Review: Following up her 2016 debut album for Michigan based Sounds Of The Dawn, Latvian artist and composer Agata Melnikova returns under the Sign Libra moniker. Closer to the Equator was composed for a contemporary ballet for the National Opera in Riga and explores Melnikova's appreciation of BBC-produced nature documentaries. According to the label, each song is a musical tableau which plays its part in a ballet - all carefully choreographed by the Latvian artist. Themes and concepts aside, these celestial, new-age ambient excursions merge with tropical and oriental aesthetics, plus hypnotic polyrhythms and utilising a lot of FM synthesis on these '80s styled soundtracks. Undoubtedly in the vein of John Hughes films as heard on "Mantodea vs Furcifer Pardalis" and even some romantic retro-futurism inspired by the original Blade Runner soundtrack like on the sultry "Victoria Amazonica". For fans of Vangelis Katsoulis, Visible Cloaks or John Roberts.
Review: Agata Melnikova is Sign Libra and in her utopian vision we are given 'Seas' of tranquility, serenity, knowledge and cleverness not Orwellian ministries of truth, love and plenty! With So much 'conceptronica', as it's being tagged these days, suggested to come from the social and political angst of many experimental electronic producers at the moment it's comforting to know there are still visions of peace to find. Sea To Sea, Sign Libra's second album, docks with RVNG Int'l and brings with it tales of a future exotica from the far east and beyond!