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BAND OF RAIN

Psychedelic/Space Rock • United Kingdom


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Band Of Rain biography
Chris GILL's first gig was in 1968....playing bass. There followed a whole series of school bands, as well as playing in sheds with mates all over Bedford, which is where he really learned how to play as there were so many musicians in the immediate surroundings in the 70's..

He spent the next couple of years drifting from festival to festival, playing with people like LOL COXHILL - THE GLOBAL VILLAGE TRUCKING COMPANY - THE MIKE WESTBROOK ORCHESTRA - And some regulars who ended up as IAN DURY'S BLOCKHEADS... I moved to the USA in November 1975...Spending 4 years in Texas and a year in Los Angeles. It opened up a whole new ball game for him, and he suddenly found there were many places to play, and could keep pretty busy. The band he was in was undertaking a small tour of Universities in 1976, when the van we were in left the highway in the desert near Tucson, Arizona. The end result was that both his hands were broken, so he moved to Los Angeles where a friend got him a job helping actors to speak with an English accent. After a year of this he moved to Germany where he remained for 6 years, and got into synthesisers. He still hadn't enough use of his fingers to play guitars.

Chris returned to the UK in 1985, and after another five years bought a guitar and worked hard on getting his fingers working again. His work had begun to take him away from music, and he almost lost it completely but then in the space of about 3 months, he met up with Adrian BELEW and Nick MASON . Having met these 2 giants of the industry, he knew what he wanted to do and quit the 9 to 5 and got back into music.

In 2004 the first album 'DEEP SPACE' came out, and it went down a storm. That was it - Chris was hooked again. He continued recording and released 'GARLANDS' in 2005 and in 2007 recorded 'ARTS & ALLUREMENTS 'with Billy FLEMING on drums and Sharon LESLIE performing and writing the lyrics for the album. They did a few live dates in 2007 in London and Birmingham but didn't stay together. BAND OF RAIN were then signed by a new Record Label in the USA founded by Kenny SOLOMON and Janie LINDENBAUM of Progressive Soundscapes Radio called AMBECA....Kenny however had to stop everything he was doing to look after his folks after an accident.

The latest album 'SUN IN VIII' was released in 2011. On this album Chris was helped by Rainer STRUCK, a great orchestrator from Hamburg, and Ria PARFITT a great vocalist from Hereford UK. They are currently writing an...
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BAND OF RAIN discography


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BAND OF RAIN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.28 | 11 ratings
Deep Space
2004
3.71 | 8 ratings
Garlands
2005
3.92 | 6 ratings
Arts and Allurements
2007
3.09 | 4 ratings
Sun In Viii
2011
3.47 | 5 ratings
The Dust of Stars
2017
4.00 | 1 ratings
Svengali
2019
3.21 | 10 ratings
Petrichor
2020

BAND OF RAIN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

BAND OF RAIN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

BAND OF RAIN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

BAND OF RAIN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

BAND OF RAIN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Petrichor by BAND OF RAIN album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.21 | 10 ratings

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Petrichor
Band Of Rain Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by RelayerFr

4 stars For the second time I discovered the name of "Petrichor" for an album title, it was already present on the album released at the end of 2018 by the French group KEOR that I strongly recommend, and BAND OF RAIN which comes from take out his seventh throw. This word designates a particular odor, usually pleasant, which the earth takes on after rain. This definition indicates the direction and the turn that this work will take, it will let glimpse the romantic and traditional roots adopted by BAND OF RAIN, like an ideological message announced before the discovery of the content, the informed listener will perceive all these aspects over the listening . This album takes again the English folk bases already heard in the preceding opus, but improved by a more elaborate work and fructified by the additional arrival of seasoned musicians. These British artists offer us Psychedelic / Space Rock music with claimed influences from groups such as PINK FLOYD, KING CRIMSON, RENAISSANCE and YES with a special mention for the expert synthesizer and composer LARRY FAST "Synergy". Note that an eighth album written during confinement is already being recorded. "Petrichor" is a conceptual disc whose main themes are witchcraft, superstition and weather. Here is a summary of my impressions: "Daughter of the Moor" begins slowly like a good track by MARILLION with a voice resembling that of the legendary FISH, the song turns and metamorphoses into tremolos pushed to the extreme like Tom YORK , a "Zeppelin" guitar solo accompanies this vocal feat. We delay with synthetic and pianistic passages to start again with another throat ... three singers for the price of one? This time it twists like a Jeff BUCKLEY in great shape if I may say so ..., it looks like a cover of this much-regretted genius (rip), with almost the same orchestral effects with a very rocky temperament tuned to the same guitar which never ceases to send us endless solis as a kind of well-balanced background sound. "The Craft" develops an instrumental resonance that reminds me of YES "Tormato" period, but with a vocals all their own. A voice alone or with others interpret a few plaintive couplets melting in a form of softness sussurated with subtlety as if to speak in the ear of a loved one ... Sensations sometimes folkloric, sometimes medieval with some atmospheric moments, but constantly dressed in the same bewitching rhythm ... it's beautiful and sad at the same time, but above all successful! "Larkspur" sends us tortured sentences like a castra with intense emotions. The word is strong, but the vocal prowess is there ... hats off! A slow and sporadic tempo appears repetitive to better accompany this voice which never stops dying, with this impression of listening to a story with a glorious past and "Tolkiesques". Guitar riffs with heavy harmonies will complete this beautiful heritage. This "Merlin" does not speak, he takes us on an instrumental journey in a magical and chimerical world rocked by a tempo that sounds like a death knell. He slowly retraces his epic to us through a light and airy bass that wanders through ancestral times, enhanced by endless and distorted riffs and guitar solos. Close your eyes and let yourself be carried away by this captivating and spooky piece. With "Tupelo" we come back to earth, we retouch a very rock ground with all its variants, finished the lyricism of yesteryear. Here blues is mixed with rock, rock with country, but always scaffolded by a touch of mystery and electric sounds revolving in loops in the background, providing this track with a striking rendering to better establish a refined cinematic relief. After two very interesting and heterogeneous instrumental pieces I find with delight our singer prodigy on one of the best tracks of the album: "Witchfinder". MATTHEW CORRY delivers us in addition melancholic and exhilarating songs comparable to those of the leader of RADIOHEAD accompanied by an orchestration of the same name, intonations of the talented JIM GRAY of the group CALIGULA'S HORSE are interspersed admirably in certain epic passages where the chills become overwhelming ! A pivotal passage at 2:40 will make us levitate above the sofa and teleport us into an imaginary world full of sweetness, escorted by a melodic guitar installed in a perpetual solo, before ending this masterpiece with a little lullaby full of delicacy and emotion. The eponymous "Petrichor" the longest title of this opus was obviously conceived around the voice of MATTHEW CORRY. I am not going to complain about it, because here MATTHEW CORRY gives us the cover with a anthology of his vocal possibilities revealing to us the full extent of his talent.The instruments are in perfect harmony with this overwhelming voice, whose controlled emotions rise crescendo until the essential oil is drawn from this humus with vital scents. What to say about this album ...? Quite simply that it is beautiful, that the melodies are immensely deep and melancholic, that the orchestration offers us a complete and bewitching tapestry of the most beautiful effect, and that I have just adopted a new sublime voice in my musical repertoire. This group which is in its seventh album deserves to be better known, and should be referenced among the greats of progressive music! The recurring problem with masterpieces is that they are inaccessible to ordinary people, I myself did not fall in love with the first keys, but I have the immense advantage of writing chronicles that force me to be rigorous and to listen a certain number of times before judging. Now I am wise, and I strongly advise you to harness yourself to this little wonder, and not to let go before having felt all the contents!
 Petrichor by BAND OF RAIN album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.21 | 10 ratings

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Petrichor
Band Of Rain Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars So much talent here! Long-time band leader Chris Gill, a talent in his own right, enlists the creative input of legends Jon Camp (RENAISSANCE) and Robert Webb (ENGLAND) and one of my favorite up-and-coming vocalists, Matthew Corry (EMPEROR NORTON).

1. "Daughter of the Moor" (7:49) Matthew really stretching it out--showing his immensely talented and broad vocal range--but it's rendered so poorly into the mix. And the song is so one dimensional. Too bad. (12/15)

2. "The Craft" (6:34) opens with a band and never goes anywhere from there. As Matthew sings it's as if he's in another universe with absolutely no connection to the music--at least until the music goes soft in the second half. (8/10)

3. "Larkspur" (7:53) finally, something is moving, something is interesting--and Matthew's operatic vocals and lyrics are working within and with this musical tapestry. Great CHRIS SQUIRE-like bass line and love the work of Robert Webb's keys (especially the little clavinet riffs). (13.5/15)

4. "Merlin" (7:18) 2-chord instrumental over which Jon Camp's fretless ambles about. Later, Chris Gill's guitars tear it up pretty good. (12.75/15)

5. "Tupelo" (5:43) an instrumental attempt at uptempo power/heavy prog. Nice sounds and bass and guitar play but otherwise the song has no meat. (8.25/10)

6. "Witchfinder" (7:33) opens with choir and bird noises before band kicks in with slow three-chord blues-rock dirge. Then at 5:10 it's as if a whole other song has been faded into this one to take over. Chris does an admirable job with his axe trying to salvage this one, but . . . (12.5/15)

7. "Petrichor" (12:11) potential and melding but no direction or ambition. (20/25)

Total Time 55:01

So much aimless meandering! The chemistry of these mega-talented individuals just never seemed to gel. For some reason the band is content on every single song to establish a groove and then stick with that one monotonous for the length of some exceedingly long songs while letting vocalist Matthew Corry create some magic yet recording his voice terribly into the mix.

