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My Brother the Wind: Twilight in the Crystal Cabinet

This one's interesting in a number of respects. Aside from those life coincidences that I keep going on about, that have served up a psychedelic space-rockish album just after my Hawkwind review, there are the facts that My Brother the Wind is the (very apt) name for a Swedish "super-group" that recorded and mixed this album in about 4 hours, and on analogue equipment to boot!! Not often you hear that! The recording took a massive two hours, the mixing another two.

For an album recorded in two hours, this is very enjoyable stuff! It's an all-instrumental twin-guitar foray into psychedelic space-rock territory, the sound of which derives from bands like Hawkwind, through Ozric Tentacles, and others. The band themselves name Trăd Grăs och Stenar as another band whose fans would enjoy Twilight in the Crystal Cabinet but as I don't know that band's music I can't comment on the veracity of that statement. For my money, I enjoyed this album more than I usually do the Ozrics and more than some of Hawkwind's instrumental stuff.

The band comprises Nicklas Barker (Anekdoten) and Mathias Danielsson (Makajodama, and formerly of Gösta Berlings Saga) on guitars; Ronny Eriksson (Magnolia on bass; and Tomas Eriksson on drums.

It is the twin guitar sound of Nicklas and Mathias that woos and seduces the listener from the start. That an hour's instrumental music can be so appealing is mainly down to the interplay between the two guitars: it is a gorgeous sound, one that is comparatively rare, but usually very effective when it comes off, as here.

The compositions have a pleasing balance, contrasting with each other and within themselves. For instance, "Karma Grinder" starts wistfully, one guitar playing melody, the other rhythm, then builds up in intensity and pace, before dropping back and then resuming the onslaught again. It's an excellent composition, my favourite from the album, a great guitar number!

"Electric Universe" is heavier from the start, more of a headbangers treat this one; it's another fine number. Then, as you can probably tell from the song timings, we have a "little whimsical interlude". "Twilight in the Crystal Cabinet" is a pretty number focussing on the guitar but "Precious Sanity" brings the focus onto the bass.

Refreshed from the interlude, the band resume their onslaught on the senses with "Mournful Howl of Dawn". The music is true to the title; the melody slow and the main theme is melancholic. Again, though, the number picks up in intensity as it progresses, the rhythm becoming mantric so that, cleverly, the melancholia doesn't depress. "Death & Beyond" is similar in construction, the similarity in style now beginning to weigh against the album as a whole, despite the track itself being enjoyable.

Overall, a good album: lovers of twin guitar will certainly enjoy much if not all of it, and if you've ever fancied venturing into psychedelic instrumental space-rock, then this inspirational, impulsive album may well be a good place to start.

Track Listing:-
1) Karma Grinder (13:47)
2) Electric Universe (10:10)
3) Twilight in the Crystal Cabinet (3:59)
4) Precious Sanity (1:47)
5) Mournful Howl of Dawn (13:08)
6) Death & Beyond (16:47)

Added: August 2nd 2010
Reviewer: Alex Torres
Related Link: Band's MySpace
Hits: 2838
Language: english

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