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Bozzio Levin Stevens — Black Light Syndrome
(Magna Carta MA-9019-2, 1997, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1997-10-01

Black Light Syndrome Cover art

There’s been a lot of speculation and internet chatter leading up to the release of this one. Certainly, with three musicians of this caliber one might be inclined to expect something special from such a collaboration. According to the liner notes, Black Light Syndrome is purely improvised, composed on-the-spot in the studio, yet with some tracks (the Crimsonesque “Dark Corners,” or “Falling in Circles,” for example) it’s hard to believe these weren’t well rehearsed beforehand. Terry Bozzio, as always, is in top form, knowing precisely when and where to put that accent that frames the spirited guitar flights of Stevens and Levin’s free-wheeling Stick and bass work. Steve Stevens is one not normally associated with the likes of Bozzio and Levin, having been Billy Idol’s bone crunching right-hand guitar man throughout the 80s; here he manages to evoke a number of styles, from metal to jazz to Spanish Flamenco. Levin brings in his own cache of ideas here as well, including some 80s (and even 70s) Crimson influences. Parts of this might remind of Firepool-era Djam Karet. There are plenty of nice surprises throughout this disc, it definitely comes highly recommended.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 13, 1997 releases

Related artist(s): Terry Bozzio, Tony Levin, Bozzio Levin Stevens

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Premier of New Echo Us Video

From the press release:

To Wake a Dream in Moving Water takes from Echo Us' past and spins it into a whole new direction, one closer to traditional acoustic Celtic music than ever before.

To Wake a Dream in Moving Water was composed and recorded during the first few months of 2017. Although Celtic influenced and comprised of a number of re-workings of Irish folk tunes and Breton aires, the album is still in large part new and original Echo Us music that fits right in the Echo Us ‘canon’. “Wake” is a natural progression from “A Priori Memoriae”, which was released to critical acclaim in Europe in 2014.

To Wake a Dream in Moving Water is Echo Us’ ‘Celtic’ album that was planned for a long time but never executed because of the work on the trilogy that came before it. The album title is a typical ‘Echo Us’ play on words which one can find their own meaning.

“It is also both evocative of the Oregon rain, which I am told is not too unlike the rain in Ireland.”(Matthews)

To Wake a Dream in Moving Water is also a comment on conception- which was unintentional when the lyric was written. Matthews surprised himself a few months after writing it, realizing that the song was actually about the nitty gritty, biological workings of what happens when a child is conceived. The folk song it derives from musically describes a courting ritual, one that even today we can all relate to in our own way.

“Come With Me Over the Mountain" in acapella was the musical inspiration for the song, and came into my consciousness after the lyrics were written a few months prior. “ (Matthews)

As with all Echo Us recordings, a number of seeming coincidences resulted in connections being drawn where prior there were none. Another experience of similar capacity was found in oboe samples from A Priori Memoriae that echoed the traditional “May Morning Dew’, also reworked for guitar on the new album.



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