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Paradox One — Reality Quake
((Not on label) no#, 2000, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2001-07-01

Reality Quake Cover art

Scotland’s Phil Jackson is the man behind Paradox One, and this initial release has been crafted over a number of years, based mostly on themes from science fiction. He starts out with “Urbmon 116,” a four-part piece based on Robert Silverberg’s The World Inside, a 1971 book set mostly in the giant city tower called Urban Monad 116. The musical piece consists mostly of keyboards of the analog sort, with some programmed drums and taped voices, and a short vocal section in the middle. Occasional guitars join in, mostly in supporting roles. The melodies are generally quite catchy, tending sometimes to a Vangelis anthem style, but the backing sequences are very good, burbling nicely. The second major piece is based on Robert Sheckley’s book Crompton Divided, and is to my ear less successful. It features some of the same qualities as the first piece, but the vocal section comes off as awkward, and the heavy section suffers from muddy recording. The album is rounded off with two shorter pieces, an Emerson-like organ workout with a great backing riff and a muffled-sounding drum machine, and a serene arrangement of Schumann’s “Kinderscenen.” Jackson has a many excellent ideas, and this disc, treated as a demo, bodes for some great work in the future.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 22, 2000 releases

Related artist(s): Paradox One (Phil Jackson)

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