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Andre Fertier's Clivage - Mixtus Orbis CD (album) cover


Andre Fertier's Clivage


Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

4.29 | 82 ratings

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5 stars Sonic Cornucopia

I´ve tried writing this review a couple of times before, but each time I chickened out after the 3rd or 4th paragraph. I lost the power of speak, and my fingers went limp like flappy bony sausages hanging down from my wrists with no willpower whatsoever. Trying to describe the music within Mixtus Orbis, is rather like communicating to a monkey what oysters taste of. Futile! This album is beyond classification, and just like some of my most beloved progressive gems - it mixes everything into one big casserole - shakes it up nonchalantly, and bam! Dinner is served!

Now, there are a lot of albums which are like that. You may get some that blend psych with folk, or Krautrock with fusion - and hooray we say and clap our little hands in amazement. Mixtus Orbis however goes even further and takes this to the extreme. I mean, sweet ford!! Let me just put into perspective, how many different styles that are represented here, and then that doesn´t even begin to describe how it sounds. There´s pounding doomsday pianos, psychedelic effervescent jazz, Indian tablas, yearning violins, great big orchestral sweeps of sound, Zeuhlish thunderings, late 70s blaxploitation soundtrack music and Eastern folk sprinklings - all of this crammed into a tiny album - and it sounds truly magnificent!

The first track is a monster. Gigantic in every way. Take some demonic women chanting sensuously over these chugging bassline riffs, which are magnified a thousand times by a belting raw piano. Then add a great big coating of orchestral music, you know the kind you´ve heard from movies like Shaft (-often used in Motown productions to sweeten the coarseness of the gritty and earth toned beats) - and the basic structures of the song are ready. Every component slips into the others and back again - and so it evolves into this towering monstrosity that demands attention. The track continues to climb on top of itself with its attached Zeuhl motor and reaches some form of plateau, where everyone of the different styles fuse together and suddenly sound like they´ve been joined at the hip for decades. It´s funky, jazzy, psychedelic and disturbingly beautiful - like some giant colossus of blood and gold.

Second one brings in the flute, and takes the listener on a more relaxed venture into these bizarre musical blends. The 70s movie soundtrack is still there, but leans on a decisively more staccato approach with tooting horns and ethereal violins - adding to the centre score that little bit of extra swoosh. Running along the side of this spectacle, we´ve got some serious percussive splashes with bongos maniacally pacing away, taking you into a warped crime movie score back from the days of trumpet trousers and microphone dues.

Third track. This time around we hit the meditative state of the record, and things get quite folky with the violins, and those tablas get all earthy and woody in their textures. It sounds friendly, gracious and altogether accommodating - like had a Bedouin sheep heard opened up his arms to you, after you´d just crossed the mighty planes of the Gobi desert. Water!!! Maybe I´m mad, but when the flute joins in, the music does seem to mimic the flow of a natural stream. The track turns Asiatic with some deep almost menacing strokes of the violins, and had it not been for the genius of those joyously played guitar shimmers - the feel would have been one of fear - instead of what it is: magical and elusive.

At the very end we are flown to the far East, and some weird and abnormal sounding string instruments strum a mantra like raga, that gets spiced up with a mad and furious saxophone. Together with a couple of monks chanting what must be the bass theme here, the music again sounds like no other. Experimental fusion from an Indian bazaar?

I can´t recommend this album enough, and if you guys are looking for music that is progressive and knocks down walls between the different genres, then look no further - because what we have here is something quite special and unique. I´ve certainly never come across anything that sounds even remotely close to Mixtus Orbis. So give it up for the ever changing, multicoloured, mosaic, shape shifting, tunnel burrowing, cross dressing and all encompassing Clivage, that quite possibly will forever change how you look at music.

Guldbamsen | 5/5 |


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