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Plini - Handmade Cities CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.87 | 49 ratings

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4 stars

PLINI Handmade Cities

Wonderful atmospheric and sometimes-djenty instrumental jazz-prog fusion from Down Under--composed and performed by Aussie legend and multi-instrumentalist, Plini, with some tremendous help on drums and bass from virtuosi Troy Wright and Simon Grove, respectively. Listening to this work repeatedly never seems to shake my tendency to compare this music to that of Canadian father-son fusion artists, Dean and Taylor Watson: the album starts and ends with more metal-influenced music like Taylor, and is filled with fine jazz-rock fusion in the middle.

1. "Electric Sunrise" (5:05) opens with layers of acoustic guitars strumming slowly on layers, which are then joined at the 1:10 mark by several electric guitars and bass. What an opening! At 1:44 the music shifts drastically into singular djenty guitar and space. That's it! But then the full number of tracks previously layered together join in for a melodic 'chorus' hook, but then it's back to sparse djenty guitar with a little electric jazz-fusion lead accompaniment (and then takeover). The song gets toward the end it gets a little heavy-handed walls of sound-ish but then it ends with the same opening soundscape. (9/10)

2. "Handmade Cities" (4:45) sounds like an extension/variation on the themes, sounds and styles of the opening song. In the second minute things shift more into 'it's own' territory with some awesome lead guitar soloing. Then, at 2:15, things quiet down temporarily with some slow guitar chord strums, but then the rest of the tracks slowly build up from heavy potential to loud kinetic energy to full-blown djent by 3:15. Lead guitar melody hook keeps it all together in this slightly confusing, cacophonous section. Still, a great song. (9/10)

3. "Inhale" (4:57) a very atmospheric song that immediately won me over and remains my favorite song on the album. Kind of reminds me of ANTOINE FAFARD's great recent stuff. (9/10)

4. "Every Piece Matters" (3:40) more laid back musical foundation with some astounding guitar and keyboard (MIDI- ed?) leads and including some chorale vocalise toward the end. Another top three song. (9/10)

5. "Pastures" (7:34) solid jazz-fusion composition in the style and sound of some of Dean Watson's beautiful music. (9/10)

6. "Here We Are, Again" (2:37) opens as a cute little effected guitar and keyboard duet before keyboard-generated orchestra and choir brings it into a Post Rock-like crescendo. (9/10)

7. Cascade (6:00) is certainly a song that showcases Plini's guitar prowess, but it also satisfies in the way that it fits modern prog soundscapes and constructs. Great piece! (9/10)

Total Time 34:38

A near-masterpiece of progressive rock music, (that I've rated down slightly for it's EP-like brevity). Definitely an album I recommend all prog rockers to check out for the wonderful production and multi-track layering accomplished here.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


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