Parallel Worlds Reviews/interviews

 


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PW Reviews / Interviews:

Interviews:

interview with Bjorn Jepessen in Elektroland Radio Show (Roskilde Dampradio 87,7Mhz - Denmark)


Reviews: Existence, Insight, Far away light, Obsessive Surrealism, Shade.

Existence - reviews:

MIC online music magazine (GR):
Most of the times, when someone characterizes a musical work of art with the names “electronic”, “dark”, and “atmospheric”, rarely the first thought that comes to mind is something more than something simple and minimalistic, in an “ambient” style, and,  why not, sometimes “easy” too. “Existence”, thru the 14 tracks that it contains and the 75 minutes that it lasts, is the best from the recent examples. So, we can say that, in this album, darkness can indeed contain an unknown deep complexity, beyond the drum machine rhythms and the artificial effects, and can become an imaginary, futuristic soundtrack for a movie that never really existed.

Parallel Worlds are an one man project, but, in live concerts, more appear on stage. “Existence” album was released in the end of 2003 and it contains recordings from the period of 1998 – 2000.

Of course, modern electronic musicians mostly work with sampling and digital technology. In this matter, Sirros is an exception, as his music still sounds modern, and within the contemporary styles, but the aesthetics of his sounds and the colour of his sonicscapes  is based mainly on analogue machines (Sirros’ favourite machine seems to be the Doepfer a100 analogue modular from Germany) .

What I want to say is, that Sirros follows the flow of this era of analogue reinessance, that is really evident during these recent years, and manages to (in other words, succeeds) to compose a unified, often excellent, album in which the emotions and sensitivity of a human being are not missing at all. In contrary, these are basic elements that seem as if they emerge out of the cables, transforming the darkness of urbanism and its environment, into timeless electronic poems. Something like a different “Blade Runner”…
I really recommend this wonderful work.
8 out of 10. 
Panos Panotas – MIC Online music magazine (GR)

Expose Magazine review (US):
Everywhere on this planet are places to be found where young hounds bubbling with talent are waiting in the shadows to be discovered. Here we have a young guy from Greece, Bakis Sirros, who hides behind the name Parallel Worlds. Only a couple years of experimenting with electronic gear to his credit, Parallel Worlds is a name to be reckoned with. Like the famous predessors in the 70s, Sirros sculpts his sounds on a huge modular among other analog and digital gear. His debut album consists of no less then 14 tracks. From a nucleus of seemingly simple drum machine rhythms, he weaves an atmosphere of darker complexity, with washes of treated sound of which a recognizable melody sprouts, to be served off with harmonious motives or/and space or other effects. There�s a definite trace of Kraftwerk and 80s synth pop, especially Depeche Mode, but Sirros has a style of his own; fresh, strange sounds and intricate drum machine lines are sonic witnesses. Despite the darkish character, several infectious melodies tend to stick in the head after a couple of spins. Too bad the mastering is sloppy, though the next batch will have a proper one. � Roel Steverink

Joerg Strawe - CUE Records review (DE):
Elektronik aus Griechenland
Ein weiteres Album von Bakis Sirros aus Griechenland. Er firmiert unter Parallel Worlds und es ist bereits sein drittes Album. Existence lasst bekannte PPG sounds auflebel und kombienert achtziger Tangerine Dream sound mit modernen Klangen. Lasst aber immer wieder traditionelle synthesizer sounds durchklingen. Ein tolles album und nur bei uns erhaltlich. Ein Titel zum probehoren war auf der letzten Schwingungen CD!


Ingo Zobel (DRON / Signalform / Self Oscillate) review (DE):
5/5 STARS
The debut album of Parallel Worlds is like an intense journey into a mystical land of melodies and atmospheres. Great stuff!!
 


Insight - reviews:

Dagheisha.com online music mag (www.dagheisha.com) review (Italy):

Le coste del Pireo adombrate dalle esili nuvole di un tramonto autunnale rappresentano l’immaginario decadente descritto dai greci Parallel Worlds. Il fruscio dell’acqua, la sabbia che viene alzata dal vento e la notte che cala inesorabile permeano il loro suono con voluminosa fatiscenza (‘Dying Earth’). Mondi paralleli e detriti industriali che si incastrano su traumatologie ambient e sinistri accordi digitali. Battiti perversi ma anche melodie di ampio respiro con riferimenti a situazioni giΰ percorse dai norvegesi The Knife ma anche soluzioni liquide decisamente personali. ‘Insight’ vi avvolgerΰ in un caldo, umido abbraccio riportandovi alla mente il baratro in cui cadiamo e l’acqua gelida da cui spesso veniamo investiti negli incubi. ‘The Past’, ‘Hollow Minds’ e la traccia che dΰ il titolo all’album i pezzi piω disturbanti e corrosivi.

Steve Law (aka Zen Paradox) review (Australia):

The album begins with Mechanical Mood. Atmospheric intro, then the track kicks in with some lovely electronic percussion sounds. One of my favourites on the album, this piece reminds me very much of the overall mood of the classic depeche Mode album Music for the Masses, though with more bleepy electronics. Then the piece changes direction half way through, with a TB-303 like breakdown, then carries on in a similar vein to some early works on FAX/Atom Heart etc.

Dark and Blue focuses more on percussion, including some metallic clangs and some nice grungy distorted sounds, with distant eerie pad sounds in the background.

Detailed Matter follows, with a slow percussive groove, again consisting of some very interesting sounds. Another Depeche Mode-like melody is introduced as the piece cruises along, really setting up the atmosphere of this wonderfully melancholic album.

With The Past, it is clear to see that Bakis has a soft spot for Depeche Mode's excellent instrumental b-sides. This track centres around a well crafted piano arrangement, adorned with very appropriately placed and nicely programmed synth textures. A mellotron-like choir is introduced towards the end to great effect. I particularly liked the closing section with minimal piano and ghostly effects.

Hollow Minds is introduced with growling bass, then the most techno/electro sounding rhythm yet to be encountered on the CD. Distant melancholy chords form a haunting backdrop to various squelches and subtle melodic riffs. This one reminded me a bit of some of Beaumont Hannant's stuff. Very nice.

Next is another favourite, Salty Air. Here Bakis demonstrates his great skill with melody. The main melody is introduced right away, followed quickly by a driving rhythm. Very well arranged, with some beautiful melodic transpositions. The emotive feel I get from this is very similar to the feeling I get from Luke Slater's 7th Plain albums.

Track 7 is the title track. This one delves more into FAX-like territory, again with piano sounds forming a backbone around the under-stated rhythm (though with quite an up-front kick sound). The final section is again reminiscent of Depeche Mode, with a great melodic progression and bass notes.

A mellotron-like flute sound introduces Dying Earth, followed by a pulsing bass. We then hear some FM type sounds, followed by a lovely metallic tinkling sequence. Perhaps because of the mellotron flute (and the bass and sequencing), this is the closest Parallel Worlds gets to Tangerine Dream in sound, but the trade-mark piano sounds and arrangement leave no doubt that it is in fact Parallel Worlds.

The mellotron flute sound re-appears in the next track, Non Linear, this time playing an interesting sequence. The cruisy nature of the track is interrupted near the end with a sudden pause and key change - I liked this section the most.

The album concludes with the excellent Mind Breath. This one is perhaps most reminiscent of the Depeche Mode b-sides, in particular their great tracks Agent Orange and Stjarna. Bakis takes that sound into other territory though, with his clever synth programming and layering. A simple but very effective electronic rhythm holds things together, interspersed with grating but subtle effect sounds, more of those great melodic riffs, and a very interesting choir sound is introduced towards the end. A fine conclusion to a wonderful album!

