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(56:28, Madvedge Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. A Mysterious Cup of Tea-1 6:33 2. A Mysterious Cup of Tea-2 4:50 3. A Mysterious Cup of Tea-3 6:50 4. A Mysterious Cup of Tea-4 2:16 5. A Mysterious Cup of Tea-5 2:59 6. Psychedelic Underground Short 3:36 7. Landscapes on the Sky 8:05 8. Last Exit to Pluto 10:41 9. Psychedelic Underground Long 10:38 LINEUP: Lutz Meinert – vocals; all instruments With: Carola Meinert – vocals Arne Spekat – guitars
Prolusion. The German project MARGIN is the creative vehicle of composer and musician Lutz Meinert, formerly of the German band For Your Pleasure and with a past as a member of various progressive rock bands going back to the ‘70s. "Psychedelic Teatime" is the first studio production he has made using the Margin moniker, released through the small German label Madvedge Records in 2014.
Analysis. It doesn't take all that long before some distinct associations form when listening to this album. The warm, soft soundscapes, the longing guitar solo details, the liberal flavoring of gentle cosmic effects, and the melody and harmony-based themes explored just about all points directly towards the late 70's editions of Pink Floyd. The compositions revolve around what one might describe as Pink Floydian arrangements throughout here, from the gentler interludes consisting of dark toned, warm bass and keyboards, the distanced Mellotron adding a mournful texture here and there, dampened hovering organ used extensively for a different but still mainly melancholic, mournful vibe, with layered keyboards and gentle keyboard effects smoothing out any rougher edges that might be present. Some acoustic guitar details appear here and there, most notably in one of the sections of the five-part opening epic Psychedelic Teatime, while longing guitar solo details of the kinds that invite to associations towards David Gilmour are utilized rather more often. Some occasional details that may indicate a certain knowledge about jazz are just about the only elements that add a slightly different sound to this album, although not in a manner that manages to add or subtract anything from the end result. At best, these are excursions that manage to create a soft but engaging cosmic soundscape, and for my sake, I'd select the instrumental epic Last Exit to Pluto as the primary of those. I do find that this production has a tendency to be just a bit too pleasant however, lacking a bit of depth, an edge and some contrasts to manage to elevate it to something a bit more vital. Some details of the mix aren't quite in my taste either, the bass guitar placed a bit too high for my personal taste, and while there aren't too many vocal sequences on the disc, the ones present don't manage to carry or elevate the sections where they appear either. These are matters of personal taste obviously, but as they do have an impact on the rating given they do merit mentioning. A further note for the short version of the track Psychedelic Underground that comes across as a bit more oriented towards an AOR rock sound than it does to progressive rock as such. As for the psychedelic rock hinted at by the album title and more pointedly described on the label's album page, those are limited to the use of various cosmic sounds and rather gentle ones at that.
Conclusion. Margin's debut album "Psychedelic Teatime" is a fairly pleasant excursion into landscapes similar to the ones Pink Floyd explored in the late ‘70s, and one focusing on the more accessible part of that specific style. There are few contrasts to be found, the themes tend to be fairly smooth even when the arrangements are layered, and those with a desire to encounter truly challenging material won't find them here. A pleasant, melodic and smooth take on the commercial side of late ‘70s Pink Floyd in short, and a production that might merit an inspection by those who tend to enjoy music of that specific nature.
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