Clearlight — Visions
(Canal LM 900, 1978/1994, CD)
by Anatole Gordon, Published 1994-08-01
Fourteen years after releasing the album, Cyrille Verdeaux delivers a fine remake of Visions. On first listen it is evident that Verdeaux closely involved himself with this reissue. He remixed as well as remastered the original tapes, overlaying additional synthesizer tracks. Alan Parsons’ remake of Tales of Mystery and Imagination is a good point of reference for the sound quality, which is noticeably better on the CD. Cyrille subtly and tastefully remixed the music, interweaving sounds of a lush forest between tracks. He also threw us a few curveballs, renaming, reordering and even removing songs. However, the two tracks that he removed, "Au Royaume des Mutants" and "Paix Profonde" are the most experimental on the album. He more than makes up for their absence with the addition of six new tracks. All of the new tracks are worthwhile; two tracks in particular, "Guitare Elevation" and "Shanti Lotus," are particularly outstanding. As with the rest of the disc, the new tracks are a blend of psychedelic and progressive elements, with an Eastern tinge. Although this description could be applied to Ozric Tentacles’ music, Clearlight takes a less edgy approach to the sound. Don’t be misled, however, Christian Boule delivers on guitar, adding his Hillage-esque sound. Visions is an entirely instrumental work, which is a further point of comparison with OT. The new tracks are a mixture of electronic and organic, combining sitar, tablas, and violin with soft, repetitive, electronic effects. Verdeaux interweaves the sounds of the jungle, birds, and wind among the tracks, making the whole disc flow gracefully from beginning to end. The new introduction to "Raganesh," which used to be called "Fullmoon Raga" is transcendent. Although the entire disk is nice to listen to, two tracks ("Heymae" and "Messe Caline") are a bit repetitive and plain, but not bad. Two other tracks are worthwhile, but they are also a bit repetitive. Three of the new tracks, on the other hand, are simply outstanding. Overall, Visions ranks with the finest instrumental discs of all time.
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Jack o' the Clock and Zero Times Everything, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more