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Master Cylinder

Canterbury Scene

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Master Cylinder Elsewhere album cover
3.73 | 23 ratings | 3 reviews | 30% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1981

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Overture (5:06)
2. Isabelle (3:35)
3. Elsewhere (10:21)
4. Silhouette (3:33)
5. Sleep 1937 (6:28)
6. Plus 3 (9:50)
7. Hobb & Geeb (5:02)

Total time 43:55

Line-up / Musicians

- Robert Atwood / acoustic & electric guitars
- John Rogers / piano, synth, producer
- Jack Carter / acoustic & electric basses
- Eddie Dunlap / drums, percussion

- Scott Morgan / organ
- Art Davis / flugelhorn, trumpet
- Rob Price / clarinet
- Bill Eden / flute, sax
- Bruce Ballantine / trombone

Releases information

LP Inner City Records ‎- IC 1112 (1981, US)

Thanks to andy webb for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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MASTER CYLINDER Elsewhere ratings distribution

(23 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(30%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(26%)
Good, but non-essential (43%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MASTER CYLINDER Elsewhere reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by b_olariu
3 stars Master Cylinder is an obscure american band who manage to release only one album in 1980 named Elsewhere isseud at unknown label Inner City Records . A jazz rock band clearly influence by canterbury movement with National Health or Caravan as similarities but I can trace some Happy the Man progressions in their music aswell. This is quite good release, a total unknown and forgotten album that might be considered as a lost canterbury treasure. Not much is known about this band, they gone into oblivion fast but there are some nice synth parts,jazzy brass arrangements aswell primarily constructed with progressive flavours. 3 solid stars maybe 3.5 in parts.
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars MASTER CYLINDER were based out of Fort Worth, Texas and released this sole album back in 1981. Keyboardist Joe Rogers was the driving force of this band and he was greatly influenced by the music of Frank Zappa and SOFT MACHINE before getting into WEATHER REPORT and Chick Corea. So the music here is very jazzy, and most places I've looked have tagged this album as Canterbury just to give you an idea of the sound. THE MUFFINS and even NATIONAL HEALTH could also certainly be mentioned when talking about this all-instrumental record.

"Overture" certainly changes tempos a lot from the uptempo keyboard led intro where we get some excellent bass lines to the calm that follows. Flute before 2 minutes as it has picked up again then it settles right down again with piano and horns coming and going. It's building again but again it settles back quickly. Full speed ahead before 4 minutes as jazzy drums and bass help out. "Isabelle" is laid back with piano, bass and drums before synths and more join in as it picks up. This is very jazzy especially before 1 1/2 minutes with piano, drums and bass. Back to that opening theme before it picks up again.

"Elsewhere" is the longest track at over 10 minutes. Cymbals to start as the sound swells and recedes over and over until after 2 minutes when drums and a darker sound take over. I like this. Horns join in but it's relaxed until it picks up around 3 minutes, jazzy is the word. Nice bass solo a minute later and I really dig the jazzy piano, drums and bass after 5 1/2 minutes. Even the guitar sounds jazzy after 7 minutes. It starts to settle back before 9 minutes.

"Silhouette" is led by keys, drums and bass in this energetic intro before it settles right down with synths and more. Piano after 1 1/2 minutes then this almost silent calm follows with faint sounds until the bass, cymbals, synths and more arrive. It's still relaxed until it picks late to end it. "Sleep 1937" is another jazzy uptempo number with horns, bass and drums standing out. It does settle some after 2 minutes with intricate sounds coming and going before it settles even more with random drum patterns and other sounds. Electric piano 4 minutes in as it starts to build with drums and synths. It's uptempo again after 4 1/2 minutes. Jazzy bass a minute later then horns. Nice.

"Plus 3" has this pulsating rhythm before it calms down around a minute. Keys join in as well and lead the way before that pulsating rhythm returns. Keyboards come in over top then we get a calm as this intricate drum solo takes over but it's brief. It's pulsating again. A calm 7 minutes with melancholic synths and more. Bass to the fore after 7 1/2 minutes. It's fuller and brighter before 9 minutes, guitar as well to the end. "Hobb & Geeb" features some impressive drums work and I really like the electric piano and bass. A calm before 2 1/2 minutes with flute and intricate sounds. Picked guitar late joins in this uptempo soundscape. There's even a Classical vibe the way it ends.

Kind of a cool album cover that connects with the title of album. I don't love this album as sometimes it comes across as little lightweight for my tastes at times but overall I think it deserves 4 stars. There's some really impressive moments and passages that make me look forward to spinning this one.

Review by Progfan97402
4 stars I've been aware of Master Cylinder since 1996. I certainly regretted not trying them earlier because I was truly amazed! Given their sole album Elsewhere came out in 1981 and this band hailed from Texas, I didn't expect them to be remarkable, or the music simply too '80s sounding for my liking. When I think Texas, I think of blues-based rockers like ZZ Top and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Master Cylinder is totally unbelievable: a Fort Worth band playing Canterbury music that's not a million miles from the likes of Hatfield & the North, Soft Machine, Gilgamesh, even the Muffins. Like the Muffins the group is all-instrumental. What blows me aware other than all that, is this group not only managed this in 1981 but can hold its own with the likes of the Muffins as well as the UK bands of the '70s. The tragedy is this was only released on vinyl on the Inner City label and never reissued in any capacity whatsoever (I could see this on Cuneiform Records). This has everything I came to love of this kind of music, very creative jazzy passages, nice use of analog keyboards, all '70s, even the music sounds like it made in the 1970s, not the beginning of the '80s. The music is often complex and challenging. The cover depicting, which I guess to be chaos at a New York City intersection, gives no clues what amazing music you'll be getting within. How did these guys pull this off in Texas? Especially in Fort Worth. Regardless a huge surprise for me, and clearly one of the best albums from the early '80s I've heard.

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