Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Brave New World "Impressions On Reading Aldous Huxley" 1972

Impressions On Reading Aldous Huxley (Vertigo 1972)
Genre: Progressive
Album Legnth: 40:52
Best Song: "Soma"

1. Prologue 1.02
2. Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta 7.38
3. Lenina 4.22
4. Soma 5.18
5. Halpais Corn Dance 3.24
6. The End 17.42
7. Epilogue 1.28

Somehow this isn't quite the sound I had imagined when I read Huxley's socialist themed "futurist sci-fi" novel Brave New World. Surely, the novel brings to mind visions of a colder, bleak electronic atmospheric soundtrack rather than the whimsical impressions heard here. Brave New World, the band, was comprised of German and Irish musicians and for the most part their sound is a progressive mixture of rock and jazz with rich melodies and eclectic themes comprising the standard flute and sax arrangements of early 70's progressive genre. The lone musical exception is the Native American/Tribal percussion inspired "Halpais Corn Dance".

The "krautiest" track on the album, "Soma" is a bit of a hidden gem and worth of the "mix-tape" treatment. With a sound similar to Yeti-era Amon Duul II, "Soma" contains a space-rock sound with a great organ lead utilizing Eastern modalities (think "Scarecrow" from Piper) and what appears to be a theremin lead towards the end. The ablum's centerpiece, the 17-minute "The End" begins promisingly, showcasing a flair for cinematic themes; however, the track quickly dissolves into a melange of jazz and rock themes and fails to stand out from the rest of the album. Ultimately "The End" is saved by the Eastern-tinged psychedelic rock ending which bears a strong resemblance to the sound that Between would adopt around 1973/4. In total "Impressions On Reading Aldous Huxley" is a creative effort, but other than "Soma" and a few eclectic themes it fails to deliver anything memorable.
[2.5/5 Doug]

1 comment:

  1. FYI for those who are interested in hearing the album... a simple youtube search will turn up most, if not all of the album.

    I'm not sponsoring the links because I don't want to promote such activities, but this is a rare LP and to my knowledge has never been reissued.