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Stardrive - Intergalactic Trot CD (album) cover




Progressive Electronic

3.11 | 7 ratings

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3 stars Stardrive was a short-lived project created by keyboardist Robert Mason in order to present his multi-voiced synthesizer.As stated on the LP ''...Robert Mason has built the worlds first multi- voiced synthesizer that can be played like a real keyboard instrument with full chords and tonal clusters.''.For that reason he composed the album ''Intergalactic trot'' back in 1973,released on Elektra,where he was helped by session musicians on bass,guitars,drums and saxes,among them famous sax player Michael Brecker is the most recognizable figure.

The all instrumental album opens with ''Rushes'',a complex keyboard journey with a fast tempo and many changes,followed by a weird cover of The Beatles' ''Strawberry Fields Forever'', fully-synth oriented with this light symphonic feeling.''Stardrive'', closing the first side of the LP, is quite remarkable.Sort of a complex TODD RUNDGREN'S UTOPIA with occasional GENESIS moog-styled loops in the vein of ''The cinema show'' with also a taste of Funk and jazzy guitars at the middle section.Many changes, dramatic passages and improvised keyboard solos complete a nice soundscape.

Side two will open with the pompous symphonic number ''Dr. Tandem'',again fast and furious music with nice synths but a bit cheesy at moments.With ''Want to Take You Higher'' Mr. Mason starts walking in the Jazz/Fusion territory,another rich composition with a Fusion-edge,while ''Everything at Once'' starts off like a romantic piece of Symphonic Rock,built around smooth guitar work and delicate synths to feature later jazzy guitars and free sax soloing.With the closing eponymous track,Stardrive step into Jazz-Rock/Fusion for good.And here Mr. Mason decided to leave some space to the rest of his team,though his synths are again dominant.Most notably to Michael Brecker,who's fiery sax follows Mason's synths almost throughout the whole track,while the rhythm section is again on a funky mood.

I do not know what happened to Robert Mason's unique instrument,which sounds a lot like a mix of moog,polymoog and clavinet,but this album was a good introduction to his sound to say the least with a very rich and adventurous sound,which will be greatly appreciated by the keyboard fanatics of prog music.Recommended.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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