Song of the day: MICROWAVE PRINCE – The Eternal Light (1995)

The Microwave Prince was German techno/trance producer Steffen Müller-Gartner who seems to have disappeared after being fairly active between 1993 and 1998. “Eternal Light” first appeared on his only album, A Captive In The Land Of The Iron Bubbles (Le Petite Prince). It’s one of those albums that I’ve had an eye out for for around ten years now, but I have never come across a copy. Instead, my introduction to the Microwave Prince came via a 1996 Millennium Records compilation called Techno Ballads, a double CD with an icky pink cover. It’s a collection of lengthy instrumentals that straddle the bridge between trance-techno anthems and the chill out room.  It’s a genre which has more than its fair share of formulaic guff, but there are a few choice tracks on this particular compilation, especially the two longest tracks – Surge’s “Sensory Bliss” and “The Eternal Light”.

The track takes an age to build. It has a pulsing beat, and a muted synth melody that wouldn’t sound out of place on Aphex Twin’s first Selected Ambient Works album. But there is a spooky atmosphere to the piece that sets the scene for the sampled dialogue. A disembodied Irish voice starts to recount a tale of a near-death out of body experience, none too coherently I might add. His reference to “going towards the eternal light” is fairly self-explanatory, but I’m not exactly sure what all the references to “taking the pictures” is all about. Whatever kind of paranormal nonsense he’s spouting, it makes for one spookily trippy ten minutes. I still play the track regularly, and it never sounds less than magical, especially in the dead of night. What became of Müller-Gartner, I know not. And one day I’d like to get hold of his daftly titled album to see whether “The Eternal Light” was a cosmic fluke, or whether there was a special talent at work who somehow never got the props he deserved.

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4 responses to “Song of the day: MICROWAVE PRINCE – The Eternal Light (1995)

  1. SMG (Microwave Prince) is still very much alive & kicking. He releases under the producing alias of “Rave Allstars”, as well as some other one-off guises (see also Blaxxun, K-Capone). He is a studio producer now, and works with compressor design & audio mastering. He also designs the sounds available on numerous Native Instruments (NI) virtual synths. I am a friend of his, and also his “unofficial” biographer. Thanks for starting this thread about perhaps one of his greatest compositions–Eternal Light.

  2. Uf..Microwave prince is one of “unknown” heroes of europe electronical music, he made 4 top tracks that will always be in top of tops…also le petit prince was a nice label back then. It’s nice to hear he is creating music today :) makes me happy…please say hello to him, and that many people didn’t forget him!!!

  3. I’m not sure what do you mean by a “cosmic fluke” :) he produced several all-time classics before Eternal Light, it’s weird that you know about this one and haven’t heard those that hes actually known for…

  4. My dear blogger, you should educate yourself before writing articles.
    BTW so called synth is actually Ronald Bassline TB-303, the little thing running on batteries and Microwave Prince was at least the expert with this instrument.

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