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ARTIFICIAL HORIZON

Forever Einstein

RIO/Avant-Prog


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Forever Einstein Artificial Horizon album cover
3.36 | 9 ratings | 3 reviews | 11% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1990

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. A Long Time Ago People Decided to Live on the Earth (3:24)
2. Asian Women Desire Correspondence (2:36)
3. Pays de Sauvages (3:06)
4. Women on the Move (4:23)
5. Electric Pants (3:21)
6. Hate Me Again Like You Did Last Summer (2:47)
7. Pivot Man (4:48)
8. Swimming Lessons (live) (3:02)
9. A Moral Dilemma For Our Times (3:56)
10. The Iron Boot of Stupidity Will March Across Your Face (3:38)
11. Stock Footage (2:09)
12. Manic Depression (live) (2:38)
13. A Short Story About America (1:54)
14. Neurotica Kon Tiki (1:56)
15. Rainbowhead (2:23)
16. Eating Pie with Einstein (2:34)
17. The World Before Elvis: The Sequel (2:02)

Line-up / Musicians

- Charles Vrtacek / amplified acoustic guitar, keyboards, compositions
- John Roulat / drums & percussion
- Marc Sichel / bass guitar
- Laszlo Toth / bassoon (4)

Releases information

CD Cuneiform, Rune 25 (1990)

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Artificial HorizonArtificial Horizon
Cuneiform 1995
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FOREVER EINSTEIN Artificial Horizon ratings distribution


3.36
(9 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(11%)
11%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
44%
Good, but non-essential (33%)
33%
Collectors/fans only (11%)
11%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

FOREVER EINSTEIN Artificial Horizon reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Forever bizarre!

This is very tough to describe! One of those bands that throws just about every style into the pot of Avant madness. A talented trio of gents with a Supersister sense of humor and a willingness to try anything to win you over. The guitar sound is mostly clean and the band sound is sparse, modern, and very tight.

Does it work? I honestly don't know even after many spins. Many of you who enjoy 80s Crimson and weird jazz projects may go nuts for this, but just as many of you are really going to despise this record. Personally I fall somewhere in between. I enjoy the almost constant quirkiness and solid playing while at the same time the overall experience is strangely devoid of emotion (to me.) I would also note this in an album with low SAF (Spouse Acceptence Factor.)

I'll go 3 stars for Artificial Horizon, definately "good" but probably "not essential" for those outside of the genre in question.

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

First album from this oddball guitar trio from New England (Connecticut to be more precise), appearing less than two years after their formation and it was released on the outstanding Cuneiform label. Unlike much of their label-mates, FE never verse in dissonant or atonal music (almost never, anyway); so in theory at least, they should be more accessible to progheads into symphonic-type of prog, but by all means, they're no cinch or shoo-in either. With a cute artwork, and seventeen tracks, it might be a little wondersome for incredulous progheads to believe that there aren't any repetitions over the course of the album.

Indeed with only one guest on bassoon on one track, the rest of their music is either a guitar-lead trio or a keyboard-lead trio, which might seem to reduce the musical possibilities, especially in the absence of any kind of vocals or singing whatsoever, bar a few spoken son presentations. And if listened to in a distractedly manner, your judgment will be reinforced in that direction. But if properly investigated FE's world will easily unfold before your very eyes (or ears should I say) and the full spectrum of their musical realm will suddenly seem endless. Indeed their spectrum includes jazz/fusion, blues, swing, folk, surf-rock, rockabilly, RIO and they mix all of them to get a weird output that could easily fit old 20th century B&W movies (Chaplin or Keaton) and cartoon (early Disney or Tex Avery) soundtracks. Some of their tracks bear funny names and some of the songs even have a strange sort of musical humour, a bit like a sedated Zappa. The album was recorded live in the studio (no overdubs) for its huge majority, but in parts (two tracks) live at NY's famous Knitting factory.

Their obvious musical references (let's limit them to the "prog" world) are 80's King Crimson (especially once they get into those Chapman stick-type of tracks), Frank Zappa (minus the zaniness and the ridiculous aspects of his music), Art Bears (when they stay wise and not too unconventional) and sometimes French TV. Miriodor, and Debile Menthol are not far away either. Vrtacek's (better known as O'Meara) guitar style is definitely inspired of Robert Fripp's 80's period (this is especially evident on Rainbowhead), beit Crimson or the League Of Crafty Guitarist, while Roulat's percussion works is strongly inspired of Chris Cutler's sturdy but sober style but retaining its weirdness. Bassist Marc Sichel's style is more of a chameleon-esque nature, bending in all direction to link musically his two partners. Some of these tracks are completely unpredictable, presenting completely up to three or four different facets, often abruptly veering direction without warning or worried of smooth chord transitions, requiring a constant awareness/attention because the songs's succession and separation can get confusing. There are some punkish electric guitars in Women On The Move, classical piano on Electric Pants, Surf-music moves later in the same track, a weird cover of Hendrix's Manic Depression and Frippian guitars all over.

Over the years, I can't really say that I've seen a huge progression in FE's music, bar a few refinements and fine tuning, so it's pretty hard to give you a recommendation about one specific album. Artificial horizon is not their most refined, but it bears the typical freshness of an early release, something disappearing quickly after a bunch of albums.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars Take one part Discipline era King Crimson. Subtract one guitar and most electronics, add one part Doctor Nerve and one part The Residents. Shake well, and your results? Forever Einstein!

I first saw this band when they opened for the aforementioned Doctor Nerve at a Cuneiforms Records tour. I was immediately taken by the group's deceptively simple compositions masking much more complex ideas.

Guitarist Chuck Vrtacek (Charles O'Meara) plays acoustic guitar through a few effects, and manages to come up with an interesting array of sounds. From basic acoustic guitar to fuzzed out simulated electric (on a quirky but cool cover of Jimi Hendrix's Manic Depression), Vrtacek plays seemingly simply, but actually somewhat complex tapestries.

As I mentioned above, the song structures remind me quite a bit of Discipline, while the chords and tones often evoke early Dr. Nerve. And the sparseness with intermittent ferocity brings to mind The Residents. (BTW, if you can find Vrtacek's Residents parody, Now Available, get it. It's right on the mark.)

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