With 'Planets + Persona', Richard Barbieri released his most sonically expansive and ambitious work to date. It is his third solo album, but the first to feature such a wide pallet of instrumentation and has a central theme of duality. Vintage analogue synthesizers combine with acoustic performances and jazz elements, including some stark and memorable improvisations from a personally hand-picked group of musicians. Twisted voices are always present, though not in a language we can recognise.
The album is complemented with photographic scenes of dramatic Icelandic landscapes in a 16-page booklet included with this mid-price digipack CD edition.
As an ex-founder of the new-wave pioneers Japan, Barbieri was a leader in creating the ground-breaking synthesiser sound that defined the band and influenced the likes of The Human League, Duran Duran, Gary Numan, Talk Talk and a whole raft of artists to follow. Together, the band record five studio albums culminating in the ground-breaking 'Tin Drum', which stayed in the UK Albums Chart for a year.
Following Japan, Barbieri joined Steven Wilson to form the legendary progressive outfit Porcupine Tree, playing keyboards on all the band's albums since 1993 as well as releasing two striking solo albums: 'Things Buried' and 'Stranger Inside'.
His ear for composing unique soundscapes and synth textures recently led to collaborations with other talented composers, such as Steve Hogarth (Marillion) Steve Jansen & Mick Karn (Japan) and Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree).
Solar Sea 7.30
New Found Land 7.17
Night of the Hunter 10.44
Interstellar Medium 5.38
Shafts of Light 6.39
Solar Storm 6.22