Groovector — Darklubing at Tavastia
(Mellow MMP-462, 2003, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2005-09-01From time to time I see a band criticized for not realizing what their own strengths are, for moving out of the area where they shine. I’m wary of that kind of reasoning, as it should be the musicians, not listeners, who determine their artistic direction. After all, different listeners will have different ideas about what makes a band special. However, I find myself making exactly that sort of statement about the new Groovector live recording. This band can produce some really wonderful music, instrumental passages that combine symphonic rock with jazzy fusion inclinations, heavy on the flute, with Camel probably the best-known comparison. It is when they incorporate vocals into the mix that things fall apart. Trite lyrics in English combined with a heavy Finnish accent, questionable intonation and awkward delivery make for an instant killer on the quality. I think I have enough objective evidence in this live recording to justify my opinion. Of the seven tracks here (four from a show in 2001, three from 2002), more than half do not appear on the group’s previous studio albums, and five have vocals. During the times when no one is singing, the music is pleasant enough, reminiscent of Camel’s Snow Goose, with good flute, guitar, and keyboard work, but not outstanding enough to overcome the negatives. All in all, this is a disappointing effort from musicians I suspect can do better.
Related artist(s): Groovector
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more