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Sensations' Fix

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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Sensations' Fix Music Is Painting In the Air (1974 - 1977) album cover
4.32 | 12 ratings | 3 reviews | 33% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 2012

Songs / Tracks Listing

Disc 1:
1. Barnhause Effect (4:46)
2. Cold Nose Part 3, 4th Movement (3:23)
3. Leave My Chemistry (3:37)
4. Acudreaming (3:02)
5. Grow On You (4:17)
6. Scraping Delay (1:10)
7. Warped Notions Of A Practical Joke (Instrumental) (1:37)
8. Dark Side of Religion (3:28)
9. Cosmic Saudade (4:39)
10. Cold Nose Part 3, Movement 2 (1:29)
11. Fragments of Light (3:07)
12. Into The Memory (3:11)
13. Cold Nose Part 3, Movement 5 (1:01)
14. C'e Nessuno (4:02)
15. Map (4:57)
16. Moving Particles (2:24)

Disc 2:
17. Cold Nose Part 3, Movement 3 (0:42)
18. Music Is Painting (2:55)
19. Left Side Of Green (4:12)
20. Chelsea Hotel (Room 625) (2:07)
21. Fix A Water Fountain (Instrumental) (2:32)
22. Overflowing Ashtrays (1:13)
23. Strangelands (1:54)
24. Cold Nose Story (4:03)
25. Slow Motion Movie (1:59)
26. Fortune Teller (1:43)
27. Fortune Teller Coda (2:43)
28. Crossing Berlin (5:14)
29. Darkside 1 & 3 (3:06)
30. Darkside 2 (3:30)

Total Time 88:03

Line-up / Musicians

- Franco Falsini / Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
- Richard Ursillo / Bass
- Keith Edwards / Drums
- Stephen Head / Keyboards, Drums

Releases information

2CD RVNG INTL (2012)

Thanks to millslayne for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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SENSATIONS' FIX Music Is Painting In the Air (1974 - 1977) ratings distribution

(12 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(33%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(58%)
Good, but non-essential (8%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

SENSATIONS' FIX Music Is Painting In the Air (1974 - 1977) reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars It's been pretty frustrating over the years if like me you are a SENSATIONS' FIX fan. Some of their albums have never been re-issued on cd while others have been re-issued only once or twice. Difficult music to track down for sure meaning most of my copies are either pirated or cdrs sadly. There was an Italian box set series from 2009 which included a four SENSATIONS' FIX albums(one in each of the first four volumes), but honestly the sound quality wasn't that great. So here we are with one of the best sounding recording I have ever heard. Band leader Franco Falsini always recorded and mixed their albums and owned the master tapes thankfully. He spent a year mixing these tracks and cleaning them up. These are all either alternate mixes of songs from their studio albums and Franco's solo record("Cold Nose"), or previously unreleased songs from their many recording sessions.

The tracks are not in any particular order other than this was the order in which Franco was inspired to place them. I like what he's done here as we get recurring themes and different parts of songs spread out instead of back to back. Everything flows beautifully. I'll focus on some of my favourite tracks over this two disc recording.

The first track from disc one that blew me away was "Leave My Chemistry" from "Portable Madness". A passionate track with the synths and drums leading the way. I love when the guitar comes in. It soars briefly after 3 minutes. The next one to tickle my fancy is "Grow On You" from "Boxes Paradise". It was called "The Flu" originally and is a vocal track that is quite catchy. The vocals bring STONE ROSES to mind. Check out the beautiful "Dark Side Of Religion" from the "Finest Finger" era which was previously unreleased. Spacey vocals in this one too. "Fragments Of Light" from "Fragments Of Light" era is simply gorgeous. This also was previously unreleased. Lastly from disc one we get an alternate version of "Map" from "Finest Finger". Just a great sounding tune with the guitar and drums leading the way.

Disc two favs begin with "Music Is Painting" from "Fragments Of Light". How good is this ! Love the sound of the guitar, just a great instrumental. "Cold Nose Story" from "Cold Nose" is so uplifting. It's a cosmic vocal track. "Slow Motion Movie" is interesting because it reminds me of early PINK FLOYD around the "Meddle" era. This is a previoulsy unreased track from the "Fragments Of Light" period. "Crossing Berlin" is not so surprisingly(given it's title) a very electronic sounding tune. Another previously unreleased tune from the "Vision's Fugitives" era. Lastly we get the haunting "Darkside 2" also previously unreleased from the "Finest Finger" period.

I love this style of music because it makes me feel so good. Congrats to Franco for his labour of love in preparing this stunning recording for his many fans. Thanks for the beautiful painting.

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
5 stars Ah, compilations! The obligatory contract-fillers for many bands, lazily put together with little care or love, and with a couple of throwaway bonus tracks slapped on the end as a cheap way to squeeze a couple more bucks out of your faithful followers, what good are they? Well, Franco Falsini, main man of Italian space-rockers Sensations' Fix, bucks the trend and offers a highly desirable and worthwhile assortment of thirty pieces compiled from the early to mid 70's years of their recordings, as well as unreleased tracks and related material from his own solo music. Entitled "Music is Painting in the Air (1974-1977)" and spread across two compact discs, although there's short gaps between tracks, all of the pieces take on a gentle, continuous flowing atmosphere, and it's the perfect overview of their wondrous music.

