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Madison Dyke - Zeitmaschine CD (album) cover


Madison Dyke


Symphonic Prog

3.30 | 28 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
4 stars The German symphonic scene was so prolific in the 1970s that even today we do not know its full breadth, as labels such as Garden of Delights continue to unearth time capsules such as this 1977 one-off by Madison Dyke. This one was definitely worth rescuing, as all four original tracks offer an interesting synthesis of what was going on at the time in Germany and in UK. The closest comparison would be Jane circa Earth Air Fire and Water/between Heaven and Hell, with liberal smatterings of Eloy and Genesis, but the preponderance of flute also coerces a nod in the Camel/Jethro Tull direction. Madison Dyke does sound rawer than any of the above groups except for Jane, but this is an endearing quality and gives them more oomph than you would expect from this style.

The opening cut "First Step", builds slowly and atmospherically with plenty of mellotrons and other keys before the flute enters and the "song" begins. The music is tuneful and ranges from raucous riffs to gentle passages, often with little transition yet sounding quite natural. "Cooking Time of an Egg" is a delightful mellow piece with plenty of acoustics, delicate flutes, winsome vocals, and a subtle melody. It reminds me of Hackett's "The Virgin and the Gypsy" which it nonetheless pre-dates. "Next Conceptions" starts off even folkier but quickly becomes a Jane-like affair particularly in the style of lead guitars and the manner in which they are framed by mellotron. Even the vocals recall Jane, yet Madison Dyke somehow seem more genuinely symphonic and less bluesy.

The title cut clocks in at over 16 minutes and contains some more interesting dynamics, such as the highly melodic opening lead guitar lines, a rollicking bass, and expertly inserted and syncopated vocals which are semi-spoken at times. The later part features some nostalgic moog runs. Even if the track is a bit too lengthy for its import, it's still a winner.

The bonus tracks are a mixed bag with "Walkin" being in a straight rock style and not particularly interesting, and "Dice-box" could have fit in well on the original album, and features clever yet accessible changes of rhythm and a certain hard rock sensibility juxtaposed to their trademark flutes.

Madison Dyke produced an excellent album for its time, on par with what many of its longer lived contemporaries were doing. Recommended for fans of German symphonic prog.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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