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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Ludivine

Sexoterica

Review by Gary Hill

Related to the more recent band, Imogene, Ludivine has released a unique and very tasty disc in Sexoterica. While this might not be progressive rock in some people’s minds, I think the argument can be made to include it there. This has a jazzy, retro R & B sort of texture and some killer grooves. It feels a bit like Pink Floyd at times and overall this thing is just so tasty that you simply can’t resist.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2007 Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Sexoterica
Weird keyboards with strange processed vocals leads one to think of a religious ceremony in some twisted church.

Quel Dommage
This track has a great retro sound and a killer groove oriented mode. Consider it one part lounge jazz, one part R & B and one part early Pink Floyd and you have a good picture of what this track sounds like.
Everything Was Not Enough
The songwriting is rife with Beatles' riffs. It's slow and pensive like Yesterday, but lush and poetic like Crazy Lane. While I like all their past albums, each of them may have been guilty of carrying a certain sameness from start to finish. What I like best about this album is the fact that every song is innovative from the last and this one is no exception. The many bridges along with the wrap-up at the end are extraordinarily gripping. This is where Yogi's voice really shines, expressing eagerness and empathy. Drifting through my open mind, there seems to be much more beyond the words he has to say.
Transmigration
Here we have something that’s similar to the previous number, but with a much heavier dosage of funk infused into the mix. The keyboards take us on a killer journey later, calling to mind the Doors a bit.
Splenetique
This bass heavy composition is a bit off-kilter and odd in a rather King Crimsonish way. The tune has more of that retro jazz sound, but still it has enough weirdness to make on think, at least a bit, of Crimson and other bands of that ilk. It’s a very tasty instrumental.
Ooze & Oz
With an almost fusion approach, this one has bits of Donovan flavors thrown in to the musical stew. It’s mellow and a bit less groove oriented than some of the other material here. You might still hear some Pink Floyd in the mix, though. I particularly like the keyboard solo – or is it vibraphone?
Everjonesin'
This one has more of a funk texture, but it’s also a bit more in the “strange” neighborhood at the same time. This quivers and quakes with a jelly sort of arrangement. I hear a bit of Terrapin Station era Grateful Dead on this one.
Pimp of the Perverse
The Pink Floyd textures are back, at least to some degree, along with a fast paced, funky arrangement that’s a killer groove. There’s enough left field elements here to keep it from becoming overly mainstream. This instrumental is actually one of my favorite tracks on the disc.
Lonelay
Here we get more of the sounds that permeate the rest of the disc. The thing is, while the overall picture doesn’t change that much from song to song, it doesn’t get old, that’s how cool this sound is.
Astral Plane
This has a bit more of that Floyd sound, but it’s also more lighthearted and fun. I can hear some Donovan on this number as well. It’s actually one of the better tracks on the CD. It has sort of a psychedelic pop approach at times.


Blue Balls
Another slice of the kind of sound that these guys have in spades, this one moves a bit more in a modern music mode. Still, there is plenty of retro texture here and the chorus section on this one is amongst the most melodic and catchy of the whole disc. I hear a little bit of Smashmouth on this one. This has a cool guitar solo.
Notes Toward the Abyss
This has one of the more jazzy sounds of the whole disc with a cool, envelope filter effect. It’s another highlight of the disc, even though this instrumental is one of the shortest tracks here. It’s just such an awesome groove, who can deny it?
Soulsucker
Starting tentatively with textural, but still a bit noisy, keyboards, this holds it for a while. After a time they launch into a funky sort of jam that’s quite cool. The vocals really bring in more of that Pink Floyd texture on this one. They drop it way back later and then power back out with a funky bass line. A killer keyboard sound comes over just before the outro.
Beautiful Nightmares
A killer funky jam, this one is a lot of fun. Still, the sounds that are layered over the top bring with them drama and some occasional dissonance. The vocals are mysterious and yet haunting. This is one to point those who don’t think of this music as prog toward. It’s adventurous and cool. I wouldn’t consider it one of my favorites, but it definitely has its charms. It twists into really weird territory later in the piece.
 
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