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Space Circus - Funky Caravan CD (album) cover

FUNKY CARAVAN

Space Circus

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.88 | 8 ratings

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Suedevanshoe
4 stars One has to wonder how this group went over in the far east. The music is straight out of the Mahavhishnu/RTF mold - precise musicianship, tight riffs, clean sound. The melodies are harmonius and engaging on each song, I particularly like how the stylistic shifts play out on the sequencing.

The opener, Alibaba, hits right off the bat with a thick bass line, shuffling drums and hazy synths. 30 seconds in the riffs start. Funky and tight! A winner right from the get go, somewhat reminiscent of Jeff Beck in his fusion period. 3 and a half in, the mood shifts somewhat to an almost canterbury feel. Excellent track.

Second is Network, a pedestrian effort that could be Bob James.

African Reggae is the third song, it has neither an African nor reggae feel. In fact, this wouldn't sound out of place a Steely Dan album or the soundtrack to Bosom Buddies. A somewhat bluesy, jazzy soundtrack feel to this one, very polished and clean just like Steely Dan and the guitar in the middle is reminiscent' of Skunk Baxter.

The second side opens with the monster title track, a tour de force through funk, fusion, middle eastern raga, and everywhere in between. A triumph for the band and a bona fide classic.

The way we were is a slow guitar guitar jam that speeds it up a bit halfway through. Another song with a soundtrack feel.

Spring Wave is the closer, reminiscent of Sea Level to my ears. Happy, rollicking with lots of piano. Some Dixie Dregs thrown in for good measure. This is a great song and a fine way to end an uneven, yet very interesting album for those of us that can't get enough fusion.

I'd say this is three stars for most progsters, I happen to really like Steely Dan and Bob James and find the filler to give the record a certain charm in my collection. It's a nice record to have, surprising nobody's reviewed it. I've owned it for some time now.

3 and a half overall because of the killer title track, I'll round it up to four for the charm factor and the fact these talented musicians are Japanese gives it four stars. I know nothing of the band other than what is here, I was lucky enough to have a buddy burn the lp for me he scored in Vancouver. I know this record is easy enough to find, curious why there's no buzz at all about Space Circus. The follow up is excellent as well.

Suedevanshoe | 4/5 |

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