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Limbus 3 & 4 - Cosmic Music Experience  CD (album) cover


Limbus 3 & 4



2.72 | 14 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars The music of Limbus 3 was hardly proficient enough to qualify as avant-garde (meaning: the forefront of an artistic movement, which these guys certainly were not). Instead, they were content to function as motivated amateurs, with no real creative agenda beyond a noisy disregard for structure and form. At a time when music was learning how to liberate itself from the twin manacles of melody and rhythm, this was truly artless stuff, even when it skirted the ragged edge of an actual riff, usually by accident, and never for long.

But at the same time it's hard not to admire their slapdash, anything-goes attitude. "Oneway Trip" opens the album with a sudden cartoon 'sproinggg!' and a gust of laughter, which sums up the project nicely. Midway into the trip a cool groove actually develops...until it falls apart, of course.

A pair of brief, almost cheerful interludes follows. "Valiha" is named for one of the trio's more arcane instruments: a bamboo zither from Madagascar with a lovely bucolic sound. And "Brueghel's Hochzeitstanz" (Brueghel's Wedding Dance, featuring an obviously tipsy bridegroom) is even more playful: The Residents at pre-school, snacking on milk and graham crackers.

Which leaves the 22-minute "New Atlantis", subtitled "Islands Near Utopia" and likely filling the original album's entire B-Side. The track's length suggests an epic journey, but don't be misled: the fabled Lost Continent might have been an inspiration, but needless to say we're a long way from Eloy's "Ocean" here. On a purely aesthetic level it's little more than a Rorschach inkblot set to music, and the image it presents isn't a pretty one, full of atonal cello scrapes and other organic noises, all of them no doubt fabricated on the spot.

To best approach such hardcore noodling you only need to ask one question: were the performers actually listening to each other, or simply indulging in reckless noisemaking? I'm inclined to suspect more of the latter here, but in 1969 this kind of arbitrary improvisation served a greater purpose. Without such contrary impulses, would the full spectrum of Progressive Rock ever have evolved?

Neu!mann | 2/5 |


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