|StereoKimono: Psycophonic Oblique Rock|
|2000, Idea Records, Total Time: 48:09|
StereoKimono's Psycophonic Oblique Rock is a collection of strictly instrumental progressive rock compositions with a very European, Mediterranean spice to them. The instrumentals do not showcase advanced musical technique as a lot of instrumental music sometimes does. But, the music instead focuses on composition aimed at achieving distinctively flavored soundscapes. The instrumentation and production are tactful, though I would characterize this music more as straight ahead progressive instrumental rock than leading edge progressive by todays standards. The compositions seem geared towards a mood-music or ambience (though be it not effect-based ambience) type style with the distinctive upbeat moods that the lively compositions convey. It would be difficult to compare the style to any existing progressive groups that I am aware, which is good in itself, and I am hesitant to make comparisons to the ones that spring to mind because they are only similar in some regards. As the title implies, the music contained on this CD is oblique. The constantly changing, evolving themes make the music evasive, indirect, slanted, ... oblique. And, though the thematic development is oblique, the themes have a good, positive energy and feel to them... kind of like a more instrumentally intensive, upbeat version of Pink Floyd with some U2-sounding guitar work... but it is more than that, for certain.
So apart from this attempt to characterize Psycophonic Oblique Rock, there are some things I liked and others I didn't about this album. What I liked about the CD was the distinctive stylistic flavors that the group was able to capture and convey in their compositions. I also liked the non-repetitive nature of the themes in the compositions that kept the music moving along. What I thought was lacking on the album was an advanced level of instrumental sophistication for an instrumental album. A little more scope and creativeness with technique, dynamics, and rhythms, as is common with world class instrumentalists, would have given these flavorful musical textures a more palatable appeal. But, for the level of instrumental proficiency applied on this effort, the music is pretty good, mainly because of the distinctive sonic flavors that are articulated. There is a definite energy and feel that underlies the stylistic phrasing vocabulary that is utilized that integrates the musical ideas, giving them a sense of direction.
If you like kicking back with mood music, but feel like you want to have more instrumental content than what a lot of rock mood music has, or if you want a break from the ultra-intensive instrumental music of the virtuoso-class musicians but still want purely instrumental music with some appeal and direction, then Psycophonic Oblique Rock might be a happy median for you. I suspect that fans of groups like Pink Floyd and U2 that have an inclination for instrumental music with a European flavor will grow into a liking for this album.
|1) Eh! Ah!|
|3) Phiileas Fogg|
|4) Per Vederlo Devi Chiudere Gli Occhi|
|5) L'Altra Marea|
|6) Istanbul Di Giornio|
|7) Concerto N. 1 Per Pianoforte E Sgabello|
|8) Il Nulla Resira|
~ Christopher Ruel ~ www.ChrisRuel.com ~ Chris@ChrisRuel.com
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