Artist/ Band: Goldbug
Title: The Seven Dreams
Label: 1K Recordings
Year of Release: 2010
Offical Artist/ Band Link

The Review:

This is another release by Tim Motzer (on guitar, keys, piano, laptop), this time with mates Barry Meehan (bass, piano, voice), Eric Slick (drums, percussion, voice) and Theo Travis (tenor sax, flute). Theo worked with Tim on the ‘Descending’ CD but there is but little comparison to that spacious floating ambient disc and this one. In fact, this one begins with a quick paced jazz rock cut, then followed by a quirky ambient piece. The whole feel of the first half of ‘The Seven Dreams’ is far more energetic and hyper. One song just sound computerized (which it is) and quite impersonal. ‘Descending’ had this totally human sound in which the listener could have instant contact with. ‘The Seven Dreams’ has some songs with an illusive, hurried, and almost disconnected feel. So here you have the contrast. Ambient to avant garde.

I find comparisons hard on this recording at first, but that can be a beautiful thing for people always wanting something a bit different from anything else they might own. Goldbug uses improvisational skills to create much of the music here, and most of the time it works, but those moments where it sounds so disconnected from the audience, is where it fails, and indeed it the reason it fails. But it is the minority of the time, so only a small detractor in the scheme of things. When the band get hooked into the music, it really bubbles and flows. They got away from the smarts of shorter songs on certain areas here on song 4 ( over 10 mins ) and it suffers a bit for that fact. They recover in fine form on the next tune ‘Elevation’ where Theo uses sax so nicely.. The music is focused and strong here. Tape effects(as we used to call them in the analog days- now all digital and often computer driven) with piano and guitar are used superbly. The following song (6. The Past is Still the Present) goes to the nicer experimental ambient work. Although still more urgent than anything on ‘Descending’, this breathes and has some eastern guitar influence, along with drumkit as percussion station now. Voices from ancient times, sitar, various world drum emulations, and a gentle but well crafted build up to what becomes more of what I wish King Crimson had evolved to after ‘Beat’. ‘The Past is Still the Present’ is my favorite song on the recording. This song has all the goods, and completely needs all the time it takes (a case where time limits has no purpose). By the end it sounds like the best Terje Rypdal and Jan Garbarek, and that’s majestic stuff to this reviewers ears. It’s worth the price for this song alone. Listeners might also make comparisons to Shadowfax on this particular song. No question that if the same care and approach had been taken with all songs, this CD would be a classic! Happily, the next song ( 7- Persistence of a Memory) blends right from song 6 and you feel as if they are coming back down the mountain from previous song. Very beautiful, playful, totally sweet flute work, and just brilliant choice for the ending of this release.

What’s clear is Goldbug begins ‘The Seven Dreams’ with more isolated sounding songs, where it feels like the band has not yet got their chemistry. But that all changes on the last 2 cuts as some of the most memorable music I have ever heard, comes together with both the band, and the listener. It turned my straight face into a big smile. Not to say that any of the songs are terrible, but just the first half of ‘The Seven Dreams’ are more hyper, too rushed, and bit sterile at times. Almost a just to get it over with type feeling. Not true at all with the second half. I am certainly thrilled to have the music and will enjoy it forever, thanks to the two end songs..

Reviewed by Lee Henderson on October 26th, 2010


1. Shadow Memory
2. The Departure
3. Unraveling
4. Scratching The Third Eye
5. Elevation
6. The Past Is Still Present
7. Persistence Of A Memory

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