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Jan Dukes De Grey - Mice And Rats In The Loft CD (album) cover

MICE AND RATS IN THE LOFT

Jan Dukes De Grey

 

Prog Folk

4.21 | 214 ratings

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Dark Nazgul
5 stars bizarre, psychedelic, obsessive, experimental and above all...unique.

This is one of the greatest acid folk albums ever. Always compared to another milestone of the genre (First Utterance by Comus), this album reveals all the desire by Noy and Bairstow for experimentation and improvisation. It is an extremely innovative, not easily accessible to all (so it might not appeal to many), but in my opinion it is a masterpiece, in fact there are no weak points at all, and the quality of the music never falls from the first note to finish.

The music is direct, totally devoid of frills and pomposity. The first two songs are basically built from folk guitar riffs and then arranged in a clearly minimalistic way, mainly with the addition of winds and percussion. The first song, the amazing epic Sun Symphonica, is embellished by a string section; nevertheless, nothing is redundant or excessive. The song, which is over 18 minutes, is a milestone of acid folk, very well built, in my opinion more than any piece of Comus.

Call Of The Wild has a fairly soft start, characterized by soft vocal harmonies and a delicate use of flute. Soon, however, the initial calm is replaced by haunting and distorted guitar riffs, and the song becomes totally experimental.

The third piece, Mice And Rats In The Loft, has more electric sound, it is a real psychedelic trip and is the most aggressive song of the album. Derek Noy is the protagonist, his voice is warm and the tone is recitative, his interpretation extremely theatrical. The remarkable final is enriched by wind instruments.

Among the underground albums of its time, "Mice And Rats In The Loft" can only have a prominent place alongside other works of bands like Black Widow, High Tide, Comus, Tea And Symphony, Tudor Lodge and Family. This album is the clear demonstration of how even the most simple and minimalist music can be incredibly "progressive". Not for everyone, but in my opinion, a masterpiece.

Final rating: 9/10. Well-deserved five stars.

Best song: Sun Symphonica

Dark Nazgul | 5/5 |

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