Monday, July 2, 2012

Liminal Phase - LP (2011)

This is the debut album from Liminal Phase, a sort of free form psychedelia ensemble recorded live in the studio with barely any preconceived ideas for composition. The result is an extremely diverse, sprawling set of tracks that traverse a wide range of influences and genres.

Despite having only six members, Liminal Phase really has the feel of an avant garde big band, perhaps due to their jazz-informed practice of structured improvisation with alternating solos, as well as the fact that every member plays several different instruments. However, jazz is only one of the many styles brought to bear here, with a good deal of inspiration being drawn from world music, such as Indian raga and Middle Eastern motifs.

A trippy vibe is maintained throughout, and one is put in mind of modern day jam bands like Ozric Tentacles only with a more varied sound, and improvisational collectives like Volcano the Bear only less weird. However, the album's greatest strength is also its weakness.

Because the material was edited down from several hours of jamming, there is a certain discontinuity that is noticeable as some of the tracks don't flow into each other as well as they might. Still, for those who relish the wild side of free-form psychedlia, there is much to enjoy here.

The "songs," all of which are instrumental, range from under two minutes to over thirteen in length, and there is sure to be something for everyone. Personally, I prefer the long, drawn out pieces where themes really have a chance to develop into something special, but sometimes a bite sized chunk of weirdness is just what the doctor ordered. It will be a pleasure to watch how this fledgling group develops over the next few years and I will certainly be curious to see what their next release brings.

No comments:

Post a Comment