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Tim Blake

Progressive Electronic

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Tim Blake The Tide Of The Century album cover
3.11 | 10 ratings | 3 reviews | 10% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2000

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Nature 'L' (3:28)
2. The Tide Of The Century (8:09)
3. St. Dolay (5:17)
4. Crystal Island (8:23)
5. Byzantium Dancing (9:14)
6. Sarajevo (Remember) (5:16)
7. Tribulations (3:57)

Total Time 43:04

Line-up / Musicians

- Tim Blake / performer, composer & producer

- Min Tse Chou / guitar (5,7), programming (7)
- Christophe Kovacs / analogue synthesizer (5)
- Christiane Vitard / vocals (4,7)
- Marie-Anne Vitard / vocals (7)
- Loys Kerhoas / rap (7)

Releases information

Recorded live in-studio

Artwork: Corinne Pousse

CD Blueprint ‎- BP340CD (2001, UK)
CD Esoteric Recordings ‎- ECLEC 2591 (2017, UK) Remastered

Thanks to PROGMAN for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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TIM BLAKE The Tide Of The Century ratings distribution

(10 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(10%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (10%)

TIM BLAKE The Tide Of The Century reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars "There's a new wave growing for the next thousand years"

Tim Blake may not be a household name, but those who enjoy the music of Gong and/or Hawkwind should be aware of him. Blake has been a member of both those bands during his long career, and even today is still touring with the latter. In the early 1970's, Blake was one of the pioneers of the use of synthesisers by a rock band, and was one of the first to use one on stage.

Blake's solo career has been a stop go one to say the least. After a pair of albums, including the acclaimed "Crystal machine" in the early 70's, it took Blake until 1991 to release his third solo effort. A further 9 years then elapsed until the appearance of "The tide of the century", appropriately in the year 2000. The album was some four years in the making. It is fair to say that time has moved on since those early solo albums, and those familiar with them should not simply expect more of the same here.

"The tide of the century" is an album of diverse influences, with modern electronic sounds and trance like rhythms finding harmony with ambient beauty. The opening "Nature 'L' " forms an appealing overture, with distorted vocals interplaying with an electronic beat and synthesiser motifs. The title track is the first of three longer pieces on the album. This beautiful mid-paced song features a fine blend of piano, vocals, lead guitar and synth. While never ambient, there is an unhurried mood to the song which is both captivating and stimulating. The icing on the cake is the mellotron like synth which provides the framework for this majestic opus.

On "St. Doolay", Blake sound a bit like Chris De Burgh (the early years when he was good!), as he sings accompanied only by piano. The track incorporates a delightful piano and synth duet. The second of the longer pieces is "Crystal island" the title bringing to mind Blake's debut. Here, Blake adds a little light rapping to a song which is a bit like a cross between Ian Dury and Kevin Ayers. The mood is decidedly more wispy here, and girlie backing vocals add a pop feel. Nevertheless, the track builds superbly, its hypnotic rhythm supporting some more fine synth work.

At just over 9 minutes, " Byzantium Dancing" is the longest track on the album. Here, Blake is supported by Min Tse Chou on guitar and Stof Kovaks on analogue synthesiser. This is one of just two genuine instrumentals on the album, the piece being very reminiscent of Tangerine Dream around the time of "Rubicon". "Sarajevo (Remember)" features highly effective bagpipes like synth, the song dealing sensitively with the tragic war in the Balkans. The song blends influences such as "Biko" (Peter Gabriel), and "Belfast Child" (Simple Minds) in a piece of great emotion. The album closes with "Tribulations", a reggae style song with rapping by Loys Kerhoas. It is not quite as bad as at sounds, but if you leave the album after track six, you will not have missed anything!

In all, a superb album by Blake which sees him blending a diverse range of styles and sounds into a highly enjoyable set. There is plenty of good old fashioned monophonic synth to enjoy, along with a fine array of other sounds. Recommended.

Review by Progfan97402
3 stars I remember a new Tim Blake release in 2000 and it sported such a wonderful cover I expected something like a modernized Crystal Machine but I heard audio samples at the time and wasn't impressed. I've since heard the entire album and I have to say it's not bad and it's an improvement over his previous effort Magick but will never reach the heights of Crystal Machine or New Jerusalem. It had a much more professional production and sound than Magick which is a big benefit but his voice sounds just as shot as before. Also the addition of piano wasn't a good move as it seems foreign to his brand of progressive electronic. Out of the way, "Sarajevo" is by far my least favorite piece on the album. I realize it's about the atrocities committed in the former Yugoslavia as he wanted the song to be for Bosnia what Peter Gabriel's "Biko" was for South Africa. It worked for Gabriel not for Tim Blake especially where he gives it that trite '80s feel (luckily without that awful '80s production) and those bagpipes are pretty unforgiving. Blake works much better with cosmic sci-fi themes, not a socio- political statement, but having to hear what was going on in the 1990s in that area of the world upset him enough to write a song about it and for good reason.. "Tribulations" is much better than I expect given he's exploring reggae which is unusual for him. Usually artists doing reggae that has no business doing such really falls flat on their face but somehow Tim pulls it off. It's no Bob Marley but you don't expect it to be and is actually a nice piece. Much of the rest are piano and synth dominated pieces that aren't bad but the instrumental synth passages shine the most. "Byzantium Dancing" probably the most successful. As mentioned those vocals sound shot as if he's been smoking too many cigarettes. Not a masterpiece and "Sarajevo" could have easily been lost, but at least he kept the CD short at 43 minutes which could easily fit on vinyl but was never released on that format. Nice he didn't cram 75 minutes on one CD with only 40 minutes of worthwhile material. Good, not great therefore three stars.

Latest members reviews

1 stars Well, well, well... What have you done, Tim Blake... And where are you now, Hi Ti Moonweed, GONG's synth wizard, a superb performer and composer, one of the founders of the band's unique sound? No more space magik. An experienced listener can find nothing exiting and intriguing on this album, just ... (read more)

Report this review (#236437) | Posted by groon | Wednesday, September 2, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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