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Discolor - 2002 - "III"
(71 min, Lizard)


*****+
                 
TRACK LIST:                             

1.  Psychedelic Rain 3:52
2.  Glass Keys to Open 8:05
3.  Light As a Feather 3:40
4.  When I See You 4:57
5.  Wonder 12:06
6.  Garden Fair 4:11
7.  What Remains of Her 9:40
8.  Sparkle Plenty 4:36
9.  Solar Bird's Flight 7:49
10. Sirius 10:00
11. Strings 2:43

All tracks: by Discolor.

LINE-UP:

Limo - guitars, sitar, bass; drums; keyboards; vocals
Harald Strecker - Mini-Moog
Lotsi Lapislazuli - vocals

Prolusion. DISCOLOR is a contemporary studio project from Germany, and here is their third album, titled simply "III". All my knowledge of them is limited by the titles of their previous output: "Discolor" (1997) and "Soundbath Installation" (1999).

Analysis. Here we have eleven tracks, the last three of which are instrumentals. All songs are with English lyrics, and the first six: Psychedelic Rain, Glass Keys to Open, Light As a Feather, When I See You, Wonder and Garden Fair are entities of a completely unified stylistics. I see it as a symbiosis of Space Fusion, Ambient and Oriental music. Regarding the latter component: I am not able to define its accurate geographic origin. When I hear it, I imagine an old Hindu, who finds himself somewhere in the Arabian Desert, sitting, meditating, sometimes silently playing sitar or indifferently following the caravans that pass by him from time to time. It seems it's something average between the Arabic and Indian music indeed, at least in some ways. The prevailing mood is also kind of neutral, while the music as such is meditative and hypnotic at once. The varied congas, as if calling one to another, or the light drumming, the magic sounds of sitar, fluid solos of electric guitar, often much resembling those of the same sitar, barely noticeable synthesizer and bass, plus unobtrusive vocals: all move slowly, but as if being laid back from each other, which as a result gives an amazingly changeable picture. This is a unique, somewhat elusive music, but I can't say that it's incomparable with anything. The band's teachers in absentia are obscured by their own ideas, but can be recognized. These are mid-period Jade Warrior, classic Gong and early Steve Hillage. In the only more or less intensive composition among the first six, Wonder, can be found light traces of Hawkwind. On the other two songs the music of the East is absent, and many other distinctive features have been replaced with the others. What Remains of Her presents a rather rhythmic Psychedelic Rock, and Sparkle Plenty is a complicated Space Rock ballad, somewhat kindred with those from Pink Floyd's "Atom Heart Mother" or "Meddle". In total, the eight songs run 51 minutes. The remaining 20 minutes are loaded with monotonous spacey and ambient soundscapes, which, in their turn, are overloaded with synthesizer effects. All of this has nothing to do with the rest of the material. The band's decision to supplement the (full-length and by all means full-fledged) album with three instrumentals was most likely reached just through misunderstanding. Fortunately, they placed them at the very end.

Conclusion. Not paying any heed to the ending of the CD, I declare that Discolor's "III" is one of the best albums in its category. Highly recommended to all those who considered the genres and the bands mentioned. Simply ignore the last three tracks when programming the CD, though, maybe you'll like them, too. However, you are in the know of why this outing didn't receive a status of masterpiece on this page.

VM: December 10, 2004


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