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Marc Carlton

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Marc Carlton Still album cover
3.20 | 3 ratings | 3 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Beyond Surprise (8:17)
2. True Wilderness I (2:47)
3. Vista (8:43)
4. It Never Happened (7:02)
5. A Future, Already a Memory (4:18)
6. Meanwhile (4:39)
7. True Wilderness II (4:05)
8. Epos (3:51)
9. He Runs at Night (5:11)
10. The Far Tide (1:41)

Total Time 50:34

Line-up / Musicians

- Marc Carlton / performer, composer, producer

Releases information

Artwork: Alastair McLauchlan, Maria L Moore

CDr self-released (2004, UK)

Digital album

Thanks to useful_idiot for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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MARC CARLTON Still ratings distribution

(3 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (67%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MARC CARLTON Still reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by The Rain Man
3 stars Released in 2004, 'Still' is Marc Carlton's 4th instrumental album. Having listened to follow up albums 'Reflex Arc' and 'Ovriah' prior; it has been like going back through time, listening to the albums in the opposite way they were intended. However this in turn has given me a different perspective of the albums and has allowed me to witness the progression between albums in a different way.

The biggest difference I noticed from 'Still' and the two follow up albums is that unlike 'Reflex Arc' and 'Ovriah' where the tracks flow neatly into one another and the album's are a complete piece. These tracks stand out more as individuals, each going off in their own directions making it easier for the listener to digest. In hindsight I wish I listened to this album first and then moved on to the more challenging 'Reflex Arc' and 'Ovriah'.

8 minute opener 'Beyond Surprise' starts off with a pure crystal, clear electronic guitar which gently weaves its way into the album gathering other instruments and sounds along the way such as the piano; creating a majestical sound. Track 3 'Vista' sees a much welcome viola which adds to the peacefulness of the track. In a change of direction track 4 'It never happened' sees Carlton going more upbeat with use of the synthesizer to create drumming mixed in with a cool keyboard sound.

At first I thought the album title did not fully reflect the music. When I think of stillness within music, I always think of peace and tranquillity. Music which you can just lie down to and each track will have that calming theme delivering relaxation for the listener. This album feels like it has a little bit of everything from the peacefulness in earlier tracks, to the darker tracks such as 'A future, already a memory', 'Meanwhile' and 'Epos'. With a little more thought however I realised it did make sense. The music in the album to me is like sitting on a bench looking out on a peaceful lake surrounded by mountains with the sun out and everything just seems perfect. But then of course you can be sitting in exactly the same position and everything changes. The sun goes away, clouds form, it starts to rain badly and get dark. It is like forces out with your control are changing the way you feel, just like the music changes the way you feel when listening to this album.

Overall this is a good album, although I would say it is not as good as 'Reflex Arc' and 'Ovriah', purely for the reason there is no real flow to it which is what made the other two albums so challenging and rewarding. However if you have not listened to any of Carlton's stuff before, I would definitely recommend it as an excellent starting point because the album has a good balance to it from dark to light. Another fine effort from Carlton, just relax and let the music take you on a journey.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Already a memory

Marc Carlton is a man who appears to have his work/life balance just about right. Although he is a serious professional musician, he records his music in his spare time away from his real job. For obvious reasons, this means that he is able to record the sort of music that he feels he can be genuinely proud of, immune from the pressure of satisfying a commercially driven record label.

While this makes it less likely that he will ever get filthy rich from his musical output, it also means we can be confident that what we hear has been made with passion and total commitment.

Carlton wears his influences on his sleeve. The prog giants of the 1970's are clearly as much a source of pleasure for him as they are for many of us here. One artist in particular though, Mike Oldfield, has been more influential than any other over the years, perhaps due to Oldfield's status as the pioneer of multi-tracked "home" recording.

Released in 2004, "Still" is Marc's fourth official release. It finds him rapidly maturing technically, while immersing himself in progressively new age concepts ("Waiting and immobility", "Time and routine").

The album opens with "Beyond surprise", one of its the longest tracks. Beautifully clear acoustic guitar backed with barely audible soft keyboard washes set the mood for the piece. There is a passing Mark Knopfler ("Local hero") feel to the opening section before harsher lead guitar sounds attempt to pull us in a more rock orientated direction. Carlton works the balance between a calm, almost ambient mood on the one hand and something altogether more edgy well, the track retaining one's interest throughout.

The first of the "True wilderness" tracks is relatively brief symphonic number with waves of synthesiser supporting a soft melody. "Vista" is the other lengthy piece on the album, running to almost 9 minutes. The diversity of instrumental sounds here is testament to Oldfield's influence, with intricate lead guitar mixing freely with violin like orchestral passages.

"It never happened" opens with some atmospheric ambience, the piece as a whole having something of a Tangerine Dream feel to it. Here Carlton places a greater emphasis on repetition, a point emphasised by the hypnotic synth rhythm. "A future, already a memory" captures Marc's aspirations in the field of film music, the slow, considered acoustic motifs being ideal for some scene setting in a Hollywood blockbuster.

"Meanwhile" is arguably the most chilledtrack on the album, a soft Farfisa organ sound backing a gentle melody. The track is reminiscent of the slower section of "Hergest ridge" part 2. This segues into "True Wilderness II", a less structured affair which relies on waves of sounds. "Epos" is a pleasant but unassuming piano piece with classical overtones, while "He runs at night" is a more spirited classical guitar outing. The album closes with the brief "the far tide", a short piece of symphonic string synth.

In all, an album where the strongest and most interesting material is largely up front. Things tend to tale off into more prosaic areas towards the end, but overall "Still" makes for an enjoyable listen.

Since recording this album, Marc Carlton has continued to develop his talents both technically and musically. This is though a fine representation of where he was at in 2004, and is in itself a highly enjoyable album.

Latest members reviews

4 stars According to Carlton, Still focuses on "themes of waiting and immobility," and explores how routine can be both an aid and an impediment to achieving "our true dreams." For me, Still wasn't as successful as Reflex Arc, Carlton's next effort, at getting across an ambitiously specific set of ideas ... (read more)

Report this review (#82324) | Posted by rfriel | Friday, June 30, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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