A place where early seventies prog and psychedelia meet head on. Track 2, called 'Organza' only lasts around six minutes, but in there I found, prog in early Pink Floyd vein, shuffling rhythms, heady, swirling psychedelia, and early seventies Krautrock, all on a song that can't readily be pigeon-holed but keeps you listening, all the same. In keeping with the flavour, the next track, 'Kyte', has this sort of dream-pop atmosphere, more organ work, a strong flavour of the psychedelic '60's, right down to breathy harmony vocals, a "la-la-la" chorus as an early Floyd-styled slide guitar as a summery slice of mellotron-drenched psychedelic prog-pop unfolds and hazy days of Beatles, Floyd, San Francisco and flowers in your hair, all leap into your mind. Up next is the six minute 'Infinite Chord' and here the pace is accelerated, the strength increased as a positively vast sounding sea of bass, drums, mellotrons, space synths and swirling synths create a booming mantra-like soundscape, complete with subtle textures of rippling keys as the space synths bubble up against a backdrop of shuffling drums, "om" choral harmonies and a rhythm that soon subsides into something that early Gong would have been proud to call their own, the whole track blossoming out to breathtaking effect on oceans of mellotrons, synths and, now, Pink Floyd-styled rhythms, combine with a flowing melody from the synth that oozes over the top of this expansive horizon of gorgeous sound. 'Analepsis' starts more like a parallel universe 'Cirrus Minor' courtesy of early Floyd, with close harmony multi-part lead vocals, choppy but solid rhythms, more of that delicious seventies atmosphere, this time with a synth that's right out of something like 'Peter & The Wolf' (if you remember something that obscure!). Gradually, the whole thing decelerates and becomes as close a heady slice of psychedelia to '70-song oriented Pink Floyd, as you'll get. Then it starts to accelerate once more and the song just flows forward in absolutely glorious fashion, complete with beautiful guitar chords, rustling cymbals, solid drums, deep bass, strummed guitars and a wondrous, expansive production that is simply superb, all ending just short of seven minutes. Track 6 is 'Aqua' and this opens with more early Floyd, but then the mellotrons fire up, the space synths swoop and soar, the guitar slides and glides as the rhythms shuffle along and the hushed harmonies that are the sublime lead vocals, just soar into the skies to breathtaking effect as another brilliant song, arrangement and production job complete the picture-perfect scenario. Then it heads into an extended instrumental finale with more mellotrons per square inch than you'd find on a Moody Blues album, as the backdrop of sliding guitars has the hairs standing on the back of your neck, and then it's gone - and you find yourself having to exercise great discipline not to interrupt it all there and play the track all over again, right away. A further four tracks carry on this remarkable blend of late '60's-early seventies prog-rock and psychedelia mix, all with a strong dose of early Floyd running through its veins, as mellotrons, guitars, solid and fluid bass and drum rhythms, acoustic guitar textures, close harmony vocals and more, all combine to paint a veritable masterpiece of a homage to a bygone era that's not only being recreated to glorious effect, but sounding as though it never went away. With guest appearances from Space Ritual's Nik Turner & Gong's Daevid Allen, this is possibly the closest thing to early post-Barrett Pink Floyd that you'll find. Comparisons aside, it's a superb album, all the same.
andy g cd services 2006