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Progressive Rock CD Reviews


Sound and Flow of London

Review by Gary Hill

This act is an ambient project that started as an off-shoot of the band Poor Genetic Material. Just that connection would probably have landed this in the progressive rock section of Music Street Journal, but the music here qualifies on its own. Well, at least it does if you think of things like Synergy as prog. Personally, I do. This probably most often calls to mind that act, but things like Tangerine Dream and, at times, Pink Floyd are work a mention, too. This deftly combines electronic and real symphonic instrumentation into a tapestry that works quite well.

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Track by Track Review
Passage of Colours
Ambient textures bring this into being in very pretty ways. It grows gradually with electronic and real instruments merging in an almost inseparable way. I love the slow moving saxophone that shows up over the top. There are comparisons to be made here to everything from Synergy to Pink Floyd.
The Magic and Mystery of Maryon Park
The opening sounds here have a sense of nature. The cut grows out gradually and slowly from there with textural music rising up. The rhythm section elements are classy, and the whole cut grows into such a lush and powerful piece. This is mellow, but also has a real flow and some great melody. Despite all the electronic elements at play, it feels quite natural and organic.
Dockland Loops
Chimey keyboard type textures open this. The cut works forward like a bell choir in a lot of ways. Yet, it is electronic. Synergy is again a reference point here.
Going Up
There is a bit of a bouncy vibe to some of the backdrop of this. While it's decidedly electronic, there is almost a world music, symphonic element at play, too. This is cool stuff. It manages to feel both grounded and alien. That's quite a feat. It turns more toward the trippy and symphonic textures further down the road, somehow with a decidedly symphonic vibe.
Blue Station
Echoey keyboard textures open this and take it forward. The cut is one of the more ambient ones. Tangerine Dream is a good reference point. It has some intriguing textures and moods.
Jubilee at St. John's Wood
This doesn't feel jubilant. It has an ominous sort of vibe. In fact, it feels like it would be at home as part of the soundtrack to a horror film. It shifts after a time to prettier, and non-ominous, territory. It still doesn't give off a feeling of jubilation, though.
6 Seconds to 1:27
I like the energy and flow of this piece quite a bit. It's a great showcase for the merging of the electronic with symphonic textures. It's definitely one that makes me think of Synergy quite a bit. There are some killer soaring elements later that really add to the magic.
The Silent Zone
Dramatic, almost industrial, yet still mellow, textures begin this piece. The cut grows outward from there with style in a Tangerine Dream kind of way. There is a good balance between the more powered up and sections that are dropped back. The cut has decent dynamic range as it works through a number of changes.
Battersea Dream
This is a pretty cut as it rises up. There are textural elements merged with background that that seem like found-sound and piano. Other instrumentation joins as this continues to make its way forward. It's quite elegant and beautiful. It's gentle and lush. Around the halfway mark a more rocking and dramatic movement emerges. Some synthetic chorale voices add to the arrangement.
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