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LaoZi Lunatica album cover
3.52 | 8 ratings | 4 reviews | 25% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2013

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Set Me Free At Midnight (feat. Dave Long and Zozimo Rech) (7:09)
2. 23 (2:25)
3. Radiation (7:39)
4. Lightwalk (5:33)
5. Lunatica Suite (13:14)

Line-up / Musicians

- Sandro Tskitishvili / electronics
- Zozimo Rech / Moog synthesizer (1)
- Dave Long / electric guitar (1)

Releases information

Self Released.


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LAOZI Lunatica ratings distribution

(8 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(25%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(25%)
Good, but non-essential (50%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

LAOZI Lunatica reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars From the delightful land of central Asian land of Georgia comes this surprising electronic adventure, LaoZi is the brainchild of talented composer Sandro Tskitishvili. He prefers to concentrate on creating overt melodies instead of droning cyber noise that often sounds gratuitous and ultimately unsatisfying. "Lunatica" is his seventh release and my first introduction to his compositional style. What makes him somewhat different is the infusion of various elements such as symphonic stylings, dashes of classical music and electronic prog, as well as winks at relaxed oriental moods.

The tremendous "Set me Free at Midnight" opens the gates to a swirling expanse, gentle flute patches, slithering Moog synthesizer from guest Zozimo Rech and some spirited electric guitar from Dave Long. Sequencer-driven percussion gives this an Edgar Froese/Manuel Gottsching touch that scorches the perimeters of sound, a nice contrast between the gently scouring melodies and the intense soling that searches out the deepest horizons.

Entirely more pastoral and bucolic, the serene "23", flutters and saunters like some spring rivulet cutting through the underbrush, flavored by strong orthodox undercurrents and breezy enough to singe the borders of instrumental prog-folk. Gorgeous.

"Radiation" signals a more somber tone, the ominous choir/strings and distant funereal beat coalescing to exude a sense of impending doom, cast in a totally cinematographic form. The sudden intrusion of a ravishing melody gives the piece its charm, a thoroughly enjoyable listen. Crystalline and yet somehow fragile, the heartbeat pulse leads to some faraway emotion that embraces both sides of the spatial spectrum.

The shorter "Lightwalk" reverts to that flute synth that leads all other instruments in Sandro's arsenal. The zeal with which melodies are crafted becomes quite appealing, a deliberate intent on Sandro's part whose tastes are not limited to spacey electronics (he has informed me that he likes neo-prog band Silhouette a great deal, though the Dutch band is a way heavier breed altogether).

The epic finale that gives the album its title is a 13+ minute affair, punctuated by strong atmospheric content, a forlorn piano crying in the night sky. The pace is leisurely, unhurried and self-effacing, the focus fixed on expressing a desirable state of mind, a synthesized wind blowing gently in the background. The pearly piano glitters like mirrored tears, soothing and exalted. Highly original background music that may seem a tad fluffy and a tendency towards new age but the sheer quality of the melodies and a nuance of intricate composition make this a denser listen that will please the prog fan.

I look forward to investigate the previous releases and see just where and how this all started.

4 moon nuts

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I really love to belong to this endless progressive rock scene, because it is always a pleasure as a listener and reviewer, to find music from all around the globe thanks to the internet facilities. This time I was contacted by Sandro Tskitishvili who fortunately shares the same love I have for Vangelis' Mask. He is a man from Georgia, something that made me feel even more interested because I didn't know a single person or a single song that came from that country, so talent has no boundaries. He told me about his project called LaoZi and introduced me to it with his latest studio album released in 2013 and entitled Lunatica; an album that features five compositions and a total time of 35 minutes.

LaoZi offers a pretty nice electronic trip full of synthesizers, atmospheres and nuances, I don't know if this is the line that he has been following through his 7 studio albums or if this latest one represents a change on his music direction, I don't know, but I must find it out someday. Lunatica opens with "Set Me Free at Midnight", a 7- minute song in which two guest musicians appear, one playing moog and the other guitar. It starts slowly, creating a relaxing mood in which one can close the eyes and feel at peace. After two minutes and a half there are electronic drums and the music changes a little bit, and all gets better at minute four where the guitar appears. The music might be in the vein of Edgar Froese's solo albums or in some of the Vangelis' ones.

"23" is a short piece that has a completely different feeling. It brings to my mind both classical music and folk, I think it is a cute mixture of those genres. A nice short song that works as an interlude of the opener one and "Radiation". This one has a darker mood, I imagine myself walking inside a dark place where light vanishes and where I have to find out my way trusting in my other senses. There is a soft but deep sense of fear in the first part this track, some tension and constant warning; though after three minutes it changes and now a sense of hope appears, so light can be perceived once again.

"Lightwalk" has a bit of the second song's essence, a folkish atmosphere created by a flute sound and some classical music reminiscences. There is a harpsichord-like sound that can be better perceived, but there is always a soft spacey atmosphere as background. In moments it reminds me of Rick Wakeman's Aspirant trilogy. Finally, the "Lunatica Suite" appears. It is a 13-minute song that starts with the sound of rain and some piano notes giving a sense of melancholy. The music continues with the same mood; after three minutes it stops and restarts with a child-like melody that might be melancholic as well, or even sad. I must say that if you are in the mood, you will like this, otherwise, I think there is a risk for you to skip it or feel it terribly slow, at least in the first five minutes. Later it becomes more interesting with fast piano notes and a sound that now is closer to Vangelis.

