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(47 min, 'MoB')
TRACK LIST: 1. Drogdensgade 5:37 2. Svaneklint 2:27 3. Finanslovsforslag 3:24 4. Operette 0:35 5. RME 3:54 6. Ude Og Hjemme 7:31 7. Metal pa Metal 2:45 8. Arkitekter 7:19 9. Svaneklint-II 6:47 10. Flimmerland 6:21 LINEUP: Robin Taylor - guitars, bass; keyboards; percussion Fischer - Stringman, vocals With: Hansen - drums (9, 10)
Prolusion. "Project '85" is the second production in the "X Position" series of previously unreleased recordings that Robin TAYLOR started back in 2003 with the release of "X Position Vol. 1". All ten of the tracks present were recorded in 1985, though some of them feature overdubs added just recently. There are lots of Robin Taylor-related reviews on the site, and here is the latest.
Analysis. Unlike "X Position Vol. 1", this compilation doesn't represent a cohesive whole. Furthermore, some of the disc's contents may suggest the idea that Robin decided to gather here just everything he has ever recorded, some of the tracks being just trash. Metal pa Metal is nothing else but a few overdubbed voices imitating the choir singing of drunken men. Excerpts from radio and like 'verbal stuff' with no musical accompaniment, random sounds, the scraping of harmonica, the more or less sensible passages of synthesizer and just emptiness are all lumped together on the longest track, Ude Og Hjemme, pretty confusedly alternating among themselves. For most of another long track, Arkitekter, it is much the same story, but there is an episode with beautiful female singing and a rather long and impressive 'postlude' in the vein of Baroque organ music, which should have certainly been placed on a separate track. Experimentalism and hypnotism would be the key words regarding the better tracks, though the latter concept often implies the lack of tempo changes. Then follow significant dots. The Ambient-like guitar-based sketches: Svaneklint and Operette, the latter containing a really well executed vocalization, are acceptable, as well as the rhythmic RME, which is notable for some refined piano passages, but is rather monotonous overall. In any event, it would have sounded better had it featured real drums instead of a drum machine. Finanslovsforslag is a very original experiment of uniting traditional vocals and laid-back guitar riffs, as a result of which the piece has some amazing unearthly feel to it. However, only the remaining three tracks leave a sense of a full completeness and are rather exciting from start to finish. Drogdensgade is a thematically interesting composition of electronically symphonic Ambient, enriched by passages of acoustic guitar and piano. The last two tracks, Svaneklint-II and Flimmerland, both being performed with real drums, have a full-band sound and are a lively Jazz Rock.
Conclusion. Robin Taylor is one of the most innovative and, at the same time, unlucky composers on the contemporary Prog scene. He discovered the whole new direction, but while paving it, he moved too far from traditional forms of Prog Rock and Jazz, both, due to which his creation remains far too inaccessible for most music lovers. Well, this is a general remark. The object of this review, however, is not the best of Robin's efforts, to put it mildly. Besides, I am not certain there was any reason even to recall most of these archival recordings, not to mention of their reanimation.
VM: December 5, 2005
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