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Purple 11 Bells album cover
2.50 | 2 ratings | 2 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Pool Of Dreams (5:00)
2. Boris & Luigi's Tale (5:00)
3. The Judges' Quintrille (5:00)
4. Lost In A Moonlit Desert (5:00)
5. Warehouse 23 (In-The-Middle-A-Ture) (5:00)
6. Lazy Swamp-Dogs (5:00)
7. The Thief Of Time (5:00)
8. Migrating Coconuts (5:00)
9. The Angry Pirates' Dance (5:00)
10. 5773811 : The Identity Parade (5:00)
11. Glen & Heather's Wedding (5:00)
12. Finale ("...or was it?") (5:00)

Total time 60:00

Line-up / Musicians

- Dan Hodgson / all instruments

Thanks to windhawk for the addition
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PURPLE 11 Bells ratings distribution

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

PURPLE 11 Bells reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars UK project PURPLE is the creative moniker of composer and musician Dan Hodgson. He started creating music to be released using this artistic name in 2007. As of 2013 three full length albums have been released by him, all of them downloadable for free from his website. "11 Bells" is the first of these, and was issued in 2008.

Clocking in at just under an hour, Hodgson's debut album is in reality one single creation divided into 12 parts. A suite, if I understand the terminology correctly. Purple's page on Facebook indicates that artists such as Pink Floyd, Mike Oldfield and Camel are among his influences, and of those shades of the former and latter of these are easily recognized on this album too, but on a subtle and select detail level rather than as comparable music as such. In fact, the music as such isn't of a kind that everyone would regard as progressive rock as such I guess, at least if the individual parts are regarded as singular entities. But if you regard the album as one single song "11 Bells" fulfills the major criteria many use when defining the genre: A compositions featuring several distinct themes and with a logical development towards each of them. Personally I believe that the latter context is the one in which to regard this production and the one intended by the creator, at least if the single digital file containing the full album should be taken as an indication.

Through the hour this composition lasts, we're treated to a dozen at times wildly different movements explored. Boris & Luigi's Tale is a homage to Camel if I ever heard one, The Judges' Quintrille revolving around an uplifting disco-inspired bass motif supplemented by a succession of different instruments soloing on top, Lazy Swamp-Dogs a swamp infested blues affair with a mood and spirit as indicated by the title, The Thief Of Time takes on a more Eastern inspired atmosphere while Migrating Coconuts has more of a Caribbean or perhaps Hawaiian flair to it. To name but a few. There's also a fairly clever construction called Warehouse 23 (In-The-Middle-A-Ture), the fifth part of the composition, which features a recurring bombastic theme with brief inserts in between them containing parts of all the different movements on the album, the ones prior to as well as the ones to follow and even this particular movement itself.

It all adds up to a fairly enjoyable experience too. While Purple isn't a project that will sustain the needs of those looking for the latest and greatest among top notch flamboyant musicianship explored in full in a demanding and challenging framework it is a good and well made take on the multiple themed, album long instrumental composition. Well worth a visit too, as long as you can deal with the shortcomings that does restrict the possibilities of a one man band and you can enjoy music that doesn't strive to be purebred progressive in each and every detail used and utilized.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Welsh musician Dan Hodgson was born in the city of Bangor and grew up in York, where he came in touch with music already as a kid, taking violin and piano lessons as well as singing in choirs.At the age of 15 he was given his first guitar and since graduating from university he had become an accomplished bassist and guitarist.He developed further his musical skills, while his envolvement with computers helped him on creating his own music.In 2008 under the moniker of Purple he released his debut album ''11 bells'', free downloadable from the project's website.

The album consists of 12 5-min. long instrumentals, where each of the 11 bells announces the passing from one piece to another.Musically the hour-long album is a crossover of Art Rock styles with an evident MIKE OLDFIELD vibration, alternating between melodic instrumental themes or synth-drenched soundscapes and folky textures with additional Celtic inspirations.Hodgson's effort to come up with a multi-influenced work is pretty decent, the execution though lacks the obvious advantages of a more professional production.The nervous synthesizers and the awful drum programming become annoying already from the first minute, while even some piano lines seem to have been recorded out of the cheapest equipment, having a totally amateur, plastic sound.Another problem seems to be the incosistency of the work regarding the diverse styles.As individual pieces some of the tracks have a nice listening value.A couple of them, having a more upfront style and a fair amount of energy, recall ELEGANT SIMPLICITY, containing good electric grooves and angular keyboards in a typical slightly CAMEL-flavored Neo Prog vein, while most of Hodgson's OLDFIELD-ian soundscapes sound quite dreamy with the use of pipes and the delicate acoustic guitars.The keyboard-dominated pieces are the less interesting by far, hurting the album in a certain degree next to the childish drumming.Unfortunately these take about 1/3 of ''11 bells'', placed sporadically among the better pieces and ruin the whole listening.

This is a free download from Purple's website, so anyone can taste ''11 bells'' by himself.Personally I found this work to be rather dissapointing, even more because Hodgson seems to be a talented musician and the amount of amateur pieces on this effort totally spoil his image and potential.

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