"Samplicity" is an all-instrumental album of a real simplexity - where a mere simplicity is raised to the power of a high complexity. (Honest.) Using the language of simplicity, there are two different categories of compositions on "Samplicity". Black Country, Lavender Mist, Fractalism, February Pain, and Burnt Forest Island (tracks 1, 2, 4, 5, 6) were performed with the use of the rhythm-section, and BTI and Ambient Isles (3 & 7) without. However, both of the last tracks of the 'first category' feature only a few parts of the aforementioned rhythm section. Furthermore, stylistically, all seven of the said compositions, and these are all the tracks that are present on the album, are quite different among themselves. At the same time however, all of them, as well as the album as a whole (which sounds trivial, yet, logical), are clearly about Fifth Element of a queer, illogically* logical, nature. (*This is not the derivation of "ill logic", though twisting words are certainly the derivations of tautologies.) Here is the first set of key features of the music that is featured here: Originality and Novelty, Hypnotism and Drama, Mystery and Magic, Contrast and Minictism (minimalism raised to the power of eclecticism). Another important aspect of this album is structural. The musical structures, such as those on Fractalism (I am a fractal fatalist, too), February Pain, and Burnt Forest Island (4, 5, & 6), are often both stable and unstable, which happens due to a specification of most of the arrangements that are featured on these pieces. Here, the parts of organ and saxophone that are always diverse and those of electric guitar and synthesizer that are always either merely slow or very slow continuously develop on the background that represents kind of the frozen solos of 'another' guitar and synthesizer. Sometimes though, -as in the case of the same Fractalism, - those frozen solos are, in addition, supported by the stark male vocalizes. The union of strong structures, built up with the use of the slow, yet, really heavy guitar riffs along with the powerful parts of rhythm section, and those that were created by improvisations of sax and real symphonic solos of synthesizer and organ, is also quite typical for this album. In particular, this combination is especially evident on Lavender Mist, Fractalism, and February Pain (2, 4, & 5), especially on the last two of them. Nevertheless, all three of these compositions are marked with the arrangements that are not only highly inventive and very intensive (at least partly), but are also hypnotic and full of magic. Black Country (1) also brings to the listener a healthy dose of hypnotism (no, I'd better say a solid dose of healthy hypnotism). However, this is the only among the intensive compositions on the album that, structurally, represents a fusion of Minimalist and Avant-garde progressive music rather than a 'pure' Fifth Element that dominate over all of the remaining tracks but the following one. Using the language of poetry, Ambient Isles (7) 'are' almost entirely flooded with the surf's waves and the rote stifles most of the other sounds. In fact, the album's closing track is the only composition that, in my view, should not have been included in it. However, a total longevity of the preceding six masterpieces, all of which are just marvelously attractive, is equal to 41 minutes, which is more than merely all right with me in this case.
Real New Music - a real Fifth Element representing the union of stagnation and development - what is overall that the contents of Robin Taylor's "Samplicity" album (2001) are about. No, I didn't forget that a few months ago and for the first time in my life, I've heard and reviewed an album that practically the same musical union was presented on. However, since an output that I mean here is a debut album, which, moreover, was released this very year, I am inclined to think that Robin Taylor was the first who discovered the 'frozen' musical structures, etc. Which is topical even though (which, in its turn, is here equal to "especially since") I haven't heard any of his several previous albums. Back to the hero of this review, I highly recommend this album to all those who can admit that the combination of completely incompatible things is possible in our dual world, as well as those parallels that cross each other in various 'free' universes, including those of Lobatchevsky and Taylor.
As for Taylor's solo creation as a whole, it's just impossible to undervalue it, as well as the significance of Robin's contribution to the development of progressive music. With the exception of "Edge of Darkness" (2000), all of his solo albums are worthy to be heard, to say the least. The Overall View on Robin's creation within the framework of his band Taylor's Universe can be read by clicking >here.
VM: November 26, 2002
Summary completed on May 1, 2003