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TravelHouse Mind Mapping album cover
3.43 | 10 ratings | 5 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Route No.1 (5:47)
2. A Guru In Love (6:49)
3. Black Coffee Mornings (6:34)
4. Clouds (3:43)
5. More Magic From Oz (5:01)
6. Dark Gentleman (9:07)
7. Blink (1:12)
8. Archived Travels: Neutron I (6:07)
9. Travels With A Son Of A Gun [Dark Gentleman Unleashed] (4:37)
10. Keeping The House: Neutron III [Coda] (6:04)
11. Archived Travels: Neutron II (6:46)

Total Time: 61:47

Line-up / Musicians

- Kalin Tonev / keyboards, programming
- Biser Ivanov / guitars
- Pavel Milenov / drums (8,11)
- Daniel Eliseev / guitars (4,8,11)
- Mario Ivanov / bass (11)

Releases information

CD Riva Sound RSCD 3146 (2008 Bulgaria)

Thanks to Rivertree for the addition
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TRAVELHOUSE Mind Mapping ratings distribution

(10 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (50%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

TRAVELHOUSE Mind Mapping reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
3 stars TRAVELHOUSE stands for excellent progressive instrumental music. This project from Bulgaria is consisting of musicians which are working together for nearly ten years. 'Mind Mapping' is their first progressive rock production and was composed by mastermind Kalin Tonev in 2006. The album holds some surprises, offers a special blend of styles which I wasn't aware of before. This is not retro, provided with a new electronica touch. The vibe of some songs reminds me of Hungarian bands (not far away though geographically). A Guru In Love for example gets similiar to the sound of Korai Öröm or Sonar with a tribal grooving fundament. Less psychedelic on the other hand because guitarist Biser Ivanov is hailing from a fusion and metal origin stylistically.

Except on two songs the rhythmic backbone is the result of Tonev's programming qualities. However - somewhat unusual for the drums because Pavel Milenov is said to be a full band member. But it works - at least for Travels With A Son Of A Gun and Keeping The House: Neutron III, fitted out with a repetitive hypnotizing mood, triphop/breakbeat styled mainly caused by the halting rhythm. Cosmic spacey synths and the contrasting guitar, metal riffing as well as jazzy, this combination makes the songs very very interesting - a haunting output!

The opener Route No.1 shows another facet of the band - besides the metal edged guitar Tonev's organ work marks a nice symphonic episode as for the contrary. Black Coffee Mornings appeals to me - probably the most charming song. The special happy flavour, the groove - and on top of it some Holdsworth leanings are included. Dark Gentleman is containing some darker laid back ambient impressions. A special blend of prog metal and fusion is presented by the rocking bonus track Archived Travels: Neutron II which immediately brings Derek Sherinian's project Planet X into my mind.

TRAVELHOUSE is successful by combining electronic, fusion and prog metal elements on 'Mind Mapping'. The band has worked out an interesting album with variety and a modern touch mainly because of the high proportion of electronica - 3.5 stars.

Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Steeped in creative juices.

There's probably a reason why this band floated around for so long on this site before being classified finally under crossover prog. Quite frankly, there's hardly a way to classify the band and kudos to you if you manage to be able to. This electo-post-progressive-groove outfit sounds something like Porcupine Tree wandering half baked through some kind of trippy techno dreamscape - a blend between ethereal and the completely tactile. Somewhat pretentious niceties aside, this is still something of an exciting debut album.

Although completely instrumental the band manages to hold attention with various catches and interesting melodies. Throughout any song you'll find at least one recurring riff or something in the vortex of sound that you can grab a hold onto and remember until the next spin. One of the best things that the band could have done is start their CD off with the incredibly (somehow) catchy Route No. 1 with the robotic, Office Of Strategic Influence-eque voice repeating the title of the song over and over again. Things only get better as the somewhat more upbeat synthesizers come in and take over on A Guru In Love, one of those songs that manages to float around in your brain without threatening to tamper with it in any way, shape or form. That changes around the time of Black Coffee Mornings where the heavy-ass guitar tempo change near the middle of the tune induces head banging and leaves you in a daze.

