Exposé Online banner

Birdsongs of the Mesozoic — 2001 Live Birds
(NEARfest Records NRF 005, 2001/2006, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2006-05-01

2001 Live Birds Cover artSince the moment I first heard Magnetic Flip around twenty years ago, I’ve been a fan of this band, and have followed their progress with pleasure, enjoying each new phase as much as the previous, but I’ve never had the chance to see them play live. To me, they’ve always represented the best of what “progressive” music can be, actually creating something new and unique. Being based around keyboards (especially piano) and percussion, their take on “Chamber Rock” is less dark than most other practitioners of the subgenre. The set list for this live recording reads pretty much exactly like what I’d put on a single CD best-of to introduce a newbie to the band, down to including their whimsical takes on the themes from Rocky & Bullwinkle and The Simpsons. Do the live versions improve upon their studio counterparts? Yes and no, though “improve” is not the proper word. The live versions are different in some cases, with the biggest change probably the higher profile of the guitar parts and some changes in the keyboard instruments used, but I wouldn’t pick either as superior. As a fan who didn’t make it to NEARfest in 2001, this is a great consolation prize; for those who were there, it makes a great souvenir; for those wanting to find out what the band with the strange name is like, it’s a great introduction.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2006 releases, 2001 recordings

Related artist(s): Birdsongs of the Mesozoic, Ken Field

Latest news

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Noetra - Neuf Songes – This is fabulous, very intricate and occasionally dark, somewhat Canterburyish kind of stuff. The pieces are mellow and rolling as well as intense and energetic, the writing is excellent, and there...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues