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19 Jul 2017

Visitor 2035 "Visitor 2035" 1978 UK Prog Electonic Jazz Rock

Visitor 2035 "Visitor 2035" 1978 UK Prog Electonic Jazz Rock


I imagine the second Visitor 2035 album as one of those titles which gets the occasional mention in darkened basements--where old proggers have gathered to spin obscure music whilst attempting not to bother the rest of the family. Somewhere between the posters and the next bowl Visitor 2035 comes up. Is it possible this title still is not available on CD? 

While it may not be the greatest jazz-rock album and while I'm not genre qualified to proclaim that anyway, the jazzheads on the site have not yet written about this one. So you're stuck with my thoughts for now. Despite my lack of jazz pedigree I do know what I like. And I like this one. It fits comfortably with others I've owned such as Secret Oyster and Il Baricentro, while folks elsewhere have mentioned Brand X and Weather Report in comments. Certain "smoother" sections even remind me a bit of Camel's more fusioney moments. 

Lacking the smoky grit of jazz albums that obsess on the saxophone and its seedy vibe, Visitor really does seem to consciously embrace the album cover they chose. Consistently they will bring back these keyboard sounds with a very spacey feel, very soothing and peaceful. This is not to say they cannot peel off some wicked guitar leads and funky grooves, the talents of the players and the diversity of songwriting is a great strength. They work their way into these huge, borderline wild jams (killer bass!) and then they drop right into these soothing, spacey landscapes, seeming to thrive on the contrast. "Cassiopeia" stays in this low key territory with acoustic guitar and light percussion, almost Oregon territory. Synths find their way back in and again we feel like we have a soundtrack for stargazing. I like the balance they use with various synthesizer, piano and e-piano. I think the album would please most instrumental rock Finnforest ......

For anyone who, for reasons known only to them, still truly enjoys Fusion from the peak era ~ the real thing; that stuff that makes your friends force tight smiles and once caused your aunt to nod off after supper but you love dearly for its deft blend of two great forms and superb musicians who tended toward it ~ Visitor 2035's second issue hits the spot. As most fusionheads will tell you, the good stuff is not common and the bad stuff was aplenty between about '71 and '81, so when an ensemble of accomplished players throw together something that contains the strength and integrity of both jazzrock and prog rock at their best, it may be worth looking into. Like, say, UK was. Keyboardist John Mason and trumpeter Craig Pruess led a notably tight party of bass/drums/guitar and in 1978 laid down what shaped-up to be among the nicest sessions of the period. But that's coming from someone who still plays old DiMeola records and thinks Colosseum II were one of the best outfits ever. Like, ever. 
Don't get me wrong-- you do have to sit through the rippling, undulating sounds of 1970s synth-porn with its leering reminders of pimpled butts thrusting in ratty motel rooms and unwelcome visions of overcoated middle-aged men in darkened theaters performing unnatural acts. But when you like jazzrock (the material is Eclectic to the extent that much art music was), you accept the fact that it influenced all sorts of music, some not so dignified, and that a cheesy synth was an accessible and affordable way to compose modern content. Nigel Robinson's mean paradiddles support 'Don Genardos Waltz', swift Latin jazz-fusion that ebbs & flows, a solid opener followed by slightly commercial 'At the Gates of Consciousness'. And then there's 'Toefunk', the kind of bit that requires the utmost tolerance when listening to JR/F; a white man's shame; a cringing, wide-eyed exercise in obligatory mulatto mediocrity. Go away, Toefunk, go away. 

Tragically titled 'Celestial Dream Song' is not much more than a cool space jam but 'Centre of the Winds' better, getting into symphonic jazzrock a la Hiseman's C2, brandishing laser twin guitar/keyboard lines and spicy dual leads. Killer cut, unlike drowsy 'Cassiopeia' which will undoubtedly help you sleep, but 'Contemplation' rouses and closes on a reasonable note. .....
by Atavachron ..........

Line-up / Musicians 

John Mason / keyboards 
Craig Pruess / trumpet, keyboards 
Ray Deefholts / guitar 
Nigel Robinson / percussion 
Peter Stroud / bass

A1 Don Genardo's Waltz 4:55 
A2 At The Gates Of Consciousness 4:50 
A3 Toefunk 4:10 
A4 Celestial Dream Song 7:05 
B1 Centre Of The Winds 7:30 
B2 Cassiopeia 5:48 
B3 Contemplation 7:25

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..