Anyone who likes the atmospheric side of Depeche Mode at their peak (Music for the Masses-Violator) simply must have a listen to this album. Also highly recommended to anyone into melancholy, melodic IDM.
 

Roel Steverink review (NL):
"It sometimes may take longer then expected for an artist to get his albums released. Well, that story applies to Parallel Worlds. Bakis Sirros from Greece produced a lot of music, enough to fill up at least 3 albums. It took a few years before at last he found Rubber and Shima Records willing to bring out his music. That means that within one year 3 albums are seeing the light. This is the second one. The pieces are more complex then on existence, with more worked out atmosphere. "Mechanical Mood" is an perfect example that complexity and tightness can blend. "The Past", with it's floating bed of mystery very well suits a classic horror flick.
Salty Air is out of place here, too bright melodies. "Hollow Minds", "Insight" and "Dying Earth" are lesser efforts, but Sirros ends strongly with "Non Linear" full of warm thick new romantic emotions, while the closer "Mind Breath" is a strip of blinding light in a pitch black vista.
So not all the tunes are as hot as those on Existence (that album has grown enormously on me since my review), sometimes the complexity is a hinder, but when it works, it can let a piece really shine. "

E-dition electronic music Magazine review (NL):
3.5 (out of 5) STARS
Parallel Worlds is the Greek ambient musician Bakis Sirros, who has collected a vast assortment of vintage electronic equipment, such as large analogue modulars and analogue step sequencers. “Insights” is his second release, of which the introductory tracks “Mechanical Wood” and “Dark and Blue” are quite heavy, as they don’t contain any melodies. Both pieces are slightly industrial ambient with pure analogue rhythms, glitch and experimental effects. But then things change on “Detailed Matter” and subsequent pieces. The music turns out to be friendlier and more accessible as some melodies are present, of which the beautiful “The Past” even closes in a melancholic manner. Okay, overall, one might feel that there are some strange and quirky sounds scattered within the music, but there’s also a mellow side to it, which makes this music remarkable. This is also due to the stunning sound and production qualities, which makes the music stand out in its own way. Although this isn’t exactly my type of music, one easily recognises some keen musicianship, and fans of Pete Namlook and of similar artists will surely appreciate it. One track of the album was already featured on the E-dition #7 cd.
www.shimarecords.co.uk
Bert Strolenberg / E-dition Magazine

Nattefrost (Bjorn jepessen) review (DK):
8/10 STARS
This 2nd album from the greek electronic musician is simply amazing. When I played it the first few times it reminded me a bit about some of the best Aphex Twin works, but I certainly think that Parallel Worlds is very original in his compositions as well.
The sound on the album is very vintage sounding, but the music is more up to date or how can I describe it, it fits perfectly in my opinion.
Track 9 is my absolute fave on this release, also including mellotron sounds and it somehow reminds me of some of the good Tangerine Dream tracks.
I really recommend this album to any serious EM fan.
 

Fernando Zarone review (IT):
5/5  STARS

This is one of the most interesting CDs I've enjoyed in the last months. Ethereal atmosphere, intriguing analogue sequences, fascinating synth textures, very introspective moods. Bakis is a sound wizard and his tracks are a stairway to dream!

Bob Williams - Analogue Systems review (UK):
5/5 STARS
I have enjoyed the music and Bakis' technique and composing is constantly improving and I am looking forward to the next album eagerly.

Richard Lawson / RL-music review (UK):
5/5 STARS
I feel Bakis has successfully managed to produce a wholly original album which I thoroughly enjoyed from the first play. The Insight Album has a great mix of industrial, ambient, moody and rhythmical tracks with track 4 (The Past) being my favorite. Producing original electronic music is a complex and challenging feat for anyone and Bakis proves his skills with analogue synthesis in his music. Bakis has an impressive list of vintage and contemporary analogue synthesizers at his disposal and it?s wonderful to see these used in music production as many owners (myself included) always find excuses that we can?t pull this off. Well done Bakis ? excellent work.

Dieter Doepfer review (DE):
5/5 STARS
During the weekend I had the time to listen to this CD after all. I really love it. It think my favourite is "dark and blue" (if I remember rightly the title as I don't have the CD in the company) but all parts are excellent.

CD Services Monthly Supplements - March 2005 (UK):
Ten tracks that mix slow, languid electro-percussive beats and rhythms with a more ethereal brand of spacey synth backdrops, crossing paths that include ambient dub, melodic synth, sinuous techno and more, as the journey progresses. Some of the rhythms veritably boom out of the speakers and most of them are of what you'd call a more "contemporary" nature, with beefy beats from erupting electronic drums, sometimes taking on a more industrial stance especially on a track like 'Dark And Blue' where there is very little else other than the clanking and juddering rhythms that appear to dominate, the presence of distant space synths at the back of the mix merely a far-off texture. Then you move to 'Detailed Matter' to find that the melody side of things has been greatly enhanced and that now dominates although the meaty rhythms are still there. From there on, the CD manages to mix the more techno/industrial rhythmic side of things with a more exotic set of melodies that include rippling piano lines, high-flying space synths and soaring lead synth melodies that even venture towards actual tunes. So, in essence it's a meeting of the two eras or styles but performed in a more ambient environment in terms of the pace of the tracks, but still with heady and heavy industrial flavoured beats at the heart of every track.


Far Away Light - reviews:

Dagheisha.com online music mag (www.dagheisha.com) review (Italy):

Lontani dalla luce ma non dal cuore. Paradigmi elettronici che si scontrano con le intuizioni geniali della mente di Bakis Siros creatore del progetto Parallel Worlds. Assunti digitali che si frappongono tra teorie di distruzione e contemplazione dell’artistico piacere della rovina. Rispetto al passato la sua musica si θ fatta piω corposa e meno lineare accorpando al suo interno influenze ambient e riferimenti all’elettronica sperimentale della fine degli anni settanta. La suite ‘Musique Electronique’, ‘Dreamstate’ e un’immensa title track i mirabili risultati raggiunti da Siros con un album che lo colloca di diritto tra i migliori esponenti di un genere che spesso si perde in uno sguardo eccessivo al futuro non riuscendo a fermarsi e raccontare storie. I tessuti organici di ‘Far Away Light’ vivono invece di elementi presenti con forza nella nostra coscienza materiale e per questo molto piω capaci di fare sognare e liberare idee. ‘Expectations’ e ‘Fading Memories’ lasciano terminare un viaggio che deve rappresentare un passaggio obbligatorio per tutti coloro che amano le escursioni digitali.

Roel Steverink review (NL):
4/5 STARS

"1. Lifecircles is a good start. It's dark, lively with nice bell sounds, mysterious effects. You inventiveness in the rhythm department is also admirable. There are enough twists and turns to make it exciting through out. Finally excellent arrangment. Great piece.
2. Musique Electronique Part 1. Combination of Kraftwerk and DM. Nice but not special. I don't know, meaby I have problems with the combination of strict Kraftwerkish drum beat and floating strings.
3. Musique Electronique Part 2. Much better, due to the strong floating melody? Nice those human esque voices. I like the DM-kind of effects after two minutes and certainly the dark slabs. Overall Good one.
4. Dreamstate. A real pearl. Very fantastical beginning. This reminds me of the music Maurice Jarre made for the Sci Fi movie Dreamscape. It fascinates through out. Everything in the right place. Sublime effects!!!
5. Borrowing time from God. Nice, but still a bit boring, too much repeat of the dark played notes.
6. Far away light. Now this is what I call a jewel!!! It shines in every respect. Strange melody lines capture effortlessly the attention and mood of the listener. Superb arrangment. Very emotional too, real surging this piece.
7. Soulgates. Damn! This is far too short!!! Could have been the beginning of a real grand opus.
8. Misty Journey. Dreamstate reprise. It develops real quick in an emotional burner! And then...yes, the best melodie of the whole album can be heard! This so good and yet can be heard so little! And o yes I like the those pure electronic effects near the end!!!
9. Expectations. If this could be and I only mean the atmosphere here of course could be a taste of your upcoming ambient album... This is without doubt my favourite track from the album. It stays so dark in atmosphere and soundwise fascinates like an ancient enigma.
10. Fading Memories. And is it then possible to go wrong with the closer? No, I don't think so. Even good old mellotron pops up and places this right halfway the 70s, well for a moment cause the base line and rhythm are more modern. I only think it doesn't hold the whole 16 minutes."

