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Art Cinema

Crossover Prog

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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Yet another amazing release courtesy of Danish multi-instrumentalist, composer and workaholic Robin Taylor.

Art Cinema is a project formed in 2007, after the recording of the Soundwall album by Taylor's Universe. The collaboration between Taylor and Denner was so good that it warranted a project of its own, and thus Art Cinema was born.

The musical content will sound familiar to fans of Taylor's previous outings; jazz and rock with symphonic influences; spiced with warm, textured layers of keyboard and synth sounds, organ and sax given much room to create and enhance moods, and a detailed, round production that manage to soften the music while retaining the finer details.

On this release extensive use of vocals in the tunes are a brand new element, vocalists Jytte Lindberg and Louise Nipper both providing excellent singing, and the compositions are less complex in structure, while containing just as many detailed complexities in the soundscapes as most other releases Taylor is involved in.

Accessible tunes, strong on melody, mood and atmosphere - and one of the top albums of 2008 so far.

Report this review (#185154)
Posted Thursday, October 9, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Art Cinema is a project band featuring a couple of Denmarks most prolific musicians in Robin Taylor ( Taylor's Universe, Taylor's Free Universe and solo) and Michael Denner ( Mercyful Fate, Zoser Mez, King Diamond, Force of Evil). Art Cinema came into being while Michael Denner participated in the recording of Soundwall (2008) by Taylor´s Universe. Michael and Robin started working on some tunes written by Michael´s friend Jesper Harrits and decided that a female voice would suit the compositions best. They brought in Jytte Lindberg to do the lead vocals while Louise Nipper does the backing vocals on the album. The lineup also features a saxophonist a second guitarist, a bassist and most notably Mercyful Fate drummer Bjarne T. Holm.

The music is sophisticated and light jazzy pop/ rock. The overall mood is very dark and Jytte Lindberg´s jazzy vocals really fit the music perfectly. The saxophone parts sometimes remind me of Van Der Graaf Generator. With the presence of two members ( one is an ex-member though) of Mercyful Fate I expected something a bit heavier but this album is not a heavy metal album and the only times when I think of Mercyful Fate is during the few solos Michael Denner plays in the albums very short ( 34:31 minutes) playing time. Most notably in album opener White Frozen and the powerful What Am I Doing Here? I just love his melodic solo style. There´s lots of piano in the songs too played by Robin Taylor.

The musicianship on the Art Cinema album is excellent. Great performances all around. Jytte Lindberg has a different voice from what you´d expect from a female lead singer in a progressive rock band ( Read: Renaissance, Curved Air) as she sings in a lower register and with a jazzy flavour.

The production which is crafted by Robin Taylor is very good. Warm and clean.

The text: This album was produced and released without any kind of financial support! is written of the sleeve of the very sparse booklet and unfortunately tells a lot about the Danish music culture. If there weren´t adventerous and skilled musicians like Robin Taylor and Michael Denner to push this kind of music forward, nothing experiemental would come out of Denmark. Art Cinema is a very enjoyable and dark album. Not quite my taste but professional and emotional all the way. A big 3 star rating is warranted.

Report this review (#195052)
Posted Friday, December 26, 2008 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Crossover Prog Team
4 stars This was Robin Taylor's first release of 2008, his 25th album. It was quite a different project for him as although the instrumental passages were still important this involves far more musicians and lyrics. The line-up for this album was Robin (guitars; keyboards; percussion), Jytte Lindberg (primary lead vocals), Louise Nipper (lead & backing vocals), Michael Denner (guitars), Bjarne Holm (drums), Carsten Sindvald (saxophones), Flemming Muus Tranberg (bass), Jon Hemmersam (guitars) and Pierre Tassone (violin). This album sees Robin head far more into progressive territory, yet still with the restraint and use of space that is such an important feature of his music.

Michael is there providing just a hint of menace, but again he is very much part of the band and in many ways fits into this role better than he did in the previous release. This is more of a songs based album than the others, with less jazz stylings (although it is never too far away) and is a real coming together of styles with prog coming together with music that in some ways is almost New Age. This is an extremely mature release in that there is a feeling of there being nothing to prove, all those involved know their part and are happy with it, this is music that the listener needs to go towards and to discover ? it will not be rammed down the throat of all and sundry but instead will be enjoyed by those lucky enough to hear it.

The vocals are pure and clear, working well with a musical backdrop that at times can be quite minimalistic. It is the arrangements that make this album, simple statements showing the music does not have to be overblown to be technically clean and beguiling ? there is almost a sterility reminiscent of some of Roger Eno's work, yet at the same time there is a warmth and comfort that welcomes all.

People need to search out this musician who is sadly unknown to many even within the progressive scene. Now that I have found him I will be looking to his releases with great interest.

Report this review (#226350)
Posted Monday, July 13, 2009 | Review Permalink

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