Experimental Quintet - Atlantis. 2012 Romania

Experimental Quintet (aka Experimental Q, Experimental Quartet) are a group that go back to the 1970s. They were a band I had researched for the CDRWL, and after hearing some songs on YouTube, I about wet my pants. This is some of the finest unreleased progressive rock music I'd ever heard. Imagine a cross between Progresiv TM and Tortilla Flat, and you'll understand my enthusiasm. Flute, organ, fuzz guitar and hyper complex rhythms are what defined their sound. Unfortunately, as I already mentioned, the key word is unreleased. So therefore I couldn't really add it to the CDRWL. Apparently a whole LP was recorded, but the state label Electrecord must have thought it too subversive. And sadly, most of this material remains that of mystery and imagination.

After many years, the band decided to reform, sans the flute player who is now MIA. That's a pity, as the flute is such an integral part of their original sound. So they decided to use synthesizers to recreate the sound of the flute. Perhaps the weirdest part of this reunion is that the sound quality of the CD is worse than a Communist era 1970s recording. I'm guessing they were going for an "authentic" original experience, but I'm not sure it was necessary to take it that far. However, the guitar sound is still great, so there's much to grab onto here. All the music was originally written in 1970s, so it has that compositional reckless abandon that we only find from that era. Perhaps the best track of the CD is the one they didn't re-record: 'Quintet No. 2', which they transferred from the 1970s, complete with the original flute. Once you hear this, you'll see the great potential the band once had.

Personal collection
CD: 2012 Soft Records

Last listen: February 14, 2013

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