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Clark Hutchinson - A=mh2 CD (album) cover


Clark Hutchinson


Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

3.87 | 42 ratings

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4 stars Vastly superior to this duo's other two releases - the messy 'Gestalt' and the underwhelming 'Retribution' - 'A=,MH2' is a truely psychedelic, late-1960's Indian/Raga/psych/folk/prog marathon that finds an almost perfect balance between the east and the west, the raga and the rock, and the calm and the crazed. Made up of multi-instrumentalist Andy Clark and guitar-virtuoso Mick Hutchinson, the aptly-named 'Clark Hutchinson' met sometime during the 1960's when both musicians could be found in the underground group Sam Gopal Dream. From the sound of their music it seems likely that the twosome might have been fond of the odd herbal-or-psychotropic tipple, and after the demise of the oddly-monikered Sam Gopal Dream, the duo decided to pair-up and explore the sounds of India and beyond, merging those exotic sounds with a western 'rock' dynamic. So far, so pretty high-minded and Hippie-dippie. But hey, it was a different time back then, and it sounded good. Unbelievebly, experimentation was the creative watchword at the tail end of the sixties/beginning of the 1970's, and any musicians trying this sort of thing in 2010 would be instantly straightjacketed 'World Music'. Clark Hutchinson may have had lofty ambitions and seriously leftfield practices, but they also had immense talent and, dare we say it, foresight into the natural progressive arc of rock music(!). Along with fellow brits Jade Warrior, who produced three excellent oriental-tinged prog/folk/rock albums at around the same time, Clark Hutchinson were part of a small niche of artists who eschewed the bluesy or the overtly-progressive in favour of casting their sonic nets to lands farther afield. 'A+MH2' is possibly the apex of the genre - strong words, I know - because it positively drips with an earthy authenticity that truly places this album as lovingly-crafted epoch to the now stereotypical sitar-and-tabla drenched style of Indian music. It's also a damn good LP. It's easy to see where modern groups such as San Francisco's mind-melting psych-rockers Wooden Shjips(the 'j' is deliberate) get their epic, motorik-grooved and deeply trippy soundscapes from, and from start-to-finish the whole album reverberates with cosmic bliss for those in love with the psychedelic side of psych/rock. Without a doubt, one of the trippiest albums from the trippiest period in modern music. And that's no mean thing. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010
stefro | 4/5 |


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