What do you do when your partner loves a musical style which you don't play as a musician yourself that much. Well I guess you can always try to record an album on which this type of music can be heard. Well this might be what happened between Andy Tillison and his fiancÚ in a nutshell. The result he named Electric Sinfonia No. 2 and released it as Andy Tillison MULTIPLEX.
On a disc which lasts almost fifty minutes, Andy comes up with a musical style which at first could be described as jazz rock. However after I heard all of the five tracks, more styles certainly came to mind. Elements taken out of Canterbury music, fusion, classical music and progressive rock in a way can be heard as well. On all of the five Movements that are included on this release, Andy managed to create all of the music you hear by himself. Nobody else was needed to write or record Electric Sinfonia No. 2. When you hear all of the drums, guitars, brass, flutes, saxes, pianos, organs and synthesizers it's difficult to believe that only person was responsible for playing them. Well I have to tell you a little secret. Besides all of the synthesizer parts, as far as I know, all of the other instruments come out of the synthesizers as well. You could call them virtual instruments. In the booklet, the procedure and the selection of the appropriate instruments are described in detail. Furthermore, in the same booklet he also talks about the songs that are featured such as 2nd Movement: Andante (For Dorothy) which was dedicated to his mother who taught him to play the piano when he was six years old. When you hear the five tracks, or Movements, you can't deny that they have a clear band feeling. If you do not know, you would not believe that here operates a lone warrior. Everything sounds fresh, happy, not artificial in any way or sterile. The more rock adaptation of classical music is rather entertaining and each track is of a very high calibre. Sure you can tell that the music of The Tangent shines through on a lot of composition-the band which he (most of the time) uses as a vehicle to show the outside world his music. But I didn't care at all, because all that matters is that the songs sound great, although most of them are instrumentals, except for 3rd Movement: Ostinato (Shown) on which Andy sings and speaks. Tillison manages to keep the music always interesting. There's never a dull or boring moment!
I am very much aware of the fact that the sometimes jazzy kind of music is not everyone's cup of tea. On the other hand, those who enjoy the music which Andy released with The Tangent will find enough musical meeting points to cherish this album as well. As for myself as a lover of jazz rock and related styles and above all a fan of The Tangent, I did dig this album all the way! I can only complement the way this great musician did everything on his own and made Electric Sinfonia No. 2 sound like a band effort!
**** Henri Strik (edited by Robert James Pashman)
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