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(61:34, Trail Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. A Trip to Innerself 10:25 2. The Explorer 6:51 3. Desert 3:30 4. Baroque 3:57 5. Nervous Breakdown 11:51 6. Beyond Destiny 9:33 7. Distant Cry 6:42 8. Black 8:45 LINEUP: Ozgur Kurcan – vocals; guitars Ege Madra – guitars Orkun Oker – keyboards Volkan Yildirim – keyboards Kaan Sezgin – drums Ulas Akin – bass With: Kerem Ozyegen – vocals (2) Nil Karaibrahimgil – vocals (8)
Prolusion. The Turkish band SIDDHARTHA was founded back in 1992 and for 9 years they were an active live unit, and also released a CD in their homeland back in 1998. However, in 2001 they broke up. Eight years later the US label Trail Records decided that this production should be discovered by a broader audience and subsequently issued an alternative take of this outfit's debut album, replacing two of the tracks with others recorded 11 years ago.
Analysis. Turkey isn't a country best known for their output of progressive rock, so it was a welcome surprise to find out what a band from this part of the world was creating – even if this is material made some years ago. And in this case we're dealing with what is mostly referred to as space rock. Mid-to-late ‘70s Pink Floyd and Eloy appear to be major influences for this act; for the latter of these "Ocean" seems to have had a particular bearing on the material on this production. A distinct, driving bass guitar is a solid foundation for the proceedings and, along with floating, often majestic synth and keyboard textures, comes across as the elements mostly influenced by the aforementioned German act. In addition, brief, reverberating, searching melodic guitar licks are used on select occasions throughout this venture – a distinct calling card of Eloy in general and their "Ocean" album in particular. The guitars utilized elsewhere remind the listener more of Pink Floyd though; the guitar soloing will in most instances have a sound and expression with David Gilmour written all over them, and the general preference of acoustic and undistorted guitars for most segments, and in particular in the vocal segments, is another calling card that evokes the British outfit, at least in the manner used on this recording. Heavier sounding passages are utilized on select occasions too; drawn out riffs and slow riff patterns first and foremost, but not to any great extent. Still, it adds a dimension to these excursions that helps the overall sound of this production come across as something more than a derivative collection of influences; further enhanced by some eastern sounding touches to the themes from time to time. This blend of known and lesser known musical elements is incorporated into compositions containing frequent changes in pace, mood and intensity - the lengthier efforts in particular have so many changes like that it's justified to attach a challenging description to this music even when the instrumental complexity is limited to a few select appearances of dissonant effects and partially harmonizing multiple layered melodies.
Conclusion. "Trip to Innerself" is a strong production, and in the eleven years that has passed since these tracks were recorded they haven't lost much in terms of intriguing qualities. The familiar sounding elements do detract somewhat from the overall perception of quality and interest, but when all is said and gone it's still a very fine recording, in stylistic expression residing somewhere in between Pink Floyd and Eloy, and an outing that should appeal to fans of both bands.
OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: Agst 18, 2009
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