COLOSSUS (Finland) no. 8 (3/98), p. 22

Ed Macan’s Hermetic Science

Magnetic Oblivion Music 1-MERM1-97

Ed Macan is a music teacher who has also written the book Rocking the Classics: English Progressive Rock and the Counterculture. Macan’s band Hermetic Science is a trio (bass, drums, and piano, vibes, tubular bells, marimba, timpani, etc.). As a matter of fact, on the CD there are two different lineups of the band playing. Some of the music was recorded in 1996 and the rest in 1997 with a different lineup. The drummers and bassists have been Macan’s students at the College of the Redwoods, where Macan is a professor of music. One can tell by looking at the instruments used on the CD that the music cannot be your average rock-based progressive music. On the CD there are altogether eight pieces, five of which are Macan’s own compositions and in addition to these we can hear quite different versions of one song each by Curved Air and ELP and also an excerpt from The Planets by Gustav Holst. The music on the CD is based mainly around the vibraphone with a rhythm section of bass and drums and this may make the music sound too unvarying and lightweight to hold interest over the entire CD. The musicians are very competent and the compositions sound interesting but the songs should have more instrumental variation. It would be interesting to hear Macan’s music played with a more "normal" progressive instrumentation (Hammond, electric guitar, etc.). Not an essential buy for a die-hard progressive rock fan but if one likes ECM jazz in the vein of Gary Burton one can surely find quite interesting music on this CD.

Raimo Eurasto