Uni Sphere ‎– Endless Endeavor

Groove Unlimited ‎– GR-220
CD, Album

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June 5, 2016

Excellent music, in the TD 80's vein, but at the same time with distinct original and personal touches. A great listen!


January 27, 2016
UNISPHERE: Endless Endeavor (2015)
“Endless Endeavor is a solid album which exploits mostly a good rhythmic and melodic balance with a lot of TD moods and a zest of Vangelis' perfumes”

1 Pivoting Pathways 6:30
2 Radiant Realm 6:28
3 Vulnerable Values 5:43
4 Jocular Jive 5:51
5 Compromising Colors 5:09
6 Endless Endeavour (Part 1,2 & 3) 15:18
7 Liberating Loyalty 4:22
8 Eloquent Exposure 5:45
9 Obviously Orbiting 7:01
10 Contemplating Calmness 8:44

Groove | GR-220 (CD 70:53) ****
(Electronic Rock Music)

UNIsphere is the sum of 2 Dutch musicians who are fascinated by an EM based on a rhythmic and melodious approach. If one, René Splinter, likes a rhythmical EM which is strongly influenced by Tangerine Dream's Schmoelling era, the other one, Eric van der Heijden, is a melodist in the lineage of Vangelis and likes arrangements which add a very beautiful depth to a style which links skillfully the bridge between the Greek magician and the gang of Froese in the 80's. “Endless Endeavor” is the direct reflection of these poles of influences. This first album proposes 10 piece of music which respect the ABC of EM Berlin School style with structures, for the majority, which develop slowly in order to switch for ambient rhythms and to some good sequenced rhythms. And in the end, the biggest merit of “Endless Endeavor” is to plunge the listener into a universe which has no secrets anymore to the fans of the kind... except those secrets of René Splinter and Eric van der Heijden.

And as soon as the first colors of the sounds of "Pivoting Pathways" are falling between our ears, the magic of UNIsphere infiltrates our senses with a structure which uses completely its 6 and a half minutes. A woosh decorated with metallic particles strikes the wall of nothingness with a big bang. Thousands of scarlet fragments are fading as some irregular percussions and hopping sequences unite their contrasts in order to sculpt a figure of rhythm which skips under the strikes of the electronic percussions. The tone of the rhythm does very Tangerine Dream, kind of Le Parc. The synth spreads its wall of woosh which turn into layers of ambient melodies while the rhythm, always lively and undisciplined, does contrast by wanting to accelerate the pace of "Pivoting Pathways" which tries a little more to exploit its envelope of ambient melody. Riffs of synth in tones of the Dream strews the paradoxical race of "Pivoting Pathways" which collapses beneath layers of dense rolling of percussions. A moment of atmospheres comes then where a piano changes its notes for those of a keyboard and lies down an ambiguous melody which will anchor a movement of sequences which makes roll its keys into threatening undulatory loops. The sound decoration, the slow growth of the rhythm and its breakaway with sharp sequences borrowed from the repertoire of the Thief exhilarate our ears and make no doubt; we are going to spend a pleasant moment with UNIsphere.

We love "Pivoting Pathways"? We are going to adore "Obviously Orbiting" which proposes the same kind of structure. The first seconds of "Radiant Realm" are weaved in mystery. A fog of London covers the intro and we hear a heartbeat. Strands of sequences come to roam around the beats, as well as electronic graffiti which squeak like blades which make the walls of steel crying by a black night. A piano adds to the weight of this sinister atmosphere with short series of notes which runs in loop but whose melody is effectively attractive. This is the way "Radiant Realm" is progressing. Sequences and percussions sculpt an ambient rhythm which catches quietly an effect of crescendo, while the piano accepts cracklings of synth to decorate a melody which will find all its charm with the addition of the breezes of a completely unexpected flute.

Ambiospheric and ambiosonic, "Vulnerable Values" is a moment of ambiences where the sound flash of Tangerine Dream abound. We feel a little as being in a space shuttle to devour celestial bodies.
"Liberating Loyalty" is also an ambient track with mourners fluty synth lines and twinkling arpeggios which throw a veil of nostalgia.
The arrangements are very good, just like in "Eloquent Exposure", a very beautiful ballad on a soft rhythm where synths make duel while weaving nice ear worm.
"Jocular Jive" does so very TD with a lively rhythm raised on a meshing of sharp sequences, hopping pulsations and rolling percussions. Synths spit smoke clouds, vampiric harmonies as well as layers of astral choirs when the rhythm calms down. That does very theme music of the The Park is Mine's years.
"Endless Endeavour (Part 1,2 and 3)" is a long track which feeds on the essences of this first UNIsphere opus. The introduction offers a rhythm of ballad with beautiful harmonies struck on a kind of anvil. We feel that sequences are chomping at the bit in the background, but they remain united to this first part which is sculptured in the approach of electronic ballad. A dark piano spreads its veil of melancholy in the 2nd part. That does very Schmoelling! Little by little these notes get lost in atmospheres of Legend. Pulsations resound and sound the awakening of the sequences which spread two crossed lines. Lines which cavort with such a fluidity that we could believe to hear Chris Franke in his interpretation of Purple Waves on his album The London Concert. And quietly, in a figure of rhythm forged in elements of complexity, "Endless Endeavour (Part 1,2 and 3)" grazes its minutes before exploring a rather lively finale where sequences wave and gallop into flavors of Franke. We are a little mislaid after the 1st listening, but in the end "Endless Endeavour (Part 1,2 and 3)" turns out to be a very interesting track to be discovered and to be rediscovered.