Lunatica is a very nice album under the electronic prog label, I think it is easier to enjoy in moments of tranquility, or when you need something to calm down yourself, however, though the third song was my favorite one, I don't think there is a true highlight here. Thanks again Sandro for writing and introducing me to your music, hope more people find it interesting and listen to it.

Enjoy it!

Review by kenethlevine
3 stars You've perhaps heard of the "slow movement", and some of its offshoots like the "slow food" movement. Applying this adjective to aspects of one's life does not mean doing everything as slowly as possible, but rather at the appropriate speed at which the endeavor can be completed to the satisfaction of all, and reflected upon and savored in the process. Is there a "slow music" movement and what does it mean? Perhaps one definition might be unearthed through the following admission: It was 3 months ago today that Sandro Tskitishvili contacted me about reviewing his latest recording as LAOZI, and 3 months ago that I listened to it for the first of many times. I would much rather that the full quarter's time lapse be attributed to my participation in a subversively benign movement than to the workaday bugbear of procrastination.

My hypothesis is not without merit in this case, since LAOZI offers a progressive style that instills patience in the listener. It is loosely accurate to state that the 5 diverse yet consistent tracks here represent electronica, ambient synthesizer approximating other instruments, as only the opener "Set me Free at Midnight" includes electric guitar and moog. And what an opener! The guitars of guest Dave Long in particular pierce the shroud without disturbing it, reminding me of MIKE OLDFIELD or any of his army of fanciers. I suppose some early TANGERINE DREAM is also conjured. Its 7 minutes manage to cover much more ground than could be expected, hence its success in slowing down time and action.

The next 3 tracks include a Celtic inspired number with much approximation to oboe in the main melodic line, a more eerie plodding piece with flute like leads that is probably the most adventurous here, and a gorgeous new age-y progression with a harpsichord like lead. While Sandro has succeeded in developing his own style over a prolific period, I do find that comparisons to KITARO are appropriate, even if VANGELIS might be the preferred progressive reference here.

"Lunatica Suite" is the longest piece, really a collection of short themes. I find it the hardest to enjoy overall, especially given how much the first cut accomplished in barely half the time, but maybe I just need to chill a bit more, The longest part is led by what sounds like a musical box, and I don't mean the GENESIS song! The final theme sounds like it's been played before but yet I can't find it in any of the other tracks, which suggests that LAOZI is making connections for me, connections that aren't necessarily there. Isn't that a characteristic of a lunatic? Or perhaps it's listening to the same piece of music over and over and expecting a different result. Never mind, that's just good prog delivering on its promise. Recommended for fans of this style.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars LUNATICA is the seventh album by the Georgian musical act LAOZI (named after the ancient Chinese philosopher and poet who wrote the "Tao Te Ching," the inspiration for Taoism.) LUNATICA is an album inspired by the vision of the moon according to the founder and main contributor Sandro Tskitishvili. LAOZI is very much about the hypnotic and detached side of the darkness thing, which like Taoism and other Eastern religious dogmas is the perfect soundtrack for meditation and general getaway from all the Earthly lameness that plagues our reality.

1. Set Me Free At Midnight (feat. Dave Long and Zozimo Rech) (7:09) Reminds me a bit of Marty Friedman's "Scenes" in which Marty hooks up with Japanese new ager Kitaro to make some seriously delicious East meets West with the new age, guitar and percussion working together in tandem to create a nice free flowing tribute to the moon which the entire album is dedicated to.

2. 23 (2:25) This one has more of a classical feel bringing J.S. Bach to mind with a catchy melodic hook that is shared between two distinct melodies that weave together pretty well but probably my least favorite track of the album as it is just OK and doesn't have a chance to unfurl its magic as many other tracks do.

3. Radiation (7:39) This is a strange little piece that starts out rather ominously and becomes more of a cheerful Mike Oldfield sounding piece that reminds me of the new age tracks that compromise his "The Songs Of Distant Earth" album with the steadily marching percussion, the subdued kind of electronic induced choral effect and the tinkling of a piano type instrument which eventually reaches a kind of radioactive decay that gains momentum and then fizzles out in a monotone.

4. Lightwalk (5:33) Another classically inspired little addictive melody that simply takes the powerful melodic classical musical possibilities and mixes it with the sonic embellishments of new age. It perhaps lives up to its title in that it is a light and fluffy track that embarks on a subtle journey from an addictive hook that breaks off into two complementary melodies, which seems to be the secret of this album. It's also a track that inspires me to add my own operatic nonsensical lyrics to it!

5. Lunatica Suite (13:14) The most lunar of all the tracks here. Imagine a progressive lullaby on one of those music boxes that instead of having limited possibilities before it repeated, it could expand its sonic forces into the the most illuminated lunar reflecting pools that subdues your inner werewolf and makes the darkness your friend. It also has a kind of X-Files theme song feel to it lending an alien yet accessible feel to the whole thing. This track has several melodic movements and is the epitome of classical musical composition meets new age and progressive electronic sensibilities.

The fact that this is generally tagged into the progressive electronic scheme of things can be a little misleading for those expecting a Kraut-induced trippy kind of album that is designed to escape reality. This is a different beast. It is gentle in nature. It is first and foremost emphasizing melodic developments with the other factors such as electronic manipulations, musical fusion and avant-garde characteristics being secondary. This is moon music, the kind you can put on and fall asleep to. If i could create my own sub-genres at will, i would call this a progressive lullaby album where you can stimulate certain parts of your brain while being totally relaxed and feeling safe that there are no monsters under your bed. I have listened to this many times solely to find if this held up after repeated listens and after quite a few, i have to say that i still love it! Highly recommended for anyone interested in the possibilities of progressive electronic fusion with classical and new age.

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