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Taylor's Universe: Pork

Robin Taylor is one of the most important free-jazz masters in the world, and among many of his projects, there is Taylor's Universe, which is perhaps a bit more structured (is that even possible by Taylor's standards?) than Taylor's Free Universe. Pork was actually recorded and mixed in the early 90's in Denmark with amazing guest musicians, including Jan Marsfeldt on keyboards (he plays lots of Hammond organ), the great Mads Hansen on drums, Hugh Steinmetz on trumpet, and the occasional voice of Jytte Lindberg. As for Robin Taylor, he covers pretty much everything else, from cymbals to guitars to loops to electronics, and so on.

Pork strikes me as a distinct study in minimalism in places, particularly the 9-minute "Another Rainy Day", which starts out as a spacey number, enriched with lots of loops, but somewhere during the middle amazing Indian-style percussion and rising sound effects it transforms into a complex and intriguing piece. A lot of bass and keys form the first song "Sir Vannah" lending it a slightly symphonic edge; and yet again, Mads Hansen provides amazing tribal beats as the song delves into Zeuhl territory ending in a distinct avant-prog signature. Jan Marsfeldt's analog synths and driving lead guitars open "Horseman's Parade" before receding into a calmer and more dreamy section filled with hard-hitting drums and flick score-like moments. The last thirty seconds of this track is pure silence. The beautiful female vocals on "Porky Park" and the last song "Let's Run Away And Be Indians" lend them a welcome change of pace (the second one sounding obviously more exotic than the former). Avant-garde tinklings and freeform jazz experimentation is further highlighted by subtle key washes; while the last song is also the most upbeat and conventional sounding. Even borrowing the theme of "Jingle Bells" at some piant (played nicely on grand piano), the song goes back to the album's overall sound, marked with dense keyboards, electric guitars and loops, and computer effects by Thomas J. Hansen.

Essential release for any Robin Taylor fan.

Track Listing

  1. Sir Vannah
  2. Horsemen's Parade
  3. Porky Park
  4. Ghost Dance (Indian Hi Hop)
  5. Syte 2
  6. The S.O.S. Coincidence
  7. Hard to Realize
  8. Another Rainy Day
  9. Let's Run Away And Be Indians

Added: April 5th 2006
Reviewer: Murat Batmaz
Related Link: Robin Taylor
Hits: 2432
Language: english

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