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Michael Brückner - All The Pieces Fit Forever (2017) CD (album) cover


Michael Brückner


Progressive Electronic

4.00 | 1 ratings

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Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars Modern eclectic progressive-electronic artist Michael Brückner has a couple of releases currently out, the first being the dark vintage Berlin School instrumental stunner with Alien Nature entitled `The Dark Path' distributed through the Syn-Gate label, and this one `All The Pieces Fit Forever 2017', a collection that actually dates back ten years earlier. It was initially a series of unrelated pieces awaiting contributions from other musical guests, but although this never happened at the time of their creation, a decade later six very different musical artists all offered their own input and completely reworked the original recordings in a variety of fascinating ways! It now stands as one of the most unique works released from Brückner to date that offers a definite modern approach and contemporary electronic sound mixed with a range of rich worldly flavours and also includes some unexpected instrument choices.

Although the focal point is the properly finished new version, it's important to see where the original recordings were at in the first place, and they're included here as a bonus on the second disc of the set. Around its pulsing and gurgling rising/falling programming, opener `Jigsaw Riksha' slinks (perhaps accidentally?!) into a Canterbury sound-flavoured laid back jazzy saunter with its sparkling electric piano, quite an unexpected style to hear on an album from Mr Brückner! The lightly melancholic `Pole Connector' is gently dark electronica that glides into the slyest of grooves, `Broken Mirrors' is a low-key trip-hopper that teases a cool dub sound with the most subtle of Hammond organ, and the eclectic `The Big Division' is almost psychedelic with plenty of fuzzy electronics bubbling around a variety of strident beats. The mellow `Puzzled' floats with sparkling electronics, and the fifty-one minute title track is equal parts a mysterious humming drone and unhurried glacial drift that carefully introduces the most minute of rhythmic elements.

But it's with the new contributors for the pieces that completely rework the material in many vital and adventurous ways! Emerging Portuguese artist and Prog Archives website's own esteemed wunderkind Samuel Cadima aka Meltdowner truly recreates the opener `Jigsaw Riksha' with a subtle coating of eerie treated guitar drones, almost revealing a Pink Floyd-like dreaminess (apparently there's kazoo buried in his contribution as well, which will please Corporal Clegg). Soprano singer Clare Butterfield-Elséy aka Rosmerta adds both a wordless vocal full of an aching longing and a striking spoken word passage to `Pole Connector', Kemal Deniz's ravishing Bağlama (a traditional Turkish stringed instrument, something of a variation of the lute) replaces the trip-hop cool of `Broken Mirrors' with a heavy eastern-flavoured drama, and Ben I Sabbah's sparkling electric phin guitar chimes calm down `The Big Division's' bouncing unpredictability and gives it a shimmering ambience. E.U.P.R.P.I, the alias of Bulgarian guitarist Mirian Kolev gives `Puzzled' a graceful serene ambient makeover, and Australian artist Suzannah Moon aka MegaMoonMaiden (who was a key influence in encouraging Michael to recommence these recordings and project overall) not only enhances the fifty-one minute title track with crystalline chimes, meditative flute and tribal percussion, but her ethereal voice and haunting spoken word recitations call like a siren's cry weaving in and around the extended piece.

Some editions of the collection come with bonus tracks - the twenty-one minute `Collecting the Shards' is a dreamlike drone crossed with the spectral expanse of early Klaus Schulze and reaching landscapes of Steve Roach, and a further 2017 instrumental mix of `All of the Pieces Fit Forever' adds just a bit of liveliness and more prominent rhythmic details to give the piece more momentum, making it the superior vocal-free version.

Some listeners may find some of the original album a little lightweight, and diverse collections such as this - essentially three albums worth of material - and especially ones that mix both vocal and instrumental pieces, are always difficult to constantly win everyone over all the time. But if you appreciate constantly experimenting and exploring artists that continuously challenge themselves, don't feel the need to adhere to the style of the vintage masters, who hone their sound and deliver something different with each release, then Michael Brückner's `All The Pieces Fit Forever 2017' is a winning, evocative and colourful musical statement well worth investigating, made even more enchanting by its fine range of guests.

Four stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |


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