IO PAGES (Netherlands) no. 36 (February 2002), 20

Multi-instrumentalist Ed Macan is the brains behind this American group, which have, with En Route, delivered their third disc.� This completely instrumental CD was preceded by Ed Macan�s Hermetic Science �(1997) and Prophesies (1999).� En Route is based on a cycle of books by J. K. Huysmans and contains a suite in seven parts of 45 minutes.� The opening track belongs not to the suite, but is a reworking of the classic �Mars, the Bringer of War,� the opening movement of Gustav Holst�s orchestral suite The Planets.� This adornment falls somewhere between the work of synthesizer player Ed Starink and the reworking of Jeff Wayne in Beyond the Planets.� In En Route, Macan makes use of a number of interesting keyboard instruments.� Alongside acoustic and (Rhodes) electric piano are Hammond, ARP string ensemble, Micromoog, electronic harpsichord, and a digital pipe organ.� The last-named instrument is heard in the fine, three-part �La-Bas,� in conjunction with the string ensemble, piano, and Hammond.� In �Raga Hermeticum,� 10-string lyre is used in combination with sitar, evoking a sixties vibe.� Strikingly, there are only two tracks in which an electric guitar is used.� The combination of progressive, jazz, classical, and sixties music results in a varied, singular style with the emphasis on keyboards, particularly on piano and string ensemble.� By way of comparison, I am reminded of the Dutch progressive bands of the early eighties.�������������������� Leo Hoekstra