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9/10 Avi
 

CLARK-HUTCHINSON - A=MH^2 (Reissue) - CD - Angel Air Records - 2012

In 1969, multi-instrumentalists Andy Clark and Mick Hutchinson of Sam Gopal's Dream recorded this album, not before they conducted another recording session, which remained unissued until this reissue. Here, the two sessions - each of a totally different character - were put together on the same CD, giving fans of the original recording a good reason to get it while at the same time making the genuine recording available for new audience.

The original, instrumental album, seem like a proto prog release with its orchestrated rock settings. The orchestrated notion does not stem from being dominated by a rich orchestra (even though wind instruments pop up sporadically) - it is mostly the product of the arrangements and the length of the pieces. The exotic backdrop delivers a dynamic scenery for improvisations, and sounds at times like early Santana meeting the electric Miles Davis (the opening track is actually called "Improvisation on a Modal Scale" while the closing one is "Improvisation on an Indian Scale"). You can imagine bits of it (specifically, "Acapulco Gold") by thinking of The Doors' "Spanish Caravan" being transformed into a psychedelic piece coupled with western movies theme.

But backdrop aside, the true star of this recording is none other than Mick Hutchinson's guitar. In fact, the entire album is basically a guitar solo album in disguise. The other instruments might set the scene, but it's the unstoppable guitar, delivered with a wide tonal range (and untouched by any studio effects!), which dominates throughout and creatively leads you as through imaginative roads.

The eight bonus tracks - which were rejected by the record company at the time due to their bluesy nature - are in fact fine blues rock numbers. Unlike the released album, these are all songs that feature vocals, and they echo the 1968 Super Session by Bloomfield, Kooper and Stills with their eager, lively and uplifting, blues rock and Hutchinson's wailing electric guitar ("Make You" even benefits from a Hendrix feel). (9/10)

 

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ISSUE 75
ALBUM REVIEWS

(B-D)  (D-G)  (G-H)  (I-M)  (M-S)  (S-T)  (U-Y)

BLACK OATH
Ov Qliphoth and

BLODHEMN
Brenn Alle Brue

BROMHAM, DEL
Nine Yards

CATARRHAL
Fleshgrave

CLARK-HUTCHINSO...
A=MH^2 (Reissue

DAMNATIONS HAMM...
Disciples Of Th

DEATHSTORM
As Death Awakes

DECKCHAIR POETS
Who Needs Pyjam

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