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1. Phasors on Stun 2. One o'Clock Tomorrow 3. Hours 4. Journey 5. Dialing for Dharma 6. Slaughter in Robot Village 7. Aldebaran 8. Black Noise Cameron Hawkins - bass, keyboards, vocals Martin Deller - drums, keyboards Nash The Slash - electric violin, mandolins All songs written by the band members and arranged by the band.
This is a rare, hidden Canadian trio, whose work has gone on the whole unnoticed or underrated from the side of prog-reviewers. Nonetheless, their debut remains up to now one of the most innovative and original albums of progressive rock.
The album consists of three different parts, though two of them are well intermixed. The first part is made up of the compositions that have text-based vocals: Phasors on Stun, One o'Clock Tomorrow, Journey, and Aldebaran. All of them structurally resembled one another pretty much. After short but very effective preludes with electric violin passages supported by the rhythm-section, vocals appear to the accompaniment of bright, accessible yet so unexpected arrangements mostly with an open leading of such quite unusual instruments as electric violin and mandolins. Not counting the preludes, the first and third parts of all these songs have vocals, whereas the second and the fourth are pure insrumentals, with excellent, though not so complex, original solo interplays between keyboards and the electric violin supported by a superb rock rhythm-section and rhythm mandolin. After such a splendid musicianship, I have noticed a complete absence of the guitar not right away: there are no guitars (of course, not counting bass), either electric or acoustic.
The second part of the compositions in the album are perfect instrumentals: Hours, Dialing for Dharma, and Slaughter in Robot Village. In brief, it's a flight of fancy. Quite apart from vocals parts, you can hear from these talented canadiansa a fantastic virtuosity. I've seldom heard so many long interplays between electric violin and synthesizer, even in the albums of U.K., though there were probably other goals. Only in Dialing for Dharma, written by Martin Deller, keyboards play a bit more prominently.
So, the last part of the album named, for some reason, "Black Noise", and not "Light Music", the other way round, which would be more relevant, is the last single titlesong, whose playing time of about 14 min. takes exactly one third of the album. This is undoubtedly the most progressive composition here. Black Noise is more than just the quintessence of the two previuos parts. Yes, there are lots of graceful insrumental arrangements and already familiar interplays, though the vocal pieces are not so rich as in the first part, but anyway with changes of the mood. And this gem complets the album quite strikingly.
Summary. It is an original and noteworthy progressive rock album with an outstanding musicianship. "Black Noise" was recorded as long ago as in 1977, but put it into your CD-player, press "play", and say to your friend that this is one of the latest band with the debut album of 1997, and he will surely believe you! Because the overall sound here is truly modern. It is really difficult to believe that this album was made so many years ago, but it's a fact. These Canadian guys must be proud of themselves, when they know that "Black Noise" is one of the most listenable albums of the second half of the '70s. A CD-reissue was made by an American label "One Way Records". Thanks to them for that.
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