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Modern-Rock Ensemble - Touch The Mystery CD (album) cover


Modern-Rock Ensemble



4.04 | 198 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars It took a long while but it was worth the wait. It was in August that I received this album. Right on the first listen I felt there's something special about this release from Ukraine. The music itself is of course very finely crafted; the bandleader, composer and keyboard player Vladimir Gorashchenko indeed seems to be a perfectionist as the liner notes reveal. But what's most important, it goes beyond being just good music. I mean, one can sense the personal passion, dedication and the urge to express all the emotions and the view on the world via music. That's what makes it special.

Vladimir has a decades-long musical background, and it's suitably present in this release, in terms of both the texts and the music. His group "Modern Rock Ensemble Putnik" was active in the latter half of the 80's. The opener 'Meditations' (featured also as a Russican-language version in the end of the album) was recorded in 1988 in Italy, and in 2013 the piece was finished with new recordings of vocals in English, lead guitar, basses and a few synth lines. It's a fine epic of nearly 12 minutes. Sonically it reminds some solo efforts of FISH, especially his debut Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors. For example in the way the fretless bass effectively comes very audible here and there in the spatial soundscape (I'm thinking of Fish songs such as 'State of Mind'), and in the emotionally loaded dynamic range of the composition, in which the vocals are in a larger role than generally on this instrumentally oriented album. Vladimir has a warm baritone voice.

The fifth track 'Swamp' was recorded live in a jazz festival in 1989, by Mk. 2 of Putnik. This 10-minute instrumental is dedicated to to the legendary art-film director Andrei Tarkovsky who struggled against the swamp-like Soviet ideology. Also this composition is mostly rather slow-paced and thoughtful, with both jazzy and New-Agey nuances. Excellent playing! Two short pieces between the long tracks are delicate keyboard solos; 'What Will Happen to My Country?' is touchingly melancholic, and 'My Angels (decicated to my fiwe and daughters)' expresses gentle love beautifully.

The central piece is the 20-minute title track, a multi-part epic that is said to be a "musical biography" of Vladimir. It's full of emotions and wide dynamics. I'm not sure if the brief spoken parts are doing good for the music, but on the other hand they increase the sense of personal passion that I mentioned before. The composition has both some sections that many would consider a bit sleepy, and cathartic highlights. Impressive! Now the hard question of the rating: I'd give 4 stars if possible. This album might be slightly over-pathetic (and a bit too sugary on the short pieces), and to have a same song in two languages is not so valuable for me, but for the perfection in the production and for the emotional depth I want to give the full rating. I hope there'll be more releases from Vladimir's music archives, as the text suggests.

Matti | 5/5 |


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