PROGRESSION no. 26 (Winter/Spring 1998), p. 65
Ed Macans Hermetic Science (CD, 52:41); Magnetic Oblivion
The novel appeal of this album lies first and foremost in the instrumentationvibes/marimba, bass, drums, and occasional piano. Stylistically, its a melting pot of 70s prog-rock, chamber music, minimalist jazz, Arabic and North Indian influences, and Renaissance church music.
Holding court throughout this eclectic brew is mallet percussionist Ed Macan, known to prog aficionados as author of last years Rocking the Classics: English Progressive Rock and the Counterculture. Macan is a deft player, with a knack for convincingly melding melody and dissonance. His use of vibes in place of electric guitar or electronic keyboards might seem a bit odd, but its so unique as to be nothing short of intriguing.
Interesting touches include a medley of Curved Airs "Cheetah" and Emerson, Lake and Palmers "Infinite Space" (from Tarkus). Elsewhere, the inherently menacing "Mars, the Bringer of War" from Gustav Holsts The Planets, gains a whole new ambience under Macans vibes/marimba/piano treatment.
If youre looking for something new and entirely differentyup, that means "progressive"check this out.