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Magick Brother and Mystic Sister - Magick Brother and Mystic Sister CD (album) cover

MAGICK BROTHER AND MYSTIC SISTER

Magick Brother and Mystic Sister

Psychedelic/Space Rock


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BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Delightful retro psychedelic funk bordering on Egg, Khan, and Caravan Canterbury Style music from this Spanish quartet. Bassist Xavi Sandoval sets up some very nice grooves for listeners to get hooked into while Eva Muntada's Burt Bacharach- and Northettes-like vocals an Maya Fern'ndez's flutes lend their ethereal magic as well.

1. "Utopia" (4:56) opens like SOFT MACHINE's "Slightly All the Time" before going its own direction with Eva's lovely vocalise tracks and Maya's swallow-like flute. I'm in heaven! At 2:25 the song switches gears as it moves into CARAVAN territory to support some awesome synth and fuzz-organ work. The final minute sees us being carried off into the floating world of GONG guitars. Wow! What a trip into yesteryear! Amazing song! (9.5/10)

2. "Waterforms" (4:06) opens with a funkiness that could come from a 1970s Black Exploitation film! Isaac, Curtis, or Marvin! Amazing! Drive that Caddy with that Detroit lean! When Eva's voice penetrates my consciousness, my bubble is burst and I am back in Europe--though with a definite 1970s-feeling 21st Century West Coast Psychedelic Funk (a la BRIAN ELLIS and STARVING DAUGHTERS). (9.25/10)

3. "The First Light" (2:24) early PINK FLOYD psychedelia. A little too imitative. (4.25/5)

4. "Yogi Tea" (5:16) like a Burt Bacharach lounge funk psychedelia! Great keys, bass, and flute interplay with perfect jazzy drum support. I love Marc's voice--and vocal! He sounds like a god! (Or like KHAN's Nick Greenwood!) West Coast Psychedelic Funk at its finest! One of my favorite songs of the year! (9.5/10)

5. "Arroyo del b'ho" (4:49) almost a Ravel/Satie/or Gordon Brothers flute & piano duet. (8.75/10)

6. "Echoes From The Clouds" (4:07) another song that brings back so many flower power melodies of the late 60s and early 1970s--from Sergio Mendez's Brazil '66 to Caravan and "MacArthur's Park." Great flute and bass play. (9/10)

7. "Movement 2" (2:39) except for the flutes, this could be straight from a BRIAN ELLIS album! Awesome three-part James Bond/Austin Powers-like film soundtrack. Great presence from the congas. Excellent flute play. (5/5)

8. "Love Scene" (3:32) another perfect soundtrack imitation from late 1960s/early 1970s psychedelic filmdom. Awesome Hammond work, Eva! (9/10)

9. "Instructions For Judgment Visions" (4:33) hippy flute folkpsych with GONG-like narration. (Or is it Eric Burden's WAR's "Spill That Wine"?) (8.75/10)

10. "Les Vampires" (6:40) Burt Bacharach-Brian Auger collaboration for a soundtrack to a B-movie horror flick? (9.25/10)

Total Time 43:02

A-/five stars; a minor masterpiece of retro-psychedelic prog. So wonderful to hear this gorgeous funk!

Report this review (#2454733)
Posted Thursday, October 8, 2020 | Review Permalink
4 stars 4.5 stars actually.

This album has become one of my favourites since it came out. It features an amazing blend of Retro-prog and Canterbury that for me is up there with the best works of early Caravan and Khan, two of the best Canterbury bands of all time, and this is where this album wins. It s not an attempt to copy the style of these bands, but an original piece of music. In fact, I have always looked for bands reminiscent of Caravan, and now I can say that this is the one that most closely sounds like them while maintainig a high degree of originality.

Last, I want to recommend everyone to listen to Utopia, one of the best songs released in the past ten years IMO, and the one that I usually find myself listening for hours.

Simply one of the best albums of the year.

Report this review (#2455693)
Posted Monday, October 12, 2020 | Review Permalink
Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
PSIKE Team & Band Submissions
4 stars This album delivers kinda blend of canterbury and early psychedelic, wonderfully compounded in its entirety. The band name says it all. A quartet from Barcelona, Spain has realized this inspiring issue, two magic brothers and two mystic sisters, to make it concrete. Eva Muntada convinces, on one side with her ethereal voice. Furthermore she manages the whole keyboard equipment, which is diversified, definitely, ranging from classical piano to Hammond, Mellotron and then to spacey synthesizer impressions. Maya Fernández then serves a couple of nice mellow flute contributions, where Xavi Sandoval cares for the complete string instruments. Marc Tena's drumming comes somewhat subtle, restrained, though perfectly matching the entire atmosphere.

Regarding the ten songs given the instrumental part is dominating. They are mirroring a superb, rather retro sounding experience, a well thought out flow. And so it's nearly impossible to highlight any particular track in this case. Hereby they are drawing some inspirations from bands like Caravan, Soft Machine, Pink Floyd, Beatles, and Gong a little of course. Finally you may call the result jazzy psychedelic prog in retro outfit. Some other Instructions for judgment visions needed? I don't think so. Keep it up, brothers and sisters.

Report this review (#2455832)
Posted Tuesday, October 13, 2020 | Review Permalink
Progfan97402
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars I couldn't resist the name of a band who named themselves after a Gong album or that wonderful psychedelic cover! So I was hoping this wasn't another one of those boring stoner rock albums trying to be "psychedelic". Far from it! Let me tell this is just the psychedelic and prog I was wanting! This band hails from Barcelona, Spain with two guys and two ladies, with Maya Fernandez on flute, Eva Muntada on keyboards and vocals, Xavi Sandoval on bass and guitars, and Marc Tena on drums and vocals. They all recorded all this in a studio in Park Guell, a park that was built by none other than Antoni Gaudi. "Utopia" gives this truly wonderful psychedelic vibe right out of the box, so to speak with minor chord guitar riffs and dreamy wordless female voices, then the band goes into a wonderful organ and synth solo, often compared to something off Caravan's If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You ("As I Feel I Die" in particular, but that's the one Caravan song that most resembles Soft Machine). Then it goes in Gong territory with that David Allen-style glissando guitar, exactly the thing I want to hear in a psychedelic album! "Waterforms" keeps that wonderful psychedelic vibe, with more nice female vocals, and Mellotron flutes. "The First Light" is in Pink Floyd territory, with Marc Tena trying to sound like David Gilmour with a psychedelic voice filter. "Yogi Tea" really blows me away with that nice late '60s sounding flute. A bit of a Soft Machine feel can be felt in this piece, but there's also some nice synths as well. "Arroyo del Buho" has a bit of that Spanish and Middle Eastern feel to it. Then a bit of that symphonic prog feel is to be had with the Mellotron, then it goes into more jazzy territory. "Echoes from the Past" starts off with some dreamy electric piano before it goes into clear Soft Machine territory (reminding me of something off Volume Two) until the female vocals kick in, then it sounds like Soft Machine with female vocals. "Love Scene" is an instrumental jazzy organ piece reminding me of something Hansson & Karlsson would do. "Instructions for Judgement Visions" is really interesting for that narration and strange synth piece.

Listening to this album you may easily be fooled for a recording from the late '60s and early 70s. No nasty digital production to be found here, no modern sound or production, it's as retro as they come. And how can you resist Maya Fernandez's flute playing? Her style is clearly not in the Ian Anderson style, her style reminds me of something Jimmy Hastings would do.

Fans of Gong, Soft Machine, and Caravan will find lots of dig here. The music is quite accessible to the point even the prog-phobic would love this, but still plenty proggy enough for the proghead to enjoy. It's not complex symphonic prog (although small hints are to be found), the Canterbury sound is felt, but with a psychedelic approach. 2020 may be an awful year for too many people, with COVID, but some of the most amazing music I've heard in recent years have surfaced and Magick Brother & Mystic Sister delivers big time. This album left me blown away, and the fact it's 2020 as well, and not somewhere between 1968 and 1972.

Report this review (#2475142)
Posted Thursday, November 12, 2020 | Review Permalink
friso
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Magic Brother and Mystic Sister is a retro-prot outfit from Spain playing a mixture of Canterbury prog (think of early Soft Machine or Gong), psychedelic folk/rock (think of early Pink Floyd) and soul. The sound of the record is simply amazing; great sixties organs and even some mellotron, soulful bass guitar, slightly distorted vocals and beautiful flutes. The compositions from the first six/seven songs are great as well and hadn't the album ended somewhat less inspired, it would have gotten the masterpiece rating for sure. Those last tracks aren't even that bad, but they sound more like soundtrack material for a vintage film. The whole album sounds like a sort of lost gem of the golden age of music. It needn't be looked at from a perspective of progressive rock per se because its just that tasteful and cool. The artwork fits the music as well. The second reprint of blue vinyl sounds warm and retro, but crackles a bit too much for a new vinyl. Magick Brother and Mystic Sister is a band to look out for, because few bands have managed to create a retro prog record as well as this one (Jordsjo comes to mind). By the way, because the album sounds this cool, you might just get away with it playing it in the living room. I hope we'll get to hear more from this group!
Report this review (#2502527)
Posted Friday, February 5, 2021 | Review Permalink
3 stars 3/5*, great debut.

Surprisingly not to Gong-like. I mean yeah it sounds a bit like Gong but not as much as I expected for a band that has named their album/band/songs after Gongs work. The female vocals are nice, echoey and lovely. The male vocals I find rather meh, with their west coast psych vibe not going well with the more European sound of Magick Brother & Mystic Sister. The songs are all a bit spacey due to the synths coating the tunes in atmosphere. Drums are sparse but this gives more rhythmic attention to the bass which really feels important throughout the album. Guitar strums lackadaisically, at times providing a little lick when required and Flute supplies gentle lead. I like that every song sounds sufficiently alike to make a cohesive album without sounding monotonous and how the songs are rhythmically driven with leads feeling like the basses support.

Overall this is a good album that manages to succeed in not sounding like a clone of any classic band, instead they've achieved an authentic blend that allows to genuinely pass as a forgotten artifact. I would definitely like to see a follow up with expanded songs and no more of the dude singing.

Canterbury Sound Score 3/5 cuz itz too psych n not jazzy riff salad enuf' but sum t stuff on-point so ye 3/5

Report this review (#2595868)
Posted Tuesday, September 21, 2021 | Review Permalink

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