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Lunar Dunes - From Above CD (album) cover

FROM ABOVE

Lunar Dunes

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.53 | 7 ratings

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Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars Back to the 60's and more

I've always been a fan of the late 60's, the Psyche and Proto Prog scenarios always captured me and made me wish I would had been born 10 years before so I was able to enjoy this creative era, so when I listened LUNAR DUNES From Above for the first time, it was almost a dream come true, but even better, because the production is excellent and the band incorporates several different elements that make a very rich blend.

The album is opened with From Above, a track that captures the complete spirit of the Psyche era, with long guitar jamming and a trippy atmosphere, but there's something that makes it different, maybe the cohesive interplay with the drums because all the other instruments take us back to Carnaby Street in 1967.

As Bellow follows the path of the opener, but now there's an early Space Rock sound, as if the band had evolved A la Pink Floyd in a couple of minutes, but strangely with no Pink Floyd reminiscences, it's just a the style, because the music is absolutely original.

Herzegovina (Interpolating Le Petit Chevalier) is a bit different, instead of placing the biggest emphasis in jamming and creating a spiritual atmosphere, the band provides a very solid melody with guttural female chorus that add a bit of mystery to the already odd track, this time the performance is less frantic and more......lets say spiritual and dreamy, with a surprising Post Rock finale that presents us an aggressive edge for the first time.

Loophole is simply fantastic, starts with an oriental taste created by Hami's percussion, while guitar and keyboards are in charge of creating atmospheres over that rhythmic base, I admit that for moment it becomes a bit repetitive, but hey, this is almost pure Psyche, so what else can we expect.

The Todal Gleeps is a radical change, even though the late 60's spirit is present, the band becomes totally aggressive again with a Post Rock edge that is welcomed, yes, dreamy is good but this surprising violence with some radical changes is a healthy change that shows a great dose of versatility. Special mention to Ian Blackaby and his impeccable bass work.

Seaspray starts more melodic than previous tracks, this time Adam Blake takes clearly the lead role with his Psychedelic guitar, providing different and rich sounds with his endless jamming, very powerful performance with a jazzy feeling. But there's a surprising change, while the band is obsessed with the 60's, the keyboards add a Symphonic feeling that reminds me of early Genesis, absolutely unique.

Yaman begins with a very strange guitar solo, somehow jazzy but at the same time like some sort of electric Flamenco, a change that I didn't expected at all, but adds an extra interest to an already fascinating album, the song flows gently from start to end carried at will by Adam Blake and his guitar.

Rowing Boat sounds more like a whole4 band effort, now they radically move to some sort of Jazz or Kraut Rock or God knows what, the spirit of the 60's is present but with a different sound that I would dare to call Space Jazz, this guys have heard Miles Davis, CAN and NEU, because this is a fantastic style sandwich influenced by almost everybody, but at the same time original enough.

Now it's time to move to India with When I Was On Horseback, seems as if Ravi Shankar was hired for some minutes, the oriental sound reminiscent of The End by THE DOORS, blended with string arrangements by John Paul Jones in Their Satanic Majesties Request, just delightful, my favorite song from start to the end (when the band hits us with all they have).

Scissorbell marks another 180ª degrees turn, this time they remind me of some Gothic (not Goth) bands like Dead Can Dance or Miranda Sex Garden with that combination of Oriental ethnic music and Post Rock, but in this case fused with early Pink Floyd (Watch the Pompeii DVD), something too complex and weird to be described with words alone

My Lagan Love well, is somebody of the late 60's hadn't been quoted until now is Carlos Santana, but this track is clearly reminiscent of his style, slow, paused,. colorful and rich in variations, but Caroline Lavelle adds a mysterious touch with her cello while the keyboards keep adding dreamy sections, a very interesting blend of Sound and influences.

The album is closed with the Jazzy Scatter, a good change, because if the album is mainly moody and dreamy, the band required a violent finale and this rack provides it, the distorted and aggressive guitar and a cacophonic but extremely strong finale where the LUNAR DUNES guys leave the last drop of sweat, simply breathtaking.

Excellent album for the Psyche, Space Rock, Kraut, and even Fusion fans, but for Psyche/Proto Prog nuts as me is invaluable, hope the band releases more of this stuff soon, I'll be waiting for it. Now I have to rate From Above, and as usual I won't give 5 starts to a debut album, because this would mean I believe they reached their peak, and I expect more of them, so will go with four solid stars.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 4/5 |

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