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(33:03; Fruits de Mer)
TRACK LIST: 1. While Growing My Hair 4:07 2. I Will Be Absorbed 5:13 3. The Song of McGilicudie the Pusillanimous (Or Don't Worry James, Your Socks Are Hanging in the Coal Cellar with Thomas) 5:11 4. Symphony No. 2. Movement 1 5:49 5. Symphony No. 2. Movement 2 6:19 6. Symphony No. 2. Movement 3 3:14 7. Symphony No. 2. Movement 4 3:10 LINEUP: Kris Gietkowski - all instruments
Prolusion. Polish musician Kris GIETKOWSKI is a composer and musician that had been doing his own thing for some time when main man of Fruits de Mer Records Keith Jones stumbled upon his work and had a desire to release it on his label. This has lead to three releases on the sub-label Strange Fish so far, and the album "Songs From the First Album by Egg" from early 2017 is the first of those.
Analysis. I rather assume that this is an album where it would be an advantage to know about the music of Egg, of the bands that mainly have been considered as part of the Canterbury-movement in English progressive rock. This due to the fact that Gietkowski replicates greater parts of that album on his first release. As I do have that advantage, I'll have to form some opinions solely on the basis of what I hear though. There's a lot to enjoy here, with compositions borrowing liberal amounts of details, sections and themes from classical music, and explore them in a rock music context with some jazz flavoring added in now then for the sake of it. Unlike the original all the music is instrumental, and the instrumentation is the classic bass, drums and organ combination. In this case with Gietkowski handling all instrument duties himself. It is impressive on many levels to hear how he is going about it, but the most striking feature throughout are his skills as a keyboard player, and then in particular how he plays the organ. Those who know, love and treasure vintage era organ used in a rock music setting will love this album to bits by this detail alone, and I surmise that those familiar with the original album by Egg will find this rendition rather charming as well, and possibly a bit more colorful to boot if my understanding of a few reviews of the original Egg album has been interpreted correctly. For me there is one aspect of this album that is somewhat detrimental though, and that revolves around the rhythms. They are just too mechanical and repetitive for my taste. If this is something that deviates from the original I do not know of course, but in these versions that element just became too uniform for me. Otherwise I do note that these recordings does have something of a vintage charm to them in terms of overall sound, but do not know is this is due to budget reasons or a planned desire to recreate some of that vintage feeling also in terms of how the music sounds. It is a positive detail for me personally though, but as that isn't a given for anyone this minor detail merits a mention.
Conclusion. Like most releases from Fruits de Mer Records, this vinyl album release was just about sold out on pre-orders alone. Taking the shop and used market hunt will be needed for those who desire to track down this album, and I'd suggest fans of Egg as well as dedicated fans of vintage era progressive rock driven and dominated by the organ to be the ones to contemplate doing that. Especially those with a particular interest for bands with bass, drums and organ as the sole instruments used in such a context.
Progmessor: July 25th 2019
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