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Braen's Machine - Underground CD (album) cover

UNDERGROUND

Braen's Machine

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

2.95 | 14 ratings

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Ricochet
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Braen's Machine is a duo of soundtrack composers, one of them working with Morricone at a point (still not being visibly influenced by him in this prog special work), that have released two obscure and highly distinct albums in the early 70s (Underground dates 1971 and is a top effort from the band, whilst Temi Ritmici E Dinamici is more of a concept light opus, rapidly thrown and lost within the market in 1973), after which there's no telling what the two artists have separately walked into, plus what more of their soundtrack/experimental/progressive music can be brought to light. Braen's Machine was, anyway, abandoned (or finished) as a heavy-early 70s project, one interesting and ironed, even pretentious for many fans of the styles the music pastes, but actually light, refined basically and hesitant to be called essential - as far as quality goes - regardless of their best moments, most peculiar touches or most sound-caching ideas - 80% of them being in this first album, the toughest to look into, instead easy to crack up, if psychedelic, drought art rock or avant-expressions are a thing of your deep taste.

Without a great feedback from the music listeners/researches of these days, Braen's Machine is in a more than slightly danger to disappear from any mentions whatsoever, its a fragility counting as a project flaw, while its reminiscence of the 70s catching trend worth little; even if the records will always note down this duo's instrumental adventure - and some fans, from several circles, will also take it in account, more or less impressed - it is rather unlikely that the music has an endless echo...what more to say about it surviving tastes and times? It is this thought that makes me hesitate, above, in calling it essential. The project's fine, natural, and Underground is their best, most sinking work - but, being imperfect or insufficient more than it is interesting and intriguing, Braen's Machine delivers only a succinct and deep flower of progressive rock and experimental ideas, invariably drawn from their talent and musical nature, but brewed in a more original shape. And this might get to be one of the few statements about them, in the future, without the music counting that much.

Underground is a hard work with a soft impact and a carefully attractive suspense. Notably avant-conceptual and preoccupied with minimal but tonic essences, it sounds much like a progressive/art rock moment being powerfully treated and styled; in rest, a nice miracle would be for Braen's Machine to be included in a small chapter of Italian Prog's classic movement (but that's more Temi Ritmici E Dinamici's credit, thanks to its flat symphonic/song-like ideas). There's an immense rave and feel, of a psychedelic kind, having to do, most likely, with the raw cuts and counterpoints the music has, but also with the feeling that the duo has taken hard-rock/psychedelic flavors from the old 60s great spirit and, in an imported soundtrack-like minimalism, has developed a haunting, dark, introverted and optimistically profound expression.

There are peculiar impressions about Underground (Blindfolded, you would swear it was yet another Ohr label classic circa 1971. Awesome. - thomashayes.com), otherwise thinking in terms of kraut-rock or rich psychedelics is not encouraging. Trusting the duo's mastered ideas in keyboards and soundtrack minimalism create a good interaction with the sum of effects (different from a slide to another) Underground has, but also won't let you believe this is the best they could have possibly done. In parallel, guitars and drums are also part of the act. With a noble artistic concept, Underground has some quality moments and frames, but the songs (some bagatelles, others modest burns and the rest importantly fuzzy/experimental) purely entertain the mood and the musical effort, the entire album being that which needs to impress you.

There's good, exciting prog rock in this album, it just misses an essential edge - and Braen's Machine are captive in this one smashing album, plus in their goal-less 70s.

Ricochet | 3/5 |

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