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Andreas Vollenweider - Caverna Magica CD (album) cover


Andreas Vollenweider


Crossover Prog

3.20 | 31 ratings

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2 stars "Caverna Magica" begins under the tree where ANDREAS VOLLENWEIDER's previous album ended, and indeed this is the second entry from his early 1980s trilogy. As before, the Swiss electro-acoustic pedal harp inventor and multi instrumentalist offers up a sweet if not always captivating blend of jazz, classical, and world music, which can justifiably be called progressive or "new age" on that basis alone. It's another truncated affair that still somehow seems longer than it needs to be. Admittedly, that which appeared on side 1 of the original vinyl is the more adventurous and worthwhile, particularly the free flow of "Lunar Pond" through "Sena Stanjena", which play more like a developing suite, and even include laid back west coast electric guitar along with the shuffling harp. Unfortunately the second half delves into arrangements that, while not overdone at the time, became so enshrined in free festivals of the mid 1980s to mid 1990s that I still can't hear them as originally intended. I'm referring to chanted vocalizations and steel drums in particular, which help sink "Belladonna" and "Angoh", neither of which are very alluring to begin with, and do some damage to the otherwise promising "Green Peace".

Fragments of a successful synthesis notwithstanding, "Caverna Magica" touches down uncomfortably between ambient and animated, somehow failing on both counts, and is hence not worthy of your spelunking time.

kenethlevine | 2/5 |


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