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Indo-Prog/Raga Rock • United Kingdom

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Clem Alford biography
Clem ALFORD is a Scottish musician who after musical studies became rapidly enthusiastic by the rich possibilities offered by fusion music, especially by the cross relationships between West and East. In order to perfect his knowledges Clem travelled to India and studied with raga masters. Pupil of Pandit Sachindranath Saha he obtained successfully a diploma in India music (1970, Calcutta), specialised himself in "sitar" playing. After an outstanding performance for a recital in Bombay the same year, Clem has made a name in the world of Indian music. His talented "sitar" style was fully appreciated by the public and the community of specialists.

Clem ALFORD's free spirited adventure has carried on worldwide. The musician performed in many countries from West to East (India, Japan and several other Asian countries). As a teacher and theorist Clem has written a guide book to explain his philosophy and how you need to play the sitar.

During the beginning of the 70's he formed a trio, suggesting a fusion between popular music and classical raga. In 1974, he recorded his most successful album "Mirror Image". Absolutely captivating, this album is one of the most accomplished mix between the pop/ rock structures and the sacred sound of raga music. Beautifully textured, breaking of all musical conformism.

Clem has also been associated with the famous John Williams (classical guitar), John Mayer (composer/ Indo Jazz Fusions), Maurice Jarre (film scores), John Dankworth (jazz), Hemmant Kunar (vocalist) and a host of other striking personalities in the world of music.


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3.88 | 18 ratings
Mirror Image

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Mirror Image by ALFORD, CLEM album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.88 | 18 ratings

Mirror Image
Clem Alford Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by Kazuhiro
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The music character of "Magic Carpet" was exactly music in the field of Acid Folk/Raga Rock that represented Britain for them. The music character with the transparent feeling is still handed down as a work of fine quality in Folk/Raga Rock.

"Magic Carpet" announced in 1971 exists as it is as a name of label. Of course, it is managed by the Magic Carpet label started up as independent label for the album of this Clem Alford.

It is said that Clem Alford had acquired the method of the performance with the bagpipe since the time of the 60's. And, he who moved to India pursues the technology and the music character for Indian music and Sitar. Clem Alford that studies under Ali Akdar and Ravi Shankar is completely learnt for the performance of Indian music and Sitar. The superior technology is satisfactorily demonstrated of course in the music character of Magic Carpet.

It challenges the flavor of Jazz Rock and the introduction of an electronic part in this album around the impression of Raga Rock. The sound made by modulating in the electron by hooking up a microphone to Sitar might surely expand the possibility of Sitar.

Playing of piano and guitar by Silva and Amancio D 'Alan Branscombe that had accomplished competing before activity of Magic Carpet. And, the performance by Keshav Sathe of the Tabla player who has the exchange with Magic Carpet also contributes to the content of the album. It will be able to enjoy the idea that Clem Alford dared exactly pursuing the expression of the music character all over the world considers and the music character without reserve.

Wah Wah Pedal is installed in Sitar as a point that should make a special mention and "Mirror Image" is performed. The part of Intro by Sitar and E-Piano shows the start of this album. The line of Bass and the melody of Sitar continue a good tension. In addition, the melody of the guitar twines and the part of Improvisation continues. The tune rushes into complete Raga Jazz Rock of passing five minutes. Part of unison by guitar and Sitar. The performance gets on the rhythm mainly composed of five rhythms and the combinations of three rhythms in union. The guitar, Sitar, and Bass repeat dismantlement and restructuring while continuing the form of Improvisation. This continuousness might be splendid.

"Raga Kirwani" has the flavor of complete Indian music. The melody to make good use of minor Chord produces good atmosphere. The melody of Sitar to get on the rhythm of complete Tabla might be glossy.

"Raga Charukeshi" is a tune from which the atmosphere of Indo/Raga occurred well. Flow of majors Chord performed by Sitar. And, the atmosphere of complete Indo/Raga with the percussion instrument. Good atmosphere continues. The tune reaches the peak from middle toward the last stage.

As for "Apocalypse", the flute twines round the flow that continues the tension with the melody of Sitar. A very enchantment impression will be given. And, the introduction of the electronic element intermittently repeated will not stay only by the music of simple Indo/Raga. An original expression is given as a composition with a transparent feeling and the tension.

"Morning Storm" shifts to the flow that is reminiscent of the impression of the natural world from the part of the introduction of SE. Melody of enchantment flute. And, it is partial of the obbligati of Sitar in close relation to the flow. The impression of the tune is exactly decided.

As for "Raga Khamaj", the sound of Indian music continues. Tabla and Sitar are integral. One space is exactly created. When ten minutes are passed, the tune increases the dash feeling further. The repeated atmosphere is a gaga exactly moment. Tabla performed by a high-speed rhythm has a complete technology.

The sound that Sitar is good for the melody of atmosphere with the anacatesthesia twines round "Colours". A fantastic flow finishes off the end of this album.

It is a work with which the individuality of Clem Alford tried to improve a complete technology and the music character as Sitar player is exactly blocked.

 Mirror Image by ALFORD, CLEM album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.88 | 18 ratings

Mirror Image
Clem Alford Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by philippe
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Clem Alford in solo for long sitar improvisations, wha wha freak out effects, bass guitar and drums. This album can be an obscurity for a large majority of prog-heads but it will ravish fans of Sweden's psych folk and early krautrock artefacts. The self title track is an inspired jazzy rock improvisation put into an "eastern psych" vibe; the orchestration features wha wha guitars, exotic stringed sitar and jazzy percussion parts. This composition is the rockiest moment of the album. "Raga Kirwani" carries on raga traditions, a subliminal duo between mystical sitar chords and tabla percussions. "Apocalypse" features "misplaced" synth passages. "Colours" is a blissed out and hypnotic raga rock song, including sitar melancholic chords and spaced out electronic effects. A solid album for adventurous fans of progressive rock.
Thanks to Philippe Blache for the artist addition. and to E&O Team for the last updates

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