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Psychic Equalizer: The Lonely Traveller

The project of Hugo Selles, Psychic Equalizer is one of those outfits that seldom, if ever, sounds like anyone else. Is it jazz based? Sometimes… Is it progressive? Undoubtedly… Is it fusion? Definitely not… but it is a fusion of styles and ideas, it's just that they refuse, quite stubbornly, to be squeezed into some easy genre box. That's a good thing, right? …Indeed!

The basis of the album The Lonely Traveller is a journey from teenage years moving on into adulthood and the growing consciousness of the world and issues gained. In the main, the concept unfurls through music, only a few vocal tracks scattered across the album, yet this is a collection of poignant, whispered asides that startle and stun through their complex subtlety. The sparseness and stark nature of the arrangements grabbing you from the off and simply refusing to loosen their grip. It's dark, dense and involving, yet there's also a completely contradictory lightness of touch at play here that, if your listening circumstances allow, transfix and hypnotise to such an extent that they simply remove you from the every day and places you slap bang in the album's core.

Often a play off of varied keyboard and piano parts tussling against enigmatic and restrained guitars, the intimate feel and patience shown by the music completely envelopes you and makes you feel part of the story. In some ways you could suggest that the melancholy often played out bares little resemblance to adolescence into adulthood and beyond, yet the confused clarity certainly rings true.

The album also hopes to emphasise the fact that no matter your background, the processes of life are something we all experience and can relate to, no matter their ethnicity, religion, appearance, gender, sexuality or nationality, confirming that everyone deserves a decent and happy life. It's something that springs from the more hopeful moments on the album and the inclusion of vastly different musical styles and ideas is a clever way to illustrate strength and bonding through diversity. However it's not until the suddenly and amazingly bright "An Ocean Of Changes (V-VI)" that the album moves from quiet and restrained into suddenly proud and strutting, and while the flip-change in attack last only a few mere seconds, there's no denying how captivating it is, nor how exciting the organ-guitar tradeoff on the following "A Visit To Adelaide" proves. Although choosing to close on the piano driven but Pink Floyd inspired "Nørrebro" is equally inspired.

An album that inspires and engages on many levels, The Lonely Traveller provides a journey you'll be willing to take again and again. It may not be an album for all occasions, but when the mood fits, it truly is a thing of beauty.

Track Listing
1. Mezuz
2. An Ocean Of Changes (I-IV)
3. The Lonely Traveller
4. Lágrimas
5. Adrift
6. Peña Labra
7. Flying Over The Caucasus
8. Lovers Meet
9. A Collection Of Marbles
10. An Ocean Of Changes (V-VI)
11. A Visit To Adelaide
12. Nørrebro

Added: March 31st 2017
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Psychic Equalizer on bandcamp
Hits: 1717
Language: english

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