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TIM BOWNESS

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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Tim Bowness picture
Tim Bowness biography
Born 29 November 1963 (Latchford, Cheshire, UK)

Tim BOWNESS is primarily known as vocalist/co-writer with the band NO-MAN, a long-running collaboration with Steven WILSON (PORCUPINE TREE).

In addition to releasing six studio albums and a documentary DVD with NO-MAN, Tim has worked with popular Italian artist ALICE, Robert FRIPP, Hugh HOPPER (SOFT MACHINE), OSI, WHITE WILLOW, Nick MAGNUS and ROXY MUSIC's Phil MANZANERA (amongst many others), and is a member of the bands HENRY FOOL and MEMORIES OF MACHINES.

Tim recorded the album 'Flame'(1994) with Richard BARBIERI (PORCUPINE TREE/ex-JAPAN), co-produced/co-wrote 'Talking With Strangers' (2009) for Judy DYBLE (ex-FAIRPORT CONVENTION), and continues to collaborate with Peter CHILVERS (Brian ENO/Karl HYDE).

Since 2001, Tim has co-run the successful specialist online label/store BURNING SHED with NO-MAN live bassist, Pete MORGAN.

In 2004, Tim released his debut album 'My Hotel Year'. 'Abandoned Dancehall Dreams' (from 2014 and on InsideOut Music) is his second.

Biography provided by the artist and used with permission

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TIM BOWNESS discography


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TIM BOWNESS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.82 | 11 ratings
Tim Bowness & Richard Barbieri: Flame
1994
4.00 | 8 ratings
Tim Bowness & Samuel Smiles: World Of Bright Futures
1999
4.00 | 1 ratings
Tim Bowness / Samuel Smiles - The Way We Used to Live
2000
3.35 | 11 ratings
Tim Bowness & Peter Chilvers: California, Norfolk
2002
3.19 | 15 ratings
My Hotel Year
2004
3.81 | 119 ratings
Abandoned Dancehall Dreams
2014
3.89 | 91 ratings
Stupid Things That Mean the World
2015
3.62 | 72 ratings
Lost In The Ghost Light
2017
3.74 | 58 ratings
Flowers At The Scene
2019
3.89 | 9 ratings
Tim Bowness & Peter Chilvers: Modern Ruins
2020
3.71 | 20 ratings
Late Night Laments
2020

TIM BOWNESS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 1 ratings
Tim Bowness / Samuel Smiles - Live Archive One
2000

TIM BOWNESS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

TIM BOWNESS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Tim Bowness / Peter Chilvers - Overstrand
2002

TIM BOWNESS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Sleepwalker
2004
3.09 | 11 ratings
Songs from the Ghost Light
2017
0.00 | 0 ratings
Voiceloops
2017
0.00 | 0 ratings
Schoolyard (Demos)
2017
0.00 | 0 ratings
Postcards From the Scene
2019

TIM BOWNESS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Late Night Laments by BOWNESS, TIM album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.71 | 20 ratings

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Late Night Laments
Tim Bowness Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars Since 2015's 'Stupid Things That Mean The World', Bowness has released two more solo albums (plus one with no-man and one with Peter Chilvers) and is now back with the third solo release 'Late Night Laments', so his sixth to date. Mixed by Steven Wilson and mastered by Calum Malcolm (The Blue Nile, Prefab Sprout), this album is mostly a collaboration between Bowness and Brian Hulse, who provides synths, keyboards, guitars and programmed drums, yet there are also plenty of guests (although not as many as is often the case) including of course Colin Edwin and Richard Barbieri, but a special mention must be made of Tom Atherton, whose vibraphone provides a very different feeling to about half the numbers, while singer Melanie Woods may only be on three songs but has she has a major impact.

This is less dynamic than the last album I heard of is, more focus on softer numbers and beauty, yet is no less powerful for that. The vibraphone provides a strike and delay that is very different to keyboards, and when combined with fretless bass it has a wonderful effect, and then of course at the front we have Tim's vocals. He truly is one of our finest singers, with a hidden strength, and his knowledge of how to layer the arrangements and yet somehow keeping them simple and allowing his voice to always be at the forefront of what is happening is very special indeed. I can understand why some people may feel this album is a little "samey", but each one of these numbers is a delight, and the result is something I can play all day. Fans of no-man or Bowness should all be grabbing this as yet again he shows why he is so renowned as writer and performer.

