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Eclectic Maybe Band - Reflection In A Moebius Ring Mirror CD (album) cover


Eclectic Maybe Band


Eclectic Prog

3.79 | 5 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars When Univers Zero founder and bassist Guy Segers formed his new project THE ECLECTIC MAYBE BAND in 2016, the project was sorta considered to be a one-off but due to the chemistry involved with the musicians and the natural flow of how it all came together, a second album was considered and only a year later the sophomore release REFLECTION IN A MOEBIUS RING MIRROR is released which is quite surprising since this sort of avant-prog project rarely gets it together in modern days to follow up a debut album so quickly. Called it old fashioned work ethics or just plain passion for the music, this second album follows in the footsteps of the debut but tames things down a bit and creates a more accessible style that revolves around jazz as much as the angular avant-prog of "The Blind Night Watchers' Mysterious Landscapes."

While the debut album was already an ambitious affair with six musicians cranking out counterpoints as if they existed in their own dimensions and convening at sonic ley lines in unseen morphogenetic fields, REFLECTION IN A MOEBIUS RING MIRROR finds a much larger addition of musicians rotating throughout the album. In addition to Segers, Roland Binet (flute, piccolo), Michele Delville (guitar), Catherine Smet (piano, keyboards) and Dirk Wachtelaer (drums) from the debut, this second offering includes two vocalists (Cathryn Robson, Carla Diratz), three saxophonists (Martin Archer, Joe Higham, Dave Newhouse), a trumpetist (Jean-Pierre Suarez), a violinist (Arlane Plumerai), a cellist (Sigrid Vandenbogaerden), more guitarists (Eric Lemaître, Angel Ontalva) and a second drummer (Frank Balestracci). Many of theses musicians also play second instruments which include clarinet, keyboards and electronic effects. Whoah! Despite such a full house, this album never seems too busy.

The first noticeable difference between the ethereal otherworldliness of the debut and this sophomore album is that this one is immediately more accessible with a funk laden bass groove and jazzy counterpoints in the keys and drums. The atmospheric spaciness is allowed off its leash fairly soon but rather than drifting off into space and into freeform, the music keeps somewhat of a structure but not like the debut that implemented zeuhl styled bass lines. This one adopts various jazz and related styles such as bebop, modal jazz and funk. "Oncoming Season Wake" introduces a vocal jazz style which is layered over the avant-prog and jazz-fusion workouts. It does sound a bit busy but despite being easier on the ear than the debut, this is still far from easy listening. While the vocals do their thing, the remaining instruments take on weird counterpoints with a freaky horror movie styled keyboard run, angular Fred Frith styled guitar workouts all the while jazzy drum rolls pummel away and various instruments peek in and out.

Given the vocals and the more structured bass lines relying on jazz, most other instruments are kept on a leash but always a lengthy one. While the grooves keep some sort of stability to the 11 tracks which takes the album to the 75 minute run of playing time, there are moments that resemble the debut. "Day Of The Tsunami" must have been one of the leftovers from those sessions as it evokes an extremely agitating swarm of angularity that relies on extreme contrast. Dissonant piano tinklings are surrounded by a chilled folky flute run while heavily distorted guitar sounds angrily duke it out in the back with no actual structure. Only the flute has a recognizable melody while the bass becomes a rhythmic time keeper as the drums as missing in action. The piano takes over where the guitars leave off and go completely bonkers as if a bar brawl had broken out on the piano itself. The drums join in and all hell breaks loose. Everything turns into a brutal noise-fest except that totally chilled out flute which emerges from the din after the raucous is over and ends the track as it began.

Overall, REFLECTION IN A MOEBIUS RING MIRROR is a really great followup. While not as out there and more structured, it introduces completely new styles of taking the avant-prog more into jazz territories. While the vocal pieces with lyrics are rather tame and don't jive with the rest of the album as perfectly as i'd like, the haunting vocals used as instruments on "Spreading An Invisible Stream" are right on target. The album is much more diverse with tame tracks and the most avant-garde possible such as the industrial sounding "Belgian Rain Drop" which features a metallic sound simulating rain drops while scary chamber rock sounds evoke the darkness of early Univers Zero, especially the frightening cacophony of "Heresie." The album finishes with the lengthy vocal jazz track "The Perfume Of The Flying Room" which sounds like a strange fusion of Miles Davis jazz, an older version of Billie Holliday with avant-prog backing. This is another bizarre album by THE ECLECTIC MAYBE BAND. Just enough of what came before and a lot of new ingredients. Personally i prefer the debut but can't deny this is a cleverly crafted jump into the pool of ECLECTIC. Love it.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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