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(67:03; Bloodfish Music)
I have been a fan of Phideaux Xavier and his work for a long time now, but have only recently come across this album. Apparently it was produced for Nearfest (I’m guessing in 2012 as that was when it was released) as a way of letting people discover more of his music. Even now it is still available from his Bandcamp site totally free of charge – if I remember correctly, he released his initial albums for the same cost, and back then it was for a physical disc. I know nothing about the disc in terms of who plays on it, or when the live songs were recorded, while I believe Mogon was another project from Xavier containing the same musicians as his other band but in a different style. His voice is always front and centre, and he brings together sounds from the progressive and art rock worlds, often with a very healthy dose of psychedelia as well. There are times when his music is reminiscent of early Seventies Pink Floyd, at others it is more singer-songwriter, while there is always a big sound. It may be more laid-back and less in your face than other prog acts, but he has continued to produce incredibly consistent and enjoyable albums over the years, and even though this is a sampler it is still incredibly interesting. While the Mogon numbers are interesting, especially for their use of horns and strings, it will probably be to the Phideaux songs that the fan will gravitate, and to the epic live rendition of the title cut from his 2005 album, ‘Chupacabras’. There is a vitality, a real speak between Phideaux and the female singer, plus a levity and space between all the musicians as this twenty minute long number evolves. I can’t play this without a smile on my face as it is just so much fun. It may have taken me six years to come across this, but I am so glad I have. Did I mention it is free? Of course, any monies you do donate will go to his next project.
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