Tausig, Jay: Pisces: Vast Ocean Dream
Although Jay Tausig may be a new name to you and I, he has been yearning to create music since 1967. His first steps into the water were with a piano his relatives owned. His early influences, at the age of seven, came from across the ocean and musical genres. ELP's "Tarkus", and Joni Mitchell's "Blue", were two of his biggest influences. So he set out to bring these two worlds together. A multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, he started playing guitar at age nine. The drums and other instruments were added to his arsenal over the years. Tausig began recording and releasing his own music on his own label.
Tausig has teamed with Ed Unitsky, who provides the art for "Pisces: Vast Ocean Dream" and the other 10 albums, which will follow and combine for a "Trip Around the Sun" package, to be released each month during the Earth's journey around the sun in 2012. Ed's artwork, as always, captures the vision and realm of dreaming and space and Tausig provides you with the sound that helps captivate this art. The host website for the entire production is http://www.thetriparoundthesun.com.
If you're old enough to remember hearing your first Hendrix album, you will be pleasantly surprised to hear Tausig's music, which, like Hendrix, challenges and amazes you at the same time. Tausig adds layers of keyboards to his experimental guitar work and brings along a bass which sounds like a Chris Squire whip, punctuating each section of his mini symphonies.
This is Tausig's second in a series of 12 albums, and I think he captured every essence of the water sign. Two albums in and Tausig most likely will capture the trophy for best solo album project of the year. The tough part is going to be choosing which one of these masterpieces is the best of the year.
Pisces Transmission opens with that friendly female voice, (Tausig's wife, Rhi Jenerate), greeting us, only this time from the planet Neptune. She provides the cosmic weather report for the planet. This one gets wet…as one might expect with Pisces, "Diving deep, swimming, knowing fresh wet life, we grasp mud oozing between our fingers…" Ready for another cool journey. Close your eyes and prepare to dive deep.
Twisting the Tail kicks off over 8 minutes of diving deep into the ocean with female vocal assistance, (imagine Ed Unitsky's cover art mermaid as the female assisting you), as you dive 20,000 leagues. "There is no need to weep, just go to sleep". The beautiful voice is Bridget Wishart of the band Hawkwind, who also penned the poem. The spacey synths and keys help fathom the depths. With all the news of James Cameron navigating the Mariana Trench to capture new film for the return of Avatar, this music matches perfectly the effect you might feel diving below. The cool synth water turbine keys will take your imagination where you let it go. Billy Sherwood, (Circa, Yes), provides synth and lead guitar throughout the track.
Now, Let's Focus on the Fish opens with slow acoustic and electric guitar. Tausing's first real vocals on the album set. He does a great job of keeping the calm that permeates the underwater depths we have navigated. The keys and synth water bubble effects surround you. About 2:40 seconds into the piece, early Genesis fans will hear a familiar surprise, bringing a warm smile to your face. But wait…there is more. Sounds like Mr. Hackett's joined us down below. Very cool. Then cool keys forecast a change. The flute work is so wonderfully soothing. The keys, synths and guitar work will make any early Genesis fan reminiscent.
Vast Ocean Dream (Reprise) is full of more excellent flute work and Tausig's great vocals. The acoustic guitar is simply amazing set against the soft glow of the keys. This track will again take you back to early Genesis, and that era of music in general.
Rhi Jenerate is back, "May I have your ascension please, clean up on "Aisle Earth", opens Tidal Persuasion. She continues describing a soft delicate, sensuous "field of dreams", lost within the web of seaweed in the ocean below.
Fins and Scales opens with soft organ, bass, and electric gliding guitar, like the movement of a great whale or shark, right in front of you. The synths and keys continue to create wonderful effects surrounding the warm soundscape. The launching and soaring guitar soloing is some of the best since Aquarius, magnificent to behold.
Not Too Far From Pisces is full of more quirky female narration with cool discussions, set to echoing keys, heavy bass, violins, and other soft synth textures.
Oceanic is full of the ocean's waves filtering above as ticking and other sound effects fill the soundscape. Then spacey ripping guitar, piercing the silence, as heavy electric guitars roar to fill the soundscape. Heavy bass, drums, echoing psychedelic synths and the roaring guitars continue as if the submarine has just rocketed forward on a new adventure. Incredible Pink Floydian dreamscape guitar work reminiscent of some of their earlier albums helps take you back in time.
Water and Stone opens slowly with more synth and keyboard work, before the drums and electric guitars pull through the murky sound. The grinding guitars bring back more Pink Floyd Meddle and other articulated sound memories.
Vast Ocean Dream is mostly a narrated track, with soft acoustic guitar and flute supporting throughout the background soundscape.
Water Improvisation #1 seems to take off on a Middle Eastern caravan with excellent sitar. In fact it is an ocean of sitar for over 10 minutes. And some of the best sitar I've heard since In the Labyrinth's One Trail to Heaven last year.
You Are the Water is mostly spoken word, contributed by Thorn World Poet, with the sound of ocean surrounding. Excellent bass, electric lead guitar, drums, keys, and trumpets helping to build a rhythm, as they support the lead guitar's experimentation.
1. Pisces Transmission
2. Twisting the Tail
3. Now, Let's Focus on the Fish
4. Vast Ocean Dream (Reprise)
5. Tidal Persuasion
6. Fins and Scales
7. Not Too Far From Pisces
9. Water and Stone
10. Vast Ocean Dream
11. Water Improvisation #1
12. You Are the Water
Added: March 28th 2012
Reviewer: Mark Johnson
Related Link: JayTausig.com
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