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Sensations' Fix - Music Is Painting In the Air (1974 - 1977) CD (album) cover

MUSIC IS PAINTING IN THE AIR (1974 - 1977)

Sensations' Fix

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.30 | 9 ratings

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Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This long overdue compilation turns a welcome spotlight on a band not only ripe for re-appraisal, but still waiting to be discovered after half a lifetime in cult music purgatory. The two-CD set collects a generous medley of alternate album cuts, unreleased experiments, basement demos and other flotsam, all arranged in haphazard but intuitive order. But that was Sensations' Fix: a group that always defeated easy classification, and followed a very erratic muse.

The band was based in Italy but cross-mixed with American talent, and practiced a unique blend of spacey (not Space) Rock, likewise unbound by geographic frontiers. Krautrock synthesizers were prominent, but without the usual sequencer clichÚs. Robert Fripp was an acknowledged influence, but not enough to affect the unmistakable guitar style of head-Fixer Franco Falsini. Arrangements were typically instrumental, but the occasional songs were equally definitive, thanks in large part to Falsini's heavily-accented, adenoidal English: another Fix hallmark.

Over a brief four year span in the 1970s the band released five group albums and one enigmatic Falsini solo opus, all captured with disarming lo-fi vitality despite financial support (such as it was) from a major record label. The twin essay/autobiography in the CD booklet places their fragmented history into better perspective, clarifying the chicken-egg relationship between the albums "Boxes Paradise" and "Vision's Fugitives", and detailing Falsini's ongoing war against Polydor Records.

In retrospect the deal he signed in 1974 was a mixed blessing. Polydor exercised total ownership of the Fix name and Falsini's work, but at the same time showed next to no interest in the music itself. The fallout was a senseless release schedule with little promotion, one reason why the band remains a little known cult act today. But without a major label behind them would any of this imaginative music even exist today? Maybe, but it would have been a lot harder to find, forty years later.

Falsini and company never bowed to corporate pressure, instead recording what they wanted, when they felt like it...usually in a home basement studio, on tailor-made or modified equipment. So it makes sense that all the music here was compiled in aesthetic rather than chronological order. This was a band that existed outside the straightjacket of time and fashion, and as a result their sound didn't evolve from session to session: it ebbed and flowed and circled backed on itself like a m÷bius strip made from 1/2" reel-to-reel tape, with melodies reappearing under different names on subsequent albums, and song titles recycled for different tunes.

All of which makes a track-by-track overview difficult (and pointless: there's 46 tracks here!) But if I had to single out one quintessential sample of the Sensations' Fix experience, my first choice would have to be the title cut of this collection, first heard on the band's debut album "Fragments of Light" but dramatically remixed for the 1978 LP-only collection "Flying Tapes".

The more dynamic later version is the one appearing here, beautifully described by our colleague Michael from Melbourne as "the soundtrack for loving life itself"...an observation worth repeating, summing up a band still worth exploring.

Neu!mann | 4/5 |

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