Review by Bill Knispel
I’ve reviewed a number of Robin Taylor albums in the past for a variety of outlets. Taylor is nothing if not prolific…he’s released 25 albums since 1991 on a variety of labels (Marvel of Beauty, his own label, being the primary source). His material varies wildly from release to release…albums by Taylor’s Universe tend toward structured jazz/fusion with a touch of Canterbury, albums by Free Universe are all improvisational, and albums under his own name tend toward ambient and soundscape type material.
Taylor’s released a pair of albums over the past year showing him moving in a new direction. Earlier in 2008 Taylor released Soundwall, a collaboration with Mercyful Fate guitarist Michael Denner. Contrary to assumptions from such a collaboration, the album is tuneful, melodic and very heavily structured.
Apparently Taylor felt his work with Denner had more to say, and as such he’s created a new group for future work with him…Art Cinema. The ensemble’s debut release is the eponymous Art Cinema. Art Cinema sees Robin Taylor expanding on the direction taken on Soundwall, creating what is easily the most accessible release of his career. Yet it’s a satisfying kind of accessibility, one which does not insult the listener with simplified, easy to digest bits of sonic fondant. There’s meat on these musical bones, and Art Cinema is certainly a worthy musical meal.