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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Stephan Thelen

Fractal Guitar 2 - Remixes

Review by Gary Hill

As you might imagine from the title, this set features remixes of songs from Stephan Thelen's Fractal Guitar 2 album. It includes three different remixes of the song "Point of Inflection." It's a true statement of how much these pieces are altered here that it never reels repetitive. In addition to those three tracks that come from one, there are three more pieces here, with each having just one remix. This is a strong instrumental release that feels unique and intriguing from start to finish.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2022  Volume 2. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2022.

Track by Track Review
Point Of Inflection (Stephan Thelen Remix)
The original mix of this track served as the closer for the Fractal Guitar 2 album. Coming in atmospheric, as this drives out from there it gets quite metallic and heavy. It has plenty of stoner rock in the mix along with space rock. It's a driving, smoking hot powerhouse tune. There is a more melodic movement later that makes me think of Pink Floyd to some degree. The hard rocking guitar soloing later is on fire, too.
Ladder To The Stars (Jah Wobble Remix)
There is a great spacey groove to this. It has a mellower approach. This eventually works out to a killer proggy groove that is a lot of fun. This is a very classy piece with more of that Pink Floyd angle at play here and there.
Celestial Navigation (Stephan Thelen Remix)
I dig the echoey, trippy groove as this gets underway. It reminds me to some degree of Synergy or Tangerine Dream. This is a particularly effective groove.
Point Of Inflection (David Torn Mix)
Dramatic, driving and so cool, I really love this hard rocking thing. This is quite a dramatic and powerful musical exploration. I dig the balance between more rocking and direct segments and the mellower, more introspective ones.
Mercury Transit (Barry Cleveland Mix Translation)
I really love some of the bass sound that dances around this cut a lot. The whole track has a sense of cool and mystery about it. The balance between the mellower and rocking on this is also quite wide, and very tasty. This is another particularly effective piece on a disc full of effective material. This gets pretty edgy and potent before it's over.
Point Of Inflection (Bill Laswell Translation)
This track comes in atmospheric and trippy. It builds in some freaky ways as it continues. The piece is the most dynamic one here, moving through a lot of different sections. There are more rocking movements, spacier ones and much more. It's pretty crazy stuff, but crazy cool. It is a powerful piece of music that makes a strong closer for the set.
 
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