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BunChakeze - 2010 - "Whose Dream?"

(47:17, 'BC')

TRACK LIST:                   

1.  Bun Chakeze 1:57
2.  Whose Dream 4:05
3.  Walk in Paradise 6:57
4.  Handful of Rice 5:10
5.  Flight of the Phoenix 6:20
6.  Midnight Skies 6:25
7.  Long Distance Runner 6:09
8.  The Deal 7:50
9.  Whose Dream Reprise 2:24


Colin Tench  guitars; synthesizers; vocals
Gary Derrick  basses 
Cliff Deighton  drums 
Joey Lugassy  vocals 
Alex Foulcer  piano 

Prolusion. The UK band BUNCHAKEZE was formed of the remnants of London-based outfit Odin back in the early 80's, and is one of numerous examples of bands active at that time which never got to release any material prior to folding. But as luck would have it, these guys actually recorded material, as they got free studio time in return for helping to build the studio in question. The record labels didn't find the material interesting though, and the band soon came to an end. But in 2010 their debut album appeared, some 25 years after it was made.

Analysis. The last few years have seen more and more cases like this one: a band that never got to release any material officially while active now comes forth with material that some idealistic souls have kept safe and sound over the years. Most such productions seem to focus on bands from the 60's and 70's, but there are a fair few artists from the 80's that have come forth as well. The relatively low cost of CD manufacturing is an obvious reason for this development, of course, when printing a few hundred CDs won't set you back any more than you can spend on pet peeves on a regular wage over a few months time, documenting a career that never was or never evolved as it should is tempting for those involved. It takes a lot of time to prepare such a venture however, which is probably the main reason for the relatively limited number of such endeavors. As for this particular belated debut album, we're dealing with a band which knows its progressive rock quite nicely, and has made an album's worth of material, exploring the softer and subtler side of its influences. The number of the latter will probably be plentiful, but the easiest to pick out on this occasion are Pink Floyd, Genesis and Rush. The former band sets the premises for most of these songs: gentle easygoing guitar motifs, atmospheric and emotionally laden guitar solos, subtle keyboard textures applied of a nature sometimes symphonic inspired and at other times with a slightly more ethereal and space-tinged sound, and on second to last piece The Deal these elements combine all at once to craft a song that might have been a lost recording from the Dark Side of the Moon recording sessions. The brilliant soft-laden title track Whose Dream is the shining star of this production though, from the dream-laden gentle opening notes to the slightly more whimsical final part slightly closer to the softer side of Genesis in overall expression. To my ears at least, others might have rather different associations. Canadians Rush gets their calling card on this disc as well, first and foremost on Long-Distance Runner. A track whose very name does come with a few automatic associations, I'll admit, that may color my perceptions slightly. Still, my main impressions for this creation are that it reflects the gentler side of the Canadian trio rather well. While the songs on this album may not be among the most original nor adventurous you'll encounter, with descriptions such as soft rock coming rather close at times, there's a lot of thought and investment put into them as well. Mix and overall recording quality isn't quite up to par with contemporary standards either, a factor potential buyers should take into account.

Conclusion. A few weak aspects aside this is a good album that should appeal to a wide audience. Prog purists will most likely sniff at this creation, but those merely looking for good music made in a progressive vein and who generally enjoy the gentler parts of the art rock universe should find plenty to enjoy here.

OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: April 14, 2011
The Rating Room

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