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LaoZi - Lunatica CD (album) cover

LUNATICA

LaoZi

 

Progressive Electronic

3.53 | 7 ratings

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kenethlevine
Special Collaborator
Prog-Folk Team
3 stars You've perhaps heard of the "slow movement", and some of its offshoots like the "slow food" movement. Applying this adjective to aspects of one's life does not mean doing everything as slowly as possible, but rather at the appropriate speed at which the endeavor can be completed to the satisfaction of all, and reflected upon and savored in the process. Is there a "slow music" movement and what does it mean? Perhaps one definition might be unearthed through the following admission: It was 3 months ago today that Sandro Tskitishvili contacted me about reviewing his latest recording as LAOZI, and 3 months ago that I listened to it for the first of many times. I would much rather that the full quarter's time lapse be attributed to my participation in a subversively benign movement than to the workaday bugbear of procrastination.

My hypothesis is not without merit in this case, since LAOZI offers a progressive style that instills patience in the listener. It is loosely accurate to state that the 5 diverse yet consistent tracks here represent electronica, ambient synthesizer approximating other instruments, as only the opener "Set me Free at Midnight" includes electric guitar and moog. And what an opener! The guitars of guest Dave Long in particular pierce the shroud without disturbing it, reminding me of MIKE OLDFIELD or any of his army of fanciers. I suppose some early TANGERINE DREAM is also conjured. Its 7 minutes manage to cover much more ground than could be expected, hence its success in slowing down time and action.

The next 3 tracks include a Celtic inspired number with much approximation to oboe in the main melodic line, a more eerie plodding piece with flute like leads that is probably the most adventurous here, and a gorgeous new age-y progression with a harpsichord like lead. While Sandro has succeeded in developing his own style over a prolific period, I do find that comparisons to KITARO are appropriate, even if VANGELIS might be the preferred progressive reference here.

"Lunatica Suite" is the longest piece, really a collection of short themes. I find it the hardest to enjoy overall, especially given how much the first cut accomplished in barely half the time, but maybe I just need to chill a bit more, The longest part is led by what sounds like a musical box, and I don't mean the GENESIS song! The final theme sounds like it's been played before but yet I can't find it in any of the other tracks, which suggests that LAOZI is making connections for me, connections that aren't necessarily there. Isn't that a characteristic of a lunatic? Or perhaps it's listening to the same piece of music over and over and expecting a different result. Never mind, that's just good prog delivering on its promise. Recommended for fans of this style.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |

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