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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Julie Slick

Julie Slick

Review by Gary Hill

Julie Slick is a bass player who came to the attention of many through her work in the Adrian Belew Power Trio. This is her first solo album, and it’s pretty amazing. It’s quite King Crimson-like and includes a couple Crimsonian guests – although not Belew. Well, one of the guests is Robert Fripp through the inclusion of his music, which is added to here. The other is Pat Mastelotto. While much of this is Crimson-like it doesn’t stop there. It’s an intriguing disc of instrumentals and, while all instrumental albums can often become boring or monolithic, this fully avoids that trap.
Track by Track Review
Mela

Almost a computer sound starts this and the track works out from there into a swirling, spinning jam that’s part King Crimson and part jazz. There’s some definite electronica built into this at times, as well. I love the ethnic sorts of swirling progressions.

Many Laughs
There’s a rather pop meets prog feeling to this. It’s quite a tasty piece of music. We get a break out mid track that’s both catchy and a little weird.
February
More melodic and much mellower, this is pretty and laced with classic rock sounds. It still shares a lot of the oddities heard in the first couple pieces, though. 
Mora
Here and there throughout the piece there’s a sound bite of a girl saying, “these are the voices that I heard in my head.” The music here is fairly free form and very King Crimson like. 
Aphrodite
This is absolutely awesome. It’s got a lot of that Crimsonian strangeness as the rest of the disc, but there’s this killer rubbery funky sound that pervades it. There’s also some flamenco guitar delivered with a Steve Howe meets King Crimson approach later. This is my favorite piece to this point. 
Baron Aloha
We’re into more fusion meets Crimsonian prog territory here. It’s another great piece of music. 
Nothing To Be Done
More melodic, while this occupies much of the same musical territory as the rest of the songs here, it’s got more of a classic progressive rock sound built into it, too. It’s another tasty track. It dissolves into some killer space later. 
Choke
This is bizarre, but very cool. It rhythmic and has a motif that in many ways reminds me of some of the more electronic Hawkwind music. 
Awoke

More dramatic and powerful, this has some great funk built into it. It’s also both Crimson-like and very space oriented. Still, it gets rather noisy, too.

Shadow Trip
Dramatic and rather strange, this is a considerably percussive number. It’s much more stripped down and mysterious.
Spice Trade
Classical meets prog on the intro here, but then it shifts out to a powerful jam that’s King Crimson meets space rock. This is a killer.
The Rivalry
The intro to this makes me think of Chicago’s “25 or 6 to 4.” The cut is more pure prog as it continues on, though. This is another powerful piece of music. This is a real rocker. 
Cage Match
A fast paced piece of weirdness, this reminds me of something from Djam Karet, perhaps. It gets a lot of Crimson stylings as it continues, though. 
Blood Blisters
A mellower, slow moving cut, this is more melodic. It’s got a bit of a classic rock texture to it. At points I’m reminded of early Pink Floyd, too.
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