Many of the works included in this set have been slightly remixed and brought up to date with modern techniques, but they never lose their vintage magic, instead taking on a richness and fuller sound that they never had before. Admittedly calling Sensations' Fix a `space-rock' band is selling them a little short, as they work so many other subtle styles into their fragile and euphoric music, very much in evidence on this set. Primarily instrumental, some tracks have been subtly remixed from their original studio versions, so knowledgeable fans of the band will enjoy hearing what little touches have been added to the compositions. Tracks like `Leave My Chemistry' from `Portable Madness' have been beefed up with extra heavy snarling bass, and the eerie deep-space of `Left Side of Green' takes on even more unease with it's relentless bass.

`Scraping Delay' is a dazzling pretty starfield set to music, `Cosmic Saudade' a phasing liquid drone, `Warped Notions of a Practical Joke' an acid-country drowse. `Chelsea Hotel Room' is a machine-like brood, `Strangelands' sounds like a harsh electronic nightmare, and the light ethnic flavours mixed with electronics during interlude `Overflowing Ashtrays' remind of German band Agitation Free. The melancholic chiming guitar and bass ruminations of `Acudreaming' is hypnotic, the up-tempo guitar victories alongside tasty Moog ripples of `Fragment of Light' take flight, and there's an uplifting floating hopefulness to `Into The Memory'.

Of the few vocal pieces that show up occasionally, `Grow On You' is a loved up grooving acid-rocker, `C'E Nessuno' a warm Italian-sung acid-folk acoustic ballad, `Dark Side of Religion' a sighing thoughtful reflection, `Cold Nose Story' a wilting lullaby laced with melancholy, `Fortune Teller' a wasted psychedelic ballad.

Included in the mix are some absolute Sensations' Fix classics such as the dramatic `Map', with it's confident acoustic guitars gliding over subtle synth washes, the joyful and positive foot-tapping `Music is Painting' seems like the soundtrack for loving life itself, and `Crossing Berlin' is, with that title, unsurprisingly is a longer pulsing electronic soundscape in the manner of the early Klaus Schulze albums. Also especially precious are the trickling pretty ambient washes from the various fragments of Franco's electronic classic `Cold Nose' album sprinkled around the two discs. Strangely, Franco chooses to close the album with an assortment of unreleased `Darkside' pieces that are supremely gloomy and tantalising alien electronic pieces, quite daring after a run of joyous and more likeable tracks in a row just before it.

Housed in a unique cardboard pouch that includes two CD slipcases and a lovely booklet, it simply reinforces what a special and precious release this is. Despite much of it being over forty years old, their music hasn't dated at all, is frequently daring, evocative and still effortlessly cool. But best of all, `Music Is Painting...' never comes across as a cynical cash- in compilation. It truly is a labour of love for Franco Falcini and his band, with each piece being carefully considered and arranged in an order to offer as much gently unfolding musical bliss as possible, and the production tweakings means this music sounds better that ever. With only a few Sensations' Fix albums having been reissued on CD, this compilation is the easiest and currently best way to enjoy their music. It's also the ideal start for curious listeners, and hopefully it paves the way for a full set of Sensations' Fix album reissues in the near future.

Five stars for such timeless beautiful music.

Review by Neu!mann
4 stars This long overdue compilation turns a welcome spotlight on a band not only ripe for re-appraisal, but still waiting to be discovered after half a lifetime in cult music purgatory. The two-CD set collects a generous medley of alternate album cuts, unreleased experiments, basement demos and other flotsam, all arranged in haphazard but intuitive order. But that was Sensations' Fix: a group that always defeated easy classification, and followed a very erratic muse.

The band was based in Italy but cross-mixed with American talent, and practiced a unique blend of spacey (not Space) Rock, likewise unbound by geographic frontiers. Krautrock synthesizers were prominent, but without the usual sequencer clichés. Robert Fripp was an acknowledged influence, but not enough to affect the unmistakable guitar style of head-Fixer Franco Falsini. Arrangements were typically instrumental, but the occasional songs were equally definitive, thanks in large part to Falsini's heavily-accented, adenoidal English: another Fix hallmark.

Over a brief four year span in the 1970s the band released five group albums and one enigmatic Falsini solo opus, all captured with disarming lo-fi vitality despite financial support (such as it was) from a major record label. The twin essay/autobiography in the CD booklet places their fragmented history into better perspective, clarifying the chicken-egg relationship between the albums "Boxes Paradise" and "Vision's Fugitives", and detailing Falsini's ongoing war against Polydor Records.

In retrospect the deal he signed in 1974 was a mixed blessing. Polydor exercised total ownership of the Fix name and Falsini's work, but at the same time showed next to no interest in the music itself. The fallout was a senseless release schedule with little promotion, one reason why the band remains a little known cult act today. But without a major label behind them would any of this imaginative music even exist today? Maybe, but it would have been a lot harder to find, forty years later.

Falsini and company never bowed to corporate pressure, instead recording what they wanted, when they felt like it...usually in a home basement studio, on tailor-made or modified equipment. So it makes sense that all the music here was compiled in aesthetic rather than chronological order. This was a band that existed outside the straightjacket of time and fashion, and as a result their sound didn't evolve from session to session: it ebbed and flowed and circled backed on itself like a möbius strip made from 1/2" reel-to-reel tape, with melodies reappearing under different names on subsequent albums, and song titles recycled for different tunes.

All of which makes a track-by-track overview difficult (and pointless: there's 46 tracks here!) But if I had to single out one quintessential sample of the Sensations' Fix experience, my first choice would have to be the title cut of this collection, first heard on the band's debut album "Fragments of Light" but dramatically remixed for the 1978 LP-only collection "Flying Tapes".

The more dynamic later version is the one appearing here, beautifully described by our colleague Michael from Melbourne as "the soundtrack for loving life itself" observation worth repeating, summing up a band still worth exploring.

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