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Various Artists

Possible Worlds Vol. 2

Review by Gary Hill

This collection is pretty strange. It’s definitely going to be best appreciated by fans of RIO. That said, there’s not a lot of rock here, but more deconstructed, sonically sparse spacey music. There are songs that break from that mold, but overall, that’s the musical concept.

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

Track by Track Review
Jacky Ligon - Numenoctagon

Combining world music, atmospheric space and a busy rhythm section, this is quite trippy. It’s very science fiction like and quite pretty. Yes, it’s understated, but it’s actually quite beautiful. It works through some fairly minor changes with differing sections emerging.

Mirjam Tally - Snake Charmer
This comes in a bit louder than the previous cut. Waves of feedback laden atmosphere move it in a very spacey way.
Lewis Krauthamer -- Rainy Day (Piedmont Rag No. 2); I. Rainy Day, II. Night
Discordant sounds start this. As it continues to work forward world music is merged with spacey Rock In Opposition. It coalesces into a more folk and rock take on those disjointed RIO concepts with some bluegrass built into it.
Löis Lancaster - O que a gente quer
The only song with vocals, there is much more of a rocking sound to this. It’s electronic, energetic and tastefully strange. This certainly has some fairly jarring moments and it’s clearly tied to RIO.
Karen Keyhani - ...and His Cuff was Damp with Tears
Coming in with a sparse arrangement, there are symphonic elements in the mix. It grows gradually outward. In a lot of ways this feels like soundtrack music. Although quite classical in terms of the instrumentation, it’s fairly sparse and freeform.
Christian Molenaar - Nametag-Laundromat
Symphonic elements are merged with noisy electronic ones in a piece that is weird, but also compelling. This is a fairly short number.
Todd Harrop - Fifteen Short Pieces
Deconstructed, detuned, freeform piano weirdness is the order of business here.
Scott Anthony Moore - Magnetic Appeal
Echoey, twisted world music sounds are heard on this piece.
D. Edward Davis - stet
As this comes in, it feels much more melodic than the previous piece. There is a certain sparse beauty to it. It has a definite atmospheric space texture, too. There is definitely a dream-like quality to this, but it is a slightly unsettling dream.
Claudi Meneghin - Catalan Fantasy
Keyboards start this in a twisted progressive rock meets classical approach. That style, with variations is the order of business through the whole piece.
Michael Vick - Shadow-Yaks Truth
This deconstructed bit of weirdness has RIO in the mix along with some hints of bluegrass and classical. It’s quite freeform and sparse.
Kraig Grady - RatedXen
Percussive and electronic, world music combines with space on this piece. It’s one of the more melodic and mainstream numbers, but that’s only in degrees, really. Still, this makes me think a bit of something Tangerine Dream might do.
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