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Michael Mayer & Dean Rouch picture
Michael Mayer & Dean Rouch biography
This is a collaboration between two unknown American musicians, Michael Mayer and Dean Rouch. They composed and released a privately pressed LP in 1983 under the title ''Face of the wind''.The first side contains material composed by Dean Rouch, while the second is written by Michael Mayer, and the sound has strong similarities with the typical proggy material performed by the British bands during the 80's, albeit with a pretty US-styled approach. Both played multiple instruments with little contribution by some guest musicians in some tracks. Mayer's traces have been lost in time, while Dean Rouch participated in several small bands and albums throughout his career, although all of them had no particular interest from a progressive point of view.

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3.09 | 4 ratings
Face Of The Wind

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Face Of The Wind by MAYER & DEAN ROUCH, MICHAEL album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.09 | 4 ratings

Face Of The Wind
Michael Mayer & Dean Rouch Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Michael Mayer and Dean Rouch propably shared the same taste for progressive music and decided to collaborate for an album in early-80's.They were based in Indiana, USA and shared each side of the their lone vinyl ''Face of the wind'' considering the compositions, otherwise both played in all tracks as multi-instrumentalists on percussion, keyboards and flute, while Rouch also played the violin, guitar, mandolin and provided lead vocals.Two drummers offer the played parts on the first two tracks, Judy Hanna plays double bass on the last one and there are also two female singers providing backing voices in another pair.The album came out in 1983 as a private press.

The first side was composed by Dean Rouch, apparently he had a more folky background than his colleague, thus this part of the album contains lots of rural passages next to the standard lines of a dreamy, symphonic style.The music is heavily based on keyboards with a typical US taste, maybe a less intricate HANDS should do the trick, containing elaborate arrangements and expressive vocals, there was no mood for nonsense instrumental fanfares, but there was true love for lush Progressive Rock and the material is actually very strong, entering the gates of symphonic grandieur quite often and delivering some instrumental depth due to the use of mandolin and violin over the keyboard and piano lines.Second side, composed by Mayer, was a bit more more GENESIS-influenced, reminding of HOLDING PATTERN or NORTH STAR, there are still some folky touches, coming mostly from the Rouch'es violin, among the keyboard and guitar moves, but the sound is closer to the British style of 80's Prog, with emphatic vocals, more flashy keyboard parts and a tendency towards atmospheric textures, highlighted by the 8-min. Symphonic Rocke-er ''Fly''.Even the acoustic closer ''Pentagon prayer'' reminds me a lot of Anthony Phillips-era GENESIS with a touch of KANSAS.

It seems that the guys took their own ways after the album was released and, while unable to detect Mayer's traces, Rouch is still involved with music nowadays, having played in various small bands and mostly focusing on his background as a Folk musician.

Very interesting 80's US Prog and excellent job on mixing the instruments, despite the limited technical equipment.Dreamy Neo/Symphonic Prog with Folk overtones and definitely a good candidate for a proper reissue...3.5 stars.

Thanks to psarros for the artist addition.

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