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Tim Blake - Crystal Machine CD (album) cover


Tim Blake


Progressive Electronic

3.53 | 42 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars After his collaboration on Steve Hillage's debut "Fish Rising" and his departure from GONG in 1975, Tim Blake adopted the moniker "Crystal Machine" for his solo works. With the collaboration of light artist Patrice Warrener, Philippe Denis and Bernard Szajner (who worked on GONG tours and will later create Jean-Michel Jarre's laser harp), they will conceive the first live performances combining music and laser lighting.

This first album is mainly a compilation of live extracts from the Seasalter Free Festival in 1976, except "Synthèse Intemporel", recorded at Paris's Palace Theatre, February 1977. Improvised on EMS and Moog synthesizers, the music is spacey and ambient but remains different from what the German or French electronic bands were proposing during the same time period.

Curiously, the first two tracks are not the best ones. The aerial atmospheric "Midnight" is enjoyable, but a bit lengthy. Also ambient but more surprising, "Metro Logic" features tribal percussions sound effects. "Last Ride Of The Boogie Child" is trippy and possesses a slight mystical feel. Nice. Longest track of the record, the spacey style of "Synthèse Intemporel" reminds a little TANGERINE DREAM. My personal favorite. The disc concludes with short sci-fi atmospheric "Crystal Presence".

"Crystal Machine" is rather good but does neither possesses the hypnotic power of TANGERINE DREAM or Klaus Schulze nor the melodic accessibility of Jean-Michel Jarre. Maybe the music should be listened to in the context of laser shows to be fully appreciated. Anyway, this album contains nonetheless a few experimentations and will please vintage 70's electronica fans.

Modrigue | 3/5 |


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