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Yugen - Iridule CD (album) cover





3.91 | 131 ratings

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4 stars What an album! What a ride! TOBY DRIVER and UNIVERS ZERO pay attention: YUGEN is stepping ahead in the leadership of Avant/RIO/Experimental/Math/Post/Eclectic/Chamber Rock! Having very much liked both and Labrinto d'Acqua and Yugen Plays Leddi I could hardly contain my excitement to see the unexpected arrival of Iridule--and then Cesar's review sealed it: I had to find it. And boy! was it worth it! The clarity and virtuosity of these performances--including that of female vocalist Elaine Di Falco (check out "Ice" and "Iridule" to get a hint of her talent)--is breathtaking. For those of your hard of heart, I recommend starting with the last song, "Cloudscape" (10/10) to get your ears ready for the music that preceeds it. Then go back to the beginning and journey from there.

"On the Brink" (10/10 despite its brevity) is an amazing intro followed by the most accessible of the five wild pieces of 'controlled chaos,' "The Scuttle of the Past Out of the Cupboards." (10/10) A brilliant, bright, cheery, dynamic, clear, and, I can only imagine, very challenging piece of chamber rock. What a ride. What emotional impact! AFTER CRYING eat your heart out!

As mentioned, "Iridule" (10/10) is amazing--one of the most gorgeous songs I've heard all year.

"Overmurmur" (9/10) has a very KING CRIMSON-esque style, sound and structure to it--you almost think ole Dusty Roads himself (Prince Robert of Fripp) were sitting in on this one! A great UNIVERS ZERO meets KARDA ESTRA interlude graces the midsection before the freneticism of the wild rumpus continues. Truly a roller coaster ride to remember!

"Scribbled" (8/10) is the second of four 'vocal interludes' and another gem giving the listener some floating rest (and false hope of order and control) before all hell breaks loose in "Becchime" (6/10). While I truly appreciate the compositional and performance achievements of this song (and this type of music) I fail to find it enjoyable--it goes a bit over the edge; I miss melody. Like the music of FROM.UZ, there are many moments of interest and even beauty but, alas! they are all too brief and fleeting. this rollercoaster is too much for me.

The stunning "Ice" (10/10) is followed by "Ganascia" (7/10) which is a kind of 'son of Becchime' in that the similar feel and style is somehow a little more pretty and enjoyable--sometimes feeling like SCOTT JOPLIN era jazz with a lot of concert hall orchestra warm-up thrown in. Love the harpsichord!

"Thaw" (6/10) is the weakest vocal piece being a bit too contrapuntal/theoretical for me--more like some the more difficult ANNETTE PEACOCK pieces to listen to.

"Seri(alist) Killer" (7/10) only continues the lesson in music theory (and perhaps should be left for music majors and theorists), but it does turn better--signaled by the return of the harpsichord--turning into a very nice piece of 'modern Baroque' chamber music ( la AFTER CRYING and LEO JANACEK).

Phew! It all comes to an end with the beautiful, uplifting, wound-healing "Cloudscape" (10/10).

An amazing album but WARNING: Be prepared for the mental, emotional, psychological, and aural ride of the year. Despite its challenges, this is truly a masterpiece of modern progressive rock music--a definitive step forward, into the future.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


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