Exposé Online banner

The Spacious Mind — Cosmic Minds at Play
(Garageland Records GRCD 006, 1993, CD)

by Rob Walker, Published 1994-05-01

Cosmic Minds at Play Cover artThe Spacious Mind is the latest band to emerge from the burgeoning progressive scene in Sweden. Abandoning the more symphonic influences of countrymen Änglagård, Manticore, and Landberk, The Spacious Mind play a very spacy and atmospheric style of psychedelic prog. Using e-bowed and fuzz guitar, synths, and a variety of percussion, they evoke the sound of bands like early Pink Floyd, Ash Ra Temple, PLJ Band, and Agitation Free over the four long tracks which comprise this 70 minute CD. The mood is relatively mellow and laid back throughout, though there are some very intense moments and powerful jams here as well. Most listeners will be blown away by the first track - the sonic atmosphere created here is quite stunning, and is made all the more effective by some excellent use of reverb and spatial imaging. The entire mix has a vast spacious quality to it; rather appropriate given the name of the band and the album. The music alternates between more intense sections, featuring haunting e-bow leads over echoed fuzz guitar and low synth pads, and calm, reflective sections with sparser instrumentation and a more atmospheric sound. Often there are voices and other effects mixed low in the background, and at least one section includes backwards-recorded speech and guitar. For a majority of the album, the four band members do a decent job of avoiding the repetitive drum patterns and aimless noodling that too much psychedelic prog suffers from, but in some places, especially in the second and third songs, they try to stretch a few minutes worth of material into too long of a piece. The second track features a Gilmour-ish echoed lead and a sound quite reminiscent of some of the instrumental sections from Floyd's last two albums, but the mellow middle section goes absolutely nowhere and drags on for seven long minutes. The spacy e-bow noodling would probably work well if it had some direction and dynamics; the lack of these two elements at certain points during the album is my main criticism. The third track, the only one with vocals, will instantly remind you of "Fearless" or "A Pillow of Winds" from Floyd's Meddle album, but again, what could have been a nice short acoustic piece is stretched into a ten minute track that may begin to outwear its welcome for some listeners. Fortunately the better two tracks are the first and last, both over 20 minutes in length, and featuring some very powerful and engaging music. The most intense moment on the CD, the opening few minutes of the fourth track, reminds me of a live free-form Ozrics jam, albeit with a less metronomic drummer. This album will surely turn more than a few heads, and is one of the better new releases so far in 1994.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 3, 1993 releases

Related artist(s): The Spacious Mind

Latest news

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more

2017-05-02
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Steve Tibbetts - Steve Tibbetts – At long last! Finally the eponymous first album by Minnesota guitarist Steve Tibbetts has been reissued. Folks familiar only with his work of late may be a little surprised by the flowing acoustic...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues