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Sleeping Pandora - From Above CD (album) cover


Sleeping Pandora


Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.00 | 2 ratings

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4 stars Awesome Space/Psychedelic music from Cosmic Fall member Mathias Rosmann. Great sonic textures, song constructions, and instrumental performances throughout. I haven't heard guitar-led psychedelic music this good in a long time.

1. "Shine" (10:52) powerful, diverse, richly layered, with very emotional guitar play. By far the best song on the album. (10/10)

2. "'berschall" (12:18) a more slowed down though continuous soundscape and flow from the previous song. The guitar here is far more bluesy, the bass line a little monotonous. At the end of the sixth minute a kind of Berlin School sequence enters bringing a cool new feel and speed. The heavily-echoed guitar starts getting cooler. At the eight-minute mark some instrumental sounds drop out, creating a more spacious backdrop over which keyboard- synth sequence and computer cymbal play support the screams of the echoed electric guitar. (8/10)

3. "Danube Wave" (11:12) opens with synth wash background, fast-throbbing single-note bass and "hi-hat" lines with MIKE OLDFIELD "Incantations"-like "glass" vibes playing over the top. Wah-ed electric guitar lead supplants the vibes in the second minute as "drum" support increases. At the three minute mark the glass vibes rejoin for a bit, then we're back to electric guitar soloing over the synthesized rhythm section. I must admit that the guitar lead is doing nothing for me; I'm much more interested in the movements in the synthetic background (synth washes, vibes, bass, drums). The guitar begins playing with more percussive echo effects in the sixth and seventh minutes while background drops out. At 7:00 we return to drum-base while guitar resumes soloing, now with that heavy echo interplaying with the wah. The solo actually gains traction and an enjoyable melody line while reminding me of the Randy Bachman solo in "Blue Collar." Nice. (8.5/10)

4. "Cascades" (12:07) a gentle prog electronic foundation opens this song before heavily-effected electric guitar steps in to take on the lead. Very engaging, hypnotic musical base. Things quiet down in the sixth minute so that smooth industrial synth sounds can have a turn while floaty electric piano plays gently from behind the wings (L). Nice section. When the soundscape begins to refill, it is with an insidious force led by guitar and later joined by bass and drums. Guitar soloing ventures into lower octaves in the tenth minute as spacey foundation trudges along. Long, interesting, echo-y two minute deconstruction and "fade out." (9/10)

5. "Going Back" (9:12) opens with a slow but constant two-chord keyboard progression before twangy-electric guitar lead and synth effects join in. The guitar is fairly bare though heavily echoed (as usual) and, shortly, wah pedaled. Those first three minutes were surprisingly boring. A shift into a higher octave refreshes but ultimately fails to save the first half of this song from the realm of "future skip overs." Some subtle sound additions and shifts in the fifth and sixth minutes help, and then when the guitar disappears for a while the syth work and drum sounds are afforded more attention. Guitar returns at 7:00, played much more slowly, each single- or dual-note gaining independent attention. In the end, this is a forgettable song. (7/10)

6. "Space Lane" (11:16) opens with quite familiar Berlin School sounds and constructs before near-Euro-disco bass line and standard drum lines support the searing electric guitar soloing. The soundscape thins in the fifth minute as the bass drops out, isolating the guitar more, but it's not till the 5:20 mark that the guitar really begins to bring it in terms of intensity and emotion. And, at nearly the same time, the rest of the original Euro-disco sounds return, both amplifying and diminishing the guitar's possible effect. Still, we're learning that Mathais' real strength is in his searing, emotional guitar play. Another break from bass and drums at the 8-minute mark, but then the dance floors are made happy again less than 30 seconds later. Nice guitar work/riffs in the final 90 seconds. (9/10)

7. "Beach" (11:27) opens with a striking New Age feel to it--even the sound and style of play used for the lead guitar bespeaks "New Age." A littel more house oriented in the middle section, but I have to admit that by this point in the album I'm getting a little tired of the "Blue Collar" guitar sound. A few nice dynamic shifts disrupt the tedium and give the listener breathing space, a chance for renewed perspective, but ultimately this song needs something more. (8.5/10)

Four stars; a nice contribution to the prog electronic/space music style and an excellent addition to any prog rocker's music collection.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


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