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Tim Blake - Magick CD (album) cover

MAGICK

Tim Blake

 

Progressive Electronic

2.27 | 6 ratings

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Progfan97402
Prog Reviewer
2 stars 1991's Magick is Tim Blake's third solo album, released some 13 years after his previous offering, Blake's New Jerusalem. Between that time he briefly joined Hawkwind and appeared on Live '79 and Levitation and then seemed to lay low throughout the 1980s. Magick first appeared on Voiceprint with a totally hideous cover, with horrible typefont and hideous, dated computer altered photo of Tim Blake. What was Voiceprint thinking? Mantra in France released this the following year in 1992, and with the much more familiar cover (and the far more appealing Crystal Machine-era typefont). Voiceprint obviously loved the 1992 version so much better than their later pressing used that cover instead. The 1991 original just looks so dated and cheap you can almost expect to see it in some thrift/charity shop.

I can see why Magick isn't talked about much. God, this is cheesy. I mean those synths. I realize in 1991 everyone thought the EMS and Moog synthesizers were thought of as dated relics, so it's no surprise that he uses digital synths common to the time- period. Listening to this album gives you a big reason why a retro-boom would soon take off in the prog and progressive electronic world (such as Anglagard, Landberk, Anekdoten for prog, and Radio Massacre International, Redshift, Air Sculpture and Free System Projekt in the world of progressive electronic), where they hearken back to the glory days of the 1970s and use vintage gear. Tim was never the greatest singer out there, but on New Jerusalem at least they're tolerable (and Crystal Machine he only sings on one cut), but on Magick his voice sounds totally shot, as if he's been smoking too many cigarettes. The home made production really detracts as well. I hate to say this, but the original, hideous cover is actually better descriptive of the music that the much better known, much nicer cover. Crystal Machine and New Jerusalem certainly have very different approaches from each other, Crystal Machine being live improvisations, New Jerusalem a studio creation with vocals and Ovation and glissando guitars along with synths, and they are nothing short of amazing albums that has visited my turntable frequently through the years. Magick sounded like he just had little inspiration, as if to record this to let everyone know he did vanish. I also doubt Magick would be much better if he didn't sing. There's little variation with tempo and contrast throughout the CD, it has that awkward early '90s feel where a lot of those dreaded '80s production values, sound, and feel hadn't left completely. Crystal Machine and New Jerusalem are great albums that are very much worthy of your collection, Magick isn't one of them.

Progfan97402 | 2/5 |

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