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Spaced Out - Slow Gin CD (album) cover


Spaced Out

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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5 stars Masterpiece in modern progressive rock!

Their preceding album Eponymus II impressed me already a lot, but I'm really even more fascinated by this one here (for which I have to say thanks again to Diddy). Although the style is basically the same, jazz rock or metal played with high energy, they combined their maniac highly technical style of the previous one with more accessibility by introducing some melodic lines, some more quiet keyboard sections and almost gothic-alike broad keyboard walls. Like this they managed on here to bring their highly intricate style to its perfection. Nevertheless their music is still centered around Antoine Fafard's energetic bass playing.

After a short electronic and spacey intro the title track is starting with a killer riff followed by a pattern which is alternating between guitar riff , bass solo and keyboard section driven all the times mainly by the bass play. Next song Spaced In fitting to its title has a few spacey moments dominated by synths and sequencers and some electronic choir which sounds like coming from a Mellotron. Minor Blast is a rather quirky one with high speed bass riffs and guitar attacks, but as well with a respiring break of slower and more relaxed bass and keyboard play. The Thing is the most quiet piece I've ever heard by them, almost lyrical but doesn't mean that the bass play is any less awesome as before. Here the guitar becomes a bit more evident. Excellent song and very relaxing! The next ones E.M.O. and Bright Space are as well not as furious as we're used to by them. The former one is an excellent composition dominated by bass and keyboard and there is as well a part with great drum play. The latter one has a kind of "New Age feeling" saying this not in a devaluating meaning but rather as a compliment to the band for their ability to blend perfectly elements of multiple quite different genres. There are as well a few very nice guitar parts. This track in fact stands for the whole album of being an ingenious mix of jazz-fusion, symphonic rock, space rock, metal and New Age. Glassophere Part III is again different and very unusual for them compared to their former album. It's a very short one more in a symphonic vein with keyboards, guitar and excellent drumming. In the two parts of Blue Ron Pipe they are moving more towards free-jazz and we get the pleasure to listen to guest musician Ronald Stewart on tenor sax accompanied by spacey synth sounds and keyboard. Then it's becoming really psychedelic with vocal samples played in reverse mode. In part two Fafard's breathtaking bass playing returns in a rather freaky and spacey composition with guitar attacks and very strange electronic sounds. Great one as well.


SPACED OUT proofed with Slow Gin once again that they are a very innovative and excellent band in modern Progressive Rock and moreover here they managed to bring their style to perfection and to blend perfectly multiple different music genres. I can't resist to rate it with the full score!

Report this review (#37218)
Posted Wednesday, June 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Spaced Out is Spaced Out!

Suprisingly, I dug this fine gem out of the miscelaneous bin in the jazz section in my local music store. I figured that if the music lived up to it`s name then there must definitely be something here for me. It didn`t take long for me to realize why I found it in the jazz section. This musical creature seems to be the brainchild of bass player Antione Farfad who must have worshiped UZEB`s Alain Caron as a fledgling musician whose influences are batantly evident in his maniacal yet superb bass playing. Nevertheless,the music here has many more dimensions than the more or less straight fusion jazz produced by UZEB and takes on the more sinister sonic proportions that one would associate with Industrial bands such as Ministry or Nine Inch Nails.

A highly experimental album with titles as abstract as the music, Slow Gin is based around Farfad`s chaotic myriad of ideas using all kinds of sampled and sequenced synth effects which create varying dark and brooding atmospheres. Sounding at times like ambient Tangerine Dream soundscapes, the music maintains great dynamics with appropriate power chord guitar insertions and frantic bass runs interspersed with quieter interludes which create some very discordant, atonal compositions which do not really obey any musical convention. There are no vocals per say, with the exception of some vioce loops along with some smooth sax playing on the final tracks. While not really proving themselves as true virtuosos, these guys are masters of playing music the way it should not be played with great cause, effect and precision. Probably the best way to describe all the confusion occuring on Slow Gin would be to simply call it fuzoid.

Definitely not coming to a dance club near you, Slow Gin contains some serious unorthodox musicianship which will no doubt appeal to those into the much more avante-garde, such as the King Crimson Mk.III improvs, Nue! or Russian band Disen Gage. It also comes with an art booklet which is also pretty spaced out. Crank this one to eleven and space yourself right out.

Report this review (#119737)
Posted Wednesday, April 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars This is the third album from the Canadian instrumental jazz rockers, and while bassist/keyboard player Antoine Fafard is still very much the leader of the outfit, he is assisted this time not only by drummer Martin Maheuc and pianist Éric St-Jean but also by new member, guitarist Mark Tremblay. This has added another layer to an already complex band, and has given them even more room in which to explore. After an introduction, the next number up is the title track and it shows the band locked in and moving at incredible speed. The use of fretless bass allows Antoine to slide between notes and combined with the extra attack of Mark this has some extremely heavy moments indeed.

For a musical reference, then it would probably be best to compare them with Colosseum II, although always with more of an emphasis on the bass. The guy has immense skill, of that there is no doubt, but he never lets it get too overblown. There is always room for one of the others to come in and take over so that the music never has time enough to get boring, which it well might if the bass was the lead instrument all of the time.

This is an extremely enjoyable album that not only will be enjoyed by lovers of jazz-rock but also by those that like their prog to be a little more adventurous than may be the norm while at all times be extremely listenable and enjoyable.

Originally appeared in Feedback #74, Jun 03

Report this review (#990052)
Posted Sunday, June 30, 2013 | Review Permalink

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