Camp Motorpsycho » General

The All Is One - reviews

(48 posts)
  1. Wulf
    Member

    eclat-mag.de review

    Translation into English from German by deepl:

    Motorpsycho
    The All Is One

    Highlights: N.O.X. II: Ouroboros (Strange Loop) // Dreams Of Fancy
    Genre: Progrock // Psychedelic // Jazz
    Sounds Like: Dungen // Jaga Jazzist // Black Mountain

    By Benjamin Köhler

    3/5

    Okay, after 30 years of band history and over 20 albums, what do you still want to write about Motorpsycho? Maybe we start with the hard facts about the new album: "The All Is One" is the final part of an unofficial trilogy called "Gullvåg" after "The Tower" and "The Crucible". The new record has a playing time of 84 minutes and the central part is the 45(!)-minute monumental piece "N.O.X.", consisting of five tracks. All songs were recorded last year between September and November, which is hard to grasp given the sheer length and complexity.

    All in all, it sounds like a heavy chunk and is one, too - not surprisingly. And that's exactly the crux of the latest Motorpsycho output. You reckon with overflowing and intricate material and then you get exactly that. This may be satisfying for the fan, but it also eliminates the surprise effect. That sounds incredibly paradoxical in view of an epic jam like "N.O.X.". After all, something unforeseen happens here every minute. But that's exactly the point: The unexpected has become expectable. In this respect, Motorpsycho have outmaneuvered themselves a bit. It's a bit unfair to criticize the Norwegians like this, after all the band is still more creatively on the road after all these years than 99% of the rest of the music scene and furthermore has a work ethic that is second to none. Therefore "The All Is One" of course deserves a sober album review.

    "N.O.X." is the central star of the record and Motorpsycho really do have everything in their extensive repertoire: Freejazz passages, epic sound surfaces, strings, synthesizers in full ecstasy, even choirs join in this (controlled?) madness. It is perhaps the piece of the discography so far which comes closest to a live experience of Motorpsycho. The song monolith is framed by the remaining tracks of the record.

    The title track is the beginning and at the same time almost the blueprint of a typical song of the trio from Trondheim - a catchy basic melody, which is decorated with all kinds of bridges and solos. Somewhat more reduced are "The Same Old Rock (One Must Imagine Sisyphus)" and "The Magpie" in the following. Two almost straight rock songs. But they can also write Motorpsycho. If they want. With the soft acoustic ballad "Delusion (The Reign Of Humbug)", it then goes over to the heavyweight with the three letters.

    Anyone who still has some air left after that can look forward to the strongest song on the album, "Dreams Of Fancy". Hans Magnus Ryan unpacks here once again an inimitable riff, which is wonderfully underlined by strings. The final track "Like Chrome" is similarly successful, which leads "The All Is One" to a worthy end. But what does end mean with Motorpsycho? Probably the band is already sitting in the studio again at this moment and is preparing at least the next three records. Maybe they will manage to surprise a little bit more then again.

    Posted 3 weeks ago #
  2. Wulf
    Member

    bluestownmusic.nl review

    Translation into english from dutch by deepl:

    Motorpsycho – The All Is One
    Format: CD – LP – Digital / Label: Stickman Records – Rune Grammophon
    Release: 2020

    Text: Paul Op den Kamp

    As of today (August 28th) the new album of Motorpsycho is in the store. It was actually the intention to release the album in the spring. But also for the Norwegian band Covid-19 meant a total revolution in planning. A few more months but now 'The All Is One' can be shown to the world.

    Somewhere ironic how much the musical content fits the messy days of today. The blistering whirlpool of rock, jazz and post-rock as the imagination for the unrest and resistance that lives in society. Precisely at the moment when there is more resistance against the various measures that governments have proclaimed to curb the virus, an album is the musical interpretation.

    Or as the band writes on their website: 'These songs have no thematic through-line, but they all sort of fit into the conceptual continuity that our last few albums seem to have been a part of. They all seem to have dealt with living in a much more polarized society than before, and with the loss of faith in democracy and in civic institutions that the countries of the world all seem to be going through'.

    For anyone who just wants to disappear into music for a while in order to enjoy some thematic content, it's great to get lost. In the different layers you can see various influences. The Gothic of The Cure, Joy Division of Siouxsie and The Banshees. The psychedelic confusion of Pink Floyd. In one way or another, the way the songs always fan out to a different atmosphere also reminds of Mike Oldfield.

    Intentional or unintentional, the album accompanies these days of virus, election and confusion. In any case, it is a very strong soundtrack. One of those albums that already deserves a place in the year-end lists.

    Posted 3 weeks ago #
  3. Wulf
    Member

    progwereld.nl review

    Translated into english from dutch by deepl:

    August 25, 2020 by Luke Peerdeman

    Where are today's bands venturing into imperfect, boisterous works that make their way into the unknown? Does every artist prefer the small to the big? Is all music today screened with perfect practice? No, fortunately the answer is yes. There is still that Norwegian name that once again comes up with a grand, searching record.

