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The Laze - Spacetime Fabric Conditioner CD (album) cover


The Laze


Eclectic Prog

4.15 | 14 ratings

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4 stars I listened to this album on The Laze's Bandcamp page where it has a more interesting album cover than the one shown here. The music of this UK group is fairly eclectic with elements of space rock, electronica, jazz-rock and even a Zeuhl flavour at times. I don't know if this is supposed to be some kind of concept album or not; the future seems to be a theme yet there are references to ancient Greece. There is a bit of narration and spoken word but rarely any actual singing. The use of sax and Moog (the big-ass modular one I'm assuming) stand out. Actually, the use of both gives the music a bit of a retro sound...but in a good way.

"Everlife" opens the album with an altered female voice making a speech. Then the track goes into symphonic jazz-rock. The main vocals are modified to sound robotic. Almost a Canterbury vibe in this song at times. Some talking along with cool sounding Moog over halfway. Starts to get more symphonic, then gets jazzier and then almost metal. Ends with a male voice speaking; the 'end of message' part was a nice idea. "Von Karman Vortex Street" in contrast is more playful and circus-like. Reminds me of early Mr. Bungle. Over halfway is some cool vocoder vocals and bass playing. I like the title of "Falling Up Ladders." This starts off almost a mix of fusion and math rock. Then it gets both more jazzy and symphonic. Gets more heavy and rockin' eventually.

"Glassdust At The Disablot" should have an umlaut over the 'u'. Opens with some sax and finger-tapping on guitar as martial drumming and Zeuhl-like chanting take over. Proceeds to get both funky and math-y. Then it changes to symphonic heavy prog. Some more chanting. Gets almost blues-rock sounding in the middle with lots of sax and guitar along with some indecipherable talking. Goes into a type of groove/riff with all kinds of vocal sounds. Then it gets very heavy with some metal-like singing. Shortly after it really grooves out with some more chanting. Later becomes slow paced with awesome Moog bass and chorused guitar arpeggios and sax...lovely. A highlight for sure.

"Time Horse" begins spacey with some narration. This continues until about 2 minutes in when the music goes through a few grooves. It becomes symphonic with more narration. I really like the jazzy and folky bit before 6 minutes; gets reprised with a hard rock edge later. The song returns to some of the earlier grooves. More narration to end the track as it finishes on a prog-metal note. If I remember correctly, the title of "Omphalos" refers to marking stones that connect different cities in the Mediterrean on a map. (Just look it up). The sound of bells and repeated Moog notes are joined by great martial drumming. Repeated minimal bass is joined by monster vocals that remind me of Art Zoyd. Immediately gets symphonic and ethereal afterwards.

The minimal bass returns later with some electric piano. Gets joined by some cool Moog and guitar arpeggios as the msuic turns symphonic again, only to go back to the martial drumming. Later gets more rockin'. The last few minutes of the track are symphonic with sax and guitar soloing. The last song is called "Run Into Space (The Ascension Of Nightjar)." It's 12 minutes long but that 12 minutes includes a bit of silence. There is a mini-song at the end. This sort of end-of-disc-bonus was common when compact discs were king. It's odd to hear this kind of thing on digital files.

The main song starts off dark and symphonic with more awesome Moog sounds. A lovely melodic line of flute (or similar) is later doubled on sax. Nice martial drumming. Goes through a few sections before that lovely melody is reprised. Gets more dissonant before the music stops after 5 minutes. Silence until 6:07 when you hear an earlier melody with horses galloping briefly. Silence again until 10:36 when it ends on a kind of synth-pop vibe with more narration. That ending part sort of reminds me of Moog Cookbook.

This is a great album, both looking backwards and forwards at the same time. The sound could be a little clearer but at least it is not too loud or compressed. This should appeal to those who like a mix of space-rock and jazz-rock (with other elements as well). If you don't like spoken word parts, this might turn you off. I'm hoping their next release will be as good if not better. This gets 4 stars.

zravkapt | 4/5 |


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