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Mindflower: Little Enchanted Void

Fabio Antonelli founded Mindflower in 1994 with bassist Alberto Callegari and keyboard player Fabrizio Defacqz, releasing their debut, Purelake, the following year on the Italian Mellow label. Their sophomore recording, Mindfloater, emerged some 6 years later and this is the first release under the Mindflower name since then. Fabio Antonelli, in the interim, did release a little gem of an album under the name Fabio Antonelli ensemble called The art of dreams in a little bottle, a sublime pastoral suite of esoteric song-writing.

This latest release is strongly reminiscent both in title and in style to Fabio's last work and consists of 26 tracks which make up some kind of a suite structure over almost 80 minutes. Unfortunately the CD liner design makes it impossible to read the arrangement of the pieces, having been printed in wildly frilly text with a pale green or grey on dark green or grey background making the entire album booklet and insert totally indecipherable without the aid of a microscope. I couldn't even find a description on the web and no-one pays me to waste my time looking up what should be made accessible. Zero points on presentation guys.

Fortunately on technical excellence, the music is way ahead of the cover design, having been recorded in Italy and at Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios before being mastered at Abbey Road. Not surprisingly it is a thing of some beauty and finely crafted. The music is a carefully constructed mix of delicate acoustically-led songs, smooth orchestral arrangements and pastoral chamber music. Individual, frequently acoustic, instruments such as guitar, violin, cello or piano are used in solo performance, often coming together to build a fuller sound or burst out more suddenly as it does in the second track. Development is tenderly led with both male and female vocals embellishing the light and airy instrumental visions. Heavily accented English is the norm and the lyrics are esoteric, fairytale like in quality. Occasionally the album moves over to an electronic format, as with the end of track 9 where powerful drums blend with synths and treated vocals to create a more menacing atmosphere. Or in track 15 where breaking glass and wailing female vocals disturb the slumber and make reference back to the art of dreams in a little bottle. The penultimate track is also a prog-rock tour-de-force with strong neo-progressive influences.

This is another quality release from the Italian progressive movement. With 26 tracks, its not really of any value to list the titles even if you could read them but just enjoy the lush and pretty music as a complete project. (Publishers Note-all track titles have been sourced and listed below.)

Track Listing
1. Drowned Into Creation Stream (Part 1) 4:32
2. Drowned Into Creation Stream (Part 2) 3:12
3. Sinking in an Earthless Sky 4:48
4. Frail As a Star Light 4:47
5. From Your Deep Sleep 2:04
6. Linear Coil (Part 1) 4:02
7. Linear Coil (Part 2) 2:25
8. Whirling Haze 1:49
9. A Council of Ancient Fairies 4:58
10. Grand Dark Space 5:15
11. Little Paths in a Great Universe (Sentiero I) 2:01
12. Little Paths in a Great Universe (Sentiero II) 1:28
13. Little Paths in a Great Universe (Sentiero III) 1:46
14. Little Paths in a Great Universe (Night of the Bluebottle - Part One) 1:49
15. Little Paths in a Great Universe (Night of the Bluebottle - Part Two) 4:09
16. Little Paths in a Great Universe (Walking Near the Line) 4:32
17. Es Sense (You in Verse Is Me) 3:14
18. Es Sense (Shaped as Points and Lines) 2:10
19. Es Sense (Universe Is Me) 0:38
20. Es Sense (Unreal Fall Into the Point) 4:57
21. Little Paths in a Great Universe (Sentiero IV) 1:53
22. Little Paths in a Great Universe (Quartetto del Piccolo Vuoto) 2:45
23. Little Paths in a Great Universe (Mindfloating) 2:29
24. Pureline (Weir on Flow) 2:09
25. Pureline (Enddne) 2:27
26. Pureline (In Dreams of Crystal Depths) 3:47

Added: September 3rd 2009
Reviewer: Richard Barnes
Related Link: Musea Records
Hits: 3274
Language: english

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