The Psychedelic Ensemble -
The Art Of Madness

(CD 2009, Musea MP 3100, 54:26)

The tracks:
  1- Prologue - Ecstasy(5:40)
  2- Panic(3:08)
  3- Fantasy(4:26)
  4- Dream(2:26)
  5- Delusion(4:18)
  6- Moon Mad(9:07)
  7- Despair(7:23)
  8- Apparition(4:01)
  9- Breakdown(5:24)
10- Sedation(3:32)
11- Revelation - Epilogue(7:03)

The Psychedelic Ensemble Website        samples        Musea

The Psychedelic Ensemble is a mysterious one man band that manufactured a very nice concept album with The Art Of Madness. It's mysterious because rumour has it that the musician behind the ensemble is a famous person who worked with many great bands of the seventies. It's very nice because The Art Of Madness has a Camel-feel both in the packaging and the song structures, while sounding a bit like Pink Floyd having the jazz fusion musicians from Soft Machine and keyboardist Dave Sinclair (Caravan) as guest musicians. It's a concept album because The Art Of Madness is, and I quote from the website: 'a 56-minute, continuous cycle of songs, each based on a different manifestation of madness. The music tells the story of an ordinary man who, without warning, experiences a psychotic Ecstasy. The protagonist sees in the sky tears that turn to a light in which a vision of a new art and music appears to him. His psychotic episodes prompt a course of creative output in which the protagonist reproduces his flights of madness in the form of art and music. The artist endures several psychotic experiences that manifest as Panic, Fantasy, Dream, Delusion, Moon Mad, Despair and Apparition. The artist then endures a Breakdown and Sedation. Finally, in a moment of Revelation, the artist apprehends that the burden of his madness is, in fact, a gift - the source of his exquisite creativity and artistic output. Rather than suffer his madness, the artist triumphantly embraces that which guides him through his extraordinary and distorted vision of the world.'

I don't have to elaborate on this, it's sufficient to say that the hour of wonderful music passes by in a flash while leaving a deeply satisfying feeling of memories to the wonderful seventies, the heyday of prog. It's nice to know that there are still musicians who burn a candle for those days.

**** André de Waal (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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