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Gilgamesh - Gilgamesh CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

3.87 | 149 ratings

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3 stars I'm taking a stab at a band that is not necessarily part of the "canterbury fraternity". Gilgamesh, nevertheless, have ties with core canterbury musicians and it reflects in the sound of the album. Gilgamesh are stripped down production-wise like Soft Machine, without thier grit; they are prestine like a refined fusion band. The core of the canterbury sound is present without usual bells and whistles like vocal and wind-instrument overdubs. Keyboardist and chief composer, Alan Gowen, opts for a fusionists keyboard arsenal. Natural sounding Fender Rhodes (rather than effected Rhodes), is his keyboard of choice throughout almost all of the album. Analog Synthesizer is used in areas that would have been reserverd for fuzz-organ by guys like Dave Stewart. He rounds out his keyboard sounds with Piano, Clavinet, and Melletron, but these are used very scarcely. Phil Lee displays Gilgamesh's fusionist refinement on his instrumental solo, "For Absent Friends". On this piece, Lee plays classical guitar with a tenderness that canterbury guitarists can't even touch. The fact that he can switch from violin-like soloing on the first peice, to this, is a testament to his dexteriry. Michael Travis should not be ignored either. He plays very filling drums, thickening and balancing out the sparseness of the album. Overall, this album is very beautiful. Gowen and Lees interplay are the core of the songs. They do not rely on the usual Canterbury sound trickery to carry the listerner's attention. They, instead, rely on a cohesion and touch that is usually only present in jazz and classical musicians. The only track that is lacking is, "We are all". There is a funky clavinet section in the peice that seems completely out of place on the album. The track sadly upsets the prevailing mood of the album; a mood that is dreamy in a way that has not been dispayed quite the same in canterbury music. The album it is dreamy in a more literal way, as if you are hearing the twists and turns of an actual dream. If you want to hear Canterbury pulled far into the American-fusion realm, gives this album a try. For a guy like me, that has grown out of the psychedlic tinges of some of the Canterbury scene, this album was very refreshing.
fragile43k | 3/5 |


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