Exposé Online banner

Carptree — Man Made Machine
(Inside Out Music IOMCD 223, 2005, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2006-05-01

Man Made Machine Cover art

It’s a fine art to write big, powerful music without sounding either pompous or foolish, and this Swedish duo pulls it off well. The result is a little like a heavily orchestrated mid-70s Genesis, with tons of keyboards forming the bulk of the backing, though not so derivative as to seem plagiaristic. Singer Niclas Flinck has a powerful voice, and while there is a detectable accent to his English, my only complaint is with his unnatural diction on some of the awkward (though intellectually intriguing) lyrics he sings, for which he has only himself to blame, since he wrote them. The band’s other half is Carl Westholm, who covers the keyboards and co-writes the music. A variety of guests add guitars, bass, drums, and vocals, including a chamber choir, since the massed arrangement just wasn’t big enough yet. Carptree’s saving grace is that while the music has a dark and serious edge, there seems to be an element of lightness present, even bordering on humor, as if they know they’ve gone over the top, but they’re having so much fun up there you have to smile with them. There are quieter moments to contrast all the bombast, and the overall result is not like typical neo-prog, to my ears at least. So while my tastes generally run to the experimental, I can quite enjoy this exercise in massively produced, meticulously executed prog overload.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): Carptree

Latest news

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

M.A.S.S. - Mysteria – In the early 70s there was the legendary Krautrock band Mythos, led by multi-instrumentalist Stephan Kaske. Over the decades Kaske remained active as a musician, ultimately becoming a solo electronic...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues