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CD Feature/ The Sword Volcano Complex: "Phosphorescent"

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There once was a poem, words hovering over an undulating ocean of sound, shifting around like the meaning they carry in a mindset long forlorn… Yes, I could see and hear the honeybees arriving… tasting the sweetness of nature… sweetness…

Bruce LaFountain and The Sword Volcano Complex is a must-hear! No less! The title of this  album couldn’t have been chosen any better. What gets phosphorescent, shining and see-through is the relationship between nature and, oh yes, what we call the “civilized world”. Bruce and his many co-musicians, his co-creators and friends succeed in showing two worlds, coexisting on one planet. Seemingly so far apart, and yet closely interconnected…

On ‘The Other Side of the World’, especially, we hear the recurring harmonies, bound into the steady rhythm of  percussion. The human voice is coming to us as though transformed by a short-wave transmission. Technically transformed expression, technically transformed nature… spiked with radio sounds.

This is a sharp contrast to the sounds of aggressive wolves, thunderstorms and other close reminders of nature, as it (still) is, which dominates the first part of the album. As the poem tells us in ‘The Better Angels of our Nature’: Nature comes back on you…!
Well, we all should probably never forget, that even living in a so-called civilized world can not release us from nature… even if we use all the technical equipment, which surrounds, us and take it for granted. (Including those of many musicians!)
And I sense that there is a strong feeling of sadness in the songs describing nature… the ‘Falling Cat’, ‘when will you ever learn’. And the almost hopeless desperation culminating in words like ‘if only I had a dream’ at the same time underlinded by the sad howling of the wind, the sounds of far away wolves and lonely footsteps.

‘Knocking on Heavens Door’ is just amazing. I was reminded of the sounds of a Tibetian monastery with transcendent sounds, voices out of nowhere, seemingly instrument-like, carrying loads of emotions. But it remains a mere knock on the gate of heaven, it will not be opened. It remains shut. Conclusion: We have to find a solution elsewhere, in reality. No such thing as a heavenly way out.
Confronting the issue of nature and what mankind has turned our world into is the main theme. Reminded by a tiger’s scary growl on ‘Tiger’s Milk’ as well as the steady rocking power of ‘Hypnotical (Live)’.

So it is an experience to listen to ‘Phosphorescent’. Listen to it, is my advice, listen to it again and again. Every time you do, a little bit of a new insight is given to you. This work is a definite recommendation. To use the words of the last piece of this CD: ‘All good things must come to an end!’ Unfortunately!

By Fred Wheeler

Homepage: The Sword Volcano Complex
Homepage: Triumvirate

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