The late Oscar Menzel, who recorded as Airwaves, left a significant legacy that the electronic music community has routinely failed to acknowledge or come to grips with. An admirer and obvious colleague-in-spirit to pioneers Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Robert Schroeder, Pete Namlook, and so many other recognized synthi boffins, Menzel’s small but important catalog bristles with enough ideas to fill dozens of albums, accomplishing within a mere handful of recordings what lesser artists spend a lifetime attempting. The follow-up to his earlier Carpe Sonum issue Biomechanical, Multiverse represents his unreleased fourth work, and as part of his broader oeuvre, will undoubtedly go down as one helluva swan song. Utilizing a vast array of then-contemporary equipment—his gear list reads like a portfolio of the finest analog creations birthed by Moog, Korg, Ensoniq and Roland—Multiverse is a synth fetishist’s wet dream, a kaleidoscopic trip down the alleyways of both Menzel’s soundmakers and his hyperkinetic-embodied imagination. Gear aside, none of these pieces in any way act like demonstration tracks for would-be weekend synth warriors; there’s a devilish muse at work here, a symbiotic relationship between player and module, a literal man-machine. The high-energy photons Menzel prods from his devices are nothing short of astounding, the actual compositions bordering on revolutionary—never one to become merely a sum of his influences, Menzel literally ignites these dazzling excursions with a deft sweep of hand, diamond-sharp prisms fragmenting every blip, bleep, bulge, and blush into a million points of interplanetary light. Travelling the spaceways like no other, both Multiverse and the entire Airwaves catalog sports a cadre of visionary achievements that are utterly magical to behold.
Review from SonicImmersion: www.sonicimmersion.org/airwaves-multiverse