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Hypnos 69 - The Eclectic Measure CD (album) cover

THE ECLECTIC MEASURE

Hypnos 69

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.82 | 67 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is my first Hypnos 69 experience, and how pleased I am, let me tell you: "The Eclectic Measure" is a perfect example of how creative can a retro-psychedelic band be when the obvious influences used in compositions and arrangements are managed with stamina and a special secret ingredient of original emotion. This album is as sonically powerful as it is emotionally-driven, and the fact that it is (or so I read somewhere else) a concept-album revolving a person's journey into their own self in order to face their demons and transcendence, makes it clear to my mind why I feel this way about the album. I'm not the first one to point out the influences from early KC, pre-"Mountain Grill" Hawkwind, pre-"Pawn Hearts" VdGG, 69-71 PF and T-Rex, and nor am I the first to point out the family air with Anekdoten and PT's psychedelic side. These points of reference are valid for description, and it's OK, and no one should make much fuzz about it. Let's go to the album's repertoire itself, shall we? The opener 'I and You and Me - part I' is very much inserted in the spirit of a "Floydized" Major Tom-era Bowie, an effective anticipation for the explosion of somber emotions comprised in the title track, which alternates between acid introspective nightmares and ethereal proto-prog moods. 'Forgotten Souls' begins and end in a very Graffian way, with an effective spacey interlude inserted for good effect. The brief instrumental 'My Ambiguity of Reality' bears a warm lyricism that may remind us of McDonald KC's era and Gnidrolog at their most delicate: the clarinet lines steal the limelight with its evocative lines. That is, before 'The Antagonist' arrives with its full frontal power, like a hybrid of old Hawkwind and contemporary stoner with a reasonable dose of Scandinavian Crimsonism. The melodic basis bears a patent hook, but the rhythmic structure includes some structural complexity, in purely prog fashion. Halfway to the Stars' is just like a night camping on the beach, with the guys of CSNY doing an acoustic- driven impro and a couple of guys bringing in some effects from a basic console mixer. 'I and You and Me - part II' develops the emotional outburst partially announced in the album's prologue: with a proper expansion, the 'I and You and Me' idea reveals itself as a powerful combination of Vdgg-meets- T-Rex watered by streams of wild post-rock (a-la Explosions in the Sky). The last two minutes exploit the track's expressiveness adequately, with the Hawkwind-inspired spacey synth layers enhancing the overall mysterious mood. IMHO, the last 3 tracks represent the album's highlight. 'Ominous (But Fooled Before)' is an amazing exercise on Crimson-related heavy psychedelic rock, augmented by stoner accentuations and some jazzy ornaments (especially during the excellent sax solos). 'The Point of No Return' bears a compositional basis that is basically a jam through which the band explores and arranges mood variations. At times, I notice confluences with Metrognome (another great current psychedelic prog name from Europe). The way that the rhythm duo's adds tribal cadences to the jam's development proves effective as a sustainer of the track's constant intensity. 'Deus Ex Machina' moves toward a different timber, languid and serene (like the positive side of melancholy): this piece stands in the crossroads of PF's meditative side and post-rock's autumnal vibrations. The jazzy allusions on the electric piano solos add some interesting colors to the general sense of foggy intimacy. For the lat two minutes, a very interesting climax is built up on evolving mellotron layers, increasingly expansive guitar riffs/phrases and pompous tympani beats. I wish this closure had been a bit longer so the resulting aggressiveness could have been taken to a higher level eventually, but all in all, this last track's conclusion is great. "The Eclectic Measure" is a very vital album, with a sonic power that goes beyond the easily noticeable vintage influences - Hypnos 69 has really impressed me in a great way, which motivates me to investigate in the back catalogue and wait for the band's next release.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |

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