaling the appearance of an escalation of velocity and the introduction of a core theme. Additional patterns join the mix, some of them surfacing to function as cybernetic rhythms. A shriller definition enters the flow, achieving a state of electrified puissance that pulses with an inner verve. Softly muffled percussion provides an understated cushion to support the manner in which everything else surges with tempered animation.
Waves of artificial surf gurgle and bubble amid a mounting harmonic, very reminiscent of early Klaus Schulze. This gives birth to a luxuriant structure of repetitious loops which eventually lose their redundancy and forge off to generate fresh patterns of lustrous design. Each new riff embodies its own radiance, and as these newborn specimens cluster, the melodies pursue collateral essences.

Interesting tidbit: although this music sounds like it’s full of mellotrons and analogue synthis, Humphries generates everything using software.

© 2005 Matt Howarth

Reflections From the Inner Light - Michael Foster - Ambient Visions

Behind Create is the Englishman Stephen Humphries.
His debut-CD with the great title of “Reflections From The Inner Light” is dedicated to the Berlin School. There are a lot of retro-EM CD's released at this point in time, so to attract attention to yourself you must come up with something special. Humphries does that. What is striking about his music is the fact that he doesn't make use of instruments like Mellotrons and analog synthesizers but that he does everything with the aid of software.
The difference cannot be heard. In eight pieces he exploits the diverse corners of the Berlin School in an intriguing way.

© Michael Foster

Reflections From the Inner Light - Bill Binkelman

As homages/revisitations to Berlin school EM, this album by Create (Stephen Humphries) is a solid effort. I personally prefer the music of the neo-Berlin artists, e.g. Gert Emmens, Paul Ellis, Dom F. Scab, John Lakveet, but as straight-up Germanic sequencers and synthesizers go, these eight tracks illustrate Humphries' talent and creativity (no pun intended) when it comes to sculpting rhythmic and also spacy electronic music. I would've preferred shorter tracks (three of the eight are in the thirteen minute range) because, frankly, when sticking to the retro Berlin school sound, there's only so much you can do with soloing keyboards gliding on top of sequences, no matter how inventive you are or how interesting you try to make it.

That said, "Dark Skies" is a great and ultra-moody piece of music that builds slowly but inexorably from spacey beginnings to become an explosive combination of laser zapping synths, percolating bass beats, cybernetic textural effects, and sweeping dramatic keyboards. The soloing later in the song, buoyed by frenetic drumming, is among the best on the album.
Of the longer tracks, "Touching the Void" comes the closest to satisfying my tastes. The dramatic swells and undulating drones at the outset are joined by flute lines cast in a forlorn light. When sequencing hits later in the song, Humphries balances retaining the air of drama and eeriness that was prevalent earlier with more dynamic energy expressed through an evolving assortment of beats and rhythms.
"Medusa" (a shorter song) is noteworthy for its alien bird-call effects and relative downbeat nature; it's almost dirge-like at times and always moody.
The album closer, "Chasing the One" is another song I enjoyed, this time owing to Humphries transformation of the track from quasi-Vangelis bombast to propulsive rhythms and dramatic strings and finally to one of the best sequences on the CD, brimming with electronic impulsiveness intermixed with chiming/resonating tones.

While I wouldn't go so far as to say Reflections from the Inner Light is a great album, I can understand why fans of retro-Berlin music are excited by the emergence of yet another talented practitioner of the subgenre. If you count yourself in that subculture, this album will meet or exceed your expectations.

© Bill Binkelman

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