Spotlight: Peter Hammill / Gary Lucas – Other World
(Cherry Red Records 2014)
I have to start off by saying that I have heard of these musicians before, but are not an aficionado of either of their collective works. So opening the Peter Hammill / Gary Lucas – Other World CD and giving it a spin was my first real opportunity to hear not only one of these world renown musicians, but both collaborating on a really unique project. I was immediately engrossed and listened to it well over twenty times.
Funny, unaware of what kind of music to expect,Other World starts off with a folk music sound. So much so I told myself “I can't review this. What do I know about British Folk music?" The answer was nothing. By the end of the first song, it sounds like later day Pink Floyd minus Roger Water, including a strong vocal performance that opened my mind for the second offering entitled 'Some Kind Of Fracas'. The music sounds like early psychedelic with the lyrics and vocal performance hypnotizing.
'Other World', a musical collaboration between Peter Hammill / Gary Lucas, is where guitar-driven freestyle flowing music combines with robust singing of well written poetry, sounds, and various vocalizations presenting themselves in ways one can admire and think about. What I said to myself was the evolution of sound turned from British Folk to psychedelic, then ambient which then turned into Avant Garde. Other times simple structured melodic pieces that on a drop of a dime are at home alone and strikingly eerie. I don't want to pigeonhole, saying it's whatever type of music when it's really a variation of styles in which each musician is comfortable with, and capable of highlighting each others performance.
There are stand outs on this for me. 'Attar Of Roses' is one of them. For a few moments my ears are reminded of original guitarist for Yes, the late Peter Banks. 'Black Ice' contains sounds that brought back memories of guitarist Brian May (Queen). Other World, listened to as a collection of separate songs, but as one collective effort and played in the order in which the audio disc was presented, is a cool listening experience. I always find it a pleasure to get turned on to players that are dedicated to their craft.
Rating: I ended up with the new Peter Hammill / Gary Lucas – Other World CD because of my reputation for being a BIG ProgHead. Both of these long standing professional musicians have roots in the same circles I sometimes frequent. Whoever in PR Land that popped this in an envelope and sent it my way, knew based on my listening habits that I dig it. And I do. Yet another example of this is the eighth track on the Other World CD called 'Reboot'. When listening, my thoughts go to early Pink Floyd. A double album: part studio, part live, called Unmagumma (1969). 'Reboot' is worth the price of the CD alone. A very well done instrumental.
Using the one to five star rating system, Uncle G gives the new Peter Hammill / Gary Lucas – Other World studio project: 5 stars!! For me to bust it open knowing nothing about this collaboration, to having played it often for the past two weeks, it obviously has to be good. I recommend securing the CD, playing it on a real stereo, and experiencing it yourself. The music included in Other World varies in musical stylings. Enough so to keep you alert. A treat for music fans who enjoy keeping up with professional musicians, long established, with each having career’s and music catalogs that would impress anyone who found the time to dig in. Uncle G thinks Peter Hammill / Gary Lucus – Other World...something new and refreshing. What mattered most here is that my progressive rock mind, once the incoming signal came in, received its sounds, and just totally got off on what was heard.
Outstanding work Gentlemen. May we have another?
American Correspondent for Classic Rock Radio (Dot EU)