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Christiaan Bruin


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3 stars The newest studio album "Inventions: Logica" from the Dutch multi-instrumentalist Christiaan Bruin might give a great first impression but, unfortunately, repeated listens fail to grant the same experience.

Although this record was my first encounter with the aforementioned musician, initially I found myself captivated by the inspiring, symphonic sound reminiscent of a soundtrack to a magical film. "Inventions: Logica" blends together the well-crafted (even if at times repetitive) melodies from the string quartet, saxes, and flutes with the smooth, warm, comforting vocals, and a cracking, distorted narration. This is true for nearly every piece on this album: all of them maintain the same style, at times repeating similar musical themes. As such, this record can be plausibly called a conceptual one. At times, rock elements, such as the guitars in the titular track or in "Mind of God" enter. The song lyrics and narration mention philosophy, humanities, and even mathematics, in an attempt to complete the atmosphere of inspirational grandeur already established by the sound. Unfortunately, this might be a choice that ends up making this album too easy to see as pretentious or pseudo-intellectual. In addition, at repeated listens the record ceases to sound original, coming close rather to a wannabe (and not succeeding) successor to Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells", while the monotony of some musical ideas and the vocals become tiring if used for any other purpose than background music. This is a pity, considering how interesting the initial idea is: it seems as if Christiaan Bruin ended up both overdoing (in terms of the grandeur/epicness) and underdoing (in terms of variety) it on "Inventions: Logica".

It's probably a good idea to give this album one or two listens: but not more than that, unless you're fine with the risk of losing that good first impression. "Inventions: Logica" remains a piece of pleasant film-like music with intellectual lyrics and a beautiful cubist album artwork, but unfortunately, not much more than that. 2.75 stars, rounded up.

Report this review (#2268521)
Posted Saturday, October 12, 2019 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Crossover Team
3 stars Dutch multi-instrumentalist Christiaan Bruin has produced the third in the Inventions series (he also works under other names such as Black Codex), and this time he has been joined by Theo Travis (Steven Wilson, Robert Fripp, Soft Machine, David Gilmour) on saxophones and flute, the Rotterdam-based DOT Quartet on strings, with narrations by Andy Rowe (The Room). There is no doubt he has been heavily influenced by Mike Oldfield, but the use of (particularly) the saxophone takes the music in a different direction while the very fact that Bruin is an accomplished drummer ensures the album is quite different to many others produced by multi-instrumentalists.

It is eclectic, bombastic and very cinematic in ways which at times do remind me of Karda Estra, but far more songs based, and it must be said both commercial and somewhat heavier at times. It is an album which has a great deal of space contained within it which even frenetic Palmer-style drumming does little to hide. It is probably the drumming which makes this album so very different to Oldfield, allowing what can be quite simple melodies be sat against complex rhythms, and vice versa. This was sent out as an EP, but it is still well in excess of fifty minutes long, so hate to think what they consider a full-length release to be.

'Logica' is fairly one-dimensional in some ways, and it is this which stops it from being a great album, but as it is, it is still one I have really enjoyed playing, and I am intrigued to hear more of his work.

Report this review (#2347313)
Posted Friday, April 3, 2020 | Review Permalink

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