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Bright, "Bells Break Their Towers"

Like label-mates Landing, Bright dish out melodic tracks rooted in '70s prog rock, but with a distinctively modern feel and looks ahead as much as it looks to the past. With its heavy repetition and psychedelic feel, it's also an eight-song spiritual journey.

Strange Attractors

"Manifest Harmony" in particular feels like a ritualistic incantation with circling and heavily patterned music and vocals. It's easy to imagine vocalist Mark Dwinell performing shamanic rites in the empty desert landscape shown in the album's artwork. Throughout the album Dwinell's almost-chanted lyrics are invocations atop the layers of chunky guitars. Many tracks sound like an arcane ceremony overheard through an open window. But the music isn't at all quiet and hymnal; this ain't Enya. The electric guitars continually make themselves known and they open "It's What I Need" with a snarl.

The album is laced with a distinct Eastern influence, though there aren't any actual sitars, the guitars effectively mimic their delicate sound. Ringing chimes in "Flood" reinforce the east-meets-west feeling.

The album feels so methodic and deliberate, that I was surprised to learn that Bright generally improvise in the studio. But that also adds to the overall spiritual feeling...instead of improvising, it feels more like Bright was channeling.

sound samples:
 

The Eye: Video of the Day

Black Dice

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Review of the Day

Pedal
cover imageThis duo of the classically and modern compositionally inclined Simon James Phillips and The Necks' less formal but equally brilliant Chris Abrahams have created quite an intriguing collection of improvisations. Every piece is a piano duet and the album crosses a wide spread of styles and quality; moving from cold, modernist works to pieces with a bit more swing and heat to them, Pedal are inconsistent in ways that both help and hinder their music. While there are a couple of less than stellar moments on this self-titled album, they are more than counterbalanced by the mesmerising and evocative pieces that make up the bulk of the music.
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