1. Who is the band? What is their history? What motivates them?
“The group Mindflower was founded in 1994 when Fabio Antonelli (guitars), Alberto Callegari (bass) and Fabrizio Defacqz (keyboards and voice) decided to pursue and express their own musical and philosophical sensitivity through rock-prog music.”
“Everything starts from some simple but deep musical insights by Fabio Antonelli.”
“PURELAKE, the first album, (recorded at Musical Box –Genova-) went out in 1995, produced by the most important Italian prog label: Mellow Records. The second album, MINDFLOATER, went out in 2001, (recorded at Elfostudio in Agazzano, also by Mellow Records) and it was well received by the progressive music press.”
“The evolution from a rock band to a musical project has taken place thanks to the unprecedented experience with THE ART OF DREAMS IN A LITTLE BOTTLE (“a miracle” for some critics) by Fabio Antonelli Ensemble.”
“Since the recording of the album MINDFLOATER Alberto Callegari has also become the artistic director of the project, while all three members are the authors of the music and the lyrics.”
“The latest album, LITTLE ENCHANTED VOID, produced by the French label Musea Records, is the result of six years of work. It was recorded at Elfostudio, Tavernago – Italy, and at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios, Box – UK, and mastered at the infamous Abbey Road Studios” (http://www.mindflower.it/en/bio.html, 2009).
2. 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?
“Mindflower’s philosophy is based upon the intention of getting back to the basics, to the true essence of simple things.”
“It’s a difficult mission to uphold when the world keeps on trying to follow standards, to be quicker, to be more technological.”
“Even music is part of this. Its substance is often lost in rich arrangements that overwhelm the senses and make one forget the experience of slow and deep listening.”
“Borrowing from the characters in northern fairy tales bears the metaphysical comparison to Mindflower, a creature that, understanding the existence of something more than physical reality starts searching for enlightenment.”
“Elves and fairies are his guides, emulating them his goal. The search for purity and the theory of the point bring him into tiny dimensions which enclose endless universes that are invisible to superficial or inattentive eyes” (http://www.mindflower.it/en/bio.html, 2009).
3. What message are they delivering through their lyrics and music?
Little Enchanted Void
1. Drowned into creation stream [4.35] - Lone piano and effects develop the theme you will hear throughout the album. The vocalist sounds very much like Peter Gabriel with an Italian accent. Then the strings build to support the piano. Very nice effects and a stripped down sound which is definitely refreshing to hear again. Almost a classical sound.
2. Drowned into creation stream [3.11] - Then wonderful female voices surround the sound as the full orchestra follows with drums and all of the characters. Definitely a cool Peter Gabriel – like effect with keys, violins and synths rounding out the sound. The power builds as more instruments are added with awesome effect. Lone piano and drum along with strings closes this song out wonderfully!
3. Sinking in an earth less sky [4.47] - Woodwinds and effects open this song with strings supporting. Simply beautiful. You can imagine wonderful artwork or the opening of a countryside in a movie. Just incredible feeling and depth to this music. Very classical. Almost sounds like an orchestra supporting at times. A female narrator closes out the song as it blends in the next without missing a beat.
4. Frail as a star light [4.46] - Woodwinds, humming, and strings build on the original theme to create a very peaceful and tranquil sound.. “Beyond the hills…the vital space…” Very strong strings, drums, and a building rhythm set the stage. One of the best songs on the album with more developed lyrics and vocals. Incredible guitar riffs rip through the air and you get the full sound of keys and effects supported by all the organic instruments from the opening. Just incredible. Violins and so much more. Reaching a peak and crescendo. Not so frail after all.
5. From Your deep sleep [2.03] - Female voices welcoming you to open your eyes and wake up supported by keys and strings.
6. Linear Coil [4.02] - Synths and acoustic guitar open this up beautifully. Then the keys take over and build a new theme. Quiet vocals delivered with acoustic guitar and piano, and then the momentum builds again. “Will my eyes open wide, is my space to be free?”
