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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Taylor's Universe: Across the Universe

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Back in the day, record companies would occasionally issue “Greatest Hits" compilation albums. Usually cheaply packaged (no gatefold, no credits, no liner notes, etc.), these collections were a convenient way to have all of an artist's big hits (plus some filler) in one convenient location. Record companies reaped huge profits from these collections and, perhaps, took a little contractual pressure off of the artist. With the advent of streaming and iTunes, Greatest Hits collections have been rendered unnecessary. What's replaced ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Taylor's Universe: From Scratch

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If nothing else, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and studio rat Robin Taylor is consistent. Stylistically, he's done it all. His recordings-all self-produced and issued on his own Marvel of Beauty imprint-over the past two decades encompass everything from ambient soundscapes to free improvisation to straight-up hard rock. The past decade or so finds Taylor working exclusively with what can be termed instrumental progressive rock. Sadly, this sort of pigeonholing glosses over the fact that there's a considerable amount of jazz-based improvisation in ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Robin Taylor: Evidence

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2013 was a banner year of sorts for Robin Taylor and his band, Taylor's Universe. The Copenhagen-based composer, keyboardist, and guitarist completed two albums Evidence, and Worn Out (Marvel of Beauty, 2013) and both stand among his finest work. A studio-bound aggregation, Taylor's Universe specializes in very personal and distinctive take on progressive rock. Instead of vocals, however, Taylor's Universe features horn soloists who find lots to say over the music's complicated chord progressions. Though Taylor clearly is not trying ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Taylor's Universe: Worn Out

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One can only hope that Robin Taylor was being ironic when he titled his latest collection Worn Out. Musically, it follows in the footsteps of his recent recordings with Taylor's Universe; Kind of Red (Marvel of Beauty, 2012) and Return to Whatever (Marvel of Beauty, 2009). But there's a freshness, fire and vigor here that suggests the Danish multi-instrumentalist and composer still has plenty of lead in his pencil. The personnel on Worn Out is also largely the same as ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Taylor's Universe: Kind of Red

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Danish multi-instrumentalist Robin Taylor is something of a musical polymath who's recorded extensively in a number of disparate musical arenas, including free improvisation (with his group Taylor's Free Universe), hard rock (with Art Cinema), electronic soundscapes, and jazz-rock fusion. With Kind of Red, Taylor's stylistic focus is firmly in the general area of instrumental progressive rock.Taylor's appealing, evocative, minor-key compositions typically have a somber demeanor that is offset by driving, often odd-metered rhythms. Though he plays all the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Taylor's Universe: Kind of Red

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Leader of the band Taylor's Universe, multi- instrumentalist, composer, producer, and record label owner Robin Taylor hails from Denmark. With the title of his 30th release, Kind Of Red, Taylor cleverly tips a hat to the iconic album Kind of Blue (Sony, 1959) by trumpeter Miles Davis, and possibly also to King Crimson's Red (Atlantic, 1974). Taylor has had a number of releases under different banners over the last few decades. For all those needing to catch up, Kind of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Taylor's Universe: Artificial Joy

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Danish composer and multi-instrumentalist Robin Taylor is one of the hardest working progressive rockers in the business. Based on the strength of his rapidly growing discography and forthright intentions, his Taylor's Universe band features some longtime collaborators, despite occasional personnel shifts. Artificial Joy remains consistent with his penchant for imbuing knotty deviations on top of burgeoning pulses, such as the resonating “Work," that resembles the massive keys-sax assault, executed by prog favorite Van Der Graaf Generator.

Taylor's music gushes forth ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Taylor's Universe: Return To Whatever

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Danish multi-instrumentalist Robin Taylor has a soft spot in his heart for the glory days of 1970s, Canterbury rock fare. The differentiator lies within his translucent mergence of the old with the new. However, noticeably absent from Taylor's Universe is Danish reedman and ex-Secret Oyster saxophonist Karsten Vogel, who has been a mainstay with the unit for several years. With Return To Whatever, he's replaced by Carsten Sindvald for a progressive-rock jamboree, highlighted by Taylor's memorable compositions and clever arrangements.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Taylor's Universe: Certain Undiscoveries

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Danish multi-instrumentalist Robin Taylor continues to explore the contemporary progressive rock arena with his group Taylor's Universe on Certain Undiscoveries. Unlike Oyster's Apprentice, which employed six musicians, Taylor practically goes it alone this time, retaining drummer Rasmus Grosell and saxophonist Karsten Vogel.

While Taylor's Universe has always been a forum for Taylor's writing (as opposed to the more improvisation- based parallel group, Taylor's Free Universe), Vogel is given ample solo space, making it clear that he continues to evolve since ...


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