Poor Genetic Material - Winter’s Edge - 2003

“so perfect in your art
so ambitious and so vast
you stretch between the future
and the first man’s past”

[excerpt: “Winter’s Edge]


Poor Genetic Material is one of the two bands (the other is called Alias Eye) of singer Philip Griffiths and drummer Ludwig Benedek. The only thing I now about this German band is that we at progVisions reviewed their fourth album “Leap into fall” so considering the title this must be their fifth album. I don’t know the music of the other band, so I will not make comparisons. Probably that is in any case the best thing to do.


The band:
Philip Griffiths – vocals, Stefan Glomb – guitars, Philipp Jaehne – Keyboards, Dennis Sturm – bass, Ludwig Benedek – drums.


First I want to say something about the cover of this album. The paintings of Oliver Schollenberger reflect the serene atmosphere of winter perfectly. The graphic design of the booklet and CD print are simple but effective. The secret of good design is often to keep it simple. The disk is printed with a uniformly white color. No lettering at all. I like it very much and it is a good presentation for a disk with music which is rather more calm than complex.

The disk contains seven tracks with the following title’s; “Sharp bends sudden crests” (6:12), “Whitescape” (9:06), “Hugging horses” (7:54), “Protean profile” (6:25), “Winter’s edge part 1” (11:17), “Nuage blue” (5:48) and “Winter’s edge part2” (3:20) with a little hidden encore.

“Winter’s edge” is a consistent album with good compositions. With Philip Griffiths the band has a very good vocalist. His way of singing on this album can be compared sometimes to the more intimate work of both singers of U2 and Simple Minds. The music has of course nothing to do with those bands. The keyboards of Philipp Jaehne most of the time generate atmospherically soundscapes. And when the bass of Dennis Sturm shows some resemblance to the work of Mick Karn (“Whitescape”), it is easy to compare the music to the solo work of several Japan members (Richard Barbieri, Mick Karn and Steve Jansen). Maybe the music could be described as calm and delicate songmatic progmusic. It gets nowhere freaky or bombastic. The album doesn’t bore me because the compositions have enough variation. The main part of the CD is formed by the title-tracks “Winter’s edge part 1” and “Winter’s edge part 2” with “Nuage blue” in between of those two. The slow opening of part one of the titletrack is very beautiful. In “Nuage Blue” delicate acoustic guitar and piano is combined with electric guitar soundscapes. Guitarist Stefan Glomb is also generating atmospheres instead of solos. The good drumwork of Ludwig Benedek provides the music that little bit of power that it need.


“Winter’s edge” is a good album that will attract to people who like the more songmatic and atmospherically side of progmusic. Poor Genetic Material surprised me in a positive way. I hope that the success of the other band Alias Eye will not mark the end of this band. I hope that both bands have the right to exist. Because I’m curious how Poor Genetic Material will develop.

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Douwe Fledderus - October 2003 -   - QuiXote