 Petrichor by BAND OF RAIN album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.21 | 10 ratings

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Petrichor
Band Of Rain Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars I first came across Band Of Rain back in 2006 when I reviewed the first two albums. At that time, it was mostly Chris Gill, and over the years there have been quite a few changes in line-up, but it has always been Chris's steadying hand at the rudder. This is their seventh album, and although I have reviewed five of the albums I somehow missed 2019's 'Svengali', at which point the band was a duo of Chris and Micha Steinbacher, who had also been on the previous album 'The Dust of Stars'. Just a year later that has changed with Band of Rain becoming a full band and not only is it now a proper band which can get out and gig, or at least that was the plan before a certain pandemic got in the way, but there are a few well-known names who are now involved. The first of these is none other than Jon Camp (Renaissance) on bass, while the keyboard player is Robert Webb (England). Chris only provides guitars on the album, a major reduction in his normal contribution, and the line-up is completed by Matthew Corry (vocals) and Rick Hambleton (drums). To my mind the band has already had two significant periods in their existence, the first being when they released their first four albums between 2004 and 2011, and the second being the next two albums which were Gill, Steinbacher and Ria Parfitt (who provided vocals on 'The Dust of Stars'), and here they are taking it to quite a different level.

Musically there have also been quite a few changes, as this is now a band with a permanent singer and there are far fewer instrumentals whereas it used to be often the other way round, and they are now far removed from the space rock which could be found throughout their earlier works. It is a band album, no longer a solo work, with Gill sharing credits on every song, which now often revolved around the intricate (and often fretless) bass playing of Camp. It is far more psychedelic, and Chris has easily relaxed into the new role he has created within the band, sitting back to let Jon take the centre stage when the need is right, or providing some deft solos. The music often creates soundscapes, fitting in well with the images on the front and rear of the CD, and the whispering at the end of the instrumental 'Merlin' (provided by Parfitt) is particularly effective.

As an album one is never quite sure where one is going to be taken on the journey as there are quite a few different styles at play, and there are times when it joins together seamlessly but others when there appears to be something of a disconnect in that while everyone is playing the same song it doesn't really gel as it should. The band are already working on the next album, provisionally titled 'Dawn Chorus', with the aim to be playing both in concert next year. Realistically this is a brand new band operating under an old name, and once they have been playing together more and developing their sound it is going to be intriguing to hear what they sound like, as the last time I heard a bass this far to the front was with Mr So & So, yet musically these is a very different outfit altogether.

 The Dust of Stars by BAND OF RAIN album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.47 | 5 ratings

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The Dust of Stars
Band Of Rain Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

4 stars If it weren't for that my friend Gordo Bennett played some guitar shredding on one track ("Ancient Electric"), I probably would have been unfortunate enough to never have heard of this album. Thankfully, Gordo did shred, and Band of Rain's Chris Gill became known to me. He sent me a file of the album which took me a couple of months to get around to unzipping, but when I did, I knew I had to have the CD!

Look, I was into NWoBHM at the time and I was becoming disappointed as several remastered albums I bought on CD had inferior remastering. The music did not sound good. And I remembered how I bought so many new releases in 2016 and how good they all sounded. Then I heard Band of Rain's "Dust of Stars" and was taken on a remarkable journey of sound, mood, and emotion.

Part of the surprise was that I have not listened to an album like this for a long time, the closest thin being a Jet Black Sea album. We are talking about music that drips heavy emotion and exudes deep moods. It's a bit atmospheric industrial at times, has world music sounds incorporated at times, and delivers moments of beauty and peace. This is not an album for listening to while talking a power walk in the park, nor is it one for a drive along the coast on a sunny Sunday. This is sit back, close your eyes, open your mind and soul, and take a musical journey type music.

Each track has its charm, its ear-catching piece. It might growl menacingly at you, send you back to ancient peoples and religions, have you imagining a room of churning machinery at the end of a dark and narrow corridor, or have you soaring through high clouds under a starry sky. Most tracks are instrumental, but "Toys" features Ria Parfitt on vocals and reminds me of a song that might have come from the Robin Williams movie with the same name. It has that playful but slightly off-your-nut atmosphere.

