In Spe — Typewriter Concerto
(Musea FGBG 4118.AR, 1994/1985, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1995-07-01
This is the second album by this outstanding Estonian ensemble, probably better known as The Girl on the Beach (based on the photo on the front cover, all information on the original LP was in Cyrillic). Musea gave it an English title, removed a track from the original, added another, and voila – it's now a CD. A most welcome reissue, as the original vinyl was a miserably noisy pressing. Led by composer/keyboardist Alo Mattiisen, the band had grown to nine members for this release: two keyboards, guitar, bass, drums, flute, vibes, xylophone, and... typewriter. The eighteen minute four-part suite that opens the disc is a brilliant and powerful symphonic piece, lushly orchestrated with plenty of dynamic changes, a strong rock presence, classical and jazz influences, some gripping guitar solos, and the likely influence of Zappa. The driving idea is a playful fantasia which is set up between the 'serious' instruments and the seemingly comical xylophone, vibes, flute, and typewriter. The rest of the disc comprises three shorter pieces taken from the second side of the original LP, plus an eleven-minute bonus track "Departure" which was recorded during the same sessions. These are all excellent instrumental pieces, ranging from ethereal "Feeling of Eternity" to the more upbeat "Rondo of the Broken Arm," recalling some of the spirit of side one. The original album closer beautiful "Vallis Mariae" recalls some of the melodic adventures of Pekka Pohjola. In all, this is a very special album I can heartily recommend to everyone.
There's No Time Like the Present – The Belgian band Present has been one of the best avant-rock bands in the world since its formation in 1979. Over the years since then, Present has released nine amazing albums, and now they're ready to start work on number ten. They're looking for some financial help from their fans around the world. » Read more
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more