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(45:59; Lynx Music)
Multi-instrumentalist Ryszard Kramarski started his recording career as Framauro, recording demoes on his own before bringing in some friends to form a band of the same name. By the time the second album had been recorded a name change had taken place, and it was released as being by Millenium at the end of the Nineties. That band has continued releasing class albums, but this has meant that Ryszard never got around to writing another solo album as each time he attempted to do so it turned into the next Milennium CD. But, after all these years he has finally managed to record an album which is inspired by the famous novella by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, often felt to be one of the most important French books ever. Ryszard provides keyboards and acoustic guitars, and has brought in some musicians away from Milennium to assist, namely Marcin Kruczek (Moonrise, Nemesis, Hipgnosis) on guitars, Grzegorz Fieber (Loonypark, Padre – two of my favourite Polish acts) on drums and percussion, bassist Pawet Pyzik (Another Pink Floyd) and singer Karolina Leszko. I was really quite surprised not to be able to find this listed on Prog Archives, and some digging led me to realising that they had actually been rejected by not one but three different sub-genre teams. I find that really strange to be honest, as I would have expected them to be a shoe-in for the site. Sometimes the music contains some AOR and soft rock elements, but there are others where it is very Floydian indeed, while Camel is often an important influence as well. At timers symphonic yet laid back with a feeling almost of Jean Michel Jarre, this is an incredibly pleasant and enjoyable throughout. It is certainly mellow and restrained, with plenty of string synth sounds, but overall this is a really enjoyable release. I haven’t previously come across Karolina Leszko but she has an incredibly pleasant vocal style, and I hope to hear more from her in the future. This is an album to drift away with, preferably with a glass of strong spirit close to hand, letting the listener follow their dreams. There are some beautiful shifts of emotion and style within “Galaxy Freaks” in particular, and it shows that there is no need for over the top riffs and powering through when music is as varied and enjoyable as this. There are even times when it feels quite Middle Eastern, displaying again the story where the pilot crashes into the Sahara. Another great release from Lynx Music.
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