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Project Lo (International) - Overall View


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ProLoosion:) Project Lo is another supergroup that, along with Gongzilla, is based on LoLo Records and features a few of the ex-members of Gong. Of course, it would be erroneous to assert that the creation of Project Lo and that of Gongzilla are inseparable from each other. Nevertheless, I'd recommend you to read the > Overall View on the creation of the latter band, too. Percy Jones (of Brand X, Tunnels, & Nuove Musiche) is a courtesy of Buckyball Music Records.

DISCOGRAPHY:

1995 - "Dabblings In Darkness"
1997 - "Black Canvas"


Project Lo - 1995 - "Dabbling In Darkness"
(54 min, LoLo)

******
TRACK LIST:

1. Dark Desert Moon 8:51
2. Three Rivers of Lor 10:16
3. Hip-Hopnosis 8:09
4. Sand 7:06
5. Boji 2:40
6. Summa 9:08
7. The Way Home 8:19

All tracks: by Lozaga & Lorentangeli.

LINE-UP:

Bon Lozaga - acoustic guitars
Jim Lorentangeli - keyboards; programming

With:

Percy Jones - fretless bass (on 1, 2, 4, 6, & 7)
Chris Farr - saxophones (on 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, & 7)
Bobby Thomas - hand drums (on 1, 2, & 4)
Pierre Moerlen - drums (on 1)
Vic Stevens - drums & percussion (on 3)
Gerald Veasley - 6-string bass (on 3)
Caryn Lin - violin & viola (on 6)
Mike Murray - chant (on 6)

Produced by Bon Lozaga.
Engineered mainly by Ed Dibona at TMP, Berlin, NJ.

Synopsis: Above all, it must be said that there are no electric guitars on the debut Project Lo album, and Bon plays only acoustic guitars here. In other words, an acoustic guitar is the central soloing instrument here, as a result of which the album has a very specific sound. There are a lot of highly innovative ideas on "Dabblings In Darkness", and the uniqueness of sound raised to the power of genuine creative inspiration is the main feature of this music. There are seven compositions on the album, the four of which: Dark Desert Moon, Sand, Summa, and The Way Home (1, 4, 6, & 7) are about a semi-acoustic Fifth Element, which is certainly heterogeneous in character. The dynamics of changes of the album's predominant stylistics and the constituents of it look as follows. A blend of Jazz-Fusion and Symphonic Art-Rock is laid in the basis of the first two of the said compositions, and a triple union of Symphonic Art-Rock, Jazz-Fusion, and Classical Music in that of both of the latter of them. The elements of music of the East are present on Sand and The Way Home, though the album's closing track features in addition those of Space Rock, and Summa the ritual-like singing by a few men. The arrangements on all four of the compositions, that I am referring to, are quite emotional and have a mysterious and, sometimes, rather dark feel to them. Boji (5) features the interplay between passages of acoustic guitar and those of synthesizer and is about Symphonic Art-Rock with elements of Jazz-Fusion rather then vice versa, whereas both of the remaining pieces: Three Rivers of Lor and Hip-Hopnosis (2 & 3) are very much in the vein of Classic Jazz-Fusion. Apart from acoustic guitars, the main soloing instruments on the album are synthesizers, saxophones, bass, and drums. The parts of hand drums are featured on Dark Desert Moon, Three Rivers of Lor, and Sand, those of piano on Sand and The Way Home, and those of violins on Summa. Finally, I should mention that "Dabblings In Darkness" is a highly complex, which, above all, is due to the fact that all the arrangements here are in the state of constant development. Overall, the first Project Lo album is one of the most original and interesting musical entities born in the middle of the 1990s, to say the least.

VM: May 2, 2003


Project Lo - 1997 - "Black Canvas"
(49 min, LoLo)

*****+
TRACK LIST:

1. Black Canvas I 2:33
2. Mercy Street 6:20
3. Rajah 6:27
4. Your Mind 5:36
5. Tolerance - Acceptance - Transformation 8:54
6. Perfection 5:22
7. Retribution 6:35
8. D.I.E. 5:24
9. Black Canvas II 2:35

All tracks: by B. Lozaga, except:
4: by J. Hatch, & 2: by Peter Gabriel.

LINE-UP:

Bon Lozaga - 
- guitars; keyboards; percussion; bass; (+ vocalize on 3)
J. Hatch -
- keyboards; percussion; programming; lead vocals
With:
Caryn Lin - violin (on a few tracks)
Chris Farr - saxophone (on a few tracks)
Percy John - bass (on a few tracks)
Hansford Rowe - bass (on 1)
Mel Lozaga - drums & percussion (on 5)
AJ - flugelhorn & trumpet (on 7)
Happy Rhodes - vocals (on 4) & backing vocals (on 2 & 6)

Produced by B. Lozaga.
Engineered by J. Hatch & B. Lozaga at "TMP Studios", NJ.	

Synopsis: It turned out that the musical palette of the second Project Lo album, "Black Canvas", does not correspond to the title and is rich in colors and shades of all sorts, except for black ones. But while this album is much less dark and dramatic in character than its predecessor and is in many ways different from it in general, passages and solos of acoustic guitar are mostly at the forefront of the arrangements here, too. The presence of violinist Caryn Lin on about a half of the tracks here makes "Black Canvas" sounding more symphonic than "Dabblings in Darkness" (at least on the whole). However, the main difference between the two Project Lo outputs lies in the fact that the hero of this review isn't the all-instrumental album. The vocal parts with lyrics are present on all four of the even tracks here (see track list above), the first of which is somewhat of a remake of Mercy Street from Peter Gabriel's "So" (1986). This is also one of a few tracks on the album that, apart from the parts of acoustic guitar, contain those of electric guitar. Mercy Street and the other two songs featuring the vocals of both of J. Hatch and Happy Rhodes: Your Mind and Perfection (4 & 6) are about Symphonic Art-Rock with elements of Jazz-Fusion. The remaining song: D.I.E. (8) is stylistically close to the only instrumental piece on the album that features vocalizes: Rajah (3). Here, the music represents a unique fusion of both of the guitar-based and symphonic kinds of Art-Rock with elements of music of the East where most of the solos of acoustic guitar sound very much like those of Turkish Saz. The arrangements on the first part of Black Canvas (1) are probably the most dramatic on the album. Consisting of diverse and highly inventive interplay between solos and passages of acoustic guitar, solos of bass, and passages of synthesizer, this composition is about a unique guitar-based Art-Rock with elements of Symphonic Art-Rock. Black Canvas II features only the solos of acoustic guitar and passages of synthesizer and is more experimental in sound. It's hard to perceive Tolerance - Acceptance - Transformation (5) and Retribution (7) differently than the two parts of a concept piece, the first of which consists of three sub-parts. A unique blend of guitar-based Art-Rock and Jazz-Fusion with elements of Symphonic Art-Rock presented here, being raised to the power of a high innovation that both of these compositions are just filled with, gives in total nothing else but Fifth Element.

Conclusion: Those connoisseurs of progressive music who were happy enough to get the first Project Lo album and wise enough to get into it, will undoubtedly like "Black Canvas" as well. However, being on the whole more accessible than "Dabblings in Darkness", this album should please a larger audience, including those into Symphonic Progressive. As for the creation of Project Lo as a whole, it's just wonderful, and the fact of its inactivity (hopefully, a temporary hiatus) signifies that the number of great, yet, criminally underrated bands continues to constantly grow.

VM: May 23, 2003


Related Links:

LoLo Records


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