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Robin Taylor: Taylor’s Universe 

Recorded and produced 1992-1994
Right Tone Records 
Review by: Doug Millaway, EER-MUSIC.com

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa.
How could I have been so blind?

I was sent this CD a while back to review
and somehow it was misplaced and buried in
a pile of finished projects.  What a disaster!
After finding the two Robin Taylor CDs forwarded
to me by EER , I am standing here shaking my
head wondering which corner I should hide in.

After listening to both of these Cds, I have
come to the conclusion that Robin Taylor is
residing in a place where only a few call home.
The compositional fortitude shown in his work
is astounding.  I get tired just thinking about
the effort that was obviously put into creating
his music.

Taylor’s Universe is a self-titled debut CD
that is virtually indescribable.  It defies
strict genre classification, and that’s what
makes it so appealing to me.  From track to
track I find myself trying to anticipate what
may come next.  One-hundred percent of the time
I am wrong.  Robin is  master of surprise, and
always keeps you wanting more.  I don’t think
I have ever stopped a CD and replayed a track
as often as this one.  It took me hours to get
through one hour of music.

One song in particular just blew me away as I
was listening.  The Beck-ish/Steely Dan-ish
guitar work of Henning Plannthin on Saturday
Night is so good that when my recording partners
came in to record last night, I wouldn’t let
them enter the studio until they had listened
to the track.  The guitar playing is enhanced
by solid performance by Jan Marsfeldt on keys,
Jakob Mygind on sax, Mads Hansen on drums and
Taylor on bass.  (By the way, Plannthin built
the guitars he plays on the CD – no small feat).

Additional performances on the CD include the
stellar trumpet playing of Hugh Steinmetz and
additional guitar work by Henrik Andersen.  If
you’ve never heard Steinmetz’s haunting trumpet
work, you’re in for a great surprise.  He brings
a quality to Taylor’s Universe that is truly unique.

As a musician myself, one of the biggest
compliments I can think of is to say “I wish I
had thought of that!”.  I found myself saying
that from the opening number “Entering Universe”
to the final track “Feel”.  In my case, I might
have thought of some of these things, but very
few could take the ideas and turn them into reality.
In this case Taylor’s reality is one in which
only a few can venture.

My question is what in the world has kept these
CDs from becoming major players in the world of
progressive rock?  The two Cds of Taylor’s that
I have had the pleasure of listening to are both
nearly 10 years old, but in looking at Taylor’s 
web page http://www.progressor.net/robin-taylor/,
it appears that he never rests.   I suggest that
you visit, explore, and buy some of these CDs.
You will not be disappointed.

Robin Taylor: guitars, basses, keys, percussion etc.
Jan Marsfeldt: keys
Mads Hansen: drums, percussion
Jakob Mygind: saxophones
Hugh Steinmetz: trumpet
Henning Plannthin: guitar
Henrik Andersen: guitar

Taylor’s Universe: Pork  

Recorded and produced 1994-95
Marvel Of Beauty Records
Review by: Doug Millaway, EER-MUSIC.com

Taylor’s Universe is Robin Taylor, and Jan Marsfeldt,
with a lot of help from Mads Hansen, Hugh Steinmetz
and others putting together a palette of Progressive
Jazz/Rock the likes of which you probably have not
experienced before.  Taylor’s Universe is a project
that is as noticeable for it’s virtuosity in editing
and engineering as it is in musicianship.

This is the second release by Taylor’s Universe, and
represents a style of music that is unique and
intriguing.  A first listen has you wondering what
these splendid musicians are trying to prove, but
further listening brings it all together.  The nine
songs on this CD are loosely connected in style, and
the recurring trumpet of Hugh Steinmetz gives it a
feel unlike any other CD I’ve heard.  (It has an odd
70’s spy movie feel at times).

Robin Taylor’s compositions are full of short thematic
pieces that grab you and then disappear in a flash.
The effect this has on the listener is not unlike
listening to a classical composition weaving in and out,
baiting the listener to see what is coming next.  In
addition to the composition itself, Taylor and Aage
Nipper use dynamic structure to create layers upon
layers of aural stimulation through creative editing,
processing, and mixing.  This is as slick a production
piece as you will ever hear.

By today’s standards, this is a relatively short work
coming in under 50 minutes total, but considering the
breadth of what is happening in the mix, you will get
far more out of this CD in that time period than you
would in most other CDs lasting 20 minutes more.  There
are nine tracks total on the CD.

As I have said previously, engineer Aage Nipper and
producer Taylor deserve a lot of credit for the
direction of this project.  They clearly took the basic
tracks as their palette and carefully painted a musical
montage that will surely satisfy your wishes.  

Robin Taylor – bass, guitar, percussion, voice, loops

Jan Marsfeldt – Keyboards

Mads Hansen – Drums

Jytte Lindberg – Voice

Hugh Steinmetz – Trumpet

Thomas J. Hansen – additional computer programming

Doug Millaway
Third Level





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