Uwe Gronau, a cutting-edge musician from Europe, likes to go into his studio in the middle of the night with either a late-night vision or an idea from a dream and create some of the most innovative and mesmerizing music currently coming out of the Continent. His latest CD, VISIONS, is inspired by Paris.


His instrumental music, much of which features either synth rhythms or drumbeats, covers a lot of territory including new age, jazz, pop, prog-rock, avant-garde, techno, trance, chill, ambient and space music. Gronau -- primarily a pianist, synthesist and organist -- makes music that eludes easy categorization as he explores a wide variety of sounds and styles, wherever his imagination carries him. His last two albums have gone Top 5 on the monthly international Zone Music Reporter Top 100 airplay chart.


This is innovative stuff, not so avant-garde as to leave most of the listening public behind, but a bit beyond the standard sounds of most current instrumental music (and that is quite a feat). Even though this is a heavily synthesized album, and European, it is not dance, electronica or industrial. Because so many of the tunes have drums, often a crackling snare, those sounds keep the music from mellowing into the new age arena too far. And the piano and organ (and a touch of sax and guitar) temper the synth sounds and keep the CD in the realm of contemporary music instead of letting it float off into the ozone somewhere. But this is modern-sounding music guaranteed to take listeners to places they have not been before, and that is, perhaps, one of the most highly-regarded aspects of music.