Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Robin Taylor - Samplicity CD (album) cover


Robin Taylor



3.91 | 6 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Danish composer and multi-instrumentalist Robin TAYLOR have been a productive musical persona in the Danish music scene from the early 1990's and onwards, contributing to 30 or so productions by the time of writing (April 2012). "Samplicity" is the fifth CD to be issued under his own name, and was released on Robin's own Marvel of Beauty imprint in 2001.

And as the name implies, samples is indeed an element that is utilized quite a lot on this disc, although I guess that people without a special interest by and large will miss most of them. Some instances are fairly obvious however, and are easily spotted. But when that is said, this isn't a production based around samples as such, at least not as I experience it. Rather I'd say that they have been used and utilized as a musical effect more than anything else, with only a few occasions that see them placed in more of a cinematic context.

The somewhat overly long opener Black Country is perhaps the least intriguing of Taylor's creations on this production. An elegant construction as such, based on a circulating lighter toned motif later replaced by a dampened, dark and brooding guitar motif, backed by steady drums and inventive percussion details and with some nifty organ soloing on top. Rather adventurous too I might add. But also slightly too repetitive to my tastes, which makes me regard this excursion as one that in sum is more of an ordinary on experience wise.

But that is just a bout the only negative remark I can make about this disc, as the remaining sonic journeys keeps me interested and intrigued throughout. Lavender Mist kicks off on the dying echoes of the opening tune, adding a sax solo on top and gradually developing into a refined, dampened, richly textured construction with subdued guitar riffs and textured guitar effects blending in quite nicely, prior to ebbing out again with an end sequence of swirling electronics. A good set up for the following BTI, more of a purebred ambient construction sporting a brooding, slightly unsettling undercurrent that transports this piece of music firmly away from any new age territories one might initially reference mentally when reading the word ambient. Fractalism utilize droning vocal effects as an ever-present feature in a construction that opens as a light-toned excursion with a steady backbeat and circulating simplistic instrument motif on top, with a shift into Frippian territories by way of distorted yet melodic guitar solo textures and rhythm surges, evolving into a multitextured, detailed and interwoven arrangement that I think deserves the description Tayloresque.

February Pain returns to ambient territories of a kind, but again a few lightyears and a couple of universes removed from anything new age related, Burnt Forest Island continues with a different take on this approach with it's slow, drawn out light toned keyboard effects, slowly growing richer by way of instrument and sound additions and then broken up by the chaotic visit of Mr. Gillon as referenced in the complete song title. With an end sequence that takes a brief detour to symphonic art rock territories prior to returning to the opening motif. And concluding the disc we find Ambient Isles. An aptly named construction that. despite some occasional Taylor features of the darker tinged undercurrent kind. might actually find favour among fans of artists like Vangelis and Jarre.

All in all "Samplicity" comes across as a good quality production, as I tend to expect to experience by Robin at this point. And while not an electronic production per se, I do think that a key audience for this particular disc might actually be those who have a deep fascination for adventurous electronic music. In particular those fond of artists utilizing dampened effects and subtle developments rather than dramatic shifts and sounds.

Windhawk | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this ROBIN TAYLOR review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives