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Milo Black

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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Milo Black Elements: Archives 1985-1994 album cover
2.00 | 1 ratings | 1 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 2000

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. A Void Dance (5:29)
2. Nose to the Grindstone (4:59)
3. Eternal Man (Parts 1 and 2) (10:15)
4. Flying Fish (Maximum Seaweed Demo) (9:24)
5. Milton Keynes Blues (2:57)
6. Still Be Friends (4:17)
7. Elements Suite (17:13)
8. Musical Christmas Card (3:43)

Total Time 58:17

Line-up / Musicians

- Mike Chalkley / vocals on "Milton Keynes Blues"
- Joe Brown / harmonica on "Milton Keynes Blues"
- Ivor Surname / bass on "Milton Keynes Blues"
- Dominic Crane / vocals on "Eternal Man"
- Anton Tonks / guitar on "Flying Fish"
- Simon N. Goodwin / second guitar solo on "Nose to the Grindstone"
- Pam Walsh / choirboy vocal on "Musical Christmas Card"
- Miles Walsh / everything else

Releases information 77380 (2000)
Compilation of material recorded 1985-1994

Thanks to progaeopteryx for the addition
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MILO BLACK Elements: Archives 1985-1994 ratings distribution

(1 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(0%)
Good, but non-essential (0%)
Collectors/fans only (100%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MILO BLACK Elements: Archives 1985-1994 reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by progaeopteryx
2 stars Elements is another compilation CD from Milo Black, this time covering the years 1985 through 1994. It mostly contains instrumentals that did not make it onto any other Milo Black album. It even contains a live recording of song from Miles Walsh's first band, King Biscuit, from 1985, long before the Milo Black project began.

The album starts off with A Void Dance (recorded in 1991-92), an instrumental that sounds a lot like 1970s Eloy, both in its lush synths and Miles Walsh's skilled and beautiful guitar work. This song is very comparable to the other material on Milo Black's BlackTracking. The next track is another instrumental called Nose to the Grindstone. It sounds almost like an outtake from The Tail of Oskar the Fish, but was recorded two years later in 1993. It kind of has a Jethro Tull (without the flute) and Lynyrd Skynyrd feel to it in places mostly due to the guitar work. The second guitar solo was provided by guest guitarist Simon N. Goodwin.

The third track is a two-part song timing in at over 10 minutes called Eternal Man. This song shows Marillion influences in the style and delivery. It features the vocals of Dominic Crane. His voice is nice, but somewhat bland for this style of music. He has the feel of someone who would fit more appropriately on an Alan Parsons album. The song is nicely done, but doesn't have the energy of other typical Milo Black compositions. It might have been better off as an instrumental, since the non-singing parts are better.

On track four we have a poorly recorded demo called Flying Fish recorded in 1987. It apparently evolved into Song of the Flying Fish off of The Tail of Oskar the Fish. Strangely enough, Walsh doesn't perform guitar on this, but rather it is done by Anton Tonks. Although the recording quality is poor, this is nonetheless an interesting demo for historical purposes. The next track is a live recording performed by King Biscuit at their first gig in 1985 called Milton Keynes Blues. It's a short blues piece. This was Miles Walsh's first band and he performs guitar. It's not really any different than other things played by your typical bar band, so again, this is another historical piece in Miles Walsh's life.

The next song is another early Milo Black recording from 1989 called Still Be Friends. The recording is somewhat of demo quality and sounds like a 1960s psychedelic piece performed with 1980s instrumentation. The programmed drums are definitely of the time period. It's below average compared to other Milo Black compositions, so it's fitting for it to be placed on this archived collection.

The next song is a 17+ minute long instrumental piece called Elements Suite which was recorded in 1991-92. The song starts off slowly and leads into what almost seems like music for a jig with a guitar solo over top. It then transitions into a more spacier section (kind of in the vein of Vangelis) which is done rather nicely. This then transitions into a bluesy Pink Floyd-inspired section with Gilmour-like guitar work. It's heavily inspired by Shine on You Crazy Diamond, almost to the point of being a ripoff (slightly because of the guitar work, but chiefly from the bass line). The final section starts off with Steve Hillage inspired guitar work atop bubbling synths and then leads into a typical Miles Walsh guitar solo during the fadeout.

The final piece is a short song called Musical Christmas Card recorded in 1991. This is basically Milo Black performing the Christmas song Good King Wenceslas. It's an average Christmas song and could have been developed into something more. Pam Walsh provides some charming choirboy-styled vocals. Again, this is a collection of outtakes and such for archival purposes, so it seems like a fitting place for such a song.

The recording quality of many of these tracks is of demo-quality to being almost releasable. They often suffer from background hiss and slight mixing issues, though overall the mixes are nicely done considering the environments in which they were recorded for an independent artist during this time period. This album was chiefly released for historical/archival purposes and thus is intended for collectors and fans of Milo Black or those interested in Miles Walsh's work. Two stars seems appropriate. It's a far cry from the compositions off of BlackTracking and, if you can find it, I would suggest starting with that compilation rather than this one.

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