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Centric Jones: The Antikythera Method

Albums which take a central convoluted idea and base their whole reason for musical being on them, often could be and should be approached with caution. Therefore when I found my initial encounter with The Antikythera Method by Centric Jones to be rather underwhelming and un-engaging, I wasn't actually all that surprised, disappointed or confused. However over a period of weeks - to me it really will take this length of time to unravel - TAM has grown into a hugely enjoyable and involving listen. Basically a duo of Tobe London (drums, percussion, keyboards) and Chris Fourneir (guitar, bass, keyboards, percussion), Centric Jones have, for their third album, attempted to create an album that resonates with the percussive clatterings of an ancient Greek mechanical computer - the Antikythera mechanism - designed to calculate astronomical positions. Now if that sounds like an odd motivation for writing an album, then you'd be right. However once you've had the time to delve into the twelve tracks, the premise actually works, making for some interesting twisting, turning, dreamy progressive rock. Not everything quite comes off, the constant beats and clamour of "Then" is simply too much to get a grasp of, however grab hold of the wavering Ozric Tentacles like "Pulse" or the Floydian "Fading Time" and you'll float off on ethereal ideals that caress and cajole you into a gentle submission.

Where things really click, whir, churn and tick-tock into place are through the tracks where the percussive process of this album most closely achieves its initial motivation. "Shadow Song" pops, with immaculately regular drum snaps, ghost beats, and constant snare-rolling combining with an ever shifting keyboard motif to crackling effect. "Pyrrhic Victory takes things a stage further, with a clicking hi-hat, opening, closing and shuffling alongside a regimented electric piano motif and atmospheric surge of keys, while "Save Me" adds bell pings and an ever greater amount of snare cracks, cymbal smacks and hi-hat thwacks to mix. The resultant percussive wall does a wonderful job of conjuring up the creaking, pioneering mechanism that inspired this music, but more importantly the melodies and motifs are strong enough to raise the tracks above mere conceptual concoctions centred round a cacophony of crashes. Aiding and abetting the phenomenal percussive power of London and musical meanderings of Fourneir are the wonderful vocals of Laurie Larson, whose clear, crisp, yet beguiling tones add hugely to the atmospheric music, with her voice often used as an instrument complimenting their surrounds, while being strong and confident enough to lead from the front when the need arises.

The Antikythera Method is an album that manages to take an unusual starting point and mould, beautiful, intricate, yet challenging music into captivating songs. Making for an album that once you are well acquainted with it, will become a most welcome companion on your space travels.

Track Listing
1. Crushed
2. Shadow Song
3. All For One
4. Boomer
5. Dream In Threes
6. Pyrrhic Victory
7. Fading Time
8. Morphogenic
9. Save Me
10. Then
11. Pulse
12. Antikythera Method

Added: July 14th 2012
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: The Record Label Online
Hits: 1696
Language: english

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