Taylor's Universe — Evidence
(Marvel of Beauty MOBCD024, 2013, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-12-07This latest offering by Robin Taylor’s band is a bit different than the previous two releases, perhaps more introspective and contemplative. The brooding and pensive fifteen minute opener “Buildings” builds up slowly over a relatively simple, but memorable repeating figure with periodic solo sax, guitar and keyboard embellishments, interrupted occasionally by alternating melodic changes and ambient interludes. The overall compositional approach on this tune reminds somewhat of Pekka Pohjola’s excellent 80s soundtrack work Everyman; I know that I have made comparisons between the two composers before, but I think it’s a fair one given the scope of their work and similar attack. “Red Afternoon” follows a similar approach, perhaps with more colorful melodies and heavy, intensive guitar and keyboard soloing throughout its twelve minute duration. If there is a ‘standout’ track on the album, this will certainly be it. There is a voice credit on this cut as well, but it must be buried under all the blistering guitars or heavily processed, because after numerous close listens, I’m clearly not hearing it. Matters not, though, as this band clearly has the instrumental power behind it to carry it forward without vocals and keep it interesting. The usual suspects are here, including the Secret Oyster contingent of Karsten Vogel (sax and bass clarinet) and Claus Bøhling (guitar solos par excellence), plus regular drummer Klaus Thrane. Thomas Thor Viderø Ulstrup provides some spectacular synthesizer solos, and Taylor does just about everything else (guitars, bass, flute, keyboards, etc.) as well as all the production, compositions and arrangements. Two additional lengthy instrumental workouts round out this excellent disc, which in general offers a bit more of a platform for fiery soloing than most of its predecessors.
Pauline Oliveros RIP – Word has reached us of the passing of experimental musician Pauline Oliveros, constant explorer of sonic possibilities. Her numerous collaborations and work with Deep Listening Band have helped to expend the boundaries of music, and her work as a composer, improviser, accordionist, and audio philosopher provides a singular body of work. She was 84. » Read more
Prog out for Charity in Austin – Fans of adventurous music in the Austin, Texas area will be able to get a music fix along with coffee, alcohol, and a warm feeling from helping out a good cause. December 3 is the date for the Holiday Charity Rocktacular! at Kick Butt Coffee Music & Booze. The music includes The Aaron Clift Experiment and Mount Pressmore, who played this year's Voyager Fest, as well as other artists in the realm of progressive, psychedelic, and post-rock. » Read more