Spirits Burning & Clearlight — Healthy Music in Large Doses
(Gonzo Multimedia HST117CD, 2013, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-05-08Spirits Burning is the ongoing project of Don Falcone and guests, many of whom appear regularly on most of the releases, including members and ex-members of various space rock bands far and wide, including Hawkwind, High Tide, Gong, The Moor, Universal Totem Orchestra, and many more (too many to enumerate here, it would take up the entire review) as well as members of other past and present bands and projects that Falcone has been involved with, offering wide variety of instrumentation. Clearlight is of course keyboardist Cyrille Verdeaux, who contributes to nearly every track here. The way Spirits Burning works is that the music is passed around to the various participants (many over long distances) where each player contributes their parts, and then when all are done, Falcone edits and mixes the results into what finally gets released. There are a lot of cooks in this kitchen. The result is a potent blend of ideas from a large number of composers and players that can pretty much go anywhere, with elements of rock, jazz, psychedelic, symphonic prog, folk, and electronic music all surfacing at various times across the thirteen tracks presented here. This time out several of the tracks feature vocals and spoken parts (some in French, courtesy Verdeaux) and the overall program leans in more symphonic and jazzy directions than the heady psychedelia and space rock of some of the earlier Spirits Burning releases. The music has a high density factor, and although a casual listen on speakers will provide a good experience, only a close listen on quality headphones will reveal all the layers of sound and detail that have gone into each of these cuts. Much herein to recommend.
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
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
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
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
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