Intergalactic Trot


aec.wund7505.2 7/15/08 New
$10.48 $13.98

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Review Text The liner notes to this Elektra recording claim that Robert Mason "has built the world's first multi-voiced synthesizer that can be played like a real keyboard instrument with full chords and tonal clusters." With accompaniment by drummer Stephen Gadd, tenor and soprano saxophonist Michael Brecker, bassist Jaime Austria, percussion player Bruce Ditmas, and guitarist Harvey Sarch, Mason creates some playful riffs, but didn't cause Wendy Carlos or Keith Emerson to lose any sleep. A strange amalgam of rock and jazz fusion jams which aren't jazz enough for fans of the genre to seek out (unless the Michael Brecker fanatics have to have all his work), nor rock enough to satisfy the Emerson, Lake & Palmer audience. Sure it is fun to listen to the synth, but it doesn't say much -- the vibe is definitely that of people messing around to see what cool sounds they can come up with -- there just aren't enough of them. "Strawberry Fields Forever" might be the best track, just a faithful rendition of that Beatles classic makes it a mandatory spin, but if you need a "Strawberry Fields Forever" fix, the six takes on the Nothing Is Real bootleg album will satisfy more thoroughly. The version is very laid back, and this excellent collection of musicians seems to be following tentatively rather than adding some dynamics. There you have the biggest problem with Robert Mason's Intergalactic Trot. The format is so limited that the novelty wears off real quick. Orion's Sometimes Words Get in the Way is far more spirited. The up-tempo "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" is drenched in guitar reverb and echoplex -- acoustic guitars and the multiple synthesizers combining to form unique renditions of popular tunes. Orion no doubt heard Mason's work, for the best moments on Intergalactic Trot are when the synth artist takes on Sly Stone's "I Want to Take You Higher" or the Beatles. The originals fall very flat. Orion made sure they put more covers than originals on their 1975 release -- in doing so, it made their own compositions more intriguing. The cover of the band Stardrive's album features Robert Mason's head out in space, like some poster for Star Trek: The Next Generation. A good idea that needed a bit more, but worthy of a glimpse because of the sidemen. The Cars' keyboard player does more that is creative and exciting inside one hit single than Mason does on an entire disc. ~ Joe Viglione

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Rushes - 4:08
  2. 2. Strawberry Fields Forever - 4:59
  3. 3. Stardrive - 10:40
  4. 4. Dr. Tandem (Takes a Ride) - 3:58
  5. 5. Want to Take You Higher - 3:22
  6. 6. Everything at Once - 6:14
  7. 7. Intergalactic Trot - 9:57

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