Spirits Burning & Clearlight — Healthy Music in Large Doses
(Gonzo Multimedia HST117CD, 2013, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-05-08
Spirits 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.
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more