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Andreas Vollenweider - Behind The Gardens - Behind The Wall - Under The Tree CD (album) cover


Andreas Vollenweider


Crossover Prog

2.96 | 25 ratings

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars I have listened to this album so many times that I find difficult speaking about it. Vollenweider's music is usually relaxing and so well arranged and played that I usually consider it as a single thing without looking at specific instruments or musical passages.

Of course the leading instrument is the electro-acoustic harp invented by this eclectic multi- instrumentist. The birds and the natural sounds on the first seconds of the opener may remind to the newage, but I think to "Epsilon in Malaysian Pale" instead.

Yes, it's melodic and based on major chords, but specially on the opening track there's a subtle background of darkness that makes it take the distance from the newage music. The sound of the modified harp adds tones of blues while the other instruments sound "separated". I mean that the production is so clean and the instruments so detailed that the jazz influences appear clearly.

The music is dreamy. The percussion are always present but never invasive.

There are very melodic moments like on the harp solo intro of "Pyramid" that's a track on minor chords and this makes it sound more intriguing.

This album flows seamlessly and the music is evocative. I think it would be good for a fantasy soundtrack, made of mountains and castles, that's more or less the normal landscape of Vollenweider's land as he's from Switzerland.

Other tracks are less evocative. "Micro-Macro" could be called fusion, the whole B-side that's made of shorter tracks can be intended as a suite. It doesn't really follow a concept but there's a sort of continuity in this sequence of short and very short tracks.

The album is only 30 minutes long. This was quite normal in an era when if you wanted to fix the best possible sound on the vinyl you needed more separation between the "microgrooves". Al least this is what we owner of turntables were told.

I want to mention the last track "Hands and Clouds" because it has a folk influence and I see contacts with the early music of Angelo Branduardi (the two had some collabs later, specially live).

It's a very good album on the light side of prog which I suggest to lovers of prog-folk and even JR/F for the similarities with the most poppy things of Pat Metheny,

This is the first true Vollenweider's album, first part of an unoffical trilogy with its two follow- ups.

octopus-4 | 3/5 |


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