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Maat Lander - The Birth Of Maat's Galaxy CD (album) cover

THE BIRTH OF MAAT'S GALAXY

Maat Lander

Psychedelic/Space Rock


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3 stars This album has a couple of different flavors to it. The first 6 tracks could be characterized with the same basic formula: start out slow with some contemplative guitar work on top of some backing synths, slowly work in the rhythm section, do some improvisation and riffing on the guitar, adorn everything with a few synth bubbles and embellishments, then fade out. It's kind of like the improvisation of Oresund Space Collective playing on top of a Hawkwind rhythm section with the Ozric Tentacles adding synth bubbles and VCO sweeps.

Don't get me wrong, it's not bad. In fact, it's quite nice and I like it a lot. Most of the first 6 tracks have a nice groove that leans forward and carries you along, but the dynamics are somewhat muted and subtle. Track 5 (Aquarius) tries to pick up the energy level with driving percussion and pulsating bass, but the guitar and keyboards don't follow suit.

Track 7 (Lunar Rocket) starts off immediately with a rolling rhythm section, while the band appears to attempt a more conventional verse/chorus structure, rather than the improvisational meandering of the first 6 tracks.

The final three tracks introduce some nice synth sequences. With a relentless percussion track in the background, there's a lot of similarity to Tangerine Dream's "Madrigal Meridian" from their Cyclone album, except with guitar carrying the lead instead of (synth) violin. Track 9 (Coma Berenices) makes a definite melodic statement, with lots of bold, energetic passages. It's the highlight of the album, in my opinion. In track 9 (The Birth of Maat's Galaxy), a sequenced bass line and a catchy melodic motif carry the piece throughout. The addition of a (synth) vibraphone adds a nice contrasting crispness. It give the sense of something evolving (or being born, like Maat's galaxy), but it doesn't really go anywhere. Still a nice piece, though.

Overall, I really like this album. I give it 3-1/2 stars. If some of the early tracks were remixed to bring some of the guitar solos to the foreground and emphasize other synth passages to give the album more dynamics, I could envision adding another star to the rating.

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Posted Tuesday, February 6, 2018 | Review Permalink

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