The same goes for "Contemplating Calmness" whose ambient rhythm, fed by rivulets of sequences which wave in a very Franke pattern, wins in velocity as the synths are weaving cloud of smokes and are pulling convoluted harmonies with twisted solos and others vampiric ones which exchange their effects of spectres for some nice fluty breezes.
It is just like “Endless Endeavor” !

A very nice album of very good polished up EM and where the rhythms in evolutionary mode, the atmospheres, the ballads and the melodies interweave their charms in very good arrangements and especially in Tangerine Dream's influences without that we ever find it neither exaggerated nor misplaced.

Sylvain Lupari (November 16th, 2015)


January 27, 2016
Sonic Immersion by Bert Strolenberg
What to expect from two accomplished musicians in their own right who decide to collaborate in a new project? Well, combining the sonic pathways of Eric van der Heijden and René Splinter under the Uni Sphere moniker has led to an emotive, sparkling and evocative outcome on their debut "EndLess EndeavoR", which was made available to the public on the E-Live 2015 festival. On the same occasion, the duo performed a very fine concert together, receiving a most enthusiast response from the crowd.
The almost 71-minute release, kicking off with the strong "Pivoting Pathways" contains ten tracks with a fine assortment of captivating sounds, energetic sequencer leads, moodscapes along a couple of solo voices. The sound design and percussion as we know them from Johannes Schmoelling is also present, but applied to original and new compositions that go beyond and past regular melodic-oriented tunes.
From time to time, there’s a pleasant mellowness running through the outcome along some fine piano work as featured in the great 3-part title piece. The latter is a rather complex 15-minute electronic symphony unfolding gradually and revealing many details while pairing lots of sonic ingredients along the way.
After that we ride the emotive breeze of the gentle "Liberating Loyalty". Other strong efforts are "Obviously Orbiting" and "Contemplating Calmness" rounding out the album: both merge great synth pads and hooks to an attractive and emotive result. Applause to you guys for this wonderful, excellent sounding piece of art!


January 27, 2016
"CD: UNI Sphere: Endless Endeavor
With the debut album "Endless Endeavor" UNI Sphere have succeeded making a masterpiece. A CD with 10 titles that have IT in them. A lot of different styles of electronic music can be heard on this CD. Powerful, but also very gentle piano sounds mingle with artfully composed melodies and are interwoven with extra-ordinary sound scapes.
Actually, both Eric van der Heijden as well as René Splinter are representatives of the more quieter electronic music but in this album they surprise with impressive pieces, such as the opener "Pivoting Pathways" which treats us with a lot of percussion power.
"Radiant Realm" has a catchy haunting piano with a heavy bass drum, which runs through the entire title. Quite surprisingly sounds Title 4 "Jocular Jive". In this piece, René and Eric come out as "jazz musicians". So "oblique" sounds I would have now not expected from the two. Class!
"Jocular Jive" is really completely different music than anyone previously knew of the two "pianissimo" and alone therefore very worth listening to.
I will not go into every title of this fantastic CD now, so you can be impressed by the music itself. Nevertheless, I have 3 more personal favorites in this album, peppered with highlights
The gentle "Liberating Loyalty", the power circuit closing title called "Contemplating Calmness", with which Eric and René will mesmerize every concert hall and, of course - my title of the year - "Eloquent Exposure", previously known as "Colorful Fields of Summer" that until now only has been played live.
At last, I can play my title, (because this composition Eric and René composed especially for me ) at any time. For their CD "Endless Endeavor" the two have revised my title again and gave it very special finishing touches. In this version, it sounds even better, although that wasn’t nearly possible. - For this wonderful piece, my thanks to you will be eternal !
Never ever I have liked and appreciated an album so much as this. That's why I have proposed the those 4 tracks as "Title of the Year", and "Endless Endeavor" as my absolute favorite album.
UNI Sphere's Endless Endeavor: Music like from another planet. - Music that touches the soul. Music that goes into the heart. In short: music that brings magical moments and brightens the darker days. Music, the way I like it! – A big thank you, dear Eric and dear René!
Music is the language that connects everyone !
Sylvia Sommerfeld "