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Moving Gelatine Plates - The World Of Genius Hans CD (album) cover

THE WORLD OF GENIUS HANS

Moving Gelatine Plates

 

Canterbury Scene

4.36 | 122 ratings

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BrufordFreak
4 stars Definitely more on the jazzy side of what we call Canterbury music. Moving Gelatine Plates' second album--released only a year after their surprisingly mature debut--displayed a better quality of recording and engineering to equally mature and accomplished instrumental jazz arrangements. Other than the debut's "London Cab," I like this album hands down over the debut. There is more warmth in the songs and performances here--and a feeling that the band is more relaxed, as if they are just grooving and enjoying themselves and their unique sound.

The opening song, the fourteen-minute epic title song, 1. "The World of Genius Hans" (14:05), is a very jazzy piece with some quite technically challenging ensemble sequences all working coherently and cohesively together. (9/10)

2. "Funny Doll" (4:29) opens with some light, bouncy interplay between sax and lead guitar with snappy bass and drum play beneath. Towards the end of the first minute the band gels into a full sound just before a male voice sings to us in a kind of Benmont TENCH kind of raspy way. The following jazz section is quite lovely, with the band playing really tightly and with some awesome multi-insturmental melodies. In the fourth minute it starts to get a little more mathematical just before a very fun section with a circus-master like vocal saying "good-bye" to us. Awesome song! (10/10)

3. "Astromonster" (6:20) opens with a rolling bass playing beneath some guitar, bassoon, and percussive oriental- sounding staccato melody weave. Then things slow down for a bit, as if to reset, before opening the third minute with some more straightforward, driving ensemble jazz with organ and fuzz bass. The fourth minute then brings in another shift--almost a bolero kind of Latin section with a very Santana sound and feel to it (except for the drums). The Santana-like melody is carried forward by the guitar until, at the end of the fifth minute, a faster paced start- and-slow alternating pattern is established for about a minute. The final minute sees a very slowed down regurgitation of one of the song's main melodies--from the flute! Weird but awesome song. (9/10)

The next song, 4. "Moving Theme" (3:56), feels like an 'tude, like a song created to exercise the group's dexterity and entrainment timing. Not particularly melodic or enjoyable except in the way one can appreciate the band members' command of their instruments and their ability to play tightly. It could just be what its title says: a theme for moving! (7/10)

5. "Cauchemar" (3:53) is a fast-paced piece that kind of follows one format for its entire four minutes--even trying to establish a melody line that follows the pop ABACAB-type of flow. (8/10)

6. "We Were Loving Her" (3:19) is a slow-to-unveil-itself piece that has a kind of MATCHING MOLE/SOFT MACHINE experimental feel to it. The song has nice melodies expressed by the saxophone in the last minute. (8/10)

7. "Un jour..." (1:30) has quite a SATIE feel to it despite it's being a bass and saxophone duet.

Perhaps not as silly as their debut but not as serious either. While not my favorite type of Canterbury music--I go for the more melodic fun stuff of Caravan and Supersister--it is not my least. The musicians and compositional team of MGP are definitely amazingly good and awesomely confident. What feels like their step forward in World of Genius Hans is how relaxed and fun the band feels to be on this album. Too bad they never generated the interest or fan base to sustain their passion.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |

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