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Supersister - Supersister Projekt 2019: Retsis Repus CD (album) cover

SUPERSISTER PROJEKT 2019: RETSIS REPUS

Supersister

 

Canterbury Scene

3.94 | 32 ratings

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TCat
4 stars "Sweet OK Sister" was a band founded in 1967 in the Netherlands. They changed their name to Supersister later, but were still the same band. Considered part of the Canterbury Scene, they had a sound similar to "The Soft Machine" and "Caravan". The band originally released 5 full length albums between 1970 and 1974. Since that time, two of the original members have passed away, but, original founder Robert Jan Stips has recently decided to release a new album in March 2019 (the vinyl version was released in early April 2019) under the name of Supersister Projekt 2019 which harkens back to the original sound of the band. These are all new songs, 11 total with a run time of 39 minutes, with individual tracks ranging from 0:44 to 7:59. Robert provides the keyboards and vocals, but there are many musicians joining him in this new album, which is called "Retsis Repus".

Right off the bat, you get that somewhat minimal, somewhat dissonant and somewhat odd sound with the Progressive Folk and Canterbury sound, each instrument is easy to hear and distinct. Minimal percussion, interesting vocals and harmonies, and fuzzy guitars give it all that retro sound in the first track "Memories Are New IV", but the clarity of it all makes it current. Then there is that layer of jazz that permeates the music, you'll hear that clearly in the piano led "I Am You Are Me/Tramitter". The sound here is bright and there is a instrumental section in this that is long enough to let all of the solos breathe, most of them being piano or synth solos.

"For You and For Nobody Else" (the longest track on the album) continues with the jazz orientations, as expected, but has the inclusion of brass this time around, and very airy vocals. The tempo slows down later and meanders along in a nice way with violin, brass and piano creating a pastoral feel. The tempo alternates back and forth several times with the percussion staying mostly far in the background. "Max Eco" is a complex and more rock style than the previous track, but still with the odd melodies and progressive style. The vocals might be a little strange to a listeners that haven't had much experience with this style of music as they are somewhat dissonant and definitely not your standard fare which in a way reminds one of the complexity of "Comus", but much smoother sounding (it is progressive after all). "Hope to See You There Again" is a nice, almost blissful, instrumental (mostly anyway) which makes me feel like I'm flying above the clouds.

"Yellow Days" goes back to the jazz feel, but even with the strings and brass and the odd fuzzy synth, it still has that nice, smooth sound. Soft vocals come in after 2 minutes as everything turns quite minimal and pensive. "Next Door Movie" is another instrumental led by some interesting brass and string exploits with a xylophone also having it's own say. Progressively complex, yet smooth and airy at the same time. "Cuckoo" is a witty track with harmonized vocal layers and silly spoken words and sung lyrics. "Hope to See You Again" ends the album with a nice lushness.

Canterbury lovers will enjoy this album for it's strangenss and unpredictability and prog lovers will enjoy it's complexity. There are defintately legitimate ties to the sound of other Canterbury bands like Comus and Gong, but the overall sound isn't quite as choppy as those bands as there is this airiness and smoothness to the music in this album. But I still think it will appeal to fans of those bands, like myself. I feel it just misses the 5 star mark, but it definitely is an excellent album that seems to get better the more you hear it. Highly recommended to fans of the genre.

TCat | 4/5 |

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