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CD Feature/ Robert Vincs: "Devic Kingdom"

img  Tobias

The Victorian Highlands in Australia are called „Snow Country“. Yes, we are talking about Australia here, the continent most people associate with extreme heat, endless grounds of red clay and wild animals. Those highlands, however, were home to the many ancient and sacred sites used as locations to record the music on this CD, most of the time in a single take.

Before introducing you to the music you deserve some information about the composer and the musician, though. Dr. Robert Vincs works as a Senior Lecturer in Music at the Victorian College of Arts of the University of Melbourne. His extraordinary path into music, culminating so far in ‘Devic Kingdom’, began long ago, when he first ‘met’ the Fairlight CMI, a computer he started to program to ‘think’ like a jazz musician. His efforts not only yielded him the B.P. Quiet Achiever Award for research in music and artificial intelligence, but also made him follow his ever present desire to direct his activities into composition. His sound creations have since been used by the likes of Thomas Dolby and Kate Bush, to name a few.

This CD is a true experiment in trying to find a single expression, that reflects ancient spiritual presence and the modern world with all of its technical achievements. No doubt about it, Robert Vincs is a true master of the instruments he plays here, the saxello, tenor saxophone and the korean bone flute, as well as the leather horn. His instruments talk, chatter, imitate animals, cry, jubilate and cross technical lines rarely been heard before. He also signs responsible for all electronics used, and he sure uses them in a masterful way. Scott Dunbabbin can be heard with his self constructed Six String Upright Base on ‘Playing with Tears’, and he joins in with utmost perfection.

I will not get into each and every piece of this CD, because all of them melt together into the big unit and central theme, which I discussed before. But I’d like to single out the title track of „Devic Kingdom“. Here a technique must have been used that I admittedly have never experienced before, and I certainly do not know how it has been achieved:

The music bursts into one’s eardrums so extremely areally, that even my mediocre sound system transported me instantly into a space of listening that I can only describe as out of this world. An experience as extreme as an earthquake, shaking my musical world upside down like it has never ever happened before. I listened to this particular piece at least ten times, with the loudness turned up just as much as I could allow myself without being sued for disturbance of the peace by my neighbors. At last, I switched to my headphones, should have done it before, and relished every moment of it.

Robert Vincs has paved a comfortable and yet difficult road into what may be the way we all will hear our preferred genres like jazz, avant-garde and so on in the future. Maybe, those years will come sooner or later. We will see about that. But one thing's for sure: With „Devic Kingdom“, Robert Vincs allows us a glimpse into an artistic future, that sure lies ahead of us. That alone has to be called an outstanding achievement. 

By Fred M. Wheeler

Homepage: Robert Vincs at MySpace
Homepage: Extreme Records

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