Exposé Online banner

Spirits Burning & Clearlight — The Roadmap in Your Head
(Gonzo Multimedia HST423, 2016, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2017-01-15

The Roadmap in Your Head Cover art

This is the second collaboration between Spirits Burning master of ceremonies and multi-instrumentalist Don Falcone, and Clearlight – or more precisely Cyrill Verdeaux, who is the mastermind behind Clearlight. Although several of the 35 musicians here have played with both Facone and Verdeaux on previous projects, as well as many previous Spirits Burning releases (there are over a dozen releases now), the amazing and unsung glue that makes this kind of worldwide collaboration even possible is software tools like Cakewalk, Cubase, ProTools, and the like that are readily available today but would have made a collaboration of this scope nearly impossible twenty years ago. As previously mentioned, there are 35 musicians and singers here, playing just about every instrument imaginable, but only 14 tracks; members of various incarnations of Hawkwind and Gong are here among many others who participate, including the late Daevid Allen, who wrote the lyrics and sang on the closing track “Roadmaps (The Other Way).” Two other cuts “Sun Sculptor & The Electrobilities” and “Isolation in 10 80” feature lyrics and vocals by Bridget Wishart, but other than those three this is pretty much an instrumental album. As a collection of diverse ideas, it’s excellent throughout, but a very difficult one to describe as a whole, as each track features different writers and different musicians. It doesn’t really sound like an album by a group or solo artist with a single vision, but instead a collection of tracks by different musicians with different ideas working together in smaller units. Each of the 14 cuts emerges with a different guiding idea, though with Falcone at the helm guiding the process, the overall concept works well, as it has on all previous Spirits Burning releases, but a little better each time – continuous improvement. All taken, this is a very unique way of producing music that involves a lot of creative input from a wide group of musicians from all around the planet, all of whom are of Falcone’s choosing. That’s the roadmap, and it works for me.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): Didier Malherbe, Spirits Burning, Bridget Wishart, Nik Turner, Steve Hillage / System 7, Theo Travis, Clearlight, Cyrille Verdeaux, Daevid Allen, Judy Dyble

Latest news

2020-01-21
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

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
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

2020-01-12
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

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ron E. Carter - Play Hendrix – Covering the Jimi Hendrix catalogue requires skill as well as thought about which arrangements to interpret and which ones not to disturb. Stevie Ray Vaughn’s cover of “Voodoo Chile -...  (2002) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues