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Cary Grace - The Uffculme Variations CD (album) cover


Cary Grace


Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.00 | 7 ratings

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4 stars Uffculme!?? "... is a village and civil parish located in the Mid Devon district of Devon, England ...", that exactly is what Wikipedia recently returned when inducing a quick search. Well, admittedly I've never heard of that location before. Good to know that this connotes the homebase of the Kozfest actually. A three-day music event, taking place once a year, since 2011 at least, what I can see. Cary Grace had the honour to celebrate a gig there recently. And I really mean celebrate. Take your time in order to bring the cover pic into effect, this alone is good enough to express a relaxed and peaceful atmosphere. To me somewhat symptomatic for a non profit event, where everybody on board will feel like being a member of a big family, just taken for granted.

Not an everyday occurence in these times, or what do you say? And this applies to Cary's live band line up at Kozfest as well. Besides the trusted longtime rhythm duo Andy Budge and David Payne on bass and drums Steffe Sharpstrings is participating, who took on a rather important role regarding the realization of her current studio album 'Tygerland'. Now due to Victoria Reyes on keyboards and Graham Clark (violin) the sound contrasts pleasantly with what I've heard before from diverse band incarnations. And really impressing, they are getting started with so much ease, as if they were coming together for 50 gigs a year or so.

Although definitely applicable Cary does not handle the guitar as far as I can see. Her passion - not a surprise really - goes for the analogue synthesizer, this somewhat similar to OSC's Dr. Space over the course, I would say. So the first sounds you can hear are typical twittering electronics which initiate a more singer/songwriter oriented Orange Sky, ideally suited to open this affair. Immediately the second part of the album title comes into realization, due to Graham's violin first and foremost. What definitely strikes furthermore is Cary's voice, amplified by some effects, ethereal, though crystal clear when it comes to the recording and mix.

Trouble runs next, a new song with Victoria dressing up, also Steffe is involved concerning the song writing. Somewhat different when it comes to the behaviour, claiming Hawkwind relations for some reason. And then ... the point of no return ... let's continue with some more spaced out excursions furthermore. Initiated by a groovy bass line they are entering the extended Kozmik Eye, a modification of a song from the 2008 'Projections' album. Similar to 'Windsong' too somehow, including slicing respectively soaring guitar again and again. This is very much Steffe's show. Nice, occasionally Graham substitutes a rhythm guitar with his instrument.

And Cary is continuously underway with diverse synthesizer variations, as well as some really beautiful vocal presence. Consequently you will recognize (standing?) ovations in between. In the context of the following title track this may define the highlight - savour the moment! Light years away from this shitty mainstream stuff you're faced with, day by day. Cassiopeia then will make a time travel from the year 1572 to the present age, where the closing The Grand Theme Of Things is said to be a completely spontaneous song. An impressing performance of variations overall. So if you are not too far out, unfortunately I am :-( - please move your arse and attend one of her future gigs.

Rivertree | 4/5 |


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