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Monday, October 13, 2008


320 KBPS

After departing Gong in 1975, Steve Hillage followed the same route as everyone else, by making a solo album. He enlisted some Gong colleagues — bassist Mike Howlett, saxophonist Didier Malherbe, and drummer Pierre Moerlen — and augmented them with others from his Canterbury past, keyboard player Dave Stewart (the two had played together at the beginning of the decade) and Henry Cow's Lindsay Cooper. The result, apart from revealing a slightly unhealthy obsession with fish (at least a change from Gong's pothead pixies) is a Canterbury musical delight, even if the lyrics are chock-full of hippie-dippy sentiment. There are plenty of complex time changes, easily and smoothly handled by the musicians, and while Hillage doesn't contribute as many solos as admirers of his style might wish, he does use layers of guitar to create some wonderful textures and harmonies. This is, in fact, a very sophisticated record, with interesting arrangements and some innovative production — a harbinger of Hillage's future career behind the boards. On the few occasions he does unleash the fretwork, it's quite glorious, with his trademark echo letting the notes trail like a comet's tail. He doesn't need to prove he's the fast gun in town, simply one with plenty of invention. The real emphasis is on band arrangements and those multi-part compositions that were an indelible part of the prog '70s (as in the pretentiously titled "Solar Musick Suite"). However, pomposity is carefully avoided, and the musicians bring enough of their own personalities to the party, especially Malherbe. As a solo debut it's a success, taking the qualities of Hillage's previous gigs on board, but making the final product his own. It might be fishy, but it certainly doesn't stink.

1. Solar Musick Suite: (16:55)
a) Sun Song (I Love its Holy Mystery (6:15)
b) Canterbury Sunrise (3:25)
c) Hiram Afterglid Meets the Dervish (4:05)
d) Sun Song (reprise) (3:10)
2. Fish (1:23)
3. Meditation of the Snake (3:10)
4. The Salmon Song: (8:45)
a) Salmon Pool (1:17)
b) Solomon's Atlantis Salmon (2:08)
c) Swimming with the Salmon (1:37)
d) King of the Fishes (3:43)
5. Aftaglid: (14:46)
a) Sun Moon Surfing (1:36)
b) The Great Wave and the Boat of Hermes (1:51)
c) The Silver Ladder (0:40)
d) Astral Meadows (2:01)
e) The Lafta Yoga Song (2:42)
f) Glidding (2:23)
g) The Golden Vibe/Outglib (3:33)
Bonus tracks
6. Pentagrammaspin (2006 remix) (7:46)
7. Aftaglid (Original "Power Trio" backing track) (13:00)


StripTheSoul said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
StripTheSoul said...

Welcome back mr. Moodswings!!!
I dont know if you knew Jazzrockz blog...i hope they also manage to get back as you did...i added your blog on mine now, so people can see your great posts too.

Stay Classy


Mr Moodswings said...

I'll add yours too! ;)

klf said...

wow, glad you're back so fast. you're the *1st* blog i discovered when i clued in to the whole music blog thing . . . almost a year ago. i really dug your serge gainsbourg posts! thanks for being here and posting such great music.

Anonymous said...

Heureux de te revoir en ligne !!!