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From.uz - Audio Diplomacy CD (album) cover

AUDIO DIPLOMACY

From.uz

 

Eclectic Prog

3.49 | 45 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

LiquidEternity
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Audio Diplomacy is an interesting debut for an album: a live recording that sounds sharp and deep enough to be a studio recording, released in the same package as the DVD of the exact same music.

Like the artist description north of here says, the band is focused on creativity and playing what is interesting to them. The music is fairly thick and complex, but once you get into the meat of it, that creativity shines through rather impressively. They released this live album, showcasing their diverse musical talents and interests. In regards to the quality of the recording, it's something like a Frank Zappa live album, where there is no crowd noise, there are no band goofs, the sound quality is excellent, and the music is still expertly contrived wickedry. In fact, if it weren't for the accompanying DVD presentation of the album, It would in truth be quite difficult to pinpoint as an actual live release. In regards to the music, then: this is not Liquid Tension Experiment or Return to Forever or any other band like that. What they lack in relative playing chops (though in truth, they lack very little in terms of speed, technicality, or other forms of virtuosity), they make up with a terrific sense of dynamism. The keyboards are all over the place, sometimes playing the lead lines, sometimes playing the sonic backdrop. The guitars are often at the front, but not always, and the band knows how to tastefully include some crazy playing among the melodic and twisting sounds. The bass is just perfect in the mix, giving it a great bit of punch, often with some heavy funk slapping. The drums are not very flashy most of the time, but they fit the music quite splendidly.

The first track, Intro, is an introductory little collection of sound samples for the first part and then an actual song for the remainder, beginning to show the collective humor and creativity of the band. The first actual song is From Fromuz--a track bordering on metal more than straight fusion, though both are present in full force. Most of this song is centered on the guitar, especially a particularly long solo that last for around half the track while the music shifts and changes beneath it. A little over halfway through, the guitar backs off and gives the keyboards a chance to lead for a while. Near the end the band combines together once more to compose a powerful finale. Wax Inhabitants Town begins with what sounds like some atmospheric keyboards but which the DVD reveals to be heavily toyed-with guitars. The full band comes together at several points to play a very memorable main riff, interspersed with a large amount of soloing, most of it on some effected and jazzy guitars. Strong bass drives Gameplay Imitation, another mellowish track like its predecessor. That is, until some harmonized guitars, tribal sorts of drums, and piano hits turn the song into a more fast paced fusion frenzy.

Spare Wheel is probably the most consistently upbeat and rock-oriented song on the album. Mostly guitar driven, this song is a classic and fun one--with cowbell. Next, Familiarization Results enters with a strong metal presence like on From Fromuz. Again, very guitar-oriented and built around a Liquid Tension sort of riff, this song moves through a few phases of full-band instrumentation, not really dissolving into any solos or jam sessions at any time throughout the song, though there is a period of some strange sampling guitar. Some heavy percussive pianos then turn the song on its head and some odd video samples buzz around the band. Harry Heller Theater begins with some synthesized strings, turning to percussive metal fusion in short order. A short guitar jam walks the song up to a slap-bass riff and some unified music. A little over five minutes in, the song jumps into full gear and the piano/guitar unison segues the song into a different riff overlaid by the piano. Soon, there is another strange sound-effect solo spot, and then the band pulls together once more to wrap it up. Babylon Dreams is a cheerful closer, with a sort of nonstandard vibe to its melody, sounding at some points like an old Egyptian sort of tune and at others like some sort of ragtime piece. The band then closes the album with one of those long jams like The Who is famous for.

In short, I'd say that if you are a fan of instrumental music at all, or are even interested in complex compositions, this is a wonderful band to check out. Their first studio release, however, 2008's Overlook, is stronger on the whole, less oriented on solos and more on band structure, and overall more thoroughly complete. Nevertheless, Audio Diplomacy is a solid release from Fromuz, and certainly worth checking out if you enjoy any of their other releases.

LiquidEternity | 3/5 |

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