 Stupid Things That Mean the World by BOWNESS, TIM album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.89 | 91 ratings

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Stupid Things That Mean the World
Tim Bowness Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars It may have taken 10 years for Tim to release his second solo album, but just a year on from 'Abandoned Dancehall Dreams' he was back with his third. Wilson is absent from this one, but Tim is not wanting for guitarists as not only is Michael Bearpark back, but Bruce Soord (The Pineapple Thief) is also on hand to be involved in plenty of songs, and Phil Manzanera, Peter Hammill, and Rhys Marsh also get involved in that area. Mastelotto is involved in just one song this time around as Andrew Booker takes on the lead drummer role, and we also have some strings involved. Right from opener "The Great Electric Teenage Dream" one realises we are in for quite a different album to the last one, as there are times when the guitars are quite strident and driving, and the drums pushing through, not what one always expects from Bowness. It does not matter what is going on behind him though, as his vocals are always soft and gentle, with that hint of melancholy and emotion, unforced yet with real power and strength.

Contrast that to "Sing To Me", where repeated piano chords and violins are all that are required on the introduction to accompany Tim as he tells his tale. He works through many different styles during the course of this album, always with his vocals to the fore, and the result is an album which is his most dynamic and compelling to date. There are more levels to this release, more layers, yet always with those vocals at the front. Tim has a way of understanding less is more, and one of the most poignant and powerful songs on the album is "Know That You Were Loved", which has Tim singing against acoustic guitar and slide. There is no room to hide, but the simplicity grabs the listener and brings them in close. "Everything You're Not" is another special song, and not just for the presence of Hammill, but the way it commands attention even though it is delicate and gentle. Very much a songs-based album, Bowness again shows he is one of our finest singers and understands there is no need to be forceful and over the top when grace and majesty does the job just as well.

 Abandoned Dancehall Dreams by BOWNESS, TIM album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.81 | 119 ratings

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Abandoned Dancehall Dreams
Tim Bowness Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars I first came across Tim in the band No Man is an Island (Except the Isle of Man), where he was vocalist and co-writer with Steven Wilson. They soon shorted their name to no-man, and I reviewed various of their albums back in the Nineties, and Tim worked with various different musicians until he finally released his own debut back in 2004, 'Hotel', which I also reviewed. A short ten years later, and 2014 saw Tim release his second solo album, 'Abandoned Dancehall Dreams'. There are a host of other musicians, including of course Wilson, and colleagues from no-man, with plenty of other incredible talents such as drummers Pat Mastelotto and Andrew Booker. But this album is not really about the music, as that is always very much the accompaniment for Tim's wonderful vocals.

Anyone who has come across no-man will have an expectation for what is being delivered here, and they will not be disappointed. There is a whimsical melancholy about Tim's material, and an honesty and genuineness that other bands aspire to but rarely achieve. Tim's relationship with guitarist Michael Bearpark goes back many years, not only with no-man but other outfits, and his use of different guitar techniques to emphasise the emotions in the voice is sublime, with Stuart Laws providing bass that has the right amount of delicacy and warmth. There are times when the music feels quite twee, such as on "Smiler at 52", yet the emotions and reality of the vocals take the song in quite a different direction from the electronic backing which is behind it. This is an album which bears repeated listening as there is a great deal to be taken from it, by singer who has been at the front of the game for many years.

 My Hotel Year by BOWNESS, TIM album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.19 | 15 ratings

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My Hotel Year
Tim Bowness Crossover Prog

Review by A Crimson Mellotron

3 stars 'My Hotel Year' is a collection of melancholic songs dripped in sorrow, even spleen on a few occasions, and if I am not wrong this is Tim Bowness' first entirely solo record where he is responsible for the lyrics and the music for the most part. One thing is evident, and this is his unique take on the art rock and even progressive rock; a bit of the alternative scene might have also influenced this particular album, being released in 2004.

The songs are minimally composed without overproduction, carefully crafted, so that each one serves a purpose. The keyboards are the musical backbone on 'My Hotel Year' with some tape recordings, occasional guitars, fuzz bass, and other effects, all placed well in my opinion.

But this is really a record to listen to on a cold rainy night. Tim Bowness conducts quite well the feelings of loneliness, desperation, disappointment with love, and misunderstanding. It feels like a very personal and retrospective record, with some memorable and intriguing art rock numbers like 'I Once Loved You', 'The Me I Knew', 'Hotel Year', 'Making A Mess In A Clean Place'. 'My Hotel Year' is an interesting album but lacks the coherence that, for example, the No-Man albums have, or the Porcupine Tree ones from that same period.

