Exposé Online banner

Robin Taylor / Taylor's Free Universe — Two Pack
(Marvel of Beauty MOBCD 021, 2011, 2CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2011-06-01

Two Pack Cover artA brilliant marketing strategy here - two 3-inch mini-CDs in cardboard sleeves are shrink-wrapped back-to-back. The first features three new songs recorded in 2010, featuring Taylor on guitars, bass, keyboards, and percussion, drummer Klaus Thrane, and guests on soprano and tenor sax. Kicking off with an explosive flurry of freewheeling saxes, organ and guitars, it quickly settles into a more familiar progressive rock mode with "Heavy Friends," a piece vaguely reminiscent of Pekka Pohjola's "No Way Out" (from Everyman) but with a lot more jazz intensity and soloing. The voice of Louise Nipper is featured near the end of the second cut "The Ghost of Göran," a more contemplative piece that goes through a number of different sections over its ten minute duration. "Stoned Mushroom" closes the disc nicely in a similar style as the opener though perhaps a bit less frenzied, for a total of about 22 minutes of music. The second disc features two extended twelve-minute workouts by TFU, Taylor's jazz ensemble originally recorded in 2006, featuring Taylor on guitar, regulars Karsten Vogel (saxes) and Pierre Tassone (electric violin), along with bassist Assi Roar and drummer Rasmus Grosell making a mighty formidable rhythm section. Opener "Dark City" flies face first into some wild and blistering interchanges between guitars, sax and violin, while drums and bass pin it all down wonderfully. The second cut "Don't You Miles Me" is especially stunning, with the entire band cutting loose for its duration in some thoroughly funky and satisfying improvisation. Recommended!

Filed under: New releases, Issue 39, 2011 releases

Related artist(s): Robin Taylor, Karsten Vogel

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Cartoon - Sortie – The end of the 70s and first years of the 80s were a defining time in the history of progressive rock. The dinosaurs that had dominated throughout the first half of the 70s were rapidly becoming a...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues