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Purple - 11 Bells CD (album) cover

11 BELLS

Purple

 

Crossover Prog

2.50 | 2 ratings

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Windhawk
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars UK project PURPLE is the creative moniker of composer and musician Dan Hodgson. He started creating music to be released using this artistic name in 2007. As of 2013 three full length albums have been released by him, all of them downloadable for free from his website. "11 Bells" is the first of these, and was issued in 2008.

Clocking in at just under an hour, Hodgson's debut album is in reality one single creation divided into 12 parts. A suite, if I understand the terminology correctly. Purple's page on Facebook indicates that artists such as Pink Floyd, Mike Oldfield and Camel are among his influences, and of those shades of the former and latter of these are easily recognized on this album too, but on a subtle and select detail level rather than as comparable music as such. In fact, the music as such isn't of a kind that everyone would regard as progressive rock as such I guess, at least if the individual parts are regarded as singular entities. But if you regard the album as one single song "11 Bells" fulfills the major criteria many use when defining the genre: A compositions featuring several distinct themes and with a logical development towards each of them. Personally I believe that the latter context is the one in which to regard this production and the one intended by the creator, at least if the single digital file containing the full album should be taken as an indication.

Through the hour this composition lasts, we're treated to a dozen at times wildly different movements explored. Boris & Luigi's Tale is a homage to Camel if I ever heard one, The Judges' Quintrille revolving around an uplifting disco-inspired bass motif supplemented by a succession of different instruments soloing on top, Lazy Swamp-Dogs a swamp infested blues affair with a mood and spirit as indicated by the title, The Thief Of Time takes on a more Eastern inspired atmosphere while Migrating Coconuts has more of a Caribbean or perhaps Hawaiian flair to it. To name but a few. There's also a fairly clever construction called Warehouse 23 (In-The-Middle-A-Ture), the fifth part of the composition, which features a recurring bombastic theme with brief inserts in between them containing parts of all the different movements on the album, the ones prior to as well as the ones to follow and even this particular movement itself.

It all adds up to a fairly enjoyable experience too. While Purple isn't a project that will sustain the needs of those looking for the latest and greatest among top notch flamboyant musicianship explored in full in a demanding and challenging framework it is a good and well made take on the multiple themed, album long instrumental composition. Well worth a visit too, as long as you can deal with the shortcomings that does restrict the possibilities of a one man band and you can enjoy music that doesn't strive to be purebred progressive in each and every detail used and utilized.

Windhawk | 3/5 |

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