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4 stars Dutch band PYTHAGORAS was formed around 1980 when drummer Bob De Jong hooked up with the young and aspiring keyboardist Rene De Haan, their self-released debut LP from 1981 hitting an unexpected nerve with the Dutch audience resulting in the initial pressing of 500 copies eventually expanded to 5000 copies sold and label interest from WEA. Following a slightly less successful second production and a few occasional live performances the band disbanded quietly, the release plans for a third installment never realized. Until 2011 that is, when the remaining material recorded back in the 1980's was given a lavish vinyl release courtesy of the band themselves, while Musea Records issued the CD version.

Pythagoras make a welcome return with this slightly reworked version of material recorded back in the first half of the 1980's. A production of interest to existing fans as well as keyboard and synthesizer aficionados in general, and those who have a deep affection for vinyl releases will also enjoy the lavish vinyl edition, where the album cover can be made into a triangular piece of exhibition art and the full package includes a single, an EP and an LP, in addition to the CD version of the album. The slightly deteriorated sound quality and the distinctly 80's electronic drums are the main drawbacks, nothing major, but at least in the case of the latter an element that will take a bit of effort to get familiar with.

Report this review (#772840)
Posted Sunday, June 17, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars Legendary Dutch record shop Moonlight Records was owned by the late drummer Bob De Jong. Here he started a conversation with a frequent visitor, 19 years old Ren√??√?¬© De Haan (keyboards), they exchanged musical ideas and in the end founded Pythagoras. This duo released two albums, the cosmic Journey To The Vast Unknown from 1981 (it sold 5000 copies, thank to radio airplay) and After The Silence in 1982 (featuring Arjen Lucassen from Ayreon and Michel Van Wassem from Plackband, with the Mellotron M400). After a serie of concerts between 1983 and 1985 with keyboard player Pieter Courtens, there was an option for a third album but this didn't work out and Pythagoras disbanded.

Well, in 2011 Dutch label Correlated Music decided to release 1983-1985 Pythagoras music in a 'vinyl collector's wet dream': on a fold out double LP size, including 7, 10 and 12 inch vinyl and 2 CD's, this is the 500 copies Dutch limited edition , French progrocklabel Musea released it as a double CD I read. I got this Dutch vinyl version personally from Ren√??√?¬© De Haan when I visited him a few years ago at his home/atelier (he is a designer) in the center of The Hague, for an interview with a Dutch progrock magazine. We knew each other because I had visited him in the early Eighties at the home of his parents (only a few kilometers from my home in The Hague) when he was 19. This in order to get a demonstration on his keyboards in his small boys room (Crumar Trilogy, Kawai 100F, Korg MS20, Roland VP330), unforgettable.

Back to the music, there is a difference between the cosmic first album and the more symphonic rock inspired second album. The difference between this third effort and the other two is even more obvious, what a lot of variety and how adventurous and experimental. Like Jingle Jangle Jungle and All Of The Answers featuring lots of sound effects. And in Sonic Mayhem Sucker Punch and A Notion Of Motion (Rollercoaster Daydream) the drum beat is tight and the keyboard sound pretty overwhelming. Many short tracks deliver sound collages. Remarkable is the fiery guitar work in songs of the final part of CD 2 (in my opinion live recorded).

For Pythagoras fans of the first two albums the most interesting compositions are Drama Queens For Teenage Idols (dreamy with an accordeon sound, soaring strings, fluent drums and a final part with organ), Floating Angel Blues For You (compelling Pink Floyd sounding symphonic rock featuring lush synthesizers), Start Here, Or, I Will Try To Explain (Gilmourian guitar runs) and the final track To Put Some Things In Practice (wonderful keyboards in the vein of Vangelis).

For die hard vinly collector's who are into prog, this is a must, the lay-out is also very special because Ren√??√?¬© De Haan has designed it himself. About the music, "read my words", that is my conclusion about the music on this daring musical project and the stunning lay-out.

My rating: 3,5 star.

In case PA keep on mentioning zero social comments, this review has 2 social comments.

Report this review (#1938069)
Posted Saturday, June 9, 2018 | Review Permalink

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