Artemi Pugachov / Encyclopedia of Electronic Music review (RU):
4/5 STARS
On "Far Away Light" Bakis Siros came up with some excellent sounds. A bubblebath of electronic textures gets "Lifecircles" underway. A mysterious theme makes its appearance, while bass lines and broken rhythms hover under. The track is very much in the IDM vein - a style I'm not too keen on as a whole, although Bakis' compositions do have certain bite to them that I found hugely appealing. Still, the mysterious aura is what I adored the most I think. Many changing themes that make up this track do not allow one to be bored. "Musique Electronique Part 1" starts with sharp rhythm, bass lines and once again mysterious motifs. This is some moody stuff. Excellent pads and soundcsapes on this one - music for your mind to travel to.
"Part 2" has heavier rhythms and is more bizarre and in-yer-face. The textures are mutating in a strange kind of way, making this a very odd experience. The prevailing mood, as in previous tracks, is mystery, although this time with a threatening note in there as well. "Dreamstate" starts with abstract twittering and chirping sounds but several seconds into the track a mysterious theme starts that this time has an uplifting edge to it. Some clever bass lines are a highlight of this composition. All rhythms are strictly electronic and veer a bit towards Intelligent Techno territory. Other interesting things include some eerie theremin-like wails and an electric piano theme that appears as we are closing the 5 minute mark.
"Borrowing Time From God" has a thumping bass rhythm and a deep bass line that make it a very techno-like number that still sports a high amount of tasty soundscapes and haunting melodic bits. This track I enjoyed the least so far.
The title track heralds its coming with subtle humming but after a while a thumping laid-back bass rhythm starts, along with some strange textures. One thing to notice is the similarity of bass sounds on all tracks. In fact, bass lines sound more or less the same throughout. I guess this is something to work on for Bakis on future releases. I liked the darkish nature of this track and many of the sounds although overall it's a bit too repetitive and plodding. After the 4-minute mark it becomes more interesting with otherworldly soundscapes Bakis seems to be so good at.
"Soulgates" starts with totally freaked out textures but the ubiquituous bass soon enters the stage along with some mysterious textures and... that's it. It's the shortest track on the album at just over 1 minute.
"Misty Journey" is uplifting with once again familiar bass arrangements and electronic rhythms. Some lovely sounds are on show here - I enjoyed this one. Some of the most melodic moments on the album are also to be found here. The track ends abruptly to give way to "Expectations" that is built around a heavy-handed rhythm and some strange processed voice samples.
The closing number "Fading Memories" surprises with very deep atmospheres and even a Mellotron string sample in there as well. However, in the end it turns out to be another rhythmic number (not one purely atmospheric piece on the entire album, btw). The sequences on this track are pretty well-crafted albeit served in doses all too small. Overall, "Far Away Light" is certainly not for casual EM listener and stylistically is somewhere on the line that separates classic Electronic Music from Intelligent Techno, if there is such a line. Some of the tracks I found a tad too repetitive and lacking in variation. Moodwise it's pretty one-dimensional too, with mystery prevailing throughout that becomes a bit tiresome after a while. And, should I mention the all too samey bass and drum sounds? Oh well, you can't have it all I guess and "Far Away Light" still supplies you with a heavy dose of well-crafted analogue sounds and some tasty soundscapes that any EM fan will eat up anytime. I would recommend this album to fans of IDM-like electronica as well as those who like the output of FAX label.


Ingo Zobel (Self Oscillate) (DE):
track 1 - Lifecircles
very nice track, a great combination of elaborated idm style percussion arrangements and synthesized melodies.
track 2 - Musique electronique part 1
kraftwerkish electro rhythms meet spacy downbeat grooves. recommended for spacenight-style parties and afterhours.
track 3 - Musique electronique part 2
part 2 is darker, soundwise more intense and somewhat rougher, but not as floating as part 1. those soft strings on part 1 were replaced by a gated vocal-like pad sound, making the track even darker.
track 4 - Dreamstate
great track, a nicely floating arrangement full of bleepy percussive sounds and well selected tunes. one of my favorite tracks on this album.
track 5 - Borrowing time from god
 a quite interesting track, which invites you with a 4/4 beat in the beginning, then opening a door to the other parallel world, where things are thought up in a different way. cool.
track 6 - Far away light
 kind of a synthesized space ballad. very interesting sound design and arrangement. one of the most emotional tracks on this album.
track 7 - Soulgates
 powerful analog sounds forming a big cinematic landscape.
track 8 - Misty journey
 a very nice track, constantly progressing in intensity, showing off the whole beauty in the second half of the track. great sound design once again.
track 9 - Expectations
 one of the heavier tracks, introducing a vocoded voice and an overall dark atmosphere.
track 10 - Fading memories
 also a quite interesting track with a nice structure, but can hardly catch my full attention over the whole 16 minutes. anyway it is still a good track with a "cinematic" feel to it.

"Far away light" is a very good album, fully recommended for lovers of dark and moody electronic music. somewhere between the lines of idm, ambient and classic em, it delights with a full set of interesting tunes beyond the boundaries of pure berlin school em.


Obsessive Surrealism - reviews:

Synth Music Direct (www.synthmusicdirect.com) review (UK):

Electronic bleeps contrast with a lovely organic piano as 'Beneath Fear' gurgles into life. All manner of sounds fizz and slither around the piano melody- then in comes a sedate but sublime rhythm, ethereal pads sighing over it all. The beats become more aggressive then subside again leaving wonderful contrasting melodies. What an absolutely awesome opener this is: inventive, compelling but also easy to get on with. 'Different Pathways' takes an alternative but equally as effective approach. Strange alien animal sounds mix with a staccato rhythm which literally seems to crack with energy. We then go through a grungy section as if electricity is arcing, escaping from some vast energy source. Subtle lonesome little lead lines roll over the top demanding your attention. Each sound is so precise and covering most areas of the sonic spectrum but at no time is there a sense of clutter. It's as if every single element can be heard and taken in. If anything extra were added it would be too much. If something were removed the track would not be complete. Perfect. 'Empty Human Cells' features melodic stabs over almost growling bass shudders which form a melodic focus all of their own. A deep rhythm purposefully stutters underneath. It's almost as if some awesomely powerful but injured creature is making its way through the darkness. You wouldn't want to meet it! 'Increasing Complexity' has a wonderfully moody five note repeated melody to which another rather sinister lead is added. A gentle rhythm compliments the melodies wonderfully but it's the sounds chosen for the beats that are the most impressive feature- subtle rather than bludgeoning. Even though it's all incredibly beautiful, there is something slightly unsettling about it at the same time.

'Into the Caves of the Mind' uses a repeated three-note melody which slowly rises up, floating through a sea of tinkling percussion. Mean drums crash out like a whip, joined my all manner of other fascinating syncopations- then its all calm again for a few moments. Weird manipulated and scrunched sounds mingle with each other, at one moment trying to meld into harmony then at the next seemingly vying for supremacy. Whip- the drums return. Scratching creeping creatures emerge for 'Interlude', creating quite an eerie atmos. 'Reflective' starts with very moody pads. The drums give a feel of foreboding, a squelchy bass line heightening the tension whilst a lovely little questing melody provides a mysterious contrast. I've heard nothing like this combination of sounds and rhythms before and I'm completely drawn in by it all. 'Mindmists' contains yet another wonderful collage of sounds then piano and gurgling slithering effects. We start to chug along again and there's even mellotron thrown in there adding a further level of mystery. There is an unclutteredness to it all and yet so much is going on that it is just impossible to take it all in. 'Pale Yellow Sky' rumbles into life. And these rumbles are so incredibly deep. Little melodic note droplets fall like water from a carven roof high above. Ticking percussion mixes with the coolest a beats which grab the attention and don't let go.

'Distracted' is initially a riot of bleeps and twittery sounds. Two sequences and a rapid staccato rhythm suddenly propel the track forward and I'm taken with it on the back of the bubbling cauldron of pulsations. Then it's all stop and I'm left in a delightful state of float before the syncopations return and I'm off again. We finish with another rather spooky section, a voice being heard so low in the mix that it is impossible to work out the words. This of course makes it seem even more sinister. 'Crying Spells' has a slow build up, a throbbing pulse and swirling effects very gradually getting louder but never really bursting through. Again it's all so tremendously moody but this time in a brooding understated sort of way.

What an album! File under 'God Knows' or 'Genius', both would be applicable. Truly unique and Very Highly Recommended to anyone who wants to try something that is new but also accessible. (DL)

Guts Of Darkness - Electronic music online magazine (www.gutsofdarkness.com) review (CA):

(Rating: 5 out of 6)
A sound wave,
dark and droning hops in opening of Beneath Fear. A
variegated intro, which lets emerge a fine piano melody, stiff in a dense sound
fauna. This soft tune shares its harmonies with a cloud of tonalities as
varied as the fear can have its reasons; flutes, whistling synth with the
melodious set of themes, percussions hopping and jerking in a light and
lugubrious environment. If the tempo is of equal appearance, it becomes more
implosive in the end, hammering the rhythm with the force of fear. Interesting?
Of course! Parallel Worlds, or Greek musician Bakis Sirros, presents a
totally awesome title in Obsessive Surrealism; the perfect fusion between EM
and electronica.
A world of rich sound textures and disconcerting tempos, which are
moulded perfectly to the sound effects and samplings meticulously proportioned
by Bakis Sirros. This defender of analogical sonorities create thus an
extraordinary effect of richness to juxtaposed dimensions, as in a parallel
world, which fills with wonder and which changes many data in a musical
world where the sound machines don?t have borders.
This gives additional languorous effects on titles like Different Pathways
and the aggressive Into the Caves of the Mind where the ingenuous lead
lines are absorbed by sound effects that propagate an opposite rhythm. An
incredible and subtle moulding, as if my invisible clone would go in
front of me and absorb me while passing... I mould in him and am his forms.
Completely brilliant. These strokes of genius pullulate on Obsessive
Surrealism, of the avant-gardism publisher DIN Records, which
specializes in the Contemporary Electronic Music. With its vaporous gas jets, Empty
Human Cells presents a static intro. Gradually, a circular tempo is install
supported on deform bass and percussive, if not hammering, sound
effects which flies, whereas environment becomes intriguing, on short symphonic
layers. With a title as striking as Increasing Complexity, we expect an
insane swirl. But we have instead a small islands beat, with
xylophonists percussions. The beauty of this track is this distortional line of
electronic percussions, which is moulded to a suave and flowing tempo.
A beautiful throbbing tempo wakes up Reflective senses. Slow, like a
hypnotic pulsation, a fat and round sequence oscillates through synthetic pads
that float gently, on a more and more hopping sequence. A strange cascade,
to strings synths, crosses this bouncing movement which takes a form of
undulating jazz with bewitching layers and very effective percussions.
Whereas Mindmists makes us visit the corridors as deviating as Empty
Human Cells, with more variances in the rhythms, Pale Yellow Sky is a
beautiful meeting piano/cello, in a lounge environment of amplified percussions.
Still, the tempo is solitary and is carved around sound effects and
samplings. Aggressive and tasty, Distracted strikes us full whip with a
heavy electronic approach, as if Ramp would have built this movement. A
powerful title which is an absolute synthetic effervescence, in a loud
ambiance, bordering Mark Shreeve and Ramp limits. Still on the upbeat,
Crying Spells has the look of its title. An intense paranoiac bolero,
with unpleasant choirs on satanic pulsations.

What an opus! From the first to the last key, I was struck by the
musical approach of Parallel Worlds on Obsessive Surrealism, which gives me the
same impact as Brian Eno with Nerve Net. Everywhere, samplers and sound
effects paper the parts length into broad, over sizing the structures, all in
their giving an artistic depth to the astonishing paradox. Very good, very
refreshing, we perceive the parallelism intrusion with an amazing
subtlety, signs of a perfect symbiosis.

e/i Magazine (www.ei-mag.com) review (USA):

"Drama, melodrama, psychodrama. Those states imbue the syllabus Greek
electronician Bakis Sirros, operating under the nom de disque
Parallel Worlds, has chosen as his dictum for Obsessive Surrealism,
instructing us from out of the darker amphitheaters of the Berlin
school, window blinds drawn tight. Well, perhaps 'Berlin school'
isn't the best appellation to use here. Sirros makes sounds that seem
perfectly happy at play in the fields of the lords synth and
sequencer, but what actually grunts and growls its way across the
battered landscape reveals something of a distinctly modern Modular
mind. Titles such as 'Beneath Fear,' 'Empty Human Cells,' and
'Into
the Caves of the Mind' connote a far more Freudian preoccupation with
altered consciousness than the average dessicated Krautrock hippy.
Fixating on feral pinging resonances, moody nomenclature, and the
noises emitted by scuttling tiny electronic beasties going bump in
the night, Obsessive Surrealism acts like the monkey wrench thrown in
the machinery of B.S. (double entendrι intentional, folks). To wit:
'Increasing Complexity' is all prescience and poise, muddied pulses
wafting in a nocturnal thrush of chimes and argumentative insect
chatter, something of a respite from the terminator synth-tug that
envelopes 'Empty Human Cells,' which is about as exhilaratingly
scary
as the descriptor suggests. Sirros is no doubt attuned to the fact
that space is indeed the place. But it's inner space, though, those
strange little areas in the ducts of the mind that fascinates him
most, that lead directly to the malevolent monoliths of buzz, gurgle
and drift set into motion on 'Reflective.' Yes, there's some
abject
dread here in these synthetic surrealities, as if Sirros OD'ed on a
surfeit of Philip K. Dick and 70s Harlan Ellison spec-fiction; 'Pale
Yellow Sky' is a compelling enough experience in and of itself,
curling noises eddying in and out of shimmering black vacuums that
have no mouth yet must scream. The tension here is palpable, the
music's edges serrated, pitted. This ain't your usual pixie
grinnin'
to the cosmos kind of thing, which is why time might paint Obsessive
Surrealism as a minor masterpiece of the (anti)genre."

Darren Bergstein

Synthtopia - Electronic music /synthesizers online magazine (www.synthtopia.com) review :

"Obsessive Surrealism, the latest CD by Parallel Worlds, is a synth lover’s dream.

The release is the fourth CD by Parallel Worlds, the first on the DIN label. We’ve been impressed by previous DIN releases, and Obsessive Surrealism is no exception. The CD is a dense blend of very electronic-sounding elements with very organic-sounding ones.

