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Yugen - Iridule CD (album) cover





3.91 | 131 ratings

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4 stars I finally got a copy of this after reading all the hype about it for the past few months. This is the third album from this Italian group but the only one I have heard so far. I had to play this enough times to digest it all. The music here is generally a mix of quirky avant jazz-rock and darker chamber-prog. A lot of twists and turns in the songs, with great interplay between the instruments. There are guitars, drums and keyboards, but also wind instruments and percussion as well. Nice subtle use of Mellotron in places.

Besides the main band there is a lot of guest musicians from the world of avant-prog, such as: vocalist Elaine Di Falco and guitarist Mike Johnson (both from Thinking Plague); drummer Dave Kerman (5uu's, etc.); bassist Dave Wiley (Hamster Theater); and bassist Guy Segers (Univers Zero). I don't really care too much for the short songs featuring Elaine. Basically these are minimalist pieces that feature either keyboards or acoustic guitar and sometimes overdubbed Elaines singing. I guess these serve as intros to the next songs, but to me they just ruin the flow of the whole album. Not bad at all, just too 'filler' like for my tastes.

Opener "On The Brink" is less than a minute and reminds me of '80s Art Zoyd. "The Scuttle Of The Past Out Of The Cupboards" is a highlight. Starts out very Zappa sounding. Generally a mix of chamber-prog and Zappaesque jazz-rock. "Overmurmur" begins sounding like a cross between Math Rock, '80s Crimson and more Zappa style jazz-rock. Goes into chamber-prog territory later on. "Becchime" is a great example of controlled chaos; sounds improvised but flows like a composition. There is so much going on in this song. Pretty avant except for the main riff/groove that comes and goes.

"Ganascia" has interesting synth and electronic percussion sounds. Great time and tempo changes. "Serial(ist) Killer" is the only song which features Elaine that is not under 2 minutes. Her vocals here sound similar to some of the vocals you would find in some 5uu's songs or even the odd Zappa song. Instruments play in unison with her vocals. The last song "Cloudscape" really stands out. Compared to the other songs, this is more melodic and linear. The closest thing to symphonic prog on the album. In theory, I should enjoy the more avant and quirky songs more, but this is my favourite track on the album. Nice contrast to the rest of the album and a great closer.

I'm interested in hearing what the first two albums sound like. I don't quite share the enthusiasm that others do regarding this album, but it's still a very good album. Maybe a little too inconsistent. The playing and sound is terrific. The songs themselves feature some great moments and not-so-great moments. Overall, I'll give this 4 stars.

zravkapt | 4/5 |


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