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Aka Moon - Invisible Mother CD (album) cover

INVISIBLE MOTHER

Aka Moon

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
4 stars The first in their Invisible series, Aka Moon's Invisible Mother is actually fairly different than their usual oeuvre. Generally you can divide their works into three categories: a solid jazz-rock taking its roots in Coltrane's works, an Eastern-influenced fusion (generally in a very much Indian or Arabian realm) and last (and usually least) a modern dissonant music that borders free jazz and modern classical (from Faure to Stockhausen and Varese). This album fits more into that third category, but does take some of the other two as well. This album is a collaboration of two different formations: Aka Moon (our usual heroes) and Ictus, from which you'll recognize Jean-Luc Plouvier on piano. The music was also part of an experimental film, Mathewokes' Adrift On The Remains Of A Grand Piano.

Taken from the booklet, the group's explanation of what they tried to do will explain it so much better than I will: "The music of Invisible mother is based mainly on two ancestral schools of knowledge: the I Ching (Chinese book of changes), which follows the principle of mutation of the different elements and Karnatic Music (from South India), which includes specific rhythms and harmonics in keeping with the moods and colours of the different ragas and talas. We also try to connect two different approaches: the tradition of Western written music (Ictus) and improvised music (Aka Moon), which means the synchronizations of different attitudes to sounds, memories, times, spaces and intentions. It's a tribute to our unique, shared and only mother, the planet Earth aka Gaia". Quite intriguing is it not?

As for the music, it is divided in four multi-part tracks and if the first part (Genese) is mostly modern classical dissonant music, the second movement (over 22 mins) called Constellation (and indirectly being the title track as well as the centrepiece of the album) is actually quite excellent, managing fully their goals mentioned above: they managed to merge written and improvised music superbly and there are many heavenly moments especially with Hatzi burning his bass's strings.

The 12-mins third movement more or less attempts to repeat the excellence of the previous track, but does not really manage to match it, partly because it tries too hard: the classical parts are a little over-stretched, IMHO. The 9-min forth movement is definitely axed towards Ictus and can resemble some of Univers Zero's quieter works (Plouvier is a Zeroist).

A bit apart in Aka Moon's oeuvre, Invisible Mother is a rather pleasant album mixing jazz-rock and RIO-like classical music. Definitely worth a listen and with enough excellent moments to be almost essential.

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Posted Monday, May 21, 2007 | Review Permalink

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