Parallel Worlds is the performing name for Greek musician Bakis Sirros. He’s been active in the Greek music scene for about 10 years, and has performed at a variety of electronic music events. He’s also collaborated with other musicians on other projects, including Interconnected (IDM) and Memory Geist (ambient/experimental).

Bakis’ music on this CD emphasisizes synthesis, using electronic gear and software to create new sounds and effects. His music is melodic and is very effective at creating various moods, but what really sets it apart is Bakis’ creative sound work.

Bakis puts a huge variety of gear to use, including: Doepfer A100 modular, Analogue Systems RS-Integrator modular, Technosaurus System D modular, modified EMS VCS-3 x2), ARP 2600, Odyssey, Roland System 100, System 100m, modified Oberheim 2-voice, Korg MS50, MS20, SQ10, Trident, PE1000, Analogue Solutions Concussor modular, modified TR606, Nord modular, JP8000, Microwave XT, MS2000R, S750, Emax 2, Korg ES1, Roland Space Echo, Korg SE500 and additional sound manipulators.

While this is an impressive gear list, Bakis appears to be most interested in wringing the most out of traditional synthesis. As a result, the music doesn’t sound like the result of intense studio editing, but more like he’s captured studio performances.

The music itself is pure synth music, leaning towards the dark ambient. It shares some elements with synth artists of the 70’s, but also with the work of contemporary synth music masters, like Robert Rich and Ian Boddy. The pieces are relatively short soundscapes that emphasize sequenced elements, along with synth-strings, “vocal” pads and quirky glitch percussion effects.

In addition to the creative sound design, Bakis makes very effective use of stereo space; listening to the CD on a set of monitors revealed the depth of the music’s range, while listening on earbuds highlighted a lot of creative stereo effects.

One of the highlights of the CD is the track Increasing Complexity. At its heart, it’s a simple melodic sequence on piano. Bakis treats the piano so that it’s muted and bathed in reverb, giving it an distant, underwater sound reminiscent of the piano effects on Brian Eno & Harold Budd’s collaborations. Over this, Bakis layers strange echoing birdlike noises, synthesized percussion effects, a sequenced bassline and evolving synth pads, building the piece to a dense jungle of sound. By the end, the piano fragment that holds things together has almost disappeared, leaving just the organic synth effects.

Another great track is Pale Yellow Sky. Like Increasing Complexity, the track uses a minimal melodic fragment as a framework for organizing a collection of uneasy sounds. Halfway through the track, the music dies down to almost nothing, focusing your attention on water-drip percussive effects, before building up again. Towards the end of the track, the melodic elements die out, leaving just drones, effects and ambience. Throughout,
Bakis frequently shifts the focus of the music from background to foreground and back, highlighting the layers of creativity in the mix.

Parallel Worlds’ Obsessive Surrealism is full of very original sound design, but also makes effective use of synth music staples like sequences, synth-strings and vocal pads. The combination draws you quickly into the pieces, where the depth of the music’s quirkiness slowly reveals itself. Highly recommended."

Roel Steverink review (NL):

Beneath fear:
It has a beautiful mysterious atmosphere evoked by the bubblings and slitherings of sounds. Very nice contrast of dark layers and lighter floating melodies and esotheric choir. It also shows a row of rhythmic peaks, which lift it even more, before it sinks back in an undulating morass of fascinating electronic bubbles and audio slithers.

Different Pathways:
Very strong piece. Starting with dark, hauntisch layers which glide over a bed of sizzles and other pre-mordial sounds out of which a electronic rhythm slips, on which on top several shade-friendly melodic progressions crawl.

Empty Human Cells:
This piece is a haven for subtle experimental electronic percussion almost Frohmader-esque, an erecter of exotic melodies Japan (the group)-like and keeper of the most undescribable watery noises and sounds.

Increasing Complexity:
One could swear to hear the hand of Ian Boddy on the electronic percussion. The whole piece drives on a hazy, short melodie upon which undercurrent other melodies and invigorating percussion walk.

Into the caves of the mind:
Sirros paints with reflective sounds the insight of his own mind. Percussive slabs shoot like electric pulses through these spaces.

Interlude:
The beginning of this track could almost have been the opening music to the dark Tangerine Dream soundtrack The Keep. The same approaching stamp of deep reverberated percussion and accompagnied by distant thunderish roar and strange, camouflaged melodies.

Reflective:
Although the ghost of Depeche Mode hovers above all tracks, it's nowhere so effident as on this track. Fabulous bass stamping, though with a shy character in the end, also the revolving dark talking of sound, occasionally erecting glow and a dark-warm blanket of melody overlaying it without touching. Slight critism: meaby it's a bit too long.

Mindmists:
Tomita-Moogish big ominious sounds rise like prehistoric monsters, along the way choir and mid-tempo rhythm lead it to an intermezzo of which rustic character leads it's to a fade ending.

Pale Yellow Sky:
Listening too this piece, is like walking through a modern city, destination unknown.

Distracted:
Piercing, metalic noises introduce an tempting drum and sequence rhythm with processed wah-wah effect-melodie which all dissapears in a eerie echoing drum-surrealism. I would call this up tempo piece classic Parallel Worlds.

Crying spells:
The closer retakes the eerie echoing drum-surrealism for the final secret.

So, I think it's Parallel Worlds' best album to date!
Some great sounds they made, sometimes reminding of Japan (the group), sometimes even reminding of the great Isao Tomita!

Roel Steverink
(Roel Steverink is a reviewer in many well-known electronic music publications)

Matt Howarth -  Sonic Curiosity magazine - review (USA):

"This release from 2007 offers 63 minutes of haunting electronic music.
Languid electronics laced with haunting harmonics generate melodies supported by understated e-perc of a bubbling nature. Keyboards provide dreamy chords that are supported by airy textures which exhibit a nocturnal flair. The electronics are generally lighthearted and breezy; even the periodic denser tonalities bear a soft sonic caress.

A subtle illbient quality lies buried in this tuneage, but it is not prominent enough to disrupt the overall heavenly nature with any substantial edginess. This glitchy seasoning is carefully implanted in the music in a manner that is almost subliminal, enhancing the tuneage with a ghostly charge, crackling in a fashion that is sedate and unintrusive. This fusion of contemporary EM and crackling techno gives the music a highly intriguing sound that is quite appealing.

The rhythms are equally soothing, providing a calm propulsion rather than a driving beat presence. Some of the tempos gurgle as if resounding from underwater or perhaps deep inside a cloud of glutinous gas. It's almost as if the percussives were generated by organic machinery.

These compositions display a distinctly celestial quality, ethereal yet sturdily crafted with body. The melodies consist of keyboards thriving in a textural medium, gentle riffs surrounded by cottony expanses of bewitching disposition."
www.soniccuriosity.com/sc298.htm

Matt Howarth - Sonic Curiosity

Industrie-Musik.de - Industrial, Gothic, Darkwave music portal - review (DE):

"Rezension:
Gleich vorweg: hier geht's nicht um Clubtauglichen Industrial, oder Szenegerechten Gothic. Macht aber nix, es geht um gute, eigenständige, elektronische Ambient Musik aus Griechenland. Bakis Sirros, aka Parallel Worlds schickt einen mit Obsessive Surrealism mit 11 Tracks für knapp eine Stunde in eine andere Dimension.

