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ILLUMINATIONS

Glass

Symphonic Prog


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erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars In 2004 Musea released a 2-CD from the USA keyboard driven band Glass entitled "No stranger to the skies" including studio - and live recordings between 1973 and 1975. After more than 30 years Glass decided to make a new CD , here is there brand new album entitled "Illuminations" (the back cover picture shows illuminated Paris by night featuring the river Seine and the Eifel Tower). You can divide this mainly instrumental album into three different kinds of music.

First progrock with vintage keyboards like "The secret life of Aqua J. Leng" (dynamic with strong drums and wonderful Hammond and Mellotron), "Eclipse" (fluent rhythm and bombastic climate with lush Hammond and powerful bass pedals) and "Slightly behind all the time" (pleasant mid-tempo delivering floods of Hammond and a spectacular synthesizer solo).

Second songs with an ambient climate like "The hidden room" (dreamy), "My tantric gatito" (clavinet, flageolets and sound samples) and "Crossing" (fat sequencer sound, jazzy piano and sound samples evoking Tangerine Dream).

And third more experimental tracks like "Isle of dyslexia" (fuzz bass from ex-Soft Machine member Hugh Hopper and tape loops), "Medicine man" (percussive climate featuring hi-hats, temple blocks and timpani), "Delirium" (Hammond waves blended with voice messages samples) and the a bit cacophonic track "Gaia" (featuring 'Canterbury veterans' Richard Sinclair and Phil Miller), a blend of piano, a meditative voice and fiery electric guitar.

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#51352)
Posted Wednesday, October 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 4.5 stars. I'm so glad I have this record. I heard a couple of the songs from this record on Progrock Radio, and I would always check to see what band was playing because I liked the songs so much. So I decided it was time to search for and purchase this record "Illuminations". Check out the biography of this band, as their story is really interesting.

The first song "Overture" is one of the best on this record, a really melodic song with mellotron right off the bat ! Nice ! Light drums and hammond organ provide a beautiful, catchy soundscape.The next three songs are part of a section called "The Secret Life Of Aqua J. Long" a nickname for Jerry the drummer from their teens.This section starts with "Astral Transascension" that starts out very spacey with keys and synths that are eventually joined by bass, light drums and mellotron. Great tune ! "Isle Of Dyslexia" features Hugh Hopper from SOFT MACHINE playing fuzz bass with tape loop samples. Some keys are added as well in another spacey song. "Medicine Man" was originally going to be on Jerry's (the drummer) solo record and so it's no surprise that this song features some amazing drum work, with some spoken words and gong added to this vey good song.

The next section is called "Electronic Synaethesia" and consists of three ambient songs. Starting with "The Hidden Room" a very atmospheric, spacey tune with keys and piano strings providing the soundscape. This song blends into the next song "Crossing" a jazzy song consisting of grand piano, drums and samples. The last song of this section is "My Tantric Gatito" featuring an incredible bass solo throughout, along with some samples. The next section is called "Alchemy Of The World" consisting of six songs and starting with "Eclypse" a beautiful song not unlike "Overture" with lots of great hammond organ and some fantastic drumming. This song blends into "Wanderlust" with the same melody except grand piano is added. "Eternity" features hammond organ and waves of mellotron. Great ! "Reprise" is a reprise of "Wanderlust".

"Delirium" is a funky song with samplings of voice messages from answering machines. "Falling" has some amazing piano melodies ! The final two songs stand on their own, starting with "Slightly Behind All The Time" with Fender-Rhodes piano and synths in this uptempo song that is one of my favourites from this record. The final song "Gaia" features Richard Sinclair doing vocal melodies, and Phil Miller playing lead guitar, these two guys from CARAVAN add some diversity to this already amazing album. There is some fuzz bass in this song as well.

This is highly recommended and easily a four star record.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#105222)
Posted Monday, January 01, 2007 | Review Permalink
b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Glass from USA has a very long career with up and many downs and their first incarnation dated from mid '70's. I know this band for some years and now I decided to give some spins of two of thir albums I have. One of them is Illumination from 2005 issued by Musea. Well, the intro Overture is really nice, lots of keybords and elegant arrangements, really good and the pieces flows very good from one to another. The album has 3 sections first is The Secret Life Of Aqua J. Long who contains 3 pieces, the best from the album, at least for me, is the most up beat part of the album with strong musicianship, mellotron and very good drums. The second section is Electronic Synaesthasia who has 3 pieces, this is the most calm and mid tempo almost slow pieces of the album with space atmosphere, jazzy interplays, ot band but nothing really great as the fist part of the album. The third section Alchemy Of The World who has 6 pieces is the most experimental in arrangements, from jazzy arts to symphonic moments all in good measure just to be pleasent for the listner, not bad at all but again not the best part of the album. All in all an intresting symphonic/space album with good passages,, but I don't think is quite impressive overall, has some very nice moements and musicinship is great in some parts, but because the most of the album is almost mid tempo to slow I can't give a very big rate and many stars, to me is a 3 stars album, good but far from being really excelent.

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#652921)
Posted Saturday, March 10, 2012 | Review Permalink

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