Melodic Energy Commission — Wave Packet
(NRG 41, 2013, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-06-07Melodic Energy Commission is a Vancouver BC based space-rock ensemble led by multi-instrumentalist Don Xaliman that’s been a going concern since the late 1970s. The core of around four musicians is augmented by a number of guests, all track depending, providing an expansive array of instrumentation from the basics (drums, guitars, synth, bass) to the extras (violin, flutes, cello, dulcimer, trumpet, EWI) to the exotics (mbira, zheng, gongs, dumbek, what sounds like a didgeridoo, etc.) to the outright unique (a 6-arm Theremin – what is that you might ask? Click the Theremin link on the band’s website to see). Although their nominally psychedelic space music is fresh, free spirited and highly improvisational, which would normally suggest some sort of jazz connection – and which certainly is there in a subtle manner, because of the instrumentation employed it often bears more similarities to world music, mostly through the percussive underpinnings on each of the ten instrumental tracks (there is some eastern styled wordless vocalizing on "Tidal Nomads," one of the album's many high points). Followers of the later adventures of Embryo, Ancient Future, Between, and similar artists that find some bridgepoint between world, jazz and psych, will certainly find this of interest. The conceptual feel offers a calm, gentle and evolutionary experience, everything seems to flow together nicely, and when it’s over, relief is only as far away as the repeat-play button. This is one I could listen to in a loop for hours on end.
Related artist(s): Melodic Energy Commission
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santana, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more