Die Tracks bieten reichlich Abwechslung, pflegen dabei aber dennoch alle den gleichen Stiel: Sanfte Synthflächen bilden einen weichen Teppich, über die sich einfache träumerische Melodien, und vor allem zahlreiche rhythmische Effekt- und Perkussionssounds legen. Mal zwitscherts, mal klirrts..
Im gesamten gibt sich ein schön melancholischer, atmosphärischer Sound, bei dem es viel zu entdecken gibt. Ideal zum relaxen, aber auch zum konzentriert hinhören. Ganz weghören ist mir jedenfalls nicht gelungen. Nach dem Motto „alternating between darkness and light" gibt sich die Stimmung manchmal positiv, und manchmal schön düster, klingt aber stets auf eine interessante Weise fremdartig.
Richtig zur Sache geht's nie, es ist eben Ambient. Am meisten dreht da noch Track 10 - Distracted auf, der sich ein wenig aggressiver gibt als der Rest der Scheibe.
Auf Gesang wird gänzlich verzichtet.

Vielleicht muss man ein wenig Synthfreak sein, damit einem ein so ausgefuchstes Sounddesign gefällt. Ein Blick in die Innenseite des Covers verrät auch gleich, dass die Musik von einem Solchen kommt: Ein Foto von einem Großen Modularschrank mit Leuchtenden LEDs (Borgschiff lässt grüßen), sowie eine Satte Liste mit „Selected Equipment" zeugen davon.

Fazit:
Soundscapes vom feinsten. "  5 out of 5 stars.
Britzel - www.industrie-musik.de

AMG (All Music Guide) review (US):

"It's a distinctly odd place, Parallel Worlds, a universe Bakis Sirros has been building up over a series of intriguing albums. Obsessive Surrealism is his Worlds' fourth, and once again we are invited into the dark recesses, but of what and where precisely?

The aural landscapes are not really dystopian, although they're all far from anything one could describe as pleasant.

One begins by walking into a world "Beneath Fear" taking "Different Pathways" through the musical maze. Both numbers induce a somewhat clammy feel, a reflection perhaps of the cool dampness of this underground world, or maybe just a primordial reactive nervousness to the unknown.

In either case, it the numbers intended to heighten this sense of disquietude, they certainly succeed. The vistas are totally alien, the rhythms often discomforting, the atmospheres quivering with a sense of foreboding, the melody lines brooding at best, gloomy at worse. Strange noises intrude from the shadows, and there always seems to be something skittering around busily in the darkest corners of the pieces.

One imagines the many sci-fi plots involving humans walking unnoticed through strange worlds, while all around them exotic creatures scurry about performing inexplicable tasks. The explorers' initial fear gradually dampen, but never quite dissipate, as wonder and curiosity arises in its stead.

Sirros is the master of this mood, his rhythms, often slightly askew, keep listeners off-balance, his simple melody lines are equally off center, teetering between light and dark, increasing

one's sense of insecurity, while the gloomy atmospheres heighten the tension. "Into the Caves of the Mind", for instance, is a master work whose center is totally askew, and "Increasing Complexity" shows how it's done, as Sirros takes a simple, pretty keyboard melody and slowly builds it sequential block by block into a thoroughly haunting number.

The richer sounds of "Reflective" is like a distorted infinity mirror, with a million lights looking into darkness.

"Empty Human Cells" is more rhythmic in orientation and thoroughly creepy in feel, while "Distracted", the set's only compulsive, driving piece, is a manic ride through the netherworld.

But for all its alien feeling, the track titles suggest this bizarre world is not to be found in a galaxy far, far away, but within the mind of a human nearly as unknowable. A chilling adventure in every sense of that word."
(Rating: 4.5 out of 5)

All Music Guide / Jo-An Greene
http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:fzftxzl5ldde

Dieter Doepfer (Doepfer Musikelektronik) review (DE):

"Dear Bakis, at the weekend I finally found the time to listen to your new CD
unhurriedly.
I'm very impressed and I heard the CD three times, some pieces even more. It
is by far your best album and you will have problems to top it in the future
:-). And believe me: I don't say it because I want to ingratiate as the
A-100 is mentioned and used. It is really a masterpiece of music but not
only of "sounds" (many of the CDs I obtain from other musicians include
excellent sounds - but miss musicality, your new album has definitely both)!
When I close my eyes I find myself flying in a spacecraft over a dark,
forbidden planet in an unknown solar system. I really love the mood that
that is generated by this music and - as already mentioned by others - it
would be an excellent movie soundtrack for a Carpenter film. My favoured
tracks are Beneath Fear, Interlude, Reflective (I think this is my favourite
at the moment), Distracted and Crying Spells. In any case the album will
obtain a place of honour in my CD collection.
Thank you for this music."

Dieter ( Doepfer Musikelektronik - www.doepfer.de  )

Artemi Pugachov / Encyclopedia of Electronic Music review (RU):

What caught my attention first was the title of this new album by Greek synthesist and sound sculptor Bakis Sirros. Now, let's see if there's anything Dali-esque about the music. Dark tones and some bleeps is what we get for a few seconds into "Beneath Fear". Then a moody melodic refrain comes in. It's all rather dramatic, with electronic rhythms and Mellotron choir. This is the moodiest piece I've heard from Bakis so far and in a way it's a progression from his previous, IDM-influenced style. Don't get me wrong, it's still very contemporary sounding, but somehow the mood is different, despite the bass drum that really adds this "techno" element to the music. This is some mysterious and at the same time melancholic music. Not bad at all. "Different Pathways" has a more stiff rhythm and strange effects. There's still that mysterious aura and a somewhat claustrophobic atmosphere that permeates this track. Some of the sounds that Bakis coaxes out of his modular synths are quite unusual and it's clear that he'd spent some days (or nights) just programming the synths, searching for the right sound (isn't EM all about creating sounds?). "Empty Human Cells" introduces a more somber and outright aggressive sound. At this stage the music really starts sounding like the album's title. A strange thing to notice is that the rhythm seems to be somewhat out of sync with the bass line, but it sounds organic and intentional. "Increasing Complexity" starts with deep sine wave bell tones somewhat similar to the sound of an electric piano. Looks like the somber, dark and melancholic mood of this album is set to continue for a while, this time in a more minimalist framing. The track has only got a sparse accompaniment of strange and /or darkish atmospheric sounds and a repetitive structure (which is a bit odd, considering the track's title). "Into the Caves of the Mind" introduces some broken rhythms, while the atmosphere itself refuses to stray from the mysterious and, once again, somewhat claustrophobic. It's like the world has collapsed and there's only here and now - the singularity of sound. As if it was not enough, "Interlude" is even deeper and darker, approaching the territory of the darker forms of Ambient. Great, simply great stuff! "Reflective" brings in more cosmic elements; at least that's how it sounded to my ears. It's also one of the more Techno-influenced tracks here. As someone who doesn't like Techno music, I found most of it a bit hard going, but I still liked the mood of this track and most of the supporting textures. "Mindmists" sounds like a title for an atmospheric track. Indeed, this is deep stuff, with dark piano notes and mucho mutating, experimental synth timbres. Another attraction of this track is the appearance of Mellotron strings (I think it's the first time they are heard on "Obsessive Surrealism"). "Pale Yellow Sky" has close to none of the darker shades present on most of the tracks, but the sense of mystery is still the focal point of this number. I really like the strings / pads arrangements of this one. "Distracted" is somewhat jarring, with its noisy textures and strident bass lines. Looks like it's the most upbeat track on the album. It's also one of those techno-ish numbers, but it beats most of what's sold as Techno or Trance to dust! Very interesting music with some tasty synth sounds. "Crying Spells" has a marching bass line that sounds like a procession heading straight into a hell hole! All the dark synth sounds, all the noisy injections make this track a real winner. Overall, Bakis presents quite stark (and decidedly electronic) music on this release. I mean, it's all grey. No other colors, just grey, mostly of the darker scales. There's hardly a bright section to be heard. The music is imbued in melancholy, mystery and claustrophobia. Going back to the title, there's a certain "manic" or "obsessive" feeling about most of this album, but "surrealism"? Hmm... I guess if Dali lived in an isolation tank that flew through cosmic void, then perhaps his paintings could have been the visual equivalent of the music presented here. A very interesting release on the DiN label and highly recommended for fans of contemporary EM and for those who simply want to hear something a bit different.


