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progVisions

progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members. Our objective is to become a centre of information that contributes to the knowledge, growth and development of progressive rock.

album reviews

album review

Spaced Out - Eponymus II - 2001

"The music in this second album is still very structured
and allows the players freedom of expression
through improvised solo sections which leaves
the music with a jazzy feeling"

This is the second album of the Canadian jazz-rock-progressive band Spaced Out. You can find a review of their first album "Spaced Out" under our review section. I don't have a copy of that album so I can't compare both albums.

The band is formed by Antoine Fafard, an incredible bass player who is also responsible for "sound designing" and "keyboard sequencing". Martin Maheux is playing the drum kit, Louis Cõté the electric guitar and Éric St-Jean the Keyboards.

Additional musicians are:
Mathieu Bouchard - electric guitar; Michel Desiauriers - Voice, acoustic guitar; Jason Martin - narration; Jean-Pierrre Dodel - electric guitar; Ronald Stewart - tenor saxophone

Lets talk about the music now. First of all this is not easy listening music. The first track "Sever the seven" (8:56) shows us directly what we can expect. The bass is in the front of the mix and is played aggressively with a lot of plucking and a sound that reminds me of Percy Jones of the great Brand X. The music of Spaced Out reminds me a lot of Brand X. I am sure Spaced Out won't bother that comparison because there are only a few bands in the world who can stand such a comparison. There are some high speed parts with incredible rhythms. A very strong composition with also a lot of freedom for the players.

Next composition is "The lost train" (6:20) and the bass sound now reminds me of Alan Caron. Also in this piece incredible rhythms played on guitar, bass and drums. Next not the expected ballad to slow down the pace a little bit, but "Infinite ammo" (4:55) with again heavy jazz-rock. There are nice Hammond parts in this track but keyboards are not very much in front of the music of Spaced Out. "For the trees too" (4:55) has a piano in it and the guitar is playing now some melodies instead of only high-speed battles with the bass. In the end there is some Zappa reminding music.

"Trophollaxie" (5:57) gives at last some peace and starts with a slow keyboard intro. But that slow pace doesn't stay long. This track is very diverse, all kind of rhythms, melodic parts on guitar but also freaking guitar bits. I like it that we can hear some keyboards in this track and there is great drum work. "Sever the seven - revisited" (5:33) is one of the best pieces I think. This is because the heavy and high speed playing is combined with melodic slow parts. Again fantastic guitar and bass solos on top of the keyboards. The drummer gets also the opportunity to show off. Next piece is "The Alarm" (3:58) and the drums get a lot of space here, it is almost a drum solo.

"Glassosphere - Part II" (5:31) is a composition with the atmosphere of a Philip Glass composition. Especially the last part of the composition is very Glassy. The last piece of the album is called "Jamosphere" (7:50) and here the band is showing us everything they have. There is a lot of improvisation and there is even a saxophone in this track. All the musicians are playing with great skills and a lot of enthusiasm.

The second album of Spaced Out is one of high musical craftsmanship. The compositions are often very complex and the band must have a lot of discipline to play this. On the other hand there is also room for improvisation of the band-members. If you like Jazz-Rock in the vein of bands as Brand X this one is for you. I only would recommend some variation and add some compositions with a slower pace to give the album some balance and let the listener recover. It is a good album, but it is a little bit hectic for me to listen to after a long working day.

Douwe Fledderus - November 2001.
rating - Unicorn Records

 

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