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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Patrick Cornelius

Bass Violin

Review by Gary Hill

This is a pretty fascinating set. It’s textural and atmospheric, but there is melody here. It’s probably most closely related to Rock In Opposition (particularly the chamber music end of that) and electronic space music, but there are other things here. It’s all instrumental and more or less freeform and mellow. The funny thing is, it’s amazing just how well this set works given that the concept limits the range of music here. I like this a lot, actually. And, it seldom feels tired or redundant or boring. That’s a tribute to the quality of this stuff.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Glissades

This comes in very gradually with an ethereal, atmospheric tone slowly rising. It is quite symphonic and quite powerful as it builds. Then around the two minute mark it drops way down again. It starts to come up again slowly. It’s quite sparse and freeform as it continues to evolve.

I Don't Know
Mellow and spacey sounds begin this. As it evolves it is quite ambient, but also has a lot of melody emerging in slow waves. This is organic and yet electronic in texture. Noisy feedback laden sounds emerge further down the road. This turns out towards atmospheric space later.
Middle Ages
Echoey bass sounds start this. Then weird elements swirl over the top of that. This has more energy and groove to it as it opens than anything we’ve heard to this point has. There are world music elements built into this and it works out in some pretty intriguing ways. This seems to combine chamber music based progressive rock with electronic music in some ways. It’s still far from a real rocking song, but it has more of a rock vitality than anything so far has. It drops to mellower space later in the piece.
Circles
The first parts here fall into the ambient territory. There are sounds like screeching birds early in this cut. This has some moments that seem to land closer to fusion. This keeps evolving in very gradual ways. It has some distinctly melodic sections and other sections that are more just textural. It is quite a freeform piece.
Not Sure Yet
A clock-like rhythm starts this and the cut gradually works out from there. The rhythm elements are a bit more driving and insistent on this piece than they are on some of the others. This doesn’t really go very far, though. It’s that driving rhythm with more ambient explorations over the top. That said, this is perhaps less freeform than some of the other music here.
The Limp
This comes in even more sedate and tentative than a lot of the other music. There is some echoey sound in place here as this works forward. It eventually coalesces into a slow moving section that has more developed melody than some of the other music. It combines some world music with ambient and electronic sounds. This does develop into something more energized than some of the other music before it ends.
Together
Mellow, pretty and rather electronic sounding melodies open this in atmospheric ways. It has some more melody and some echoey bits of sound that emerge as it continues, but it drops back down around the two and a half minute mark before rising up again with new music added to the top. In some ways this is more classical than some of the other stuff here.
 
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