Dagheisha.com online music mag (www.dagheisha.com) review (IT):

Un surrealismo che incentra la propria ricerca sulle infinite potenzialitΰ del Doepfer A100 modular e sulla combinazione tra atmosfere sognanti ispirate all'elettronica analogica e agli anni settanta quanto ai traguardi raggiunti in questi anni dalla musica ambient. 'Obsessive Surrealism' conferma la straordinaria visionarietΰ di un Bakis Sirros sempre piω vincente nella catalogazione delle proprie emozioni e influenze. L'inesorabile e morboso incedere di questo manifesto ossessivo di elettronica moderna trova il suo apice assoluto in 'Different Pathways' e 'Into The Caves Of The Mind' che pitturano in un contesto schematico ma mai freddo la deframmentazione organica di quelle cellule visive con le quali siamo abituati a confrontarci quotidianamente. Nessun confine e nessun limite θ stabilito in tale ricerca anche quando a tratteggiarsi sono 'Pale Yellow Sky' e 'Crying Spells' che si allontanano leggermente dall'imprevedibilitΰ generale per ricordarci che anche le menti piω sperimentali amano sottolineare i propri concetti. Non fatevi scappare l'artwork curato da Progs von Dφn limitato alle prime 1000 copie.
 

Shade - reviews:

Alio Die (www.aliodie.com) review (IT):

"I just got your new album and I'm listening to it, and again it is
great!!!!!!! as usual and more than usual!
Great electronic music, your peculiar liquid rhythms and unique analogue
sounds, are so meticulously assorted together... your dreamy cocktail of
vitality, organic with a slight subtle nostalgia, have no comparison
with others.. it is your personal style, and I like it !
You have a strong passion, and a great ability, I hope you'll get the
acknowledgment you deserve :)
Stefano/Alio Die"

Gothtronic web magazine (www.gothtronic.com) (NL):

Shade is the fifth album of Parallel Worlds, a musical project of the Greek Bakis Sirros. The reviews on the previous album Obsessive Surrealism were full of praise so I got quite curious for the electronic music of this project. To directly come to a conclusion: nothing too much was said. The warm analogue synthesizer sounds meander in a rich musical soundscape characterized by terms such as ambient and electronic music accompanied by sparse electro influences. Bakis Sirros managed to invoke a dreamlike and dark romantic atmosphere resulting in a timeless musical world which for a listener it is nice to dwell in. Analogue rhythms and sequences melt with modern electronics and ambient music which gives the music a nostalgic and at the same time modern sound which is a unique quality of the music of Parallel Worlds. The cinematographic spheres combined with the rhythms and beats ensure a certain depth in sound. Shade moreover is excellently produced and mastered and thus a pleasure to enjoy with headphones on. To give some references one should actually look at the influences that can be traced back in the music, like from artists such as Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Tomita, Biosphere, Seefeel and Kraftwerk. Not the least of names to be compared to. (Rating 8 out of 10).

Dagheisha.com ( www.dagheisha.com  ) review (IT):

(automatic Google translation):
"I follow the work of Bakis Sirros for several years and what has always impressed me in its search of music is the absolute ability to give a romantic touch and obsessive use of modern instrumentation and analog synthesizers particularly like the Doepfer Modular A100 whose supporter. 'Shade' is the fifth studio work of Parallel Worlds and has the task of overcoming the results achieved from 'Obsessive Surrealism'. When you have listened carefully the album may be said that the last two episodes of the discography of the Greeks are very different. The first had a capacity for implementation and visually stunning in its notes could really portray your dreams or the concerns about today's society and its ailments. In this' Shade 'instead Siros that has left its melodic caresses turned its attentions to a fabric more ambient and less structured than in the past. 'Entities' and' A Moment Frozen 'liberate the mind before the fact and change everything around the machines to take possession of the universe. In a context so overwhelming the delicate chimes of 'Shade' may appear as small lights of hope but also evil ghigni of those who have discovered the most subtle to perpetuate pain. I can not choose then. Both 'Obsessive Surrealism' and 'Shade' are two shades of surrealism electronic Parallel Worlds and the only certainty is that Bakis Sirros remains one of the most farsighted of the alternative electronic scene."
www.dagheisha.com

 

Artemi Pugachov / Encyclopedia Of Electronic Music review (RU):

"Parallel Worlds "Shade" (DiN Records, 2009)

"Shade" is the brand-new album by Greek electronic musician Bakis Sirros who uses a helluvalot of gear, including large analogue modular systems. The cover gives it a rather austere look but let's hear if the music is similar or not. "Frightening Frontiers" gets things going with a dubby bass line and echoing experimental sounds. Soon a mysterious melody emerges, as the bass drum quickens its pace. This music is full of tension and anguish. It effectively combines IDM with traditional EM structures, leaning more towards the former. I must mention the great melodic content - it's really something that makes this track stand out from the crowd. Besides, there's a great attention to details and sound programming. The synthetic textures are used effectively and masterfully. With "Entities", we enter a darker realm. Analogue sounds wander on, as a slow bass line asserts itself of the blanket of synthetic pads and glitchy textures. A rhythmic section follows, interrupted by an atmospheric interlude where simply wonderful electric piano sounds appear. The track ends with quiet, Cluster-type chords that gradually fade into silence. "A Moment Frozen" is totally ghostly - two minutes of static, vinyl-like cracking and mysterious, deep chords. Wonderful, cinematic stuff. "Mutating Realities" is the longest track at 10 and a half minutes. Weird sounds are joined by a slow bass drum rhythm, as menacing chords persist in the right channel of the stereo field. More strange sounds are added, as the track sets up a menacing, dark mood. Surprisingly, distant Mellotron flutes surface after 4 minutes. These do not overstay their welcome, though, and are soon drowned by the rhythm and other synthetic sounds. For the last several minutes, this rather intense section is replaced by a barely-heard soundscape - ghostly, aquatic and shimmering. Soon the soundscape transforms into a reprise of the rhythmic theme that was heard before, this time it sounding more minimal and stripped down to the essential elements. "Compulsive Mechanics" is fittingly industrial. Metallic sounds are arranged into a curious rhythmic pattern, as the melody is hypnotic and repetitive. A key change follows, as the track gets more dramatic. Another key change and what we get in the end is a very enjoyable EM number of experimental nature. "Not Being Mirrored" begins with repeating bass, before a busy rhythm is introduced. A weird melody appears, developing into something more shaped and distinguished. Still not something you could hum to, though. A ghostly, musicbox-like melody is introduced, accompanied by synthetic rhythms. The title track plunges into melancholy with its repeating minimal melody and a gently popping rhythm. This is also probably the most emotionally charged track, although the emotions it expresses are those of the stark variety. "Urgency" starts with a voice sample before a stiff, slow rhythm is introduced. After a while, in come upbeat sequences and suspenseful strings. This could serve as the soundtrack to a chase scene in a futuristic movie. The rhythms here are a bit harder than what Bakis is usually known for. There's also a great, mysterious melodic theme near the end. "Towards" is ethereal and flowing, with the rhythmic elements mostly consisting of looped clicks, gentle bass throbs and other such subtle sounds. The track makes nice use of the piano. Finally, "Ungreat Certainty" finishes off on a purely Dark Ambient note. The track mostly consists of floating drones, processed sounds and subtle bass loops. "Shade" is certainly the most accomplished work by Parallel Worlds so far, with great choice of sounds and a claustrophobic, shadowy atmosphere. It's difficult to emphasize any track, but the ones that I thought really stood out were "A Moment Frozen", "Compulsive Mechanics", "Shade", "Towards" and "Ungreat Certainty". This album is highly recommended for fans of modern Electronic Music."

