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 NEURONIUM : "Quasar 2C361"

In the second half of the Seventies I discovered the fascinating world of Tangerine Dream (1974-1977 era) and early Klaus Schulze their electronic music and soon I started to dig for more. In those days you could buy tons of electronic music LPs in the legendary record store Boudisque in Amsterdam. I did and especially Neuronium turned out to be one of my favorites, from the first album Quasar 2C361 (1977) to Heritage (1984). This electronic music formation was founded by Marcel Huygen (born in Belgium), fellow keyboardplayer Carlos Guirao and guitarist Albert Gimenez (who left the band after their to me disappointing second album Vuelo Quimico in 1978).

Michel had played in psychedelic rock bands, with Neuronium he started to play jazz oriented music during a string of concerts in their embryonal phase but on this first effort its mainly Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze inspired electronic music: ambient electronic landscapes with lush synthesizer-strings and soaring string-ensemble, pulsating sequencers and slow, hypnotizing synthesizer flights. The guitarplayer adds a special flavor to the music with his howling runs and moving solos, especially in the final part of El Valle De Rimac we can enjoy a wonderful blend of synthesizer and electric guitar, Neuronium their trademark in the early years. In the long titletrack Neuronium delivers a first and final part with a beautiful strings sound, flute and twanging acoustic guitar in a dreamy atmosphere, very warm electronic music!

Although the climates sound a bit similar on Neuronium their first album, to me this sounds as warm and pleasant electronic music. And it was the start of an interesting carreer for Michel Huygen, later he would collaborate with Tangerine Dream, Steve Roach and Klaus Schulze and in 1994 he performed on the legendary Dutch electronic music festival KLEM also featuring Chris Franke in that year. Recently Michel Huygen has working on a record with the London Symphonic Orchestra entitled Classical Neuronium that contains his most significant compositions played with classical instruments.

Erik Neuteboom

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