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Eclectic Maybe Band - The Blind Night Watchers' Mysterious Landscapes CD (album) cover


Eclectic Maybe Band


Eclectic Prog

4.00 | 1 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars Emerging from the fertile avant-prog nation of Belgium comes one of the more adventurous bands of recent years to come out of the capital city Brussels. THE ECLECTIC MAYBE BAND may have only formed as recently as the year 2016 and released two albums to date but the band has mastered the sounds of avant-prog paradise and more than lives up to its moniker that hints at a flirtatious nod to the affirmative power of Yes only in a rather platitudinous kinda, sorta and in a way manner. This band was put together by none other than Guy Segers, one of the founding members of Univers Zero of the original Rock In Opposition scene that put the avant-prog scene on the music map and after several decades of floating in and out of UZ along with Present and other groups like Gurumaniax and Uneven Eleven, Segers has returned to the scene in order to create some of the most outrageous music of his career not since the heyday of UZ's 70s avenue of angularity.

Putting the ECLECTIC back into the world of avant-prog, Segers is joined by a cast of like-minded sonic experimentalists who master the art of polyrhythmic overdrive in seemingly opposite universes but somehow meet at the crossroads where the ley lines of sound conspire to take the pointillistic approach of Karlheinz Stockhausen woven from a tapestry of Univers Zero styled avant-prog, free jazz, squiggly progressive electronica and then transmogrified into a surreal atmospheric soundscape that's part semi-structured and extremely improvised. The results of this maelstrom of maddening motifs and oscillating fluctuation of rhythmic flows is the debut album titled THE BLIND NIGHT WATCHERS' MYSTERIOUS LANDSCAPES. And yep. It's weird. Very, very, VERY weird. On this debut Guy Segers (bass, samplers) is joined by Roland Binet (flute, tenor sax), Joe Higham (electronics, soprano sax, doudouk), Michel Delville (electric guitar), Catherine Smet (keyboards) and Dirk Wachtelaer (drums.)

Drifting somewhat like a massive murmuration of starlings blackening the sky as they make unpredictable hairpin turns in both creepy chaos and breathtaking unison, THE ECLECTIC MAYBE BAND crafts its sound by recording some of the simpler tracks, such as the bubbling zeuhl bass lines accompanied by jazzy drum rolls and then allowing the multitude of sounds to shapeshift around them faster than a chameleon can change its colors. Add to that an impeccable production job that offers freaky echoing effects, timbre fluctuations and subliminal Doppler effects and it's like a circus act of sound where Magma, UZ, Miles Davis and Amon Duul II went to an LSD party and pushed the record button. The list of tricks and trinkets seems endless and such mastery only results from a talented cast of avant-garde musicians who can simultaneously reach that mysterious quantum sphere of musical madness that remains out of the reach of mere vocabulary but channeled through the mysterious gods of sonic vibration whatever they may be or where they reside. Given the intensity of this music, it's a match made in heaven for the experimental label Discus Music which excels at sniffing out the strangest of the strange.

THE BLIND NIGHT WATCHERS' MYSTERIOUS LANDSCAPES is avant-progger's paradise which runs the gamut of somewhat accessible (but let's face it, this is TRUE difficult listening all the way through) tracks like "Gradual Assistance" which at least finds the instruments behaving as if they were in the same band, to the most outrageous noise rock fueled freak-a-zoid sectors of the album such as "Godsmacked Distraction" which finds each band member existing in its own universe and somehow connecting through an invisible thread to adhere the proper quantum elements to a greater whole of which we can only perceive but never quite grasp. If this sort of maddening "OMG can this even be called music?" sorta shtick is your ticket to ethereal ecstasy then THE ECLECTIC MAYBE BAND will scratch that itch many times over. While often erupting in a chaotic tumult like colony of lepers climaxing in intervals, the compositions generally speaking, start off with some sort of bass groove that ratchets up the tension along with the percussion and some atmospheric embellishments. New elements slowly ooze in until wham bam thank you, m'am, something hits your G spot and didn't even tell you.

Not for the faint of heart THE ECLECTIC MAYBE band seamlessly imbues its unique sonic thrust with a freeform Krautish looseness fortified with jazzy motifs, supple folky flute passages and jittery bass lines that stick to the avant-prog playbook only corralled into the a zeuhl fueled backbone that sustains the rather airy feel of the album. Despite the unorthodoxies exhibited in full regalia, THE BLIND NIGHT WATCHERS' MYSTERIOUS LANDSCAPES does not come off as the least bit scary as did early Univers Zero experiments such as "Heresie" (with the sole exception of the frenetic and gloom and doom fueled "Godsmacked Distraction." Rather this music is lighter and more akin to the soundtrack of an astral body experience where different timelines and even dimensions sort of bleed into one another thus creating a multi-reality experience but at times merging to the point where it feels like a full-band experience in one universal coordination. This debut album really hit hard and went for the avant-garde jugular much like a 20th century classical composer like Xenakis, Stockhausen or Cage would have done only with more layers on the accessibility spectrum. If this is too weird for you try the following album "Reflection In A Moebius Ring Mirror" which builds off of this debut and offers much more structure especially in the jazz arenas. For my avant-garde tastes though, this first offering REALLY hits the spot for unhinged freakiness.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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