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Quantum Fantay - Bridges Of The Old Fishingmine CD (album) cover

BRIDGES OF THE OLD FISHINGMINE

Quantum Fantay

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.11 | 24 ratings

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tszirmay
Special Collaborator
Crossover Team
4 stars Let's start with a pun! What else would be new! THERE IS ALWAYS 'ROOM' FOR SPACE- Rock! Corny? Okay, sorry!

These delightful Belgians really sparkle on this live album, thank you Conor Fynes for your alluring review, it definitely fueled the hunt and the purchase. Being infected by Mantric Muse and the two Moonwagon albums, it was not a hard leap to infuse a little booming craziness into the fray which these musicians supply en masse. Yes, yes, yes there is a most definite early Ozric Tentacles vibe that is unassailable but certainly not intended to blindly copy the masters of the genre. For one, as virtuous as guitarist Dario Frodo is, he has a stretch to equal Ed Wynne, not really fair comparisons but the guitar parts here are raw, frenetic and naughty, which only assist the leafy instrumentals to bloom in total freedom.

"Ungisiunsi" sets the controls to the heart of the sun and the countdown to launch begins with roaring bass and guitar in unison, very heavy, while Peter Mush's fluttering synths paint the soundscape. Frodo starts growling on his electric axe, grinding, slicing, chopping and sawing like a true pro. Mush lays down a marimba patch synth solo for the ages, bubbling like pink champagne, while devilish bassist Jaro does his best Zia Geelani imitation (now that is pure bliss !) brutally igniting the low end foundation with some swift bass runs. Drummer Gino Bartolini drums like a manic Italian, so he may be one, transplanted to Belgium like Enzo Scifo's family. "Cube" is more structured, a rocky sub-atmospheric barrage of bass-fueled sound convoys the raging synths and the persistent raspy guitar. The shift to a more tropical, even a touch of Middle Eastern beat becomes obvious, doing a little dub /reggae shuffle but the feverish pace just keeps growing into another noble blow-out. Stellar stuff! The applause is well- earned from the Lokeren faithful. "Zwar Tysch Apy" is closer to the Ozric tenet, a solid beat hitched to a stubborn bass with a plethora of soaring string or ivory flurries , hints of Oriental bells, layers of bubbly synthesizers and oddball twists 'n turns. The middle is just a tad too long and just your attention fades Frodo comes in with a monstrous splurge, tearing at the strings like a madman. Gotcha! The first major highlight is perhaps the exotic and quirky "Kukuriku Part1" with its bitchy rhythm, bristling synths and stinging guitars, the beat at a vehement pace, scratching the notes with unashamed aggression. There is plenty of business going on, the interplay is truly magnificent and mostly unrelenting, like a workout. Then it gets pretty oily and lubed up, a full frontal guitar assault that meows its rage, there are some perilous psychedelics going on here. Intensity is the buzz word. "Follow the Star" is the second longest piece here a 9 minute and 20 seconds of profound and meaty prog-rock, certainly heavily starry-eyed and governed by constellations from way beyond. "Shiver Moments" is where things get raunchy invoking the Hawkgods of old, a muscular form of instrumental warfare that leaves no asteroid unturned, a pulsating and zippy slice of delirium, the flute blowing its innocence, Frodo thrashing like a frustrated swan while Mush opens up cages of fluttering synth birds. Earthy yet also spacy, the acme is achieved on the languorous electric guitar solo, very restrained and delicate, a pure marvel to behold. The lengthiest piece (by only a few ticks of the clock) is also the Everest here, an astonishing epic space prog track that rivals 'Sultana Detrii", the jewel found on the Waterfall Cities album from the Ozboys. Appropriately, "Counterclockwise" is the time machine gone berserk master stroke that earns this album its high marks and a permanent place in my rotation. Initiated by a drop-dead beautiful melody with jangling guitars and divinely driven by expert rhythm machines, the sheer euphoria is seamless and contagious. What panacea! There is a sense of constant evolution and interface, the instruments flow like rivulets of water through the fingers, refreshing and elusive. "Kukuriku Part2" is reprised, a reasonably rare occurrence in a live concert context, except the overall feel here is mellower than Part 1, perhaps a little more psychedelic and bluesy, slowly building up to a frenzy, Frodo really tearing on Mush's synthy sleeves. Drummer Bartolino really earns his stripes here, delivering a massive assault on his kit. "Niek Schlut" is one of their classic concert pieces, a rabble rousing audience bopping up and down showstopper that speeds along like some Exocet missile gone berserk. Persistent, ruthless and anthemic, the boys just pile on the sizzle, the drizzle and the fizzle. The mid-section quiets down enough for some lovely flute ornamentations among the synthesized shimmers, the pulse bold and courageous. A sensational track of contrast and endless progression as things just become kookoo again for the finale! Two shorter encore tracks finish off this cosmic trip, "Trip Escape" has that tropical reggae/dub feel, except for the scowling guitar that rages sideways and shifts in tone, gradually going tornado as Bill Bruford would say. "Blocktail" is the final astral nail in the 'agena', a brash, soaring, sun blasted effusion of how a band finally touches down to earth after exploring the wild blue yonder.

Certainly, there is a certain sameness in formula but one has to understand that (like Hawkwind and Ozrics) Space has to be heard in a live context for the hypnosis to take over, numb the mind as well as overpower the mesmerized fan with a laser light shower that boggles the brain. It's a physical experience a well as a musical one. This is a totally satisfying experience both as an outright listening adventure with headphones and eyes wide shut, as well as background music ideal for a long highway drive or, of course, make love music. Can you crow about holding on for 79 minutes? See why the missus is smiling ?

4.5 Mir Apollos

tszirmay | 4/5 |

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