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Jan Dukes De Grey - Mice And Rats In The Loft CD (album) cover


Jan Dukes De Grey


Prog Folk

4.21 | 207 ratings

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4 stars There's the progressive folk that largely grew out of 1960s folk rock and incorporated symphonic and psychedelic influences, and then there's the twisted, psychotic and voyeuristically mesmerizing "Mice and Rats in the Loft". As part of my personal project to finally familiarize myself with a few obscure classics of the sub genre, it has been an education in itself, so eclectically proportioned as to recall, at various times, sometimes momentarily and sometimes insistently, the works of such seemingly orthogonal artists as CARAVAN, AMON DUUL 2, MOODY BLUES, ARTHUR BROWN, KING CRIMSON, and others not yet familiar to these ears.

Comparisons have been drawn to COMUS' contemporaneous "First Utterance", which is valid per the morbid subject matter and general disrespect for structure, but Comus was a conventional English folk group by comparison. The first two tracks reinvent themselves many times over from folk to jazz to chamber to symphonic and back around through tight and improvised passages. The title track is more minimalist, but seems indebted to Kraut rock more than anything, with stabs of rhythm guitar throughout this depiction of a satanic ceremony of sorts.

While I highly recommend this and do consider it an underrated classic, it's not a slam dunk in the likability department. It has that "je ne sais quoi" which can possess you to listen again and again until you have absorbed as much as you can without having to ring up the exterminator. 4.5 stars.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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