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.
Mastermind Titles Available Online – Back in the 90s, we wrote a lot about an American band called Mastermind, which started as a trio of brothers Bill and Rich Barends with Phil Antolino, and later expanded to a five-piece. The group's first six studio albums, along with three live sets, are now available on their Bandcamp site. » Read more
Brand X Hits the Road, North America 2016 Edition – I can still remember the first time I heard Unorthodox Behaviour back in the mid-70s, and how wonderful I found the combination of impressive technical playing and light-hearted humor. Over the years, an impressive number of incredible musicians participated in the band, and several of them are taking it out on the road in October. » Read more
RosFest 2017 Artists Announced – The Rites of Spring Festival has been going since 2004, and the 2017 edition is set for May 5-7, 2017 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The lineup features Änglagård, Neal Morse, The Aaron Clift Experiment, Unified Past, and The Fierce and the Dead, with more announcements to come as the schedule is filled out. » Read more