    After all, if a band has delivered explorative music over the past three decades, it is Motorpsycho. Although the guys on their debut album mainly made metal, genres like prog, post and psychedelic rock have become an increasingly important part of the sound. The fusion of these elements almost resembles alchemy. It is therefore not surprising that this proto-scientific theory turns out to be a thematic inspiration. In short, alchemy assumes that elements can mutate into other (purer) elements and in a similar way Motorpsycho combines the exuberance of the 70's and the rawness of the 90's to an ultimate adventurousness. After all, floating, pushing arrangements are given several minutes to sound increasingly immense. With some turbulence we tear ourselves to a point beyond the horizon.

    It should come as no surprise that the heart of this album is formed by a long epic: the over forty minutes long N.O.X. This time, however, the song is more psychedelic and hypnotic of nature, which resembles a rougher Hawkwind. Moreover, the five-part epic seems to have an almost fractal structure: they are circles, within circles, within circles. In this way, Circles Around The Sun opens with a spinning bass melody in which the tones become more and more out of tune. This melody eventually transforms into a drunken diagonal march. On Ouroboros (Strange Loop) we again find a rhythmic whirlpool, in which the melodies are almost funky this time. The conclusion is stately and ecstatic. After a relatively short transition we arrive at the 15 minute climax: Night Of Pan. The tuning is initially restrained - almost whispering even - after which a Nils Frahm-like organ part slumbers in and the bass guitar continues the tension unabated. Guitars growl dangerously. Then a delightful, infinitely touching build-up begins. More and more we lose ourselves in the unknown. Tempestuous, restless tones make the listener yearn for salvation. Although the band, out of barbarism, throws open the song with jazzy keyboards, the bass keeps tightening the thumbscrews. The return to Circles Around The Sun emphasises that the immense build-up has only resulted in a circle around the audio church. No problem! When the music is so good, I start again with love.

    Besides this epic, the band also offers some pleasant short(er) compositions. Opening song The All Is One is a pleasant doormat for this record. A nice rousing rhythm and a summery arrangement grab the attention. The screeching guitars and explosive drums provide excitement and on top of that, the Mellotron fans out beautifully. The Magpie then has a hushed beginning that flows into folky guitar plucking. A frivolous melody, however, accelerates the pace, which gives the warm tones a spice and makes the song feel blissful. Finally, Dreams Of Fancy contains pastoral Mellotron parts that move dreamily. Here, too, the tempo goes up, although the build-up meanders, making this composition an appealing resting point.

    All in all, "The All is One" contains raw yet exuberant music. Compared to its predecessors, this record is less heavy. The rhythms are looser, the arrangements sunnier and the sounds more psychedelic. The album is nevertheless a logical successor to The "Crucible" and "The Tower". On the one hand this is positive, but on the other hand the surprise seems to go off a bit. However, this little critique doesn't hurt much, as these musicians consistently deliver quality and the music remains like a house.

    Like good alchemists, these gentlemen still turn heavy metals into gold. Although the somewhat rough style seems to have lost its shine, this does not detract from the fact that every song convinces. Pleasant melodies and exuberant arrangements search the limelight again. The result may be called one of the highlights of 2020.

    Posted 3 weeks ago #
  4. WearingYrSmell89
    Member

    Review by Massimo Quarti from Impatto Sonoro, translated by Google Translate

    The Motorpsycho train never slows down and within three years it completes the Gullvåg trilogy in which our favorite Scandinavian band uses artist Håkon Gullvåg for the visual part and this time, the cover was created by the artist expressively for the 'album. After “The Tower” and “The Crucible”, respectively of 2017 and 2019, we come to the third chapter with “The All Is One” conceived in two sessions together with members of the Jaga Jazzist and some of the band's favorite Norwegian musicians.

    After this orthodox introduction, let's face it: we will no longer have albums like "Timothy's" Monster "or" Trust Us ", but the beauty of following Motorspycho is just that and much more; I will try to explain it in this short article.

    Progressive rock has never really touched my strings, apart from a few Mothers albums, but it's dated stuff, in which references to the years in which it was produced are too evident, with all the admiration for the absolute genius of Zappa . But what differs with Motorpsycho is that Norwegians are one of those rare bands that bring together hardened listeners of different genres, they manage to do the same miracle that Ramones or Motörhead did, in that case, with punks and metalheads, here we agree between alternative and prog rock and more. And they manage, from some albums to this part, to produce pieces that will be identical in thirty years or more as they manage to blend that alt rock vein with which they grew up and some progressive inspirations of the past without being obsolete even in a riff.

