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Saturnia - Saturnia  CD (album) cover



Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

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4 stars This is a fairly surprising album, I was expecting something meditative and droney, and while their certainly is plenty of that to be found here, there is much more of a structure to the songs, than an endless dreamy drone, and on top of that, Saturnia have employed techno-ish beats to make this album even more memorable.

I like the (relatively) wide range of instruments used, such as a Theremin and a heaping of electronic keyboards and synths. All of the songs are very trippy, almost reminding me of more tripped out version of Anubian Lights, the way the techno-ish beats are used. Any fan of this sort of Prog should have no problem liking this great album.

I also have to point out the song Sculptress Sublime. This song is really different than all the others as it is more of a Avant Garde Psych song. It starts off with some dissonant guitar scratchings and wailings, before the techno beats overlay the noisy guitar, with what sounds like someone banging random notes on a organ. While this does not sound like something you would want to listen to, I feel anyone that can listen to the band Alien Planetscapes or any other similar Avant Psych band will really enjoy this album. A solid four stars.

Report this review (#521851)
Posted Monday, September 12, 2011 | Review Permalink
Retired Admin
4 stars Aladdin´s first bong

Some times I use months upon months trying to decipher a specific album´s armour - trying my best to understand what its getting at, if it indeed is getting at something intelligible and more importantly to something interesting. Other times you don´t need any interpretation - no second guessing - it just works from the get go. Saturnia´s debut was like that for me. Maybe docile is the wrong word here, and maybe I should use friendly or welcoming, but there sure is something about the music here, that leads you to believe that almost anyone could enjoy it.

This album sounds like the bastard child of an Indian version of Prodigy beats man Liam Howlett and Porcupine Tree´s first album. The drum n´ bass foundation of the first all wrapped up with some delightful Indian touches, and the fragile singing and melody laden aura of Porcupine.

This kind of music is very smooth and fluffy - it makes you feel relaxed and almost as if you´re lying on some beach in Goa sipping tea and watching brown girls walk by in the yellow sands. This is of course down to the sitar and gong, which are instruments used quite frequently on our vacation to the Buddhist part of the world, but even more so, I think the guy running things here actually knows a thing or two about the strange music of the far East. I think I read something about him studying meditation, but then again don´t you worry, because this album is far from being that: Meditation music. Too many twitches and wobbly bits for that to be true.

Imagine these long drawn out psychedelic soundscapes of bubbling organs, highly infectious programmed beats, the occasional sheep heard flute, reverberating gongs, nervous yearning theremins and the most gelatinous sounding wah wah guitar you´ll ever come across, and you´re almost there. The wah wahs here are not like you´ll here in Cream - with that overpowering fuzzy grizzly bear attack, but rather like soft cuddly string work with a clean echoing effect, that reminds me of multiplying ripples upon ripples. Often you´ll dream yourself away to some psychedelic Bollywood flick with sensuous belly dancers and clouds of weed smoke, and then out of the blue you get these wonderful vocal sections that lie somewhere between that first Porcupine album and Floyd´s Saucerful of Secrets. Sweet - sweet like jelly beans and honey.

If you´ve ever heard some of The Prodigy´s more laid back psychedelic material like 3 Kilos or Narayan, then imagine this kind of electronic wavering music spliced up with some curry powder and a big chunk of mango chutney. If you on the other hand have lived through the 60s and 70s, and already have made your mind up about what constitutes proper electronic music, -and you think that beats such as one can find in the likes of Massive Attack and Prodigy are immensely overrated and grating and only for tiny girls with neon make-up, - then do yourself a favour and drink a bottle of tequila before you put this album on, roll up a doobie, fondle your missus hand bags - and then go have a listen just like you did way back then. I think this album works very well, whichever way you want to approach it from. Be that from the old school hippie psych pastures or perhaps the "new" electronic fields with a bouncier beat and a different twist to the usage of droning textures. Just don´t forget that ze Germans invented that droning kind of music back when Klaus Schulze started out playing refrigerators and other big boxes.

I´d like to think that I can recommend this album to just about everyone here, well maybe except for people who only stick to marmalade and French toasts. Anyway, this album really is a lovable affair that takes you under its wings and just floats on by like some magical oscillating carpet ride beneath the Eastern skies.

Report this review (#611742)
Posted Tuesday, January 17, 2012 | Review Permalink

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