Exposé Online banner

Mask — Heavy Petal
(Mandalic MCD001, 2005, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2006-05-01

Heavy Petal Cover art

The members of this duo should be familiar to all Exposé readers, although this latest project is quite a surprise. Cellist, synthesist, and composer Marvin Ayres has released several discs of ambient and film music in recent years, several of which were reviewed in #32. Sonja Kristina is best known as the voice of legendary progressive band Curved Air, but has an even longer career as a folk singer and composer; here she sings, co-writes, and plays guitar. A brief story line in the gatefold follows the subtitle “The Tenebrous Odyssey of Jack and Virginia,” but apart from song titles that may follow this concept, the music the duo makes together stands solidly on its own. The result is a synthesis of the backgrounds of both musicians: a drifty, dreamy ambient sound into which touches of pop, folk, and world music are fused. The songs, which tend to be fairly laid back and mellow, are tied together by even more relaxed free ambient interludes of layered synths, processed cello and vocalizing; it all works together superbly as the energy level builds and releases regularly throughout the album. Sonja’s voice is as beautiful as ever, whether she’s singing lyrics or providing a layered floating backdrop in an instrumental setting. This is a two-sided disc, including a DVD with 23 minutes of material, videos of two tracks from the CD side and an extended version of another fused with stunning imagery. Very nice indeed.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): Mask, Sonja Kristina Linwood, Marvin Ayres

Latest news

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Campo di Marte - Campo di Marte – Heaped amidst a surprising number of great 70s Italian prog bands comes this very recent CD reissue, and it is quite remarkable. Perhaps more subtle than some of their contemporaries, this five-piece...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues