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Flairck - Gevecht Met De Engel [Aka: The Lady's Back] CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

4.00 | 44 ratings

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Ijon Tichy
4 stars Like on their 1st album, this outstanding acoustic band from Holland once more presents a brilliant mix of classic, folk, rock and prog music with technical mastership. "Gevecht met de Engel" is maybe the best of their three early masterpieces, including the follower "Circus".

East to West Express" features powerful rhythm-work by the Visser brothers on guitar and bass, laying the ground for superb interplay of pan-flute and violin ( A Flairck Trademark). After a romantic middle section it 's getting rocky again, with a great pan-flute solo by Weekers. "Butterfly" starts slow and spacy, with flute, sitar and oriental flair, then it speeds up with violin-shredding by Houtzager (being more than an adequate replacement for Judy Schomper by the way). On intro and outro Peter Weekers shows a trick by blowing a continuous flute phrase without taking air, possible because of a special way of breathing. "For Antoinette" is a short but nice solo piece by Erik Visser on 12-string guitar. "De Stoomwals", a Weekers composition, is my favourite on this album. Again it 's starting slowly but soon builds up with a wonderful flute theme and violin interplay. Then the band goes up-tempo, performing some powerful variations. Once more bass and guitar are really rocking, while Weekers and Houtzager supply staccato melodies before coming back to the main theme. In a tricky middle section all four players combine single notes to weave an almost "Giant-like" arpeggio.

It would go to far for me to go into detail with the last piece, the 23-minute title track, written by mastermind Erik Visser. It just blows away all doubts if Flairck plays progressive music at all. Complex themes, time changes, classic influences, odd rhythms, variations, moods, virtuosity, it 's all there. Besides that, the acoustic sound and the folkish melodies make "Gevecht met de engel" a very unique album, and Flairck a very unique band.

P.S. For reasons nobody will ever understand, Polydor changed the album title on early copies outside Holland to "The Lady 's Back". Maybe they hoped it would sell better in english, maybe they liked the idea to refer to the cover art as well as to the first album. But for me the even bigger sin is to "translate" the title of the center piece into "Some funny symphony"! Angels don 't go with money, or what?

Ijon Tichy | 4/5 |


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