"Dust of Stars" is created by Chris Gill and Micha Steinbacher. It's music that gradually unfolds and shifts, like watching early morning mist unveil a morning scene through slowly moving windows. It's never fast or busy. There are just waves and pulses of chords and notes undulating, swelling, releasing, sometimes thundering, sometimes washing to an end. This is a beautiful, albeit sometimes brooding, album of music. I'm looking forward to hearing more from Band of Rain.

 The Dust of Stars by BAND OF RAIN album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.47 | 5 ratings

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The Dust of Stars
Band Of Rain Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars It has been six years since the last band of Rain album, but Chris Gill is finally back with another release. As has been the case with his other albums, he continues to mix it up, and this time he has provided guitar, programming etc. and has been joined by Micha Steinbacher (bass, flute, sax, multi-instruments, programming, vocals). Most of the album is instrumental, but on two of the songs he has again engaged the vocal talents of Ria Parfitt, which takes the music into quite a different direction from the rest. This is hypnotic, almost trance-like music, treading a line where progressive rock and psychedelic music meet, reminiscent of Hawkwind, Pink Floyd and very early Porcupine Tree.

It is complex and complicated, and for all the times where it feels that it is driving and forceful there are others where the music just washes over the listener and allows them to relax into it. My favourite is "Indian Summer", where the combination of flute and synthesisers provides an introduction that makes one think that it is going to be in the style of Native Americans, before it goes into traditional Indian, and then something quite different altogether. This really shows the experimental aspect of the music, as the band bring together music from different cultures to create something that is both different and enjoyable. I know that Chris is often busy working on albums by others, but I do hope that we don't have to wait quite so long for the next one..

 Sun In Viii by BAND OF RAIN album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.09 | 4 ratings

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Sun In Viii
Band Of Rain Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars For this 2011 release Chris went back to basics, in that this is actually a solo effort (apart from vocals and narration by Ria Parfitt on one song). Chris has used sound effects in places to enhance the overall sound, a vocoder in others, and has created an album where the songs are actually quite different to each other as well as being very removed indeed from the previous album. Not only is this instrumental, but often the guitars are much more in your face than before, and "Ghost Planes of the Peak District" actually turns into a Wishbone Ash number with strong twin melody guitars before Chris decides to let that slowly drift away and instead make the keyboards the main lead. There is a real sense of adventure in this album as Chris looks back much more to what was happening in 'Garlands' than 'Art', creating something that contains space rock, psych, gothic rock and so much more.

The two albums are actually so different that they feel as if they are from separate artists, and in many ways they are as Chris has move from the band format with an external producer to one where it is simply states 'written, recorded and produced by Chris Gill' in small print on the rear cover. In many ways this album is more broad in that it contains so many styles, but the earlier one is more focused and more of the sort of thing that I would listen to for sheer pleasure. But, why not go to Chris's site at www.bandofrain.com and find out for yourself as it is possible to stream songs from each album and here is an artist well worth discovering.

 Arts and Allurements by BAND OF RAIN album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.92 | 6 ratings

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Arts and Allurements
Band Of Rain Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars One of the best things about Facebook is that it is possible to easily get back in touch with people that you haven't spoken to for a while, and this is what happened here. Chris Gill saw a post of mine, and then contacted me directly and we soon worked out that the last BoR album I had heard was 2005's 'Garlands'. So, a short while later two CDs arrived in the post, of which this is the first. Released in 2007, this album saw a shift in the band both musically and in terms of structure, as Chris now made this a proper outfit with only drummer Billy Fleming surviving from the previous album. Chris provided keyboards and guitars, while he also brought in new singer Sharon Leslie (along with guest Jason Illidge on bass, and guitarist Mike Leivers on one song).

The more I played this the more I enjoyed it, and also I found that I kept thinking more and more of Incubus Succubus. The reason for that is that there is a real gothic feel to much of this, and Sharon's voice reminds me of Candia, and that is before we even get onto the subject matter ('Vampire', 'Pan' etc). What makes it so very different though is the musical backing, where Chris can be providing a gentle melody in counterpoint yet also allowing himself with another guitar to provide Gilmour-style noodlings over the top. There is a real depth and haunting quality to this album throughout, and when I heard the 'Blessed Be' refrain at the end of 'Drusilla' I found myself thinking just how much these guys would complement Legend in concert.

