Russian 5 piece psychedelic progressive rock band Diversion Voice are all instrumental and with their debut, have given the world not only a great physical CD package complete with 3-D glasses, but also a lively Pink Floydian trippy jazz infected recording. Members are Matvey Ushakov - guitar, Ilya Bolkisev - sax, electronics, Ivan Dorokhov - bass, Alexey Kryuchkov - drums, and Dmitry Krasov - guitar, percussion.
Now THIS is one of the reasons I hate the download only release. It is because with great actual CD’s (disc + booklet + artwork+ jacket+ info+ etc) like this one, you get the experience of holding, absorbing info, and participating with the music experience. I became excited when I received this because of the elaborate packaging with the included 3-D glasses, and immediately I was looking at all the outside and inside art of the open up jacket, and the booklet, with those glasses. It actually took me right back to the vinyl days when all this was standard listening. The interacting with the music by way of visual art and info I mean.
Okay to the music itself. ‘Underwater’ is a hybrid instrumental Pink Floyd/Alan Parson Project/Santana/early Ozric Tentacles/Porcupine Tree style recording, with jazz rock, jazz fusion, space rock and nice little touches of various other styles thrown in. I even heard a little Canterbury jazz in there on song 5 (‘Rain’). Saxophone being at the lead in most songs really gives this it’s identity. The music gets heavy at times then paces back off to that Floydian floating state everyone loves so much. I can tell that Diversion Voice have listened to hundreds of different bands as the influences are numerous here. And there is not bad song in the bunch.
All the musicians are skilled and the compositions are well written, produced, and executed.
The last song (‘Stream’) brings in the most noticeable keyboards with organ and electronic effects at the intro, then a trippy jam takes place which is clearly a space cadet’s dream. This is where they turn on the biggest Ozric Tentacles influences. For me, this is far better than any of the last 3 OT releases though. There is more texture, time changes, and creativity all together. ‘Stream’ is pretty much every style they used through the previous 7 songs. Excellent change overs, and one very nice stop start, to get into the best lead guitar work of the CD. Diversion Voice know how to end an album. Just beautifully played and composed. Clearly my favorite cut on the whole release. But I certainly like the whole thing well enough to add to my personal collection. I applaud the band for making such an outstanding package, plus outstanding music.
This was easy to listen to multiple times. And the true test is that I will be listening again, not as a music critic but as a fan at my leisure. This is a good one!
Reviewed by Lee Henderson on April 20th, 2012