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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A little known Aussie effort that is worth a look!

Ebondązzar is a reasonably rare album from Australian duo Peak - Robert Reekes-Parsons and Paul Fisher - with able assistance on drums by John Haffert. It is a purely instrumental affair with vocals limited to vocoder output, effects and grunting.

Ebondązzar has been issued twice on vinyl. The original Australian release was in 1980 on Cement Records, followed by a re-issue in 1983 by Innovative Communications from Germany. Despite two different releases the work appears to be relatively unknown.

Ebondązzar has nine tracks with the longest, "Along For The Ride" clocking in at a little over the nine minute mark. Having said that, all the tracks from side one segue seamlessly making a suite of sorts with a running time of 23:02, though each track is quite different and there is no real hint of a concept. (All tracks on side two are clearly segregated.)

Not a masterpiece by any means, Ebondązzar is an album of varied soundscapes, journeying mostly into the territories of electronica, space rock and possibly Krautrock. At one point there is a step towards synthesized heavy prog as "The Hunt" goes into full flight in its last half. And to cap things off there is even a hint of blues rock with the final track, "Agent's Lunch". With the variation presented on Ebondązzar it is a difficult album to pigeonhole.

Highlights are: the hypnotic "Along For The Ride" opening with nice guitar and synthesiser interplay that moves into a Kraftwerk-style of electronica; "Encounter" with guitar synth pyrotechnics conjuring visions of King Crimson, before turning a corner into the symphonic realm; "Nightmist" with vocoder voices and its soaring sequencer melody so readily reminiscent of Tangerine Dream; and the dreamlike "Ocean Of Dreams" that opens with the peal of tubular bells before the synthesisers takeover, and then with the synths being overlaid with military-style snare drumming and tubular bells for much of the journey.

I like this album, but have a bias towards works from Australia. That said, I don't believe fans of electronic music or space rock wherever they be from would be disappointed if they were to stumble upon Ebondązzar in their travels. For the Dinosaur a 3.5 star rating, moving to 4 stars seems appropriate.

Report this review (#196822)
Posted Thursday, January 1, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars This subgenre isn't my specialisation, but I'm on somewhat of a mission to collect as much vintage Australian prog as I can, hence I tracked down this album. I love it more than I expected I would.

The compositional style is fairly minimalist, most of the pieces are built on simple repeated patterns and a fairly limited harmonic palette; like most minimalist music it makes up for a lack of complexity by creating hypnotic moods. Their strength is the diversity of their sound palette - their mix of various synthesizers and electronic effects with more organic instruments (especially their use of guitar), and music concrete approaches. (One guest instrumentalist is crediting with 'swimming', and they're serious - the swimming is an important part of the sound world of "Penguin".)

The tracks of the first side segue seamlessly, but very diverse moods are evoked - heavy guitars and drums to open the album, calming down quickly to a more pastoral sound (with much use of flute colours); then a more strictly electronic soundworld with Tangerine Dream -style use of sequencers; then a more abstract soundworld with unsettling doppler-effect sounds sweeping in and out; then into a more ambient mood with lightly arpeggiated guitar, a simple and soothing synth contribution, ocean sounds (and, incongruously, military-style drumming), and fading out with the ocean. The second side offers more discrete compositions, again each exploring a unique soundworld - the final two tracks offer a more organic guitar-dominated approach (an acoustic, pastoral vibe for "Snail's Pace", a more electric rock feel for "Agent's Lunch"); "Penguin" and the lengthy "Along For The Ride" is back in Tangerine Dream-style territory (but with a prominent, if low-mixed, role for guitar in the latter); "The Hunt" mixes both soundworlds.

Report this review (#1046569)
Posted Saturday, September 28, 2013 | Review Permalink

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