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Copernicus

Nothing Exists

Review by Gary Hill

This album used to be available only as an LP. It is getting its first CD release now, although it was the first album from Copernicus. Copernicus is essentially a poet who delivers his nihilistic message (he believes that from a scientific point of view, based on quantum physics, that all of what we perceive as reality is non-existent and an illusion) over intriguing progressive rock music. This moves between RIO territory, space rock and other types of music. It’s always intriguing and entertaining. It’s amazing how music this bizarre can be so catchy.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.


Track by Track Review
I Won't Hurt You

Percussion starts this and then an exceptionally low and rubbery bass line joins. When the keyboard and other aspects join I’m reminded a bit of Roxy Music. Copernicus’ recitation seems inspirational and there are some cool backing vocals on this track.

Blood
This starts with a very stripped down arrangement. Copernicus’ recitation here is less powerful than on the previous number, but this is in many ways a more interesting track. It’s more purely progressive rock oriented and grows up gradually. There is a lot of RIO on this, but it’s still quite accessible in an odd way. As the arrangement gets more involved it’s really very stirring. It does get noisier as it carries on, but it drops back for a wispy female vocal to take it out.
I Know What I Think
After Copernicus says, “let the musicians declare war,” the group launch out into a free form sort of jam that’s part RIO, part Traffic part King Crimson, part Zappa, part Hawkwind and all weird. Still, it’s somehow catchy. I can make out some Doors later, too. This is a killer jam that really does have a lot in common with the noisier free form Hawkwind music. 
Quasimodo
Very noisy and yet very creative, this is the weirdest cut thus far. It’s also oddly compelling. I like this a lot and I am not a big fan of noise music. 
Let Me Rest
This track is the longest on the disc, weighing in at over eleven minutes in length. It is one of the more unusual pieces, working in a format that seems both organic and freeform. It is very much a performance art type of piece in its dramatic delivery, but the music is intriguing if enigmatic. 
Nagasaki
Much of this cut makes me think of the more theatric, weird Hawkwind sound. It pounds through like this until the outro which is a stripped down recitation. Of course, that, too makes me think a bit of Hawkwind, but also of Gong.
Atomic Nevermore
This song doesn’t vary a lot from the previous one, but it’s still strong and still cool.
 
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