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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Paul Chain - Violet Art Of Improvisation [Minotauro - 2015]

From late 2015 here we have a double CD reissue of one of the late 1980ís releases from respected & cult Italian musician Paul Chain. As the title suggests this set takes in a series of improvised tracks, & these sonically move from: doomy yet churning psychedelic rock, punchy slightly punk metal jams. Onto expansive rock metal jamming, through to soundtrack like church organ & synth lined rock jams, and jammy synth pop meet light rock, and beyond

Mr Chain is most known & revered for his project Paul Chain Violet Theatre- which through-out the 80ís created a fairly distinctive & often creative blend of doom, dark psychedelic rock, death rock. That project had its experimental edges, and at times went all out with these, but mainly these were kept fairly in check with the bands output been mainly based around conventional rock song structures. With this solo release Mr Chain really let lose  all of  his  more odd & experimental tendencies to offer up a nine tracks, and just over an hour & a halfís worth of music.

The album originally appeared back in 1989- in both double CD & vinyl versions- this reissue is the first time itís been reissued since it was original released. The two CDís come in a three panel card sleeve featuring dark purple back ground & black text/ artwork, which recreates the original double album sleeve in mini. We get each CD in it's own mini plastic slip sleeve, inner thick paper sleeves, & double sided fold out inlay sheet.

The nine tracks featured here were recorded between 1981 & 1986, and running  time wise they last between five & thirty minutes a piece. Starting of the first disc is the longest track here, and that comes in the form of "Tetri Teschi In Luce Viola"( roughly translated to Tetri Skulls In Light Purple) - which is a thirty minute track based around a extremely hypnotic blend simmering & evil sounding church organ runs, churning slightly groove bound bass guitar, doomed yet psychedelic tinged guitar jamming, darts of effect layered chatter,  & spacey yet creepy synth swirls. This is a truly great, great opener & the highlight of this release, and some of the best work Iíve heard Mr Chain create- itís such a skilful bit of moody yet damn hypnotic jam craft. The remainder of the first disc are taken up by "Emarginante Viaggio"-a just over five minute slices of punchy slightly spiky punk metal jam. And "X Ray"- which is twenty two minutes of lose, chugging & snaking jam rock, with darkly psychedelic/ doom rock leanings. Both of these track are ok, though are a little overshadowed by the great-ness of the first track.


The second disc takes in six shorter tracks which each run between the five & nine minute mark. The sound of these six tracks are fairly varied & rewarding, though not all successful ( to my ears), and my personal stand outs come in the form of: the bizarrely named "Casual Two Your Mister", which starts out with a mix of  smeared croaking electronics & reverb vocals, before nose diving a dense mesh of brooding & angular synth repetitions & vocal effects.  And the wavering & wondering synth pop meets church organ jam of "Dedicated To Jesus".

So in summing if you enjoy more off the wall, and jam based blends of improvised Psychedelic  rock, synth & church organ weaving, with elements of doom & rock, but an often lose experimental feel Violet Art Of Improvisation is worthy of your time. But if you enjoy the more structured song based side of Paul Chain Violet Theatre you may find this a bit too much. For me itís another great reissue from Minotauro of Mr Chain's back catalogue, with the first track alone making this worth picking up.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Roger Batty
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