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David Torn - What Means Solid, Traveller? CD (album) cover


David Torn


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.31 | 10 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars It really bothers me that I don't like this album more being as I'm such a big David Torn fan. We get Mitch Mitchell on drums and Cannonball Adderley doing vocals on some tracks. Like Fripp, Torn offers up a lot of electronics to the soundscapes along with some dark, metallic guitar expressions. This is a moody almost industrial sounding recording over it's 65 plus minutes but the big negative for me is the lack of enjoyment I get out of this for some reason, and the enjoyment factor means a lot when I rate an album. And no I don't like the album cover or the album's title either(haha). Terje Rypdal came to mind as well with how cold and melancholic this recording is.

"Spell Breaks" has a haunting atmosphere to start which is promptly run over by the industrial soundscape with the guitar bringing "Elephant Talk" to mind. This isn't the only track to make me think of "Discipline" by KING CRIMSON. Spoken words and drums come and go and then it turns spacey after 3 minutes but it kicks back in after 3 1/2 minutes. A frenzied guitar section around 5 minutes in. "What Means Solid, Traveller?" opens with intricate sounds including percussion as a guitar melody starts to come and go along with some angular expressions. Some vocals after 5 1/2 minutes as things get more heated. "Such Little Mirrors" has plenty of atmosphere and experimental sounds as the guitar comes and goes in a relaxed manner. Percussion after 3 minutes as it builds. It picks up more 5 minutes in before winding down late and ending like it began.

"Tiny Burns A Bridge" is a bluesy down south number with rough bluesy vocals. A laid back piece that turns fuller when the vocal step aside but contrasts will continue. I like the guitar before 6 minutes as it gets intense. "Gidya Hana" sounds like a tribute to KC circa "Discipline". Even the guitar reminds me of that album especially before 2 minutes. "Each Prince, To His Kingdom, Must Labor To Go" has this eerie atmosphere to start before guitar expressions and percussion sounds take over. "Particle Bugs @ Purulia Station" opens with atmosphere as different sounds come and go. The guitar starts to solo around 2 minutes in one of the few catchy or melodic sections on this album. Drums join in as well. A change before 4 minutes but themes are repeated. I hear bass later on for a change. "I Will Not Be Free..." is like "Tiny Burns A Bridge" in that we get a bluesy, down south vibe with those vocals again. "...Til You Are Free" opens with drums along with some wicked guitar before this rhythm kicks in. One of my favs and not like the rest. "Elsewhere, Now Than Waving" is the over 10 minute closer that stays the course of being dark, atmospheric and spacey throughout reminding me of Rypdal.

So not one of my favourite solo albums from David but if your into experimental and atmospheric music you should check this out.

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |


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