Recently this album was recommended to me by a Dutch proghead, and I took the opportunity to listen to it on the internet, I was blown away! Because I like to support new and unknown bands I decided to buy the debut album of Telegraph. Telegraph is a four piece band that hails from Israel, their history started almost a decade ago, unfortunately the musical plans didn't work out and the band disbanded. But three years ago Telegraph decided to give it another try, with a slightly changed line-up, making music between Classic Prog and space rock. Now things started to roll: in 2017 Telegraph finished the recordings of their debut album, in 2018 it was released as Mir, a concept album about the journey of cosmonaut and mechanical engineer Sergei Krikalev. He stayed at the Soviet space station for 803 days, with a changing crew. This was almost 6 months longer than planned, due to the collapse of the communist regime in 1991. But Telegraph emphasizes that “it's more about feeling, than being an historic document”. According to the band “Camel is a big influence but also classical music, and other bands like Genesis, Yes, King Crimson, Anglagard and Pink Floyd”. Telegraph their debut album got a lot of appreciation in Israel, and also in Japan, Germany, The Netherlands Canada and the USA. At this moment Telegraph is in the middle of working on their new album.
Mir 0-1 (06:02 ) : The album starts with emphasizing the subject, the voice of the astronaut and spacey sound effects. Then a slow rhythm featuring sensitive Latimer inspired guitar work, supported by Mellotron strings, wonderful, back to the unsurpassed Seventies Classic Prog sound! The second part delivers moving electric guitar and pleasant Moog synthesizer flights, tastefully blended with acoustic guitar, vibraphone and Fender Rhodes electric piano.
Initiation (08:18) : What a variety, from catchy mid-tempo beats to mellow climates and dynamic outbursts, embellished with powerful Peter Bardens-like Hammond organ (Lady Fantasy sound) and excellent work on the guitar, from fiery runs to powerful slide guitar. The English vocals sound decent but lack a bit expression.
Gravity (08:57) : First dreamy with soft vocals, spacey sounds and pleasant Mellotron drops, then gradually a melancholic atmosphere, very compelling and elaborate. And with a variety of instruments, blended very subtle, from sensitive slide guitar and lush Moog flights to soaring flute, culminating in a wonderful part with tender piano and moving guitar, great interplay! The warm outro delivers twanging acoustic guitars, in the vein of early Genesis.
Out There (08:52) : The intro features fragile electric guitar runs, followed by an acceleration with floods of Hammond organ and a strong bass sound. Then the music alternates between mid-tempo and dreamy, with moving electric guitar and fat Moog flights, the sound evokes Camel and Pink Floyd, what a fine tribute.
Claustrophobia (04:14) : After a spacey intro with the voices of the astronauts, the music turns into a powerful and catchy beat featuring propulsive guitar riffs, sumptuous organ, fat Moog runs and again wonderful, very sensitive electric guitar soli. The outro evokes early Genesis with twanging acoustic guitars and soaring flute.
Remote control (14:51) : The album concludes with an epic composition that sounds very varied, with elements of Camel, Pink Floyd and Eloy. But also with lots of strong own musical ideas, especially the way Telegraph blends a wide range of instruments into the music in a very subtle and refined way: Fender Rhodes electric piano, Mini Moog flights, mellow organ drops, powerful Hammond organ and strong electric guitar that shifts from fragile and use of the volume pedal to sensitive, in the vein of Latimer his moving sound. The vocal part reminds me of Frank Bornemann of Eloy. Halfway a strong build-up, culminating in strong interplay between electric guitar and Hammond organ, supported by a dynamic rhythm-section, wow! The final part delivers a fade away with soft organ, fragile electric guitar runs and spacey sounds, simply beautiful.
If you are up to the Seventies sound of Camel, Pink Floyd and Genesis or Camel inspired bands like French Rousseau and Dutch Odyssice, I am sure this album will please you!
**** Erik Neuteboom (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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