The rest of the album flows more consistently than the opening three songs creating a torrent of electro-progressive sound waves to quench any kind of thirst that you might have. Of course, this isn't to say that the differentiation in the first three songs isn't a good thing, the definite line between the songs gives a good example of the different angles that the band will play off of over the later course of the album. Likely the definitive standout of the latter half is the three part Archived Travels that shows off a heavier and somehow at the same time, more atmospheric side of the band. Neutron I shows off some Joe Satriani like guitar wizardry while Neutron II attempts everything that Mike Oldfield did on his new age album, Songs Of Distant Earth, but actually manages to succeed in making the music interesting and worth listening to. The dual Dark Gentleman tracks are equally impressive with Travels With A Son Of A Gun (Dark Gentleman Unleashed) providing a narrow barrier between the band's different sides, often hopscotching between incredibly fast electronic madness, beautiful atmospheres and heavy ass riffs.

With their debut album Mind Mapping, Travelhouse have managed to create something likely to appeal to all the senses thanks to its eclectic style and somewhat accessible instrumental tunes. A well worthy purchase for anyone who happens to enjoy keyboard or guitar driven instrumentals and for people who just want to hear a creative explosion of mad proportions. 4 stars out of 5 for a highly impressive, quasi-experimental and certainly fascinating effort.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Mind Mapping is the debut full-length studio album by Bulgarian progressive rock act TravelHouse. The album was released through Riva Sound in 2008.

The music on the album is very eclectic with influences from various genres. The music on the album is fully instrumental. The instrumentation are keyboards, guitars and programming. There are only real drums on two tracks and bass on one. The programmed drums are not wildy disturbing even though they are a bit too simple at times. At least for my taste. They are generally very well programmed though. So the focus is mostly on guitars and keyboards which is just fine when the music is as well composed as it is on Mind Mapping. The songs have strong melodic hooks and they are quite catchy but not simple. At times there are sections that are close to pop music in the vein of eighties Genesis, but there are also sections that are far more progressive, sections with distorted guitars and even sections with jazzy soloing. You´ll find yourself challenged all the way through the album´s 61:47 minute long playing time.

The production is very well balanced and I found myself enjoying the sound of the album a lot. Some might find it a bit sterile though.

I´ve had a really good time listening to Mind Mapping. It´s the kind of album that you can put on both for listening pleasure and for background music. You don´t need to pay attention all the time, but if you do there´re plenty of details to examine. A 3.5 star rating is warranted.

Review by poslednijat_colobar
4 stars Blend of subgenres

I'm very pleased to review a bulgarian band again - that's Travelhouse! Travelhouse originating from the beginning of the century Mind Mapping is their first full length album. Innovative effort, in my opinion! If you looking for variety that's you album. It's intricate blend of electronica (probably the most included subgenre), progressive metal, jazz fusion, neo-progressive, eclectic elements and bulgarian national folklore themes. Moreover, I find FSB infulence (Kalin will tell me, whether I'm wrong;).

Another impression makes the accurate titles of the songs. Each song provokes its title. You can feel the energy of each song and it coincide with the title. There are connection between composition and name. If we talk about the songs, my favourite by far is Black Coffee Mornings . It's precise and well structured and balanced. Other favourites: More Magic from Oz, the end of Dark Gentleman, and the Neutron suite as whole. Least favourites: A Guru in Love and Clouds. There aren't honestly weak songs all around the album. Something I don't like are some sleepy tunes and some heavy slow guitars, which are not on the right place, in my opinion!

As a conclusion: pleasant debut and waiting for more. 3,5 stars and of course rounded up ;)

Latest members reviews

3 stars REVIEW #14 - "Mind Mapping" by Travelhouse (2008). 08/10/2018 My random journey through the ever-expanding prog universe has brought me to an obscure work of crossover out of the Eastern European nation of Bulgaria. Travelhouse only released one album in its existence, that being the 2008 alb ... (read more)

Report this review (#1976904) | Posted by SonomaComa1999 | Saturday, August 11, 2018 | Review Permanlink

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