There is a gentle wave of music in the background, broken by the soloing guitar, while Sharon's vocals are very much to the fore and her controlled approach suits the music perfectly. The result is an album that can be dreamy or gothic, but always extremely good. For more details on this and others then visit www.bandofrain.com

 Deep Space by BAND OF RAIN album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.28 | 11 ratings

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Deep Space
Band Of Rain Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by dglenday

4 stars This record's title describes the music far better than its somewhat pedestrian, terrestrial cover art does. It is indeed deeply spacey. By definition, space music is a series of textures and wide sonic landscapes, ethereal and without substance, often without rhythm or melody or conventionally sung vocal components, leading to a floating ambient sense of consciousness. It's easy to imagine space music in movie soundtracks - and you've probably heard a lot of space music in that context. On its own, it sometimes challenges the patience, which probably explains why the genre has a somewhat specialized audience. Think Ozrics and Hawkwind. That space music definition describes many of the elements on Band Of Rain's debut CD, but fortunately for most of us, many sections on most tracks rescue Deep Space from being too spaced out. With occasional singing, nice guitar work and good bass lines, it's a tad more approachable than most space music. There's plenty of electronica here, but the band injects enough analog components to give it character. Despite an insistent percussion, "Casanova Of The Cliff Dwellers" is 4 minutes of repeated soft electronic lines, an interesting but repetitive guitar riff, then on to more electronica with a repeated piano motif and a series of odd effects, all far back in the mix. Yet the very next song has a pleasing dual guitar line that rescues the record it from the formless waffle that is the trap of so much space music. The first 3 minutes of "Last Wave Goodbye" features a British maritime weather and conditions report laid over formless ambient music, and the rest of the track follows that stream-of-consciousness kind of sound that goes through various changes but never really develops into anything stronger. There are places in the record where it seems you can actually hear the start and end of the loop, and the programmed percussion might frighten some listeners off. "Cloudburst" is the standout track here, going through several clearly defined sections with well managed tempo changes, a good 'groove' and an underlying theme that guides the piece through its full 4 minutes. "War and Peace" is quite fun as well, with control of the song alternating between war effects played over crunchy power chords and blazing lead guitar, and an elegantly peaceful motif. Rather progressive, somewhat spacey. There is singing on four of the tracks, with the voices being soft and relaxed and somewhat folksy. Songwriter and founding member Chris Gill claims influences from '60s psychedelia and '70s prog, and given the style of this music it's no surprise that he confesses that his favorite bands are Gong and Ozric Tentacles. Band Of Rain has completed their second CD, and we already have a copy for review. Early indications are very favorable, so watch this space...
 Garlands by BAND OF RAIN album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.71 | 8 ratings

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Garlands
Band Of Rain Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by carlosvaz

4 stars Band of Rain - Garlands Im very happy to introduce a special band. The Band Of Rain has a big heavenly orchestral sound and another example of pure Music - played and written at it's heart. The guys on the band play an incredible Symphonic Progressive Rock music, adorned with Hard Rock textures, blending elements from many sources such as Electronic Space Rock, Heavy Metal and Classic Rock, and even modern chamber music into a cohesive whole. The musical elements are extremely well balanced, all the instruments are clear, audible, with delicate arrangements, the main highlights on the songs are the killer guitar sounds, sometimes symphonic and sometimes heavy, driven by precise and very dynamic rhythms, while the floating synthesizer and orchestral keyboards add a touch of symphonism to all songs. In fact, the members on the band are highly talented musicians, who do not focus on one style, but show on their works how versatile they are. Its hard classify the influences from Band Of Rain but, I can say that, they sounding like a hybrid of "Pink Floyd", "Mike Oldfield", "Yes", "Flamborough Head" and "Porcupine Tree". Band Of Rain is definitely recommended to Progressive Rock fans around the world. Brilliant and magnify absolutely recommended discovery, highly recommendable...
 Deep Space by BAND OF RAIN album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.28 | 11 ratings

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Deep Space
Band Of Rain Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Melodramatica

5 stars This album has touched the deep space in my soul... this is yet another album that is hard to place in one single genre for it has fluidly encompassed several (classic prog, psychedelia, electronica, hard rock and metal) and merged them together creating a sound that is unique and fantastic.

Chris Gill is the lead guitarist/founder member/writer for Band of Rain. According to him the album is about space - room to move - and that is one thing he has managed to do. He has created a sense of space for the listener - space in which one can move to get in touch with oneself. He has also created space for himself - to move without boundaries and limitations. For those who loved Hawkwind's Doremi Fasol Latido and Space Ritual this album is a must have.

Thanks to kev rowland for the artist addition.

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