1. Why did they make this album? What was the passion or message that forced them to produce what they have? Or, simply what was their motivation for the themes they chose for this album?
“The Logarithms were founded during Spring of 1972 in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.” “They began as a fantasy but quickly gained reality.” “The first project was a poem by Will the Unnatural Logarithm and Rumblin' Dick Logarithm, collectively known as "Those Lyrical Logarithms".” “Soon joined by Rockin' Ron and Dan the Toast Man on guitars, acoustic recordings featuring guitars and Jew's harp rapidly followed.” “The Logarithms are strictly a studio band.” “Their one and only live performance took place during October 1973, featuring Rockin' Ron, Rumblin' Dick, Daevid "Groove" and Will the Unnatural Logarithm.” “The first phase of the band's existence came to a close during 1980.” “We were entirely dormant until 1997, when a reunion featuring Ron, Will and Richard took place.” “Daevid contributed some lyrics.” “We then returned to hibernation until Richard's death during 2004, prompted a review of matters.” “This led to the transfer of the Logarithms cassette recordings to digital and the release of compilation CD's.” “Further contact brought about the 2006 sessions for Plasma, featuring Ron, Will and Dan.” “2007 saw the sessions for Blue Orb, and the addition of new member Dave Spyderman Logarithm.” “Blue Orb features Will, Ron, "Spyderman" and Dan, while "Groove" remains in hibernation.” “2008 saw the addition of eL gLiD Logarithm and the sessions for our new album "WaterWorks".” “The early cassette recordings have been compiled into three CD's: Legends of Wilhelm & the Bores (1972-1980) Experimental Madness (1972-1980) Live & Reunited (1972-1997).” “We also have four recent CD's: Plasma (2006) Blue Orb (2007-2008).” “WaterWorks(2008) which was released on the first full moon of 2009, and Air (2009) which was released on the second new moon of 2010! All are on Logarithmic Tapes” (Logarithms‘ MySpace, 2009).
2. What message are they delivering through their lyrics and music?
1. Airwaves – Very cool synth and electronic effects to open the album. The guitars, both acoustic and matching electric are separated, by channels, the acoustic dominating the left channel speakers, the electric the right. Nice effect, with synth keys flowing all around the sound. Vocals kick in, “In the air, through the ether, we send our signal to your receiver.” “The waves we send are psychedelic.” “So open your mind and let it frolic.” The synths, keys, guitars, bass and sounds surround you to create an interesting effect.
2. Glider – Soft drums, then keys with synth effects, before the lead electric pipes in, with the low thump of the bass setting rhythm. The synth effects are everywhere as the keys keep a nice melody with the Santana – like lead guitar playing in the background on the left speaker channel. I like how they have separated the instruments and effects so that they really stand out.
3. Cloudy and Fair – More synth effects and a bunching up of sounds, mimicking clouds bumping up against mountains, like they do out here in the west. Synths and psychedelic keys roaring in and out like the sounds of a calliope at a carnival. Very interesting and different sounds.
4. Clouds – Piano like keys to open this song of wonder, with chirping birds and an almost harpsichord sound to the keyboards. Very Strange Days/Doors sounding keys and guitar. The bass sounds very different and psychedelic with the keys and drums surrounding the soundscape. The playful piano and guitar really make this one of the best songs on the album. The song closes with that cheerful piano and birds.
5. Skeiros – More cool electronic effects and sounds to open this song. The lead electric rips through and starts to buzz and soar. Cool effects. This one starts out like David Bowie or early Pink Floyd on steroids. Very cool opening. The acoustic is setting a very nice melody with all of the buzzing and drifting sounds of electronics and synths all around. Very other – worldly. Then the acoustic really starts to dominate with an almost Spanish flamenco rhythm as the electronics continue to build an incredible soundscape.
6. Soaring Gnome – More cool electronic effects with some heavy strings thrown in for good measure. Sliding eerie sounds, with electric guitar riffs ripping through every now and again. The solid bass keeping rhythm all the time.
7. The Storm (a. Pressure Falling, b. First Wall, c. Eye, d. Second Wall, e. Cyclone) – Blazing electric guitar coming at you from all sides of the room this time, with the keys as the background effects. Slow bass, then acoustic with the snare – like drums before the bubbling keys begin to take over. Slow bass and multiple guitar and keyboard effects. The epic, at 8:03, song on the album, and they fill it with all dimensions of sounds. Then an almost surf rock guitar solo turns into an electronic Jimi Hendrix whirlwind of sounds and effects. Another of the best songs on the album.
8. Ozone – Running piano opening with a nice melody, before the vocals begin, “Take a look around the sky so blue.” “See the hole that’s burning through, way up here beyond the atmosphere.” An environmental consciousness song. “The Ozone layer is shrinking.” “Nothing lasts forever, even the North Pole.” The guitar solo that follows is perfectly supported by keys, bass, and drums. Another standout, especially because of the strong message delivered with sincerity and a great accompanying melody.
9. Zephyros – Cool synths and electronic effects again. Each time they are different and make each track so original. Multi – sound electronics fill the air from all sides of the room. Chaos with those early Floydian guitar riffs drifting in and out.
10. Divine Wind – More cosmic electronic sounds, with what sounds like the ocean or air from a jet in the background. Almost an oriental or ethereal sound to this one.
11. The Phantom Rainbow – Almost starts out with Highlands bagpipe effects using keys and electric sounds. Maybe even a little No Quarter sounds from John Paul Jones added in for good measure. Then it moves into a bluesy rock n roll groove. Unique for sure, with that heavy bass plunging through the sound.
12. SAM – Joyful piano wandering to and fro, then cool electric guitar on the left and acoustic on the right, accompanied by soft drums.
13. Hot Air Balloon - More electronic effects, like a power station firing up. Then an almost pipe organ effect, with bizarre noises and guitars leaping about everywhere.
14. Air Beans – That picking along with the bass gives this one a country kinda twang. Piano - like sounds abound, along with lead guitar and other organ – like keys as well.
15. Hope in the Air – The final track opens with electronic synths everywhere. Then that organ – like sound enters the soundscape. Then the best vocals on the CD. Maybe this is the direction of the future. “Let it shine.” “Yes we can.” “Day has slowly broken, giving birth to light.” “Second chance is granted, we gotta make things right.” “Hope is in the air my friend.” “It’s finally the time to let it shine.” Almost sounds like an Obama campaign poster coming to life. Then the twanging comes back, but is quickly replaced by lead electric guitar. The track ends with more fantasy filled electronic ovations with accompanying bass to close the album.
3. Does this music improve, change, or add to the genre? What does the listener receive from listening to the music?
Interesting arrangements and some songs that really stick with you after you listen to the album for the first time. This is the kind of album that takes several listens to truly appreciate. Some of the songs are very easy to catch on and enjoy. The latter half of the album is much more instrumental and electronic, and really takes some time to fully appreciate. But given a chance you will find the variety of sounds and noises can be fun and interesting.
It really is a tale of two albums. The second half of the CD is not your typical ‘take out for a drive in the car’ music. It is more appropriately listened to on headphones. In fact, it may draw neighbors to the door if you play the second half of this loudly over speakers. But it is fun, if you keep the windows closed. Just joking of course.
4. Does it have longevity? Is it something a fan will like to play again and again?
Rating: 7/10 – I will enjoy this one for some time. Quirky and electronic but fun when you have the time to enjoy it.
Reviewed by Prof on April 6th, 2010