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Quiet Sun - Mainstream CD (album) cover

MAINSTREAM

Quiet Sun

 

Canterbury Scene

4.26 | 188 ratings

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stefro
Prog Reviewer
3 stars A curiously un-involving, instrumental jazz-prog one-off from ROXY MUSIC and THIN LIZZY guitarist Phil Manzanera, 'Mainstream' is a real oddity. Soundwise it's in that KING CRIMSON/HATFIELD & THE NORTH category, though without the snooty humour or jocular feel of the latter. BRIAN ENO was involved, which explains alot, and the whole package exerts a fairly care-free style, jerking from one experimental phase to the next, rarely tying itself to strong melodies for more than a few seconds at a time. It's more like a series of elaborate soundscapes, veering unexpectedly from harsh, angular moments of instrumental aggression to simpler, softer passages of quiet reflection. Fans of more abstract prog and Krautrock may well find much to mull over, and 'Mainstream' actually has alot of sonic similarites to modern-day Post-Rock groups such as GODSPEED YOU!BLACK EMPEROR or TORTOISE in their jazzier mode. Whilst it's all very fascinating and intricate, it does, unfortunately, have the power to occasionally frustrate, with the deliberately-abrasive style juxtaposing jarringly with the more prog-orientated sections. It's all a very long way from YES, GENESIS or even PINK FLOYD, and it is original and, at times, innovative. But it's also dull, as well as rather aggressive, a fact the lack of vocals only goes to excacerate, making the cosmic selection of sounds and instruments hard to fathom. The oddly-titled 'Mummy Was An Asteroid' is the best track, giving Manzanera space to let-rip with a great solo that brightens up the albums mid-section, but that brief, brilliant moment apart, theres little that gnuinely excites, with the simple truth of the matter being that this LP simply doesn't rock. Jazzy in structure, jaded in execution, this is an interesting-yet-flawed piece of 1970's experimentation. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2009

stefro | 3/5 |

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