The late Mexican electronic musician Oscar Menzel, aka Airwaves, only realized a small handful of recordings in his short lifetime (including one under the alias 29), but the two Airwaves discs issued on the Opcion Sonica label back in the mid 90s remain one of the many undiscovered gems scattered across the vast graveyard of obscure, one-off electronic music projects and recordings. Released during the era when musicians the world over were firing up banks of synthesizers to inaugurate their own take on the ambient subgenre, Menzel’s cosmic creations took the stuff of legend (Eno, Tangerine Dream, Schulze, Namlook, and a gaggle of others) and recontextualized them via sonic easels adorned with fresh daubs of paint. This resulted in such sparklingly effective concoctions as the two-part shimmer festivities of “Biomechanical”, the gorgeous starshine twinkle of “A Little Twilight Moment”, and the Steve Roachian broadbase expanse of “Sunset Mists Distant Peaks”; in short, an exploration of tones and timbers that sounded strangely familiar yet still eerily unplaceable. Menzel’s fire burned but for a brief time, but electronic music aficionados can rejoice that his art exists to further illuminate the planet.
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