Roots of Consciousness — Roots of Consciousness
(Syn-Phonic SYNCD12, 1993, CD)
by Peter Thelen, 1994-05-01:On first listen I wasn't sure what to make of this debut release from Atlanta's Roots of Consciousness, a four piece of guitars, keys, bass and drums, with vocals by all. After a few listens those distorted and grotesque voices, the quirky arrangements and seemingly over-familiar themes from the 70s began to grow on me and provide a window to an inner side of this band that combines an experimental 60s neo-psychedelicism with the hard-rock mystical approach of early-Rush and bands like UFO. These two comparisons work well for a starting point, yet there are other elements in this sound that are not that easy to categorize, some fairly original ideas that juxtapose elements of the simpler 70s hard rock with the progressive elements of the same period. The weird distorted dialog and such may annoy some as being gimmicky, but taken in the spirit of the times the music seems to represent, they are quite appropriate. Tracks like "Remorse," the lengthy four-parter "( )," and "Candelabra" go far to clarify the dark vision that the album overall seems to embrace, both lyrically and musically. "Lethe Wharf," an instrumental that sounds a bit too up-to-date among the album's other tracks, tinkers with dissonance. Topping the album off is the not- intended-to-be-serious track "For Radio Airplay," with it's spoken vocals riddled with bleeped four letter expletives! In all, this is one that fans of the early Rush sound and the more experimental facets of the early 70s might appreciate wholeheartedly.
by Mike McLatchey, 1994-02-01:These guys inhabit that area of progressive rock that tends to make me cringe. Influences? Rush, Marillion, maybe even Be Bop Deluxe. This type ofmusic is more in an "art rock" vein - very vocal oriented (and in that Fish kind of vein), straight song structure, little or no depth of sound, cliched ideas, and when they do tend to broaden themselves instrumentally it seems forced rather than natural. Take "Put You Away," which sounds like an updated version of late seventies/early eighties Rush with annoying "Cygnus X-1" like narration. One thing I do like about some neo progressives is the lushness of some of the music, yet Roots seem to be lacking heavily in this area. A lot of their music reminds me of stuff like the Ventures ("Candelabra") trying to do progressive rock. I suppose this is a more unique approach than the average neo but it still doesn't sound good to my ears. I doubt this will be high on many lists.
Related artist(s): Roots of Consciousness
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more
Elton Dean / Sophia Domancich - Sea of Infinity & Avant – Two of the late Elton Dean’s last sessions as leader and co-leader have been championed by Hux records in the UK. Sea of Infinity captures him again leading an out session careening through... (2008) » Read more