    Motorpsycho themselves say so: in the end you will do what you want with this record, it depends on how far you want to go, because "The All Is One" takes its cue from esoteric readings, is full of mythological references, and ideas imaginative from the ancient schools of Tarot and you immediately feel in the title track the desire to differentiate earth and sky, humanity from bestiality, The All Is One, however, is not the highest point of creativity of the album in fact it is a little down in the dumps , let's say that the beginning of the album starts a little weak. Apart from that, talking about a single piece and giving it a judgment is hard, given the countless nuances, in fact it picks up again in the middle and has memorable melodic peaks as well as Magnus' solo right there to those, perhaps a little canonical, 3/4 from the end, where you expect it; but Sæther's (melodic) draft, worthy of the largest and most hypnotic sonic evolution remaining in the earthly times of a song-form, we find it in The Magpie, perhaps the most enjoyable piece of the album preceded by The Same Old Rock (One Must Imagine Sisyphus Happy) that seems to come out of the unforgettable “Black Hole / Black Canvas”.

    Delusion (The Reign Of Humbug), a light and dreamy ballad, finally introduces us to the long central section of suites entitled N.O.X. (I, II, III, IV and V), I don't know how long it took me to listen to them all, maybe a whole morning, maybe two days, in short, I can tell you that during that experience time stopped. The Motorpsycho got rid of the cumbersome presence that prevents the flow of events, which was that of cataloging, without leading to the improbable but always keeping in mind a human point of view, which looks to infinity and sees an expression of profound intelligence. , of infinite sweetness and, even if we are unable to get to the bottom of the initiatory meanings of "The All is One", it deserves our veneration, because it is something very distant from the usual disc usable by us listeners of rock, punk rock, garage, experimental (seriously?), pop, indie etc.

    "The All Is One" is a work that has culture behind it, the authentic one, the one for which an artist is not enough to know how to play and have a particular sensitivity and write down a piece, here it is about art with a wealth of knowledge huge, years of study, of reading, of lives devoted to the search for sound. Sæther and Magnus are to be considered "auctor", they are like philosophers, poets and classical composers, that is, they perform an example and testimony function, their music is at the origin, and "produces, increases, integrates, expands, strengthens , completes the insufficient will or personality of another. Provided that "the other" has the strength to learn since I, for example, like all of you, am part of a fast culture, which does not want the explanation of an auctor when listening to a CD but something lighter, ours The problem is that we want to talk about music without knowing it, without knowing what an improvisation is (does the title Ascension remind you of something?) or what music is, then having the arrogance to say the exact opposite. And so we end up creating a "fake culture". We call it "counterculture" but it is not against a shit, it is simply fake, it does not have the shadow of a serious study or research behind it, it is supported by people who are not legitimized to make it grow as true and it does not have the balls to evolve . For this reason then at 40 we move on to something else. With "The All Is One" we have the opportunity to fortify ourselves, to improve ourselves.

    Posted 3 weeks ago #
  5. fillmore
    Member

    Neolyd - "If you'll buy only one guitar album this year you won't have to wait any longer."

    Posted 3 weeks ago #
  6. Punj Lizard
    Member

    Fast n Bulbous review

    Posted 3 weeks ago #
  7. Punj Lizard
    Member

    Sputnik Music review

    Posted 3 weeks ago #
  8. Wulf
    Member

    zwaremetalen.com review

    Translation into english from dutch by deepl:

    Motorpsycho - The All Is One

    Written by Dypfrys on 28-08-2020 at 18:50.

    Motorpsycho has album twenty-two on offer. The All Is One is the last part of the "Gullvåg Trilogy", which includes The Tower and The Crucible. Motorpsycho is an unpredictable band, that's the only predictable one. The psychedelic fusion extends over a wide musical landscape. The album comes out as a double LP/CD. Considering the playing time of 84 minutes, that's no wonder. Actually, the album consists of two separate albums, one of which is placed in the middle of the other in the playlist. The middle part is called N.O.X., which is Latin for night.

    I'm quite a fan of The Death Defying Unicorn myself, but we don't hear much of the heavy scandipsych/stoner on that album here. On the outer part of the album I mainly hear Blissard, with quite witty songs in a psychedelic atmosphere. Effectiveness comes first, and in that you also hear more modern work like The Motorpnakotic Fragments. Calm, direct songs like Dreams of Fancy and The Same Old Rock (One Must Imagine Sisyphus Happy), which seem to flirt with country singer-songwriters and a band like The Eagles, turn out to be songs full of character. The vocals are well known by now, but sometimes hang a bit towards the somewhat irritating nasal American accent. When the country takes the upper hand, I think that's an advantage. On Delusion (The Reign of Humbug) you hear a lot of consonants (the 's' and 't'), which because of the condenser microphone emphasizes a bit too much. The minimal magical tones are reminiscent of Kayak, especially in combination with the cautious vocals. A lot of 70's rock in the style of Blue Öyster Cult can also be heard, and the almost spiritual guitar licks and the cymbal-rich drumming make things float. The delicacy and vocal/fuzzy outbursts shoot past each other. The All is One, The Magpie and Like Chrome represent the heavier side of this piece.

    In the middle of this album, full of songs with the consolidated Motorpsycho sound, N.O.X. is shining. An (almost) instrumental Zappian piece full of jazzy jams and spacing fusion. Motorpsycho is known for his experimentalism, but this is a bridge further. Lars Horntveth (bandleader of JagaJazzist) and Ola Kverberg, a jazz violinist, have drummed up to come and help. For a one-off performance these musicians and Motorpsycho met each other. The collaboration was so good that it would come to this album. For almost forty minutes the band jams the stars of heaven. N.O.X. III Ascension is a highlight with spacey post-rock, a runaway saxophone amidst resonating harmonics and minimal ride-attacks. The initial spacey keyboard bleep behind it completes the atmosphere. The placement in the tracklist is magnificent, just after the festive schizophrenic N.O.X. II - Ouroboros (Strange Loop), and then all of a sudden that hovering peace... What a transition, and what an atmosphere! Awesome. Also the eclectic and dynamic N.O.X. IV Night of Pan knows how to fascinate. Reine Fiske can still show up here, like he did before in 2013 and 2014, to touch the guitar. Here the music is ritual and religious, and always ends in nightly dreams/nightmares. Grab the echoing vocals and you've got the recipe for waking up bathed in sweat.

    I won't do it to you to dissect all the songs. That would be madness besides. It's 80 minutes asking to be played over and over again. For me personally the experimental N.O.X. middle piece was a very pleasant experience. The band reinvents itself with it. In a way which is very different, yet very individual. The other forty minutes have more the character of a focused album, that typically brings everything from Motorpsycho together. The song structures are more effective there. The result is that the songs are easier to grasp. Actually there are three parts to discover here: the heavy stoner work, the lighter country work, and the spacing jam work. All three times the band knows how to keep on captivating, with delicate string work and extraordinarily precise, sensitive drumming. That combination of fantastic instrument control, the variety and artistic freedom makes The All Is One yet another masterpiece.

    Score:

    85/100

    Posted 3 weeks ago #
  9. Krist Rampage
    Member

    Impatto Sonoro (IT) review

    Traslated with Google Translate:

    The Motorpsycho train never slows down and within three years completes the Gullvåg trilogy in which our favorite Scandinavian band uses artist Håkon Gullvåg for the visual part and this time, the cover was created by the artist expressively for the 'album. After “The Tower” and “The Crucible”, from 2017 and 2019 respectively, we come to the third chapter with “The All Is One” conceived in two sessions together with members of the Jaga Jazzist and some of the band's favorite Norwegian musicians.

    After this orthodox introduction, let's face it: we will no longer have albums like "Timothy's" Monster "or" Trust Us ", but the beauty of following Motorspycho is just that and much more; I will try to explain it in this short article.

    Progressive rock has never really touched my strings, apart from a few Mothers albums, but it's dated stuff, in which references to the years in which it was produced are too evident, with all the admiration for the absolute genius of Zappa . But what differs with Motorpsycho is that Norwegians are one of those rare bands that bring together hardened listeners of different genres, they manage to do the same miracle that Ramones or Motörhead did, in that case, with punks and metalheads, here we agree between alternative and prog rock and more. And they manage, from some albums now, to produce pieces that will be identical in thirty years or more as they manage to blend that alt rock vein with which they grew up and some progressive inspirations of the past without being obsolete even in a riff.

    Motorpsycho themselves say so: in the end you will do what you want with this record, it depends on how far you want to go, because "The All Is One" takes its cue from esoteric readings, is full of mythological references, and ideas imaginative from the ancient schools of Tarot and you immediately feel in the title track the desire to differentiate earth and sky, humanity from bestiality, The All Is One, however, is not the highest point of creativity of the album in fact it is a little down in the dumps , let's say that the beginning of the album starts a little weak. Apart from that, talking about a single piece and giving it a judgment is hard, given the countless nuances, in fact it picks up again in the middle and has memorable melodic peaks as well as Magnus' solo right there to those, perhaps a little canonical, 3/4 from the end, where you expect it; but the (melodic) draft of Sæther, worthy of the largest and most hypnotic sonic evolution remaining in the earthly times of a song-form, we find it in The Magpie, perhaps the most enjoyable piece of the album preceded by The Same Old Rock (One Must Imagine Sisyphus Happy) that seems to come out of the unforgettable “Black Hole / Black Canvas”.

    Delusion (The Reign Of Humbug), a light and dreamy ballad, finally introduces us to the long central section of suites entitled N.O.X. (I, II, III, IV and V), I don't know how long it took me to listen to them all, maybe a whole morning, maybe two days, in short, I can tell you that during that experience time stopped. The Motorpsycho got rid of the cumbersome presence that prevents the flow of events, which was that of cataloging, without leading to the improbable but always keeping in mind a human point of view, which looks to infinity and sees an expression of profound intelligence. , of infinite sweetness and, even if we are unable to get to the bottom of the initiatory meanings of "The All is One", it deserves our veneration, because it is something very distant from the usual disc usable by us listeners of rock, punk rock, garage, experimental (seriously?), pop, indie etc.

    "The All Is One" is a work that has culture behind it, the authentic one, the one for which an artist is not enough to know how to play and have a particular sensitivity and write down a piece, here it is about art with a wealth of knowledge huge, years of study, of reading, of lives devoted to the search for sound. Sæther and Magnus are to be considered "auctor", they are like philosophers, poets and classical composers, that is, they perform a function of example and testimony, their music is at the origin, and "produces, increases, integrates, expands, strengthens , completes the insufficient will or personality of another. Provided that "the other" has the strength to learn since I, for example, like all of you, am part of a fast culture, which does not want the explanation of an auctor when listening to a CD but something lighter, ours The problem is that we want to talk about music without knowing it, without knowing what an improvisation is (does the title Ascension remind you of something?) or what music is, then having the arrogance to say the exact opposite. And so we end up creating a "fake culture". We call it "counterculture" but it is not against a shit, it is simply fake, it does not have the shadow of a serious study or research behind it, it is supported by people who are not legitimized to make it grow as true and it does not have the balls to evolve . For this reason then at 40 we move on to something else. With "The All Is One" we have the opportunity to fortify ourselves, to improve ourselves.

    So many raving reviews. Incredible.

    Posted 3 weeks ago #
  10. the conscience
    Member

    short review in german

    https://romaniacsmonster.blogspot.com/2020/08/n-o-x-circles-around-sun-pt-1.html

    translated with google translate

    N. O. X. (CIRCLES AROUND THE SUN PT 1) - MOTORPSYCHO

    Not only the writing psychonaut has asked himself what kind of meaning his life has, what is it about the universe and all the rest. Other, bigger thinkers than him, had already dealt with it long before him, tried everything possible, finally built a supercomputer and fed it with the questions mentioned at the beginning. After seven and a half million years and a few squashed ones, it finally spat out the result in August 2020. The answer is "N. O. X. ”, lasts 42 minutes and simply explains everything.

    Posted 3 weeks ago #
  11. Punj Lizard
    Member

    Oh that made me laugh.

    Posted 3 weeks ago #
  12. GBD
    Member

    6/6 in VG

    Posted 3 weeks ago #
  13. mikke
    Member

    Nice review

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  14. Valderrama
    Member

    Two reviews in Dutch:

    NRC

    Volkskrant

    Posted 1 week ago #
  15. Punj Lizard
    Member

    Just one review on ProgArchives to date, but the album has a very healthy overall rating of 4.13, placing it in the ProgArchives top ten for 2020 albums so far.

    ProgArchives - The All Is One

    The rating of 4.13 also places The All Is One second among all Motorpsycho studio albums. Seven MP albums have an overall rating of 4.00 or more.

    The Death Defying Unicorn 4.18
    The All Is One 4.13
    In The Fishtank 4.12
    Trust Us 4.08
    Phanerothyme 4.03
    Behind The Sun 4.00
    The Tower 4.00

    Posted 1 week ago #
  16. Punj Lizard
    Member

    Nice little article-cum-review in the Italian edition of Rolling Stone. The article is written by Andrea Scarfone of psych band Julie's Haircut.

    Rolling Stone Italy

    Trasnlated From the Italian into English by Google:

    If you listen to Motorpsycho you immediately become a fan

    On the occasion of the release of the new album 'The All Is One', we asked Andrea Scarfone of Julie's Haircut to talk about the charm of the Norwegian band. There are impeccable concerts, perfectionism, interplay
    By Andrea Scarfone

    Not more than a month ago I discovered an electronic music disc released in a few copies in 1986 in my city, Reggio Emilia, by what would become one of the most famous Italian entrepreneurs, Luigi Maramotti, patron of Max Mara. The disc is titled Knot Music - Music for distracted listening. Well, given the current use of music, perhaps that of Maramotti was a far-sighted provocation that gave me a perfect interpretation not only for the new work of Motorpsycho The All Is One, but more generally for the decades-long production music of the Norwegian band: Motorpsycho have never made music for distracted listening.

    I guiltily admit that my first listen of The All Is One was rather distracted. I did not immediately grasp the caliber of the work, which emerged in all its glory after listening to it with the right attention. The latest part of a trilogy that began in 2017 with The Tower and continued in 2019 with The Crucible, The All Is One is basically divided into two parts. All the songs, head and tail of the disc, were recorded in France, while the monolithic five-part suite, the heart of the work, comes from a session recorded later in Norway. For the first time in many years I have found a band capable of ranging with credibility between genres in a coherent work. The All Is One is a long journey that deserves to be consumed in its entirety without interruption.

    I had high expectations for this release. As a longtime fan I was constantly waiting for a turnaround after the change of direction following the separation from longtime drummer Håkon Gebhardt. As a musician I know how important and how much weight the drummer's style is in the economy of a band. After Håkon, who helped to compose some of their fundamental records (Let Them Eat Cake, Trust Us, Timothy's Monster to name a few) the drums chapter became a problem for the Norwegians, which was partially solved with the entry of Kenneth Kapstad, leading the band between 2008 and 2016 in what for many listeners was an excessively prog period, with technically exceptional compositions, but often of lesser emotional appeal.

    In 2017 the arrival of Tomas Järmyr (already behind the drums with our compatriots Zu) shifted the balance again in a direction that I think is more congenial to longtime fans, bringing back to the line-up a stylistically more versatile drumming than on the one hand led them towards new sounds, but on the other hand it inevitably allowed that type of heterogeneous composition that characterized the band in the 90s, capable of ranging from folk to prog / psychedelic rides, for the happiness of those who, like me, of music is omnivorous. The signs that something was happening I had during the last concert I attended at the Locomotiv in Bologna with a band in a state of grace as I have not seen and heard for some time (thanks also to the extraordinary Reine Fiske on guitar, now permanent employee).

    I've been following Motorpsycho since their third album Demon Box in 1993, but I didn't see them live until May 15th 1998 at the Maffia Club, for the tour of what is considered one of their masterpieces, Trust Us. Seeing them live was a shock and I think I have lost very few of them since that concert, in their usual Italian passages, having now about twenty live shows in a 22-year period. In recent years I have been able to collect about 65 vinyls and CDs, almost all of their production, I met them in person (with one of them I also shared the stage) and last year I visited their city. (Trondheim). Motorpsycho are not a particularly well-known band outside a certain circuit of fans, even if in Italy there is a particularly loyal and present fan base of “psychonauts”. As a musician and lover of a certain approach linked to improvisation and free interplay with other musicians during their concerts, I have always wondered how they could be so cohesive and effective during jams, the true focus of performances. I found some answers to my questions by watching their DVD Haircuts which in two discs contains an integral live, captured in the period in my opinion most interesting, as well as a number of documents of daily life that explain how for them playing is a great passion. , but also a job. A job that they love a lot and that pushes them to try for hours, almost daily.

    The geographic location of their city, a splendid place, but where it is very likely not easy to live especially in winter, helps them in this sense. Years ago, during a long chat with Gebhardt, a detail emerged that further confirmed their level of perfectionism. Håkon told me that they often found themselves arguing after the concerts about details that they did not consider successful about the performance just ended. Details that as a spectator, wanting even more attention to certain subtleties as a musician, never jumped to my ear, always considering them impeccable and capable of taking the public on board their spaceship, often and willingly even for concerts that exceeded three hours.

    For some years now there has been a Dutch roadie at their side, a kind of Gandalf of valves named Tös. He comes from hardcore and currently plays as a musician in the well-known metal drone band Sunn O))). I told him how much I felt the Grateful Dead present in the Motorpsycho attitude and he almost took offense at the comparison, telling me there was nothing similar to those "American freaks". I cannot explain exactly what is in their formula, what is the ingredient capable of transforming their listeners into true followers. Most of their audience is made up of loyalists, a bit like the Deadheads, fans of the Grateful Dead, a group that, with all due respect to Tös, is certainly very close to Motorpsycho in terms of setting. Unlike the Dead, the three Norwegians, however, were able to musically range so much to satisfy all listeners, including the most radical ones like Tös.

    For a novice listener it is not easy to approach the band in 2020, having to extricate themselves from a truly extensive and varied discography. For this reason, I created a playlist on Spotify that collects my favorite songs and draws from all their records, the result of thirty years of career: you can find it here. For those who want to get an idea of ​​their potential live, I recommend this Vimeo channel [Bernie's Basement] which contains some very interesting live shows.

    Posted 6 days ago #
  17. Wulf
    Member

    "The All is One" is 80 minutes of pure madness.

    Review from Mischa Castiglioni in Artnoir Musik Magazin.

    Translation from German to English by deepl:

    Motorpsycho have done it again. And how. They have created an album that is more than just individual songs, it is a work of art in itself. The three Norwegians from Trondheim manage again and again to give a little bit more, to become a little bit more perfect, to be a little bit more bizarre and challenging and above all to become a little bit better than they already are. What Motorpsycho serve up with "The All Is One" is quite complex, but you don't know anything else about them. For the last 30 years they have always challenged the listeners with their stylistic breaks, and "The All Is One" does it the same way. Simply more violent, harder, more intense.

    "The All Is One" is a cosy title track in best motorpsychodelical style. Guitars, a warmly distorted bass, harmonies that remind of the times of the albums "Let Them Eat Cake" or "Phanerothyme". The strings (respectively the mellotron) make the entry a feast for the senses and as it is, the whole thing unobtrusively rises to a symphony so typical for Motorpsycho.

    The Magpie" comes along driving, almost a bit reminiscent of her music from the nineties. Even if it is rather rough, the arrangement is not as raw as it was back then. Everything fits in the right place, including one of those guitar solos you can hardly expect live. "Delusion" is almost to be seen as an intermezzo, or as a preparation for what is yet to come.

    "N.O.X.", an epic in 5 acts. 42 minutes of pure madness. All at once, in one piece. Prog, Space Rock, Jazz and Acid are connected and create spheres. Spheres with which one draws circles around the sun. Guest musicians like Reine Fiske, Lars Horntveth and Ola Kvernberg get in and out of the car on this journey to make "N.O.X." even more insane. "Ouroboros", the tail eater, turns in a hypnotized circle. In order to generate harmonies in the middle of it, i.e. actually simply sounds to pierce marrow and bone. Goosebumps all over the body, post-rock at its best. "Night of Pan" increases over minutes only to prepare for "Circles Around The Sun", which is really hard on the listener. "N.O.X." is basically an album within an album, which becomes especially clear on the LP, where this monster has got two sides of its own. To be able to experience this incredible musical thing (I don't know how to describe it differently) hopefully soon live in one piece must be one of those experiences, like the tour of the psychonauts to the center of the earth with "The Death Defying Unicorn"!

    When you - after a little rest - have managed to turn the record one last time, beautiful blossoms will appear. Yes, you are back where the album started. "A Little Light" gives you time to catch your breath even if it is only two acoustic minutes. "Dreams of Fancy" ties in with "Let Them Eat Cake" again, which doesn't bother me personally in the least. "The Dowser", a comfortably quiet Motorpsycho song and "Like Chrome", a straight, hard rock song complete this masterpiece.

    "The All Is One" is the final chapter of the Gullvåg trilogy (Håkon Gullvåg is responsible for the artwork), which started in 2017 with "The Tower" and continued with "The Crucible" in 2019. "The All is One" is 80 minutes of pure madness.

    You can literally feel that the band took their time and also found time to put everything in the right place. The symphonies are incredibly intense. Even if you think you recognize 1000 instruments playing together: Every instrument, every note, every touch fits perfectly. This album is brilliant, but certainly not music to dabble in. It challenges every brain cell, and even the umpteenth time you hear new details, sounds that you have missed so far. This is exactly how it has to be. So you are already looking forward to the next album or is there maybe even a next trilogy?

    Posted 4 days ago #
  18. Wulf
    Member

    A 7/10 translated from italian by google:

    Motorpsycho
    The All Is One
    by Marco Biasio

    All good at pleasing the undisputed masterpieces of the 90s, the exciting pop phase of the early millennium, even the expanded and psychedelic first fruits gained following the drumming relay between Håkon Gebhardt and Kenneth Kapstad ... Never one who spontaneously affirms, instead, to love - attention, not to appreciate: to love - the adult Motorpsycho of the decade that is dying out, fickle architects of their own destiny: the young boys of Trondheim struggling with superb synthesis between indie rock and seventies prog (the still underestimated today "Behind The Sun ”of 2014), adrift on the crest of touching lysergic explorations (“ Here Be Monsters ”, 2016) or trapped in transitional discs (“ Still Life With Eggplant ”, 2013). Or, again, the musicians caught grappling with the ambitious four-handed rock operettas with Ståle Storløkken (the sparkling "The Death Defying Unicorn" of 2012, the less fortunate "En Konsert For Folk Flest" of 2015), the artisans of the soundtracks live (“Begynnelser”, 2017) and the promoters of unusual transgenerational collaborations (such as the one with Ole Paus, which resulted in the discreet “Så Nær, Så Nær” at the beginning of the year). The thinking minds, finally, behind the latest important conceptual installation, the self-defined Gullvåg's Trilogy (named after the painter who made all the covers), of which today the (double) twenty-second full length "The All Is One" - successor of the non-despicable albeit discontinuous “The Tower” (2017) and “The Crucible” (2019) - should constitute the final chapter.

    The reasons for the relative critical lukewarmness with which the recent production of Motorpsycho has been received, especially in reference to the golden eight years 1993-2000, are various, multiple and interconnected: from the regression to a more conservative and rock oriented style to realization of works that are too long for the actual amount of ideas put in place, from the conscious choice to transfer the format of live improvisation to the hardships faced within the line up (the inclusion of alternate plates of Reine's second guitar Fiske, the abandonment of Kapstad and the takeover of the surgeon Tomas Järmyr). It is perhaps no coincidence that, in presenting "The All Is One" in great detail (initially scheduled for spring), Bent Sæther seems almost to apologize, for the first time, to his listeners: "It has become one intense listen, an epic and dense piece of music that might be perceived as demanding by some listeners, but that also hopefully rewards those with patience and a longer attention span ". As if to say: it is precisely when a phase seems to have ended that the immediate relaunch awaits around the corner. To be honest, we would have to open a long parenthesis on how effectively the "new" Motorpsycho have deviated from the mission of the "old" or, in other words, if this creative phase of theirs is nothing more than the other side of the coin nineties (the same band seems to think so), but it is a discourse that would take us, perhaps, too far. Certainly far from the punctual concreteness of the eighty-five minutes of the platter in question, recorded between September and November 2019 in three different sites: the Black Box of Noyant-la-Gravoyère (where, in the previous June, "Så Nær, Så Nær" was also recorded ), Giske's Ocean Sound and Kommun ', Trondheim's home studio.

    Straight to the point: although the lyrics do not shine for acumen (rather verbose, for example, the text of the title track, a generic tirade against information at the time of post-truth) and the acoustic recordings are far below expectations at this time - “Delusion (The Reign Of Humbug)” has all the air of being a Yes outtake: “A Little Light” is an elementary folk sketch turned off in a disturbing dark ambient suck; “The Dowser” a superfluous semi-electric ballad that slavishly follows the melodic progressions of “Big Surprise” -, “The All Is One” is the best record of Motorpsycho since the aforementioned “Behind The Sun”. This, mind you, not due to the presence of who knows what innovations: on the contrary, the (non) novelty is that there are no news. What stands out, if anything, is the unexpected quality of a writing which, in its direct inspiration from the best pages of the recent past, produces excellent results on at least three fronts: the more drawn and classically rock songs, the orchestral hybridizations and, not for last, the renewed tribute to its indie roots.

    As for the first side, even apart from the robust proto-hard rock charade of the enthralling single "The Same Old Rock (One Must Imagine Sisyphus Happy)", one cannot fail to mention the title track which, opened by a subtle bluesy pizzicato ( from Leaf Hound's "Freelance Fiend" to Pontiak's "Young", always there we are), immediately swells the sails in the direction of a polyform Crimsonian rhapsody propelled by mellotron winches and epic constructions of acid guitar solo, finally arriving at a delicate final waltz for piano, accordion and electric arpeggios. The second is of course represented by the mammoth suite in five acts "N.O.X." (forty-two minutes in total), inspired by alchemical and astrological themes and evolved from the music for ballet that the band, on commission, performed at the St. Olav Festival last summer together with faithful associates and friends Lars Horntveth (Jaga Jazzist) and Ola Kvernberg. Although the influence of the tonal jazz rock grandeur of some passages of "The Death Defying Unicorn" is undeniable here (take the furious rhythmic attack of "NOX V: Circles Around The Sun, Pt. 2", almost a "The Hollow Lands "squared) and the sin of overabundance always lurking (of the interminable" NOX IV: Night Of Pan "only the last five minutes really like and convince, a tense reinterpretation of the Gong always on the verge of breaking), the elements no shortage of surprise: from the noir projections of Horntveth's brass that redouble Kvernberg's floating violin in the opening of “NOX I: Circles Around The Sun, Pt. 1 "(closing in deadly crescendo, a foaming jazz-prog maelström) to the overwhelming groove of" N.O.X. II: Ouroboros "(almost an improvisation by Bushman's Revenge arranged by the Brimstone), up to the ecstatic instrumental visions of the shorter" N.O.X. III: Ascension (Strange Loop) "(a suspended and unreal American, crystallized in timeless forms of elegy). However, it is the third side that reserves the real world-class hits: already warned by the high tones of Sæther's evergreen singing in "The Magpie" (the Rush passed through the filter of "Timothy's Monster", and it is a compliment), the definitive breakdown comes with “Dreams Of Fancy”, a melancholy indie heart-diving anthem garlanded with sparkling hard-prog rosettes. The closure is semantically coherent: “Like Chrome” is a slacker full of panoramic views and stuffed with Zeppelin licks, something that for mood and construction would stand out in the lineup of a “Black Hole / Blank Canvas”.

    The substantial criticism that could be moved to "The All Is One" is, if anything, of a structural nature: from this tracklist, for distribution of the songs even before mere minutes (rather cumbersome, specifically, the central presence of "NOX" , which actually risks weakening the impact of the pieces that precede and follow), it was possible to obtain at least two distinct discs, avoiding the anthology effect that occasionally comes to the mind of the listener. Or is it perhaps a side effect of the tunnel of memory that each of us retraces, with bittersweet and poignant saudade, every time that riff, that voice, that melody reemerges from the grooves of the vinyl?

    Posted 4 days ago #

RSS feed for this topic

Reply

You must log in to post.