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

2017-11-16
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

2017-11-02
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

2017-10-18
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

2017-10-13
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

2017-09-26
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


Previously in Exposé...

Hans Reichel & Eroc - The Return of Onkel Boskopp – Careful. This is Hans Reichel; not to be confused with another German experimentalist - Achim Reichel. The Reichel featured here is known for constructing home made string instruments, and performing...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues