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DarXtar: Aged To Perfection

While the Darxtar story reaches all the way back to 1989, I have to be honest and say that I've never come across this easy-going, acoustic strumming, psychedelic, spacey act before. And I've been missing out. Beginning as a one man devotion, DarXtar have over the years transformed into a more conventional act, who while slowly but surely over the years broadening their musical horizons, do in loosely fall somewhere between early Pink Floyd and Hawkwind. Now if either of those bands piques your interest then I'm sure you'll find much to enjoy here. However I'd also suggest that those with a penchant for stoner, or even the prog of Porcupine Tree will also be rather captivated by the eight tracks on the well named Aged To Perfection.

The album does, while evenly flowing and cohesive, possess a welcome dose of eclecticism, with the likes of the more overtly space-rock "Tired Nature" adding deep grooving riffs to the synthesized whooshes and blips. While opening pairing "Aged To Perfection" and "In Green Heat" are little acoustic workouts that happily reside somewhere between early Bob Mould, Cosmic Rough Riders and Carpet Knights, with soothing vocals only adding to the effect. Shorter tracks like "Morkret" and "Some Things" are more like little interludes from the main events, with violin and acoustic guitar punctuating a myriad of sound effects and atmospheres, before "In A Time" takes a similar basis and adds an almost drone like hypnosis to the sounds, although in a far more melodic fashion. The whirs, beeps and swirls on "Moving Along" sounds like Jean Michel Jarre dropped by for a spaced out, drug fuelled, tambourine shaking jam session, before "Fiska Pa Grasmattan" closes the album in an almost art-rock/progressive stumble. It isn't the most enigmatic album closer you'll ever hear, but it is compelling stuff nonetheless.

A decidedly tough nut to crack on your first few visits, Aged To Perfection proves in the long run to be capable of combining vintage space-rock with some brighter and some gloomier themes to make an album that continues to surprise and delight, while wilfully still being able to confuse.

Track Listing
1. Aged To Perfection
2. In Green Heat
3. Morkret 2
4. Tired Nature
5. Some Things
6. In A Time
7. Moving Along
8. Fiska Pa Grasmattan

Added: May 12th 2012
Reviewer: Steven Reid
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Hits: 2236
Language: english

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