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Alan Parsons - A Valid Path ( Artemis 2004)

moondancer
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  32
Posts :  69
Posted : Dec 13, 2004 21:07
1. Return To Tunguska
2. More Lost Without You
3. We Play The Game
4. Tijuaniac
5. L’Arc En Ciel
6. A Recurring Dream Within A Dream
7. You Can Run
8. Chomolungma

For youger people, Alan Parsons is kind of the God of the 60s- 70s era music: he worked with none other than The Beatles and Pink Floyd to name just the best of the best Parsons has a lower profile since the 70s but still continued to make music and this album marks his interest for mostly electronic music and using plugins and stuff. The reason I'm reviewing it here is that Return to Tunguska is a collaboration with none other than the God of early 90s psytrance and chill-out Simon Posford !! So basically old psychedelia meets new That's enough to wet any psychedellic music lover's apetite... The track starts actually seems more like 80% Shpongle - 20% Parsons . It starts with an airy synth line toped by the "Shpongle voice": you know, the voice ran through the vocoder. Then the track slowly pics up, it's REALLY nice!! I'm not sure but I have the feeling that I've actually heard this intro before, probably the intro to Shpongle live in Eilat desert set (but I don't have that recording anymore so I'm not 100% sure). Anyway, then some guitars kick in (probably Parsons' part in all this, the guitars are played by David Gilmore of Pink Floyd fame BTW), personally I find that part a bit cheezy... Basically this would've been a perfect Shpongle track if it weren't for the guitars on top (don't care if it's played by some ex-Pink Floyd dude... Also, this means that the "collaboration" is simply an older unreleased Shpongle track on top of which Gilmore plays a little guitar... hardly the kind of collaboration we were expecting... Then again, I have become used to being dissapointed with such "dream team" projects so the fact that this is just a so-so track and not THE next best thing isn't that big of a surprise to me...

More Lost Without You is a pop-rockish track with lyrics... not much to do with psychedelia at all...

Mammagamma 04 reminds me of some old dance techno... not really my cup of tea...

We Play the Game sounds like some "future pop": basically trance with vocals on top, which is also followed later in the track by some breakbeats and a guitar. Maybe future pop lovers like this, personally I can't stand the concept of voices on top, it ruins the whole track for me... BTW this track is also a collaboration between Parsons and a well-known electronica group: none other than The Crystal Method . Again, "dream teams" can be decieving...

Tijuaniac is yet another collaboration with a less known group: Nortec Collective . It starts out as some calm jazzy electronic lounge music but then gets explosive around 3:40... just enough to wake you up if you were getting sleepy lol. Great effect IMO I like this track.

L'Arc en ciel is, you guessed it, yet another collaboration, this time with Uberzone . This one reminds me of some Ozric Tentacles : electronic cross-blended with guitars and all-round kindof cheezy... there's also a nice Moog line in there for fans

A Recurring Dream Within a Dream is a collaboration with Alan Parsons's son, actually advertised as "A composite of two works - ‘A Dream Within A Dream’ and ‘The Raven’"... what's interesting is that I hear some Shpongle -like vocoders in this one, which later transforms into more Kraftwerk -like "robot vocals". It all has an old industrial feeling but at the same time airy feeling. It also reminds me of Air I haven't heard the original versions of these tracks, but the end result sounds nice

You Can Run is some 80s-like synth pop... not my cup of tea...

and last but not least Chomolungma is an interesting but a bit cheesy electronic track. Again, it reminds me some 80s industrial, an overall dark feeling. And now for the end surprise: the track kinds of gets a little repetitive in the end and then come in some vocals by none other than John Cleese of Monty Python fame!! "How much longer is this going on? I mean, it just runs on and on and on sonny... Now why don't you ask asimple question so 'In what year did Cardinal Richelieu die?' 1642. That's the sort of interchange we should be having not this sort of rambling explorations of your own unconscious. Now come along, son." Hilarious!! After a few seconds there are some dog barks... don't really understand why they're there except for the sake of being wierd... they got my dog barking "in reply" though

Conclusion so-so album (but then again, it's not supposed to be psytrance or psy chill-out so I guess this explains that. The Shpongle collaboration which is probably the reason most of you will want this CD is good but not THAT good, there are tons of other Shpongle tracks that are much better... unless you always dreamed of having a guitar on top of a Shpongle track Also, if you have the set from Shpongle live in Eilat desert you probably already know it... Other tracks are interesting but still I wouldn't consider this worth the money... On the other hand, if you're a big fan of Pink Floyd - Dark side of the Moon AND Shpongle then this is worth much more than the asking price for the collector's value alone! I must admit that this "old psychedelia meets new" is enough to make ANY psychedelia lover curious about the result.
scraper
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  10
Posts :  452
Posted : Dec 13, 2004 21:48
In-Love with the Simon track it's just amazing. the guitars at the end suck though
traveller
IsraTrance Senior Member

Started Topics :  234
Posts :  3803
Posted : Dec 14, 2004 00:56
well actually simon did go to sf to work with parson.. and the voice, it's michele..           "The dinosaurs became extinct because they didn't have a space program."
- Larry Niven
moondancer
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  32
Posts :  69
Posted : Dec 14, 2004 11:44
Quote:
well actually simon did go to sf to work with parson..



of course, it could also be that the track played in the intro to his live set WAS the finished track and that they waited a few years to releases it in "proper"... anyway, to my ears, I don't really hear Parsons fiddling with the synths, it all sounds like Simon's work. Only the guitar on top seems "un-Simonesque". Of course I wasn't actually there when they did it but even when you read the full track title: "Featuring Shpongle instrumental" it kindof confirms my doubts...
traveller
IsraTrance Senior Member

Started Topics :  234
Posts :  3803
Posted : Dec 14, 2004 13:37
I read an interview which said that parson and posford even sampled sounds of dripping water for a few days or something..           "The dinosaurs became extinct because they didn't have a space program."
- Larry Niven
CRX(HSS Records)
IsraTrance Full Member

Started Topics :  97
Posts :  2707
Posted : Mar 5, 2005 14:04
nice cd parsons bass is like godzilla's coming for dinner.
respect,
CRX,athens
Anak
Anakoluth

Started Topics :  108
Posts :  2395
Posted : Mar 5, 2005 18:17
i just have got one line for this: its nothing compared to other parsons work.
          Anakoluth A Pebble in Your Eardrum's Shoe since 2001!
http://www.myspace.com/anakoluth
http://www.ektoplazm.com/profiles/anakoluth/
http://cronomi.com
sam i am
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  40
Posts :  712
Posted : Mar 6, 2005 01:59
I quite like "L’Arc En Ciel"

the track with Simon is pretty good too           new Hadal Drop album on the way

if you don't have the last one get in touch
Panzer


Started Topics :  3
Posts :  188
Posted : Mar 7, 2005 12:02
No patch on the early Alan Parsons Project yet the Simon track is amazing in its own right. Rest sounds a bit too poppy at times in my ears. Some more symphonic stuff would have been nice.
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