KOID 9 no. 67 (France), October 2008

Hermetic Science:  These Fragments I Have Shored Against My Ruins (Musea)

Edward Macan is a largely unknown figure in our milieu in France but is known abroad since he has written in English several books about progressive (of which the famous Rocking the Classics:  English Progressive Rock and the Counterculture made him the established authority), in addition to his activity as musician with Hermetic Science.  Musician without peer taking charge of the keyboards but also all manner of diverse percussion, he creates here his fourth trio album, supported by two musicians, Jason Hoopes (bass, six-string guitar) and Angelique Curry (drums and percussion).  The originality of the music of Macan is that it utilizes principally the percussion instruments such as the vibraphone or the marimba in order to create a progressive ambience.  It is truly the only group to my knowledge to work in this vein and if nothing else but in terms of originality, should be eminently saluted.  Entirely instrumental, the music delivered by the trio is complex enough to be difficult to assimilate rapidly.  It is notable that this is also the source of its charm.  Constituting seven pieces (from one to fifteen minutes), this disc doesn’t fail to interpolate Macan’s love of ELP, of whom he is a great fan (often evident elsewhere, both in the previous work of his trio, and in fact in his last book).   An ELP that would be clearly jazzier and more acoustic, terribly melodic and much less rousing! Lovers of guitar and keyboard orgies, go your way.  We are here in an enchanted world, lulled by the magic sounds of the vibraphone.  To be reserved in priority for the lovers of percussion (it is a veritable festival all directions).  To note finally that the magnificent cover of the album speaks to us surely such things since it is signed by the ineffable Paul Whitehead, author of several beautiful covers of Genesis who has contributed much to progressive with his always inspired paintings.  A façade which complements well the eminently romantic music of the Californian trio even if there exists not any kinship with the English group (and even if I wager that Tony Banks would enjoy the circumvolutions of Mr. Macan!).

Renaut Ouali