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NEIL CAMPBELL COLLECTIVE

Eclectic Prog • United Kingdom


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Neil Campbell Collective biography
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THE NEIL CAMPBELL COLLECTIVE hails from Liverpool/UK and is headed by composer and multi-instrumentalist Neil Campbell. He started to pick up instruments at around the age of four and followed a number of seemingly divergent musical paths over the years - always maintaining an expanding interest in music that doesn't fit easily into pigeonholes such as rock, folk, jazz etc. His musical influences include english progressive rock bands of the 70s, krautrock and ambient amongst other things.

Known for being a virtuoso guitar soloist he became involved with the free improvisation and acoustic scene in Liverpool. Around this time he also began postgraduate studies in Music through the University of Liverpool. Neil Campbell has produced two CDs of solo guitar music - 'Through the Looking Glass' (2003) and 'Night Sketches' (2004) and a book of Music for Solo Guitar. He has also recorded a CD of Music for Cello and Guitar with cellist Nicole Collarbone - 'Fall' (2006) - and an album of songs in collaboration with Stuart Todd, entitled 'Campbell Todd' (2007).

THE NEIL CAMPBELL COLLECTIVE combines classical guitar, cello, bass and drums in virtuosic musical workouts, extended instrumental excursions and chilled out acoustic episodes which mix classical, rock, folk, drum and bass and other musical styles into seamless tour de forces of musical adventurism. As a live band they are a powerhouse of originality and a force to be reckoned with.

Besides Neil Campbell the core of the band consists of Nicole Collarbone (a seasoned session cellist and mainstay on the Liverpool acoustic scene), drummer Mark Brocklesby (a studio engineer, producer, composer and drummer percussionist), bassist Andy Maslivec, Christine Horton on keyboards and Jeff Jepson on vocals and synthesizer. They are augmented by other musicians for their recordings and sometimes for live performances - hence the 'Collective' concept.

In May 2005 they privately released their debut album '3 O'Clock Sky' which has received local, national and international airplay. Their album has also attracted an array of fine reviews from local and national press and dedicated web sites. The band's second album 'Particle Theory', released in early 2008, features an eclectic range of musical styles, sonic diversions and a wealth of guest musicians.

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NEIL CAMPBELL COLLECTIVE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Night Sketches
2004
3.00 | 1 ratings
3 O'Clock Sky
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
Assembly/Rotations
2007
3.92 | 10 ratings
Particle Theory
2008

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NEIL CAMPBELL COLLECTIVE Reviews


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 Particle Theory by CAMPBELL COLLECTIVE, NEIL album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.92 | 10 ratings

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Particle Theory
Neil Campbell Collective Eclectic Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator Psych/Space Team & Band Submissions

4 stars This is a new experience for me and if an album ever deserves to be attributed as progressive - 'Particle Theory' is involved. A sophisticated approach and realization is to state - made for music gourmets. As for Neil Campbell's composing skills he succeeds to join a wealth of varying styles and moods. It's not rather necessary to underline that he's also a master of classical guitar - you just can hear it. And so the music of this collective is even offering an orchestral chamber flavour sometimes - augmented by Nicole Collarbone's cello. Something like the unique trademark you can say.

The album holds mainly instrumental pieces and a special suspense in its entirety - wrapped in the two parts of the title song Particle Theory. The opening part is an art rock tune which shows a dynamical band provided with slight classical portions from the acoustic guitar and cello. It would be a real shame to listen to this song only once because a lot of details are to discover. Bubbling synths are adding some spacey impressions and build up the transiton to the next song.

This is obviously differing to the more singer/songwriter orientation on the foreunner '3 O'Clock Sky'. As for that matter - the following More Particles - somewhat unconventional or contrary at a first glance - comes up with electronic ambient soundscapes ala Tangerine Dream. Normally the listener does not know much about the composer's intention and likings unless he's able to dissect and analyze the songs right down to the last detail. However, being aware of Campbell's krautrock influences all unclarities are cleared soon.

The following songs are all played in a wonderful melancholic mood - somewhat orchestral with a fusion based rhythm work at the same time whereas The Line and Angels and Aeroplanes are provided with vocals as a noticable difference. The closing part of Particle Theory starts with a duet by acoustic guitar and celtic harp until the band begins to hurry up once again in a psychedelic mood. Finally not to forget the other collective members not mentioned by name who one and all play on a high level - Mark Brocklesby's excellent drumming with accentuated cimbal use to rank foremost.

'Particle Theory' requires more than one listen. Recommended to fans of modern eclectic music. Let me close with a minimal plagiarism, picked up from another review I stumbled upon somewhere: 'just too damn clever for the mainstream'.

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 Particle Theory by CAMPBELL COLLECTIVE, NEIL album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.92 | 10 ratings

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Particle Theory
Neil Campbell Collective Eclectic Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Neil Campbell and his Collective takes us on an amazing journey on their sophomore release.

The musical landscapes visited on these 8 compositions are highly varied; as the mix of styles and the instrumentation used is rather unique.

From the opening tunes with their space-tinged explorations in territories close to Hawkwind and Íresund Space Collective to the following numbers with more distinct passages from classical sounding instruments (although still rock with a psychedelic tinge) this is a wild, unexpected and highly enjoyable ride on a groundbreaking musical rollercoaster.

Highly recommended to space rockers and psychedelic fans; as well as people generally interested in original, experimental music.

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Thanks to rivertree for the artist addition.

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