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Blue Motion

Progressive Electronic

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erik neuteboom
3 stars The Swish trio Blue Motion is an offshoot from the Swiss formation Circus, known from their acclaimed album Moving'on (1977), notice how many 4 and 5 stars it has gained on this site! After Circus disbanded, the two former members Fritz Hauser (drums and xylophone) and Stephan Grieder (keyboards) formed Blue Motion. Along with keyboard player Stephan Ammann they made an eponymous debut album, this turned out to be there swan song. The music on Blue Motion is a fine blend of jazz, electronic and classic, the focus is on the excellent interplay between the piano (Bösendorfer acoustic - and Fender Rhodes electric piano) and synthesizers. I hear elements from Trace and ELP but in general Blue Motion sounds quite unique, at some moments the organ even sounds a bit psychedelic. The inventive work on the xylophone gives some songs an extra dimension. To me it sounds a bit subdued music but this is a wonderful album, especially if you like keyboard oriented prog.

Report this review (#79060)
Posted Tuesday, May 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Blue Motion is a swiss band from late '70's formed around two members from defunct Circus, Fritz Hauser (drums and xylophone) and Stephan Grieder (keyboards). The band released only one album in 1980 selftitled. It was quite a strange ride for me when I heared for the first time this album. From pure elpish atmosphere and blistering keyboards arrangements, to some electronic aproach, make from this album an aquaring taste, for sure. The album has 12 pieces, two of them over 12 min, te rest are all under 3 min. The most intristing is the opening track Stromboli, as the name implies, this track is like a volcano, fast and up tempo keyboards arrangements not far from ELP fame, it would make envy any keyboard player from that period, even in places this pieces and aswell the whole album sound dated. The rest of the pieces are ok, but nothing really intristing, with a psychedelic touch,even some borig moments, only noises without being to expressive or pleasent. A keyboard orientated album in ELP vein or Miklagard from Sweden, nothing over the top, but pleasent most of the time.3 stars, is the best I can give, one of the forgotten bands from late'70's, early '80's. The cover art remind me a lot of Renaissance 1979 album Azure D'or.
Report this review (#264317)
Posted Friday, February 5, 2010 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
4 stars Don't look too much into the genre this band is classified in: it's a cross of symphonic and avant- garde, but no electronics at all.

Though this Circus' successor (since it features both Grieder and Hauser), don't expect that the two bands sound similar. Circus' unusual line-up (no keyboards or electric guitar) gave them a unique and inimitable sound, but Blue Motion is a double KB and drums instrumental affair. In the present project, wind-player Stefan Grieder drops the horns and concentrates on keys, giving the band a distinctive sound, compared to other KB-led trios. Amongst the KB used, we'll hear a Hammond, a Clavinet, a Rhodes, an ARP and a grand piano. A priori, you'd think that this kind of KB-led trio thingie was a thing of the past by this album's release, but Blue Motion is definitely to be ranked in the UFO category along with Flamen Dialis and a couple other Continental Europe projects of the times.

Basically, this album is centred on two lengthy epics (opening each side), and a flurry of short pieces (9 of them are inferior to 3 minutes), and obviously those two 12-mins (minimum) pieces are the foundations. The 14-mins Stromboli opens on a wild Emersonian Hammond and soon replaced by a piano and Clavinet duo, the whole thing powered by Hauser's always amazing drumming. With plenty of twists and twirls, you'll get dizzy trying to follow Grieder and Amman's constant explorations. An eruption of the volcano certainly is less exciting than this wild extravaganza. The rest of the A-side could be seen as a sometimes-dissonant and disjointed suite with the following Fingers is a calm piano exploration, while Moontales is dominated by the Hammond, but underlined by the Clavinet. Hauser's amazing xylophone (Motions) and Grieder's dissonant piano (Fingers 2) are much reminiscent of Circus' Dawn piece, and both pieces are followed by the title track, which segues into the splendid piano-only 31/8.

The 11-mins Stonehenge opens the flipside, which opens on a calm piano, but the accompanying Hammond and Clavinet are slowly elevating the pace, and Hauser's always entertaining drums and percussions are certainly driving the keyboards overboard. Therest of the album is taken up by variations of Motions and Moontales, though Grieder finds a Parking spot for his piano, before a grandiose end in Slow Motion

Blue Motion's sole album received a Laser's Edge release some 20 years ago, but you can still find another version on the mini-lp specialist Japanese label Belle Antique, though it's probably one of the more botched up reissues of theirs, at least of the cardboard side of things. And the so-called SHM disc was taken directly from LE's remaster, so one can wonder what the added value is for such an expensive rekidd. Despite that, it might be the only solution to lay your hand on this baby; and believe me: it's certainly worth the investigations and investment. While it may not be of the calibre of Circus' first two albums, but it is a worthy offshoot.

Report this review (#1214712)
Posted Friday, July 18, 2014 | Review Permalink

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