 Late Night Laments by BOWNESS, TIM album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.71 | 20 ratings

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Late Night Laments
Tim Bowness Crossover Prog

Review by Heart of the Matter

3 stars A nice laid-back singer-songwriter piece of work, still full of colours and shades, this latest album by Tim Bowness encompasses his sensibility well framed by the talented instrumental help brought aboard for the occasion. Outstanding progressive brightness is provided by Kavus Torabi on the electric guitar, and circumpspect but ever imaginative sense of depth is what we expect (and obtain) from Richard Barbieri, of Porcupine Tree fame, on the keyboards.

However, the sense of variation from song to song is not so strong as one might have desired, in fact, I feel it falls a little bit short. Don't misunderstand me, even so, I have enjoyed, for example, tracks 01 Northern Rain, and 04 We Caught the Light, which, in addition to the above adduced virtues, feature good vocal harmonies and impeccably emulated staccatto strings.

It's just that this high level of interest is not sustained by each and every track, so, for average's sake, take it as a good one

 Flowers At The Scene by BOWNESS, TIM album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.74 | 58 ratings

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Flowers At The Scene
Tim Bowness Crossover Prog

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Flowers At The Scene (2019) displays Tim Bowness´relentless music composition maturity clearly and for good.

In this release, as he usually does, he surrounds himself with a great cast of collaborators and as always Tim Bowness sounds like Tim Bowness and no one else.

I could tire you out with Mr. Bowness credentials, but I have done that in other reviews.

In this album there is an energetic feel which renews his heritage, like new blood, and it is all his and it happens all way through from track one to track eleven.

Simplification has been one of Tim Bowness guidelines and he does this without cutting off musical ideas (which he has plenty, both very good & unique), opposite to that this is done by solely displaying the essentials in his compositions, performances, recording and production even in his very intimate lyrics.

So expect diversity in all of Mr. Bowness´ musical language´s scope and a storm of memorable moments compressed in great songs.

4 PA´s stars.

 Flowers At The Scene by BOWNESS, TIM album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.74 | 58 ratings

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Flowers At The Scene
Tim Bowness Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Forum & Site Admin Group Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars Tim Bowness is probably most famous for his work with Steven Wilson as the duo known as "No-man", which started out as a progressive dance project, and ended up as a mostly minimalist band that played and sang beautifully lush compositions. He has also released several solo and collaboration full length albums, 9 to be exact, at least to this point.

His ninth album is called "Flowers at the Scene" and was released on March 1, 2019. Tim does most of the vocals and synths, but has recruited a line up of guest musicians that is basically a Who's-who of progressive artists. We have appearances of Peter Hammill from Van der Graff Generator, Andy Partridge from XTC, Kevin Godley from 10cc, Colin Edwin from Porcupine Tree, Jim Matheos from Fates Warning and OSI, David Longdon from Big Big Train, and several others. The tracks on the album are all between 3 and 5 minutes with 11 tracks total adding up to a runtime of about 43 minutes.

"I Go Deeper" alternates between a heavy moderate beat with a guitar riff and a atmospheric softness on the chorus. His vocals are unmistakably his trademark sound, especially on the soft sections. "The Train that Pulled Away" starts with a subdued march style percussion and violins emulating a train. Bowness' beautiful vocals reflect a feeling of loneliness and a swelling violin accompanies him. Later, a cello provides bass when the full drum pattern kicks in. "Rainmark" features Jim Matheos. Shimmering synths provide the background and is later joined by a moderate rhythm and occasional brass which slowly build to the lovely guitar solo sandwiched between Tim's airy vocals that always evoke emotions.

"Not Married Anymore" has a pensive feel, but with tonal percussive sounds and piano accompaniment. Dylan Howe guests on drums. Nothing generates the feeling of loneliness or the feeling of regret in music more than Tim's emotional vocals. Exquisite! Jim Matheos also guests on the title track "Flowers at the Scene". This has a more jazz feel to it, a little more upbeat with piano, synths and drums. Jim's perfect guitar work joins in on the 2nd verse and during the instrumental break and it fits perfectly to the feel of the song. "It's the World" features Jim again and Peter Hammill. The song is immediately darker feeling with a heavy guitar and synths. Steven Wilson definitely has a part in this too, it can be heard in the dark, and later, louder feel of the track. I would guess the background harmonies involve Wilson and Hammill here also. This is one I wish was longer.

