Magus — Lucid Dreamer
(Big Balloon Music BBM1201, 1998/2005, CD)
by Mac Beaulieu, Published 2006-05-01
Lucid Dreamer is a compilation of tracks from the 1997 album Traveller and the follow-up Highway 375 EP, remastered for the fuller sound that Magus guru Andrew Robinson intended. Also included are a couple of previously unreleased live tracks. “Traveller” opens in atmospheric languor before striking up a trance-like beat; I humorously caught myself thinking “this is great traveling music” before remembering the track’s title. “When the Sun Burns Out” is an attention-grabber that considers the primal dilemmas humans continue to endure despite having reached the apogee of modernity. It opens with news reporting of a tragic human disaster and the near helplessness of our responses, underscoring the implication in the refrain that “the human race is not evolving, only its machines.” Scientific and intellectual advances notwithstanding, we’re just organisms fighting for survival and “we’ll keep on fighting till the sun burns out.” It’s a great hook, simple and catchy while striking a profound chord. The rest of the disc sees Robinson arriving at various space rock destinations, including a couple of epic twenty-minute suites; a fine combination of accessibility and exploration. Even when dabbling in ambient-like atmospheres, he’s usually rooted in a solid groove that makes this disc particularly well-suited for driving or spacing, encouraging the listener’s mind to wander at will while welcoming it back to active listening at any point. Magus has changed styles a few times and Lucid Dreamer seems a good place to start for the curious.
Related artist(s): Magus / The Winter Tree
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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.