Artemi Pugachov / Encyclopedia Of Electronic Music
 

Reflections Of Darkness webzine ( www.reflectionsofdarkness.com ) review (NL):

PARALLEL WORLDS is the project of GREEK native Bakis Sirros who’s ever since the project’s inception pulled off four acclaimed albums. Now, 2 years after ‘Obsessive Surrealism’ he’s coming back with an all new collection of work, namely ‘Shade’.

‘Frightening Frontiers’ first builds up some muffled rhythmic groundwork and then phases in the notion of a gloomy mood that’s starting to branch more and more becoming a roof of sophisticated and alluring atmospheres as the beat’ s coming out of its muffled hideaway to the front pleasing the ears with its diversified sound design. ‘Entities’ follows a similar strategy regarding the atmospheres toying with different preferably dark-coloured layers piercing through the flipping structures of the rhythmic machines. Bubbling, crackling synths wrapping themselves up in a cloth of nostalgic appearing effects are the foundry of ‘A Moment Frozen’ while droning out melodies circle around inside its enthrals. Undeniably the core piece of the album is ‘Mutating Realities’ going over a distance of over 10 minutes toying with shifting moods and mouldable spheroids of tangible atmospherics dragging you deeper and deeper into the shadowy realms of ‘Shade’. The rhythm admittedly changes as well yet the changes remain on a minor scale ‘Compulsive Mechanics’ in its early stages is like a chaotic swamp of monotonous machine noises but slowly a structure…order becomes audible bringing disquieting undertones up to the surface as well. Only from the distance we hear indefinable sounds and melodies as we’re entering the last chapter ‘Ungreat Certainty’. But during the track’s almost 4 minutes the distance shrinks and the wintry beauty of the tune becomes apparent.
 
Carefully crafted atmospheres and rhythms is what you’ll get on ‘Shade’ while especially the atmospheres are outstanding pieces of work. Even though the project’s released already 5 albums including this one, this was the first time I ever heard its name but I’m sure to keep an eye on PARALLEL WORLDS from now on and you should as well.  Rating: 8.5 / 10

Morpheus Music website review :
http://www.electronicmusicmall.com/Html/reviews71.htm#shade

(rating 5 / 5)

an extract:
"...The maturity of form and thematic content is strongly evident as Parallel Worlds continue their inevitable upward journey into the electronic halls of fame.

This album has been well chosen to appeal to the growing army of DiN fans. It is perhaps one of the label's more readily accessible products with plenty going on to hold the attention and a rich sonic chiaroscuro effect providing plenty of emotive ambience. If you enjoy brooding, dynamic electronica crawling with atmosphere - then this is a strong contender."

Electronic Musician magazine review (US):

Purely electronic, glorpy textures combined with seductive sequencing make this (Shade) disc from Greek composer Bakis Sirros a real winner.

CUE-MIX web magazine(DE):

http://www.cuemix-magazine.com/cuemix/inhalt.php?image=1104

a small extract:

"...“Shade” is a brilliant album – tracks like “Mutating Realities” or “Urgency”, just to name two of my favourites, owns such a deep atmosphere I never heard before. Bakis owns two roles – a brilliant musician and a genius storyteller – by using such wonderful sounds.
Shade will be one of the most essential electronic albums 2009 – that’s for sure!"

 

'Guts Of Darkness' web magazine review(CA):

http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=12038
rating 5 out of 6.

Side-Line magazine review:
http://www.side-line.com/reviews_comments.php?id=42287_0_17_0_C
rating 8 out of 10.

Sound Proector website review (RU):
http://www.soundproector.com/?cat=reviews&id=207

and a small extract of the review:
"Shade to my pure personal opinion, can already be considered one of the best albums of 2009. There is few such incredible, tangible music nowadays, one must literally "separate the wheat from the chaff". Here is no run-of-the-mill track, each composition is a piece of mosaics, if you gather it you will get a perfect picture."

Ping Things website review:

Fans of analog sounds will no doubt be familiar with the work of Bakis Sirros and his musical project Parallel Worlds. On previous discs Siros has demonstrated a strong technical understanding and talent for analog manipulation, and with the release of "Shade" Siros firmly establishes himself as an extraordinary sound sculptor, creating dense and lush music through sequenced patterns and highly sophisticated tonal structures and forms.

The track "Frightening Frontiers" opens the disc, a fast-paced piece that establishes a tension that can be felt throughout the release. Abrupt shifts in direction work nicely throughout the song, complementing established themes that act as a constant identifier for the listener while being moved through new locations and environments. The later track "Urgency" follows a similar form, opening with a mysterious vocal and leading into a frantic percussive rhythm where occasional tonal stabs add a particular drama to the track. Over its course, "Urgency" changes direction a couple of times, but retains a steady feeling of presence that links the different movements in a very successful way.

Siros is equally skilled in creating beautiful melodic pieces on "Shade" as well, demonstrating not only his technical proficiency, but also an impressive understanding of texture and mood. The track "Entities" is a beautiful melodic
electronic piece where layers of sound build on a steady pulsing beat to create a very appealing framework. Adding some nice arpeggios and bell sounds to the mix, Siros creates a very tastefully layered track that is quite inspired. Title track "Shade" also stands out as a particularly appealing track, beginning with a slight piano melody and gradually adding in light percussive elements and a slow drone. As the track continues the soundfield gradually opens up, gaining in complexity and sophistication, with phrases being redefined through repetition.

Listening to "Shade", I can't help but recognize Siros' immense talent and artistry. The carefully created soundscapes on this disc present him as an artist who cares deeply about detail and space within his work, who can successfully take the listener through a wide range of environments capturing multiple emotions and feelings. I've enjoyed Siros' music as Parallel Worlds for some time now, and on "Shade" he surpasses all my previous expectations and sets a new standard of excellence in my mind.

rik - ping things

http://pingthings.blogspot.com/2009/07/shade-by-parallel-worlds.html
 

'Heathen Harvest' Web Magazine review:

http://www.heathenharvest.com/article.php?story=20090731212559641

a small extract:
"This is the kind of music –or art, for the matter-, that really shakes you inside, transforming your intimate fibres and relocating the plane of your unconscious, leaving you speechless and emotionally touched. So aside from being an excellent demonstration of IDM and modern electronica, or aside to be an exemplar on how to re-rubberize the qualities of “old” or “outdated” sonorities from synths and analogue equipment and to relocate the genre as something far new starting from old principles, Parallel world’s “Shade” constitutes a great achievement again in what respects to aural influence over the mood, thoughts and acts from the listener. A work that just not opens sonic universes of ignote mystery and deep questions beneath its audience, but also raises high remarks about the technical ability from its author, showing him as some sort of new guru in the scene of dark ambient IDM. Highly recommended!"
 

Medienkonverter.de webmag review (DE):

http://www.medienkonverter.de/kritik.php4?id=3632
rating: 4.5 out of 6


Cyclic Defrost magazine review (AU):
http://www.cyclicdefrost.com/blog/2009/09/24/parallel-worlds-shade-din/

an extract:

"What makes this such a captivating listen is how Sirros melds virtual and actual analog sounds. It ensures the music cannot be placed in any one time. As soon as you start feeling a Kraftwerk flashback taking hold the dark and dense digital sounds of Autechre emerge from the mist.

Sirros has created an album that really does transform your immediate surroundings. As background music it serves its purpose well yet when you sit down and let the music take over your senses you enter a contradictory world where you feel both apprehension and calm. ‘Entities’ in particular is unnerving and comforting at the same time."