"Borderline" features Dylan Howe again along with David Longdon on background vocals and flute. There is also a trumpet involved with this soft jazz track. "Ghostlike" starts with a heavy drum progression and stylish synths. This is another dark track and a bit heavier than others and becoming atmospheric in the last minute. This is also the longest track of just over 5 minutes. "The War on Me" returns to a pensive feel with processed piano and synths and airy vocals. "Killing to Survive" features Peter Hammill again. Jangly guitar and piano build under the vocals and a steady drum during the chorus. Hammill's distinctive vocals come in on the 2nd chorus. There is also a great guitar solo in the break, but it's too short. "What Lies Here" features Andy Partridge and Kevin Godley on secondary vocals. Synths and guitar bring in an atmospheric introduction before Tim's airy and pensive vocals start. The harmonized vocals by the guests are a very nice touch here. The track stays soft and atmospheric throughout.

This album is another beautiful reminder of Tim Bowness' musical interpretation skills and it is hard to find a vocalist that can convey lyrics the way that he can. The music on here is mostly soft and melancholic, but that is what I love about his music. There are a few instances where things are more upbeat also, and that lends variety to the album. The one problem is the fact that it only has light doses of Progressiveness, but that is hardly noticeable because of Tim's vocal abilities and textures. the other drawback is I wish a few of the tracks were a little longer. As a regular album, this would be teetering on a 5 star album, but since it is not really that progressive, for the purpose of this site it has to be 4 stars. This is a beautiful album.

 Lost In The Ghost Light by BOWNESS, TIM album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.62 | 72 ratings

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Lost In The Ghost Light
Tim Bowness Crossover Prog

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

3 stars A natural turn of events.

Tim Bowness' "Lost in the Ghost Light", 2017, musical language displays an ellaborated simplicity very much in tune with the best of Pop and Rock's easily radio waveable friendly songs. Of course this styling falls naturally in his slow paced, dream like ballads as in his most precious attribute his bare naked, fully emotional lyrics, where music as such is at their command.

It will be totally unwise to bash this project because of the before mentioned closeness to mainstream audiences, worse considering how narrow the borders between Prog and white Pop/Rock eventually turned out in these modern times and if anything (as always) his guest ensemble is quiet a dream team!

Clean, attractive and showing a healthy unpretentiousness, this release does not break any kind of unexplored grounds but emphasizes the well established and focused side of Tim Bowness' personal, atmospheric and melancholic moods and his up front approach in their musical expression as in his unmistakable narrative, moving, as told, towards detailed simplicity and transparent perfection.

*** 3.5 PA stars.

 Lost In The Ghost Light by BOWNESS, TIM album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.62 | 72 ratings

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Lost In The Ghost Light
Tim Bowness Crossover Prog

Review by The Jester

3 stars Review # 48. It is possible that some of you are not familiar with the name Tim Bowness, so maybe it is better to begin by saying a few things about him. Tim Bowness is an English songwriter, singer, keyboard player and producer, who worked with many famous musicians during his career. He is mostly known as the vocalist and co-writer of Steven Wilson's project No-Man. But further than that, he worked with Robert Fripp (King Crimson), Phil Manzanera (Roxy Music), Hugh Hopper (Soft Machine) and Judy Dyble (Fairport Convention), among others. Lost in a Ghost Light is his brand new album, in which 13 musicians are participating. So, further than Tim, there are 12 more musicians, playing a rather wide variety of instruments, including some very good and famous musicians, such as Ian Anderson on flute, Colin Edwin (ex-Porcupine Tree) on bass, Bruce Soord (The Pineapple Thief) of guitars, and Kit Watkins (Camel) on flute and Waterphone (!). Let's take a closer look to the album now. Lost in a Ghost Light includes 8 tracks, and has a total running time of almost 45 minutes. Judging from the album's running time, I assume that it must also be available in Vinyl, further than the CD and Digital edition. It is a concept album, with the main story being about a Rock musician who is aging, and tries to share his fears about the future with us . You will not find any tales of alien invasions or the fall of humanity here, but rather the simplicity of a story about the life of a musician, that turns the album into a beautiful trip. The music is influenced by the sound of some legendary bands of the 70's mostly, such as Pink Floyd and/or Camel. It is a rather melodic and melancholic album, with very few exceptions, like ''Kill the Pain that's Killing You' for example. Based upon the 3-4 listening I've done so far, the songs I like the most are: 'Words of Yesterday' 'Nowhere good to Go' 'You'll be the Silence' and 'Distant Summers', including Ian Anderson on flute and Steve Bingham on violin. (Maybe the album's best moment). My rating would be between 3.0 and 3.5 stars
 Stupid Things That Mean the World by BOWNESS, TIM album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.89 | 91 ratings

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Stupid Things That Mean the World
Tim Bowness Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars One hour, less a second (59.59). That is a pretty slick running time for a two CD album, surely not a coincidence! Tim Bowness needs little introduction, his work with No-Man (Steve Wilson's 'other' and 'longest project'), Henry Fool and countless other cameo appearances, have also consolidated his reputation that has burgeoned ever since his 2014 album 'Abandoned Dancehall Dreams' (ADD) hit the market and garnered generally glowing reviews, a redefining of a new stage in Bowness' career. I was also a huge fan of that imperial 2CD offering that frankly contained all the goods and included Steve Wilson on various instruments. Well, the thrill continues on 2015's near cousin 'Stupid Things that Mean the World' but SW is 'replaced' by none other than the legendary Phil Manzanera who worked with Tim on the latest Henry Fool album, the sizzling and all-instrumental 'Men Singing'. Phil is one of my all-time heroes as the man can do no wrong in my eyes and is a top 5 guitarist if there ever was one! Plus he is good pals with David Gilmour but that is another story altogether. Despite the impression that this is a follow-up continuation of ADD (even the artwork feels the same), there are some other differences besides Manzanera, such as the regal presence of Peter Hammill (talk about legend!) as well as David Rhodes, he of Random Hold and Peter Gabriel fame. Another treat is the sheer quality of the tracks, some total gems are to be found and heard with drooling glee. They keep a definite course between dreamy pop heavily loaded with progressive touches and highly reflective material that harkens back to No-Man days. Finally, the progression from ADD is quite evident and highly pleasurable, an artist continually hedging forward and beyond.

The show begins on a very high note, the thrilling 'The Great Electric Teenage Dream' is perhaps one of Bowness' finer moments, a short and thunderous dirge, emboldened by a marshalling drum beat and some raucous guitar rubbings that are one step away from Fripp (Michael Bearpark and Bruce Soord) , and a repetitive 'dream' insistence. This is very 'Heroes'-period David Bowie and a fabulous opening salvo.

How about a second killer song, eh? How about an old No-Man song out of the bag? Tim's usual hushed style kicks in on the sublime 'Sing to Me' which comes across as a perfect prog-pop song, piano and organ leading the way. It's devastatingly beautiful and expressive, immediately clasping your jugular and ripping it out. Very strong Steve Wilson penned song that could easily have made the grade with either No-Man or Wilson solo.

'Where You Have Always Been' is a sweeter voyage, delicately romantic and pastoral, in that oh so very English way, plucking strings in the background and a rolling piano motif that exudes nostalgia and romance. Manzanera handles the whimsical guitar parts, as well as the keyboards, since he co-wrote the song with Tim.

Time for some quirky, bass-driven fun, courtesy of Colin Edwin with the looping title track, imagine a proggier version of that superb early 90s Brit pop band The Lightning Seeds, as Ian Broudie's voice is very similar to Tim's. Swirling violins, some 'echo' guitars from Soord, and a lush but tight feel.

That celestial feeling continues with nearly 7 minute 'Know That You Were Loved' that otherwise features a classically pure and simple guitar solo, all crystal glitter and diamond dust. Bright summer colours and a shimmering shade, rolling green meadows, flushed with dewy redolence, twangy pedal steel guitar shifts from Rhys Marsh, this is reflective English country music, cowlads!

Next up, a trio of 3-4 minute ditties that are immensely expressive even though they come in small packages. 'Press Reset' offers that perennial contrast between light and shade, nice and ponderous shoe gazing contemplation that suddenly veers into tempestuous verve, fueled by a nasty upfront bass guitar line and some ferocious orchestrations that spell doom and gloom. The buzzing bass continues on the companion piece 'All These Escapes', the multi-layered voices do the piece incredible justice, cymbals caressing the ivories and laying down the emotions on some satin-laced cushion. And finally, 'Everything You Are Not' which finds itself loaded to the gills with huge swaths of choir work, lush innocence and fathomless desperation. Peter Hammill shows up on backing vocals and slide guitar.

Then we have a couple real short tracks (1-2 minute in length) that condense even more creativity within a tight sequence, one instrumental and the other mostly vocal ('Soft William') , armed with spooky lyrics 'the ghost of family and an air of defeat'. Disc one ends with the whimsical orchestrations of 'At the End of the Holidays', a curious blend of a Penguin Caf' Orchestra-like score and Tim's sweet musings on the human condition. A delightful organ rip gives this piece its letters of noblesse, stirring strings offer support fire.

Disc 2 is a brief affair, 17 minutes long but filled with talented and remixed tracks that have already been critiqued. It's just music, man! The cover and artwork are shining examples of neo70s psychedelia (think Yellow Submarine) that correctly time warps the music inside into a completely different realm altogether. Tim is on a roll.

4.5 Idiotic effects

Thanks to kev rowland for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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