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Supersister - Present From Nancy CD (album) cover

PRESENT FROM NANCY

Supersister

 

Canterbury Scene

4.04 | 202 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars With their debut album "Present from Nancy", Supersister started what would be one of the most amazing prog musical careers in the Netherlands. Heavily influenced by Soft Machine, Supersister managed to come out with an original approach to their jazz- tinged prog stuff: in no small degree was van Geest's vivacious flute playing a crucial factor for the band's originality, since his bucolic style complemented beautifully the jazzy vibrations delivered by his three partners. In this way, the quartet fulfilled a delicious sonic amalgam, seasoned by abundant touches of witty weirdness - the sense of humor that comes out in many passages of the album (and in general, throughout the band's whole repertoire) helps to enhance the sense of excitement that all four musicians seem to be genuinely enjoying while they move across the complex melodies and rhythm patters. Perhaps this is the key to understanding Supersister's peculiar genius: a combination of demanding musical intelligence and easy-going dadaist irony. Main writer R. J. Stips makes his keyboard and vibraphone deliveries take center stage, with van Geest assuming the role of creative interlocutor while the duo of van Eck and Vrolijk lay down a robust rhythm foundation for the complex frame of each track. Supersister is practically a well-ordained organism in which every individual portion challenges the others in a most playful way while its heart pumps frantically fiery blood through its veins - a funny organism, indeed! The 2-part namesake opener sets the general mood for the album: a sheer display of pure energy delivered through neckbreaking performing and interplaying. Things get even more frantic in the first two sections of 'Memories are New (Boomchick)' - a sort of SM on steroids - until its last section takes us to a more languid ambience. 'Corporation Combo Boys' is a brief musical parody including some silly ensemble chanting and a final applause. A merry joke that serves as a prelude to 'Metamorphosis', another typical Supersister number that includes the densest passages in the album, together with other playful ones: there is a frantic jam that reminds me of a pursuit scene in a WB cartoon. 'Dona Nobis Pacem' closes down the album in a most extravagant way (yet!), focused on a twisted use of Gothic ambiences. Stips' electric organ provides lots of successive phrases and layers for quite a long time before, near the end, an unexpected shift brings in merry- go-round motif, as if we ere being transported to some kind of funfair: finally, with a gong bang the song ends, and so does the listening experience. I recommend any of Supersister's first two albums as a starting point for the uninitiated; I also regard "Present fro Nancy" as an indispensable item in any good prog collection.

[I respectfully dedicate this review to the memory of Sacha van Geest]

Cesar Inca | 5/5 |

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