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Dzyan - Electric Silence CD (album) cover





4.02 | 205 ratings

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4 stars Album number three by the newly psychedelicized Dzyan followed the same illuminated path of their sophomore effort "Time Machine" in 1973, but strayed even further away from the band's Fusion roots. The new LP mapped an alien landscape not unlike its alarming if somewhat comical sleeve illustration, and depending on your mood (or drug intake) the results will sound either intrepid or aimless, or possibly both.

What might have been a merely routine collection of Jazz-Rockish jams spiced up with token Oriental textures (de rigueur in the early '70s) became something altogether more adventurous, thanks in large part to Eddy Marron's discordant electric guitar. The combination of mellotron strings and atmospheric sitars made this a real meeting between East and West, further reinforced when Marron indulged his love for the Turkish zaz, the same instrument that gave his (highly recommended) pre-Dzyan project VITA NOVA its distinctive voice.

Bassist Reinhard Karwatky and drummer Peter Giger joined the vision quest as well. Karwatky doubled on synthesizers and something called the 'Super String', an undefined electronic device invented by a protégé of Karlheinz Stockhausen. Giger added an assortment of ethnic tablas, steel drums, and tuned African woodblocks to his percussion arsenal, and was even allowed a brief, accompanied solo (with himself) in "For Earthly Thinking".

The music throughout is often oblique, usually unstructured, and typically weird in a way almost guaranteed to excite the synapses of any dedicated Krauthead. The adjective 'spacey' wouldn't be inappropriate, but not in the far-out sense of boilerplate Kosmische Rock. Here the word describes a wider, uncluttered soundstage, and the broad scope of the music itself, with each of the trio of players allowing the others plenty of room for their own explorations.

The album as a result may not seem as immediately assertive as its predecessor. But it can prove equally rewarding in other, more introspective ways. This LP and "Time Machine" are both short enough to fit on a single compact disc, and in fact were (illegally) re-issued together in the mid-1990s, by the pirate label Germanofon. I would recommend hearing them back-to-back, for the best complimentary effect, but the album by itself is still a trip worth taking.

Neu!mann | 4/5 |


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