Album Review: Psychic Equalizer – The Lonely Traveller

Hugo Selles

Psychic Equalizer is a Copenhagen-based project of pianist and musician Hugo Selles, who in January returned with a brand new release, an album entitled The Lonely Traveller. According to the musician himself, “The Lonely Traveller‘ tells the story of the journey from adolescence to adulthood; a time of becoming more conscious about the surrounding world.”

Psychic Equalizer is a very musically interesting band. The Lonely Traveller makes me think of Miles Davis In a Silent Way because of its “quiet intensity.” Miles Davis‘ album has a sort of divine subtlety to it that belies its incredible complexity. It’s a rhythmic masterpiece of delicate complexity. The Lonely Traveller is similar in this way, but not musically. It achieves this same wonderful feeling via completely different methods, and this leads me to believe it was unintentional. That said, the fact that they achieved it at all is wonderful, in my eyes.

TLT

The quiet intensity on The Lonely Traveller comes from the juxtaposition of Hugo’s grand piano over the driving beat of the rhythm section. To complete the sound, we have the incredibly spacey guitars. The best example of this that I can think of is their track “An Ocean of Changes (I-IV).” The music is composed so subtly that it manages to build to a thundering crescendo without the listener even realizing it. Once you finally get it, waves of sound are crashing over you and suddenly fall down again to begin the next track. I also love that there are parts of the album that deviate strongly from this, such as the experimental parts of “Lagrimas,” which includes a strings section and a vocal part sang by India Hooi, and the energetic Pink Floyd-inspired finale, “Nørrebro.” This helps to ensure it doesn’t get monotonous, which is a good thing.

Musically I wouldn’t call this pure jazz, but spiritually and aesthetically it couldn’t be jazzier. It has jazz’s unpretentious “coolness” seeping throughout, just welcoming you in. It’s very spacy in a way though, somewhat like the various forms of progressive rock.

Tracklist:

1. Mezuz 06:18
2. An Ocean Of Changes (I-IV) 06:33
3. The Lonely Traveller 00:53
4. Lágrimas 03:37
5. Adrift 02:39
6. Peña Labra 02:35
7. Flying Over The Caucasus 03:34
8. Lovers Meet 06:44
9. A Collection Of Marbles 03:53
10. An Ocean Of Changes (V-VI) 02:20
11. A Visit To Adelaide 05:11
12. Nørrebro 02:48

Links:

hugoselles.com

Bandcamp

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