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Patch The Star Suite album cover
2.43 | 13 ratings | 3 reviews | 23% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

Side One:
1. Air (9:15)
2. Fire (10:41)

Side Two:
3. Water (10:57)
4. Earth (11.14)

Total Time 42:07

Line-up / Musicians

- Peter Dawkins / concept, composer, producer
- Mike Rudd / electric guitar, composer
- Mike McClellan / acoustic guitar, composer
- Doug Gallacher / drums
- Tony Esterman / keyboards
- Rod Coe / bass

Supporting Musicians:

- Bill Putt / bass (4)
- Tony Ansell / organ (2,3)
- Nathan Waks / electric cello (1,4)
- Tim Gaze / electric guitar (1,2,4)
- Ian Bloxham / percussion (3,4)
- The Bennelong Trio, Peter Draper / guitar (4, opening)
- The Bennelong Trio, Brian Strong / cello (4, opening)
- The Bennelong Trio, Nick Negerovich / flute (4, opening)
- Mike Perjanik / ARP synthesizer (1-3)
- Doug Fosket / saxophone (4)

Releases information

Harvest (EMI Australia) SHVL.612
Producer: Peter Dawkins
Engineering: John Taylor, with additional engineering by Martin Benge

'The Star Suite' is an interpretation of the Four Elements of the Zodiac: Air, Fire, Water & Earth

Thanks to t.rox for the addition
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PATCH The Star Suite ratings distribution

(13 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(23%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(8%)
Good, but non-essential (46%)
Collectors/fans only (23%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

PATCH The Star Suite reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ClemofNazareth
2 stars ‘Patch’ was a studio project engineered by ex-New Zealander Peter Dawkins in an Australian studio in the mid-seventies. The artists who made up the project consisted primarily of either musicians Dawkins had worked with before such as Mike Rudd (Spectrum and Ariel) and Rod Coe (the Saints); or regionally-known musicians like Mike Perjanik of the Mike Perjanik Band and soundtrack composer Nathan Waks. Few if any of these guys were known outside the Australia/New Zealand part of the world and there is no indication this was supposed to be a persistent arrangement, so I don’t think this qualifies as a super group or anything.

The premise of the album was to record four tracks, each representing one of the four basic elements of the Zodiac (Air, Fire, Water and Earth). Not a particularly brilliant concept in my opinion, although off the top of my head I can’t think of anyone else who’d done something similar up to that point.

In any case, this is an all-instrumental album, with each track running around the ten minute range. There are hints of Alan Parsons here: the synthesizer and brass on “Earth” especially have a very ‘I Robot’ vibe to them, and parts of the percussion on “Water” is eerily close to the rhythms on the darker parts of “Turn of a Friendly Card”. But all of Parson’s Project albums post-date this one, so that gives you something to think about I suppose. There are a few keyboard riffs that touch on Yes ala ‘Close to the Edge’ as well, but if anything this is mere coincidence. The overall tone of the arrangements is quite sterile, and nothing approaching the pompousness and grandeur of the early seventies Yes albums.

My first impression after hearing this thing is that it was rather uninspired. The musicianship is professional, but there are no distinctive moments like a strong solo or a breathtaking crescendo or even a memorable transition. Just well-scored and tersely executed compositions. And despite the large number of musicians listed in the credits, a surprising large percentage of the music is synthesized, including some drum tracks and fake strings (although there is a cello, albeit an electric one).

The mini-disc Japanese release is the only reissue I’m aware of, and considering the obscurity and banality of the music I would be surprised if the thing ever gets a proper re-release. I really hate to go with two stars for something that seemed to involve a fair amount of effort but I can’t bring myself to like much of anything about this record, so an apologetic two stars it is. Not particularly recommended, especially since as of today you’d have to buy a mini-disc version with some authenticity questions to be able to hear it.


Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars The idea of this Aussie project, based in Melbourne, was conceived by producer Peter Dawkins, who gathered a line-up of rock veterans and session musicians to play music inspired by the four elements of the Zodiac:Spectrum and Ariel's Mike Rudd on guitars, keyboardist Tony Esterman, New Zealander Rod Coe on bass, Folk singer Mike McClellan on acoustic guitar and drummer Doug Gallacher, later of Madden & Harris.They were supported by a number of guests, like percussionist Ian Bloxsom from Crossfire, Tony Ansell on organ, bassist Bill Putt, also of Spectrum and Ariel, cellist Nathan Waks, Ariel's and Taman Shud's guitarist Tim Gaze and saxophonist Doug Foskett.''The star suite'' came out in 1973 on Harvest.

Four long, instrumental tracks with a gentle atmosphere was what Patch had created and the opening ''Air'' sounds pretty promising, despite its soft and elaborate atmosphere, it sounds like the instrumental efforts of GOLDON GILTRAP, featuring a heavy acoustic content next to some jazzy keyboards and mellow electric guitars and swirling around orchestral, Fusion and light, psychedelic overtones.I am afraid that the next three pieces ar not that good, even if the extended running times give promise for some charming musicianship.''Fire'' holds a very long Classical-drenched harpsichord theme, which is hardly memorable, then the music sinks into a mellow Fusion style with decent organ and electric piano, before evolving into somekind of electric Folk Rock.Not the most coherent effort of the world.''Water'' is without question the jazziest cut of the album, but it lacks the nerve and density of the better bands of the style, again the keyboard work is worth mentioning, but I can find no relation between the stretched jazzy experiments and the following Psych/Folk enviroments on acoustic guitar and organ.''Earth'' is a constantly developing Fusion piece, opening with flute and acoustic guitars, synths and calm electric textures take over, but the addition of sax after the middle make this one sound more like Jazz Funk.Overstretched and weak as a whole.

Forgettable combination between Jazz Rock, Folk Rock, Fusion and Psychedelia.Very relaxing overall, close to the likes of Gordon Giltrap or the Argentinian Julio Presas.This kind of music requires some incredible inspiration to be appreciated within its softness, Patch were not among the best bands to perform this style though.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Producer Peter Dawkins conceived this all instrumental album, a concept album based on the zodiac, and divided into four movements based on the four elements. He collaborated with Mike Rudd and Mike McClellan on the music, and put together a band to record the project. The results make pleasant enou ... (read more)

Report this review (#768271) | Posted by sl75 | Saturday, June 9, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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