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Perhaps - Volume One CD (album) cover




Post Rock/Math rock

3.94 | 110 ratings

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Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars Does anybody remember a guitarist called Steve Howe and an album entitled Close to the Edge? At least for the guitar technique and skill this one track album can be compared to the YES masterpiece.

It takes two minutes of ambient soundscape driven by spacey keyboards (it seems, but it's a true strings quartet) to reach the sonic explosion which gives the start to the first rocking section. As I have written the best YES come to my mind, just a bit more folky (in the Howe's sense).

About five minutes and a number of different themes and signatures replace one each other until the sax debuts. I think I can call it acid jazz. In some moments it reminds me to the instrumental moments of the early AREA, especially the most chaotic. It's time to make yourself aware of what drums and bass are doing, too.

Effectively there's a lot of skill in this long track, but it's not cold as usually happens when the skill overcomes the feeling. It's like when Canterbury bands like CARAVAN or better, EGG were using the skill to express themselves. This is the sensation that this track gives me. Maybe the drummer is more similar to CLIVE BROOKS than to BILL BRUFORD. Question of style, not skill. This jazzy part is very exciting, especially for who likes Canterbury, but it's also noisy and this makes a difference.

A sudden stop and what's now? KAYO DOT? Not exactly. It's noisy but not too dark and the jazzy mood is still present. How to describe this part at around 14 minutes? It's also melodic in some moments. what reminds to YES is the frequency with which the signatures change. At 15:30 Another chaotic YES-like moment arrives. The high quantity of notes played by the guitar on an odd signature...and it rocks, too! The guitar at minute 17 plays a bit of old fashioned hard rock but what the bass does behind is a sort of fusion.

Somebody may think that this is just a patchwork of different things joined together, and some sudden passages may give this impression, but even when the hard rock is suddenly replaced by a very jazzy and dark trumpet solo the mood of the track doesn't change. If music can alter your state of mind, I still feel a continuity in the mood of the track. Also not all the transitions are sudden. Some are smooth. And back to the trumpet, this is one of the best parts of the suite.

Some instruments stop or go to the background or decrease the volume. This is the next transition. Slow free jazz. with some electronics in the background which leads to an oriental guitar like in the early PINK FLOYD. It's not "Set The Controls...", it's more rocking and the crescendo is everything but floydian. The oriental mood leaves room to another rock passage which reminds to the acid west coast psychedelia of the late 60s closed by another guitar riff in Howe style, including a short rock and roll moment. The impression is that there's very few improvisation. Everything seems to be accurately studied. At minute 28 it seems we are at the end of the track, but this is not a standard rock final. It's the start of a noisy and psychedelic section. The powerful drum hits remind me again to Roger Waters hitting the gong on he Pompeii movie.

Silence. The bass emerges slowly followed by the guitar. It could be MARILLION. The crescendo is very slow and exactly the opposite of the previous powerful noise. If any radio DJ thinks to pass a part of this suite, this one is the right part. Melodic, not challenging for the listener but good as the rest. At the top of the crescendo there's a new stop, violins and the sounds become heavy again. Strong drums and bass. A very good Gilmourish solo and the strings behind. It's incredible how this band passes from pieces of avant-rock to symphonic to heavy prog in the same, even if long, track.

The final crescendo grows high and is closed by some "chaos", similarly to the final of CARAVAN's Nine Feet Underground.

I'm really surprised of how good is this suite. Forget all the artists that I have mentioned before, this is an original band. I have used them as examples as describing an instrumental without examples is not easy.

4 stars is the minimum that I can give it.. Honestly I've been thinking to the 5th star for a while, and I may change my mind and my rating later. For now 4 seems appropriate. "Excellent" is a word which matches my feeling about it.

octopus-4 | 4/5 |


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