Exposé Online banner

DarWin — Origin of Species
(Origin of Species OOS5, 2019, CD / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2019-12-25

Origin of Species Cover art

“We have sufficient computational power to establish control over all networks and computers on Earth.” So begins the epic concept album Origin of Species by DarWin, with a computerized voice declaring its intent to fix the ailing planet. The promotional material for the project features drummer Simon Phillips almost exclusively, telling the story of how DarWin approached him with a proposal to produce an album. Who is DarWin? I have no idea. In addition to production, engineering, mixing, and drums, Phillips handles some keyboards. Well-known session man Matt Bissonette plays bass and sings; other contributors include Ernest Tibbs (bass), Greg Howe (guitar), Dennis Hamm (keyboards, Phillips’ bandmate in Protocol), Jeff Babko (keyboards), and several others. The music fits into the category of modern epic progressive rock, full of big sounds, orchestrations, metal-inflected guitars, and lush keyboards. While the story dominates the project, the songs work as individual works, with the notable exception of “Gummy Bear,” which does not work, but not because of the concept — it’s just an embarrasingly stupid song, probably intended as a lighthearted respite from the serious story of humanity’s destruction of our planet. Like much of Billy Sherwood’s work, it sounds great, with impeccable audio quality, superb performances, and leaves me cold. Origin of Species is exactly the kind of music that appeals to many fans of progressive rock, and I’ll be generous enough to say that it’s the result of sincere effort and artistry rather than calculation of audience taste. Certainly we all know that this kind of music isn’t going to hit the top of the sales charts, so I’m pretty sure those involved aren’t expecting to get rich off of it. Still, it’s impossible to hate music that is so well made, and Simon Phillips’ drumming is outstanding, so I hope DarWin finds his audience.


Filed under: New releases, 2019 releases

Related artist(s): Simon Phillips, DarWin

Latest news

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more

2021-02-10
Chick Corea RIP – The sad news has reached us that Chick Corea has Returned to Forever, so to speak. The innovative keyboardist and composer died on February 9 at the age of 79. With a career that spanned from the 60s until shortly before his death, Corea touched many listeners with the incredible variety of music he produced in his lifetime. » Read more

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Secret Saucer - Element 115 – Deflector shields up! Arm photon torpedoes! Secret Saucer is about to attack! Coming together from different parts of the galaxy, members from the premiere US Space Rock bands were locked up in a...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues