Lunar Dunes – Galaxsea

Lunar Dunes are my old acquaintances, as I had an opportunity to review their debut From Above (review here) and besides, we featured them on our first Progstravaganza compilation. After a four year break, these Brits have returned with a follow up to From Above, determined to expand their spacy psychedelia pursuit to become more receptive and yet at the same time, more enigmatic. Meanwhile, the band hasn’t been dawdling, playing live regularly and doing a big bunch of gigs at Club Dune culminating in two separate joint ventures with White Hills and the legendary Damo Suzuki.

After receiving pretty satisfactory feedback at the time From Above was released from some of the leading web/magazines such Classic Rock, Roadburn and Space Rock, a hunger for producing an album which would overcome the debut’s vigor was the band’s prime inspiration. As a result, the standard trio of Ian Blackaby (bass), Adam Blake (guitars) and Hamilton Lee (drums) joined forces once again with guests Julia Thornton (harp), Larry Wheelan (saxophones and keyboards) and Krupa (vocals and chaos pad) in another experimental exploration known as Galaxsea.

Unpredictability adorns Galaxsea. Bringing up new elements and mixing them with the band’s core elements pervades Lunar Dunes’ sophomore album as a mature and experienced recording. The improvisational segment has truly advanced to a higher level, the expression of employing electronics is obviously more emphasized than their spaciness

The mid-eastern/oriental motifs aren’t a new factor in Lunar Dunes’ approach, but in comparison with From Above this component is much more frequent. The certain factor is mainly achieved by Krupa’s vocal harmonizing and tracks which reflect this particular segment are Moon Bathing, Ayaz and Eastern Promise. The ambient drift is wriggling through the closing piece Off World Beacon, while clearly the most psychedelic rock oriented tune comes in the shape of Oh You Strange Tune and Pharaoh’s Dream. On a short route, Lunar Dunes flirt with free jazz improvisational patterns enriched by a distinct oriental flavor and ambience which doesn’t sound boring. For these reasons, the brand new Lunar Dunes album succeeded in justifying all expectations.

Tracklist:

1. Moon Bathing (5:03)
2. Oriental Pacific (5:09)
3. Oh You Strange Tune (4:41)
4. Pharaoh’s Dream (4:29)
5. Ayaz (4:51)
6. Svalbard (10:44)
7. Free To Do (8:24)
8. Eastern Promise (5:10)
9. Off World Beacon (7:25)

Line-up:

* Adam Blake – guitars
* Hamilton Lee – drums
* Ian Blackaby – bass
* Larry Whelan – saxophone, keyboards
* Krupa Pattni – vocals, kaoss pad
* Julia Thornton – harp (6,7,8,9)

Links:

http://www.myspace.com/lunardunes

Nikola Savić is a prog enthusiast, blogger and author, in addition to being the founder of Prog Sphere, Progify, ProgLyrics and the ongoing Progstravaganza compilation series.

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