7. Linear Coil [2.26] - Female voices, drums, guitar and keys. Unbelievable vocals that sound very much like Peter Gabriel’s. (They did some recording in his studio).
8. Whirling haze [1.47] -Synthesized female narration delivered with supporting synth effects.
9. A Council Of Ancient Fairies [4.55] - Piano running, then slowly supporting vocals. Strings and supporting synth effects add drama. Then loud drums and guitar interrupt the quiet building piano. Cool effect.
10.Grand Dark Space [5.15] - Piano and the building rhythm. Quiet vocals delivering almost inaudible lyrics and the sounds of gulls and maybe the sea with the piano rhythm supported by synths.
Little Paths in a Great Universe
11.Sentiero I [2.00] - A wonderful piano solo.
12.Sentiero II [1.28] - Acoustic guitar solo with vocal. “The universe collides in every silent breeze. “ Then a wonderful pipe organ sound.
13.Sentiero III [1.45] - Another acoustic guitar solo this time without vocal and the support of piano, keys and synths.
14.Night Of The Bluebottle [4.08] - The breaking of glass and a lone female singer reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side and then Fabrizio takes back over with supporting background vocals and drums.
Female vocals almost dreamlike and surrounding giving comfort and providing a calm before the storm of guitars and keys takes over. “An open and wide dimension, I’m drifting by the stream.” “Here is the lake.” Yes, this sounds very much like drifting on a river, until the heavier guitars kick in. Wonderful female vocals so soothing. Guitar adding such depth and dimension.
15.Walking Near The Line [4.32] - Ominous sounds open this song. “The light… the lake…the darkness.” Synths and brooding vocals. “The void is the universe and the universe is me.”
16. You in Verse is Me [3.13] - Drums and synths open this one. Cool, recent Peter Gabriel sythn effects haunt this one, along with bass.
17. Shaped as Points and Lines [2.06] - Beautiful strings on this short track.
18.Universe is Me [0.36] - Piano and drums with vocals. Then the drums and rhythm take off with background vocals. “I lost myself in visions inner space.”
19.Unreal Fall into the Point [4.55] - Piano and vocals. Cool synth effects.
Little Paths in a Great Universe
20.Sentiero IV [1.52] - Piano and vocals.
21. Quartetto del Piccolo Vuoto [2.44] - Strings, strings, and more strings. Wonderful.
22. Mindfloating [2.28] - Guitar solo, then vocals. “The solitude is wisdom.”
23. Enddne [2.09] - Almost a pop sound to this one. Also that early Gabriel/Hackett sound again. The organs and pipe organs only strengthen the connection.
24. In Dreams of Crystal Depths [3.48] - Drums and vocals along with guitar. “At last I can see.” Definitely brings back memories of early Genesis. Guitar riffs are wonderful and reminded me of Steve Hackett. Hackett and Gabriel together again. We can only hope someday. This is very good while we wait.
4. Does this music improve, change, or add to the genre? What does the listener receive from listening to the music?
An almost classical music that really sets a mood and must be listened to with time on your hands. This is not something you take with you in the car. Best if listened to with headphones to drink in the full sound and dynamics of the music being played.
You can hear the classic stripped down sound of early Genesis, and the Peter Gabriel – like vocals that really add to that effect. Simply amazing music if you have the time to sit back and listen to this album with headphones. They also did the mixing at Abbey Road Studios, so there is some magic within the recording!
5. Does it have longevity? Is it something a fan will like to play again and again?
Yes, it is very good, but it takes time to really appreciate it.
Rating: 9/10 – Very good. It is only limited in its ability to transcend and attract a larger audience to support its further distribution. However, within its realm it allows all of us Gabriel era Genesis fans to wonder what may have been. It is also limited in its ability to be mobile unless you bring your headphones with your iPod. It captures the spirit of a time when we all had more time to listen to wonderfully organized and performed music.
Reviewed by Prof on August 26th, 2009