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Mandrake Project: A Favor to the Muse

Mandrake Project is a 6-person band from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who play a dark form of progressive chamber rock that relies on a wide variety of different musical instruments. Throughout A Favor to the Muse you can hear guitars, various drums & percussion, violin, bass, Chapman Stick, loops, samples, keyboards, sax, cello, and various other objects that help Mandrake Project create their dense sound. Rhythmically challenging and highly adventurous, the instrumental music contained on A Favor to the Muse is hard to describe, as it has bits of jazz, avant-garde, prog, rock, funk, all rolled into one. "I'm (Overneath) Myself" is a good example of the diversity of this bunch, with jazzy sax battling it out with funky yet heavy rock wah-wah guitars and dnynamic percussion, while the fusion oriented "Flame of the Simpleton" features horns, funky bass lines, and blistering guitar, sounding like some sort of wild jam between Weather Report and Carlos Santana. Shades of Pink Floyd or Tangerine Dream can be heard on "The Period of Delay (w/ Postscript II)", and "Burgundy Turban" echoes The Mahavishu Orchestra thanks to some mystical violin and acoustic guitar fluttering. Otherwise, expect mostly an interesting hybrid of chamber rock and jazz, best heard on the the opening "Walking Music (w/ Postscript I)", "Sound Audit (Jazz Suite)", and the closing three part "Tteraj", the latter a chilling yet alluring journey that will appeal to any fans of the band Oregon.

It's albums like A Favor to the Muse that warrant repeated spins, as you know each time will uncover hidden nuances that you didn't catch the first time around. In the end it's all about composition, and Mandrake Project have crafted some engaging pieces here, backing it up with some splendid instrumentation. Check it out.

Track Listing
1. Walking Music (w/ Postscript I)
2. The Economy of Motion
3. I'm (Overneath) Myself
4. Flame of the Simpleton
5. The Period of Delay (w/ Postscript II)
6. An Ode to the Spaceman
7. Burgundy Turban
8. Sound Audit (Jazz Suite)
9. Tteraj I - An Invitation
10. Tteraj II - Acceptance
11. Tteraj III - Exit

Added: December 5th 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2214
Language: english

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