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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Hughscore

Delta Flora

Review by G. W. Hill

Low key and rather jazzy; this is an intriguing prog album. Really a nice change of pace, and interesting direction for the genre to go in. In the tradition of the great prog experimentation of the '70's, this is a new and very original sound. Bass really rules this particular musical show, but the overall tone of this album is well worth any prog fans giving a chance. Add to that the wonderful voice of Elaine di Falco, and you have a killer combination. The entire album is rather laid back, but certainly far from boring.

The band is Hugh Hopper, Fred Chalenor, Elaine di Falco and Tucker Martine. Chrystalle Blanc-Lenaute, Jon Hyde, Elton Dean, Dave Carter, Robert Jarvis and Craig Flory join them on this disc.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: The Early Years Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

 

Track by Track Review
Was A Friend
A great bass line starts this cut, which is a prog ballad with jazzy overtones. This bass line, although a bit low in the mix, really drives the tune. It is a song about how awkward it is to "bury the hatchet". The song features a nice jazz oriented instrumental passage that ends the composition. This is a very strong jazz oriented prog tune and serves as a wonderful beginning to the album.
Facelift
An instrumental, this one also begins with strong bass work. This is strong prog that is a bit in the mode of old King Crimson. Very powerful and a strong jam, it gets rather oddly classically oriented for a time. The musical textures here are wonderful, and the cut features a strong and great toned electronic jam segment that is laid over the incredible bass work. It then drops into a very quiet segment that is a bit like an old Crimson mode of dropping down to near silence then slowly building up. Odd sorts of ambient sounds are, as they were with Crimson, the tools of Hughscore's building. This cut ends before building back up all the way, though.
November
A nice jazzy groove makes up this track. This one has a great musical texture, strong prog in a jazzy sort of groove. This one goes into a very strong instrumental break with a potent saxophone solo.
Ramifications
Harder edged and dissonant, this is quirky prog oriented material that is still quite jazzy. "Ramifications, Time has a thousand highways, Spinning and weaving, And tangling its web, A thousand ways, No one can get away, Everyone's tied together." Kind of an odd track, this one is still very strong. It ends quite abruptly.
Robohop
Spacey tones start this cut, and it begins slowly building from there in ambient Crimsonesque modes. This is a free form, but linear instrumental.
Remind Me
Starting in low volume ambient tones, percussion that feels a bit like the ticking of a clock sets the pace for the cut as the song proper kicks in. This is an unusual, but quite pleasant, prog ballad. Early on it is somewhat dissonant, but quite melodic. As the instrumental break kicks in, building gradually on the musical story so far, the dissonance gives way to more solid embracing of the melody. This is a pretty piece.
Spacelift
With a retro sort of texture, this is a smooth and brief instrumental that is quite fun in nature.
Based On
Another smooth one, this features some awesome Levinish bass work and powerful prog instrumental interplay. "Late at night when brain cells fly, we cross the season of manic eye, Where passions fly." This is a very strong cut which also shows jazz leanings. The cut seems to wander through both prog and jazz progressions.
Tabitae
Starting in spacey tones, a somewhat ambient mode takes over after a time, slowly building. It is pretty and melodic.
 
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