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Taylor's Free Universe - Family Shot CD (album) cover


Taylor's Free Universe



3.95 | 5 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars You'll notice that Robin Taylor is on this site under three different band names. His own personal name,TAYLOR'S UNIVERSE and TAYLOR'S FREE UNIVERSE. He explains in the liner notes of "Family Shot" why he felt the need to form TAYLOR'S FREE UNIVERSE. "TAYLOR'S FREE UNIVERSE is the opposite thing, because the music of this unit is totally improvised. We never rehearse; we usually discuss a few ideas, before we enter the stage, and the rest is kind of magic. W e never know, how a gig will turn out, but till this day, we- knock on wood-haven't played anything regrettable. It was Karsten Vogel, who pushed me into forming this band. He had been working with me in studio for some time, but thought it would be a great idea, if we made a presence on stage as well. I hadn't played live for ages, and with my skeptic nature, it took a lot of persuasion. But he had it his way-and I thank him for it." This was recorded live with no overdubs on November 4th 2004.

"Strategy" is mostly atmosphere as spoken words join in. "M'Fisto Rubberphunk" has some nice chunky bass and intricate sounds that come and go. I like the guitar after 3 minutes and the horns also become more prominant. It settles back before 6 minutes with the atmosphere and bass standing out.It continues to calm down. Horns start to come and go. It's starting to get more intense after 11 minutes with violin, drums and more. It settles late to end it. "Angel Stairs" is experimental with some suspense thrown in as well.

We then get this nine piece suite called "Nine Nice 'N' Easy Pieces". It starts off avant and loud then drums, bass and dissonant horns take over but it's not as loud. Horns and violin play over top in the Fifth Piece then it turns intense before settling back on the Seventh Piece. It becomes more intense on the final section and also eerie after 2 1/2 minutes. The bass becomes prominant around a minute on "Like A Nervous Car Wreck" then the guitar starts to make some beautiful noise. "The Elephant Cure" opens with sparse sounds and it starts to build around 4 minutes.Incredible ! "Z Return" is experimental as horns come in over top. Drums around 1 1/2 minutes. It's building and another horn joins in. It settles before 7 1/2 minutes then calms down even more a minute later.

This is a great album that I highly recommend. Improvs are hit and miss with me but this record along with "File Under Extreme" by this band are incredible. I had a hard time with their "On-Plugged In Elsinore" though. Just sayin'.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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