Robin Taylor - Taylor's Free Universe: Two-Pack (2011)
Danish progressive-rock denizen Robin Taylor employs a green approach with the packaging of this double mini-disc set, packed in small cardboard sleeves. However, the minimalist product design is offset by several ferocious works, spanning the prog element and free-floating jazz improvisation.
Taylor has been carrying the prog torch since 1991 and is a mainstay in the newer slants of this genre, where the classic concepts attain a fruitful medium with expansive persuasions. Composed of firm back-beats, cascading keys, and linear progressions, the program is partly designed with chunky, distortion-based guitar parts with primary soloist and longtime band mate, saxophonist Karsten Vogel's vibrant phrasings.
Ethereal, intimate and largely composed of torrid episodic movements, the band projects a broad, fluent, and weighty soundscape. On "Stoned Mushroom," Taylor and Vogel execute circular choruses amid ominous intentions. Vogel's free-form sax lines intimate a rather perilous journey, tempered by blithely melodic overtones, and a good portion of these pieces contain harmonious themes, often serving as the underbelly for improvisational segments and bone-crunching ensemble workouts.
"Dark City" reflects a rambunctious vista, sparked by pumping grooves, extended breakouts, and Taylor's unorthodox guitar phrasings, painting a semi-psychedelic aura amid a bustling group-centric constitution, resulting in a compelling sequence of developments.
Within various movements and bridge sections, the band summons an appeasing balance between loosely articulated dialogues and spiraling crescendos. As expected, Taylor is a multitasking machine, performing on keys, bass, guitars, and percussion, tendering a surging muse and broad plane for the musicians, who abide by a democratic consensus that seeds the synergistic output evidenced throughout.
Track Listing: CD1: Heavy Friends; The Ghost Of Goran ; Stoned Mushroom. CD2: Dark City; Don't You Miles Me!.
Personnel: Robin Taylor: guitars, bass, keyboards, percussion; Karsten Vogel : saxophones; Pierre Tassone: violin; Assi Roar: bass; Rasmus Grosell: drums; Klaus Thrane: drums; Jakob Mygind: saxophones; Carsten Sindvald: saxophone; Louise Nipper: voice.
Record Label: Marvel of Beauty