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Lady Lake - 2005 - "Supercleandreammachine"

(54 min, Musea)


*****+
                 
TRACK LIST:                             

1.  The Untold Want 14:05
2.  Doo Dah Damage 7:17
3.  Wet Sounds 5:05
4.  Ford Theatre 11:02
5.  No One Will Ever Know 6:05
6.  The Chief 5:50
7.  Radio Reminiscence 4:44
8.  Children's Playground II 0:36

All tracks: by Lady Lake.
Produced by Lade Lake & F Hagenaars.

LINEUP:

Leendert Korstanje - mellotron, pianos & synthesizers
Fred Rosenkamp - electric & acoustic guitars
Jan Dubbe - drums & percussion
          

Prolusion. It's been far too long ago when the Dutch group LADY LAKE was formed - at the down of the '70s! They disbanded soon after releasing their debut LP, "No Pictures", and were out of musical work for nearly thirty years. So here is one of the most unexpected comebacks in the history of Prog Rock. The disc is entitled "Super Clean Dream Machine" (in one word), but I would have called it "Jump from the Distant Past". Musea Records has also reissued their first album on CD, though it took place many years ago.

Analysis. The lineup is quite atypical. Not because it's a trio of course, but due to the absence of a bass player. As a result, the sound lacks a bit of dynamics at the low frequency level, but that's not a big deal, at least for this reviewer. The album is made up of seven instrumental compositions, and the 14-minute suite The Untold Want, which opens it, is the longest and, simultaneously, most diverse and compelling track here. It begins with the beautiful classically influenced interplay between Grand Piano and acoustic guitar, which lasts for 4 minutes. The rest of it is highly eventful, featuring plenty of different pictures and nearly ever changing, yet, fully coherent arrangements, with the dense structures prevailing over the atmospheric ones. The music is primarily classic symphonic Art-Rock with a distinct '70s sense and a lot of the other amazing features that were typical for the genre at its heyday, the attendant styles ranging from quasi Jazz-Fusion to Blues- and Hard Rock. Doo Dah Damage follows the epic and is much in the same vein. The second longest track, Ford Theatre, is also a very spectacular piece of music, done in the best Art-Rock traditions, though with fewer intense arrangements and no stylistic counterweights. This is also the one, which uses distinctive Mellotron colors in the palette. Indeed, keyboardist Leendert Korstanje has a genuine Mellotron in his equipment, but he uses it much less often than I would have liked, preferring electric and acoustic pianos and the Hammond-like sounds. Fred Rosenkamp is a musician of a bluesy guitar school, which has a certain effect on the music, especially when the guitar takes the lead position in the arrangements, such as on Wet Sounds, Radio Reminiscence and No One Will Ever Know. The first two of these are 'classically' diverse and eventful, while the latter is notable for the bright melody coming to the fore. It much resembles late Camel and is the only composition on the album that doesn't stick out to me. It's not bad, but it's mellow in its entirety and is pretty predictable, so I want to skip it sometimes. The Chief, taking the sixth position, is very good, even though musically, it contrasts with the rest of the material. This is mainly progressive Hard Rock somewhere in the vein of early Kansas with only elements of the band's traditional style. The last track, Children's Playground, is too short to consider it a full-fledged composition. There is nothing but literally a couple of brief piano passages.

Conclusion. While not a classic, this is a very good album overall. Besides, it would've been excellent had it been confined within the traditional LP framework of time. All in all, the material might be of keen interest to fans of Camel, Yes and the like adherents of romanticism in the symphonic Art-Rock genre.

VM: Agst 7, 2005


Related Links:

Musea Records
Lady Lake


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