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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Junk Magic

Compass Confusion

Review by Gary Hill

I'm willing to bet you haven't heard anything quite like this. There is a lot of classical music in the mix. This is often on the mellower end of the spectrum, but does get intense at times. It's all instrumental. It's also very cool, if sometimes quite strange.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 6. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2020.

Track by Track Review
Laser Beaming Hearts

Starting fairly ambient, this rises up gradually from there. Eventually this works out into a cool up-tempo fusion jam from there.

Dream and Guess
Percussive elements bring this number into being. This thing evolves slowly and gradually with ambient oddities and world music merging. While it changes, it never grows far from its roots.
Compass Confusion/ Little Love Gods

 Classical music, electronics and more soundtrack like elements merge to create a rather unsettling tapestry of sound. This one has a part that makes me think of sonic buoy, and at different points we approach it and then move away from it, only to approach again. There is a trippy sort of element that suggests space travel to me. I can definitely make out a science fiction vibe. This piece is nearly nine minutes long, and that time is put to good use with a healthy amount of variation. It shifts toward more pure jazz with a freeform exploration later.

The Science Of Why Devils Smell Like Sulfur
The epic of the set, this is over ten-and-a-half minutes long. The track comes in with exploratory jazzy jamming. That works through and then drops back to a more open and sparse arrangement. Exploration continues with dramatic and almost creepy sounds taking control. This is driving, powerful and so cool as it builds outward. This gets quite chaotic and noisy, but it's also compelling and potent.
The Night Land
Trippy textures with an ambient angle bring this into being. It is airy and spacey with a symphonic angle to it. There is definitely a soundtrack kind of vibe at play.
Sargasso
Tuned percussion plays a big part in creating the soundscape of the first movement of this number. The piece shifts toward a more electronic meets fusion and classical zone as it continues from there.
Sunsets Forever
Coming in more textural and melodic, this has a real electronic music vibe in a traditional sense in the opening movement. The cut gets percussion and other elements added to the mix as it continues but more as augmentation than replacement.
 
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