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Travelling - Voici la nuit tombée CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

3.52 | 32 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Travelling have a sound cobbled together from the giants of the Canterbury scene, with the closest comparison being Soft Machine's Volume Two-era approach, although the music presented here is rather more sober and serious than that album. Yves Hasselmann, keyboardist and singer, is the star of the show in the sense that his performances are far and away the most prominent, though this turns out to be to the album's detriment as much as it is to its benefit. He's without doubt a talented jazz pianist, and his greater emphasis on piano as opposed to fuzzed-out organ a la Mike Ratledge begins to point the way to the group establishing a more distinctive and individual personality for themselves.

Then he ruins that by trying to sing like Robert Wyatt, and singularly failing to do so; this is most apparent when he breaks out the "Aaaaah aaaaaah aaaaaaaaaahs", trying to mimic Wyatt's much-celebrated use of his voice as a musical instrument. It's transparently clear that Hasselmann simply isn't as good a singer as Wyatt is. Travelling had plenty of potential, but they really needed to establish their own territory rather than playing constant homage to the Softs; on the Machine's home turf, they simply couldn't compete. It's a shame that they didn't seem to survive long enough to do this, but I still wouldn't recommend this album unless you are particularly keen on Soft Machine clones.

Warthur | 2/5 |


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