If you decide to listen to the second album of Centric Jones you'll discover something very special, something you don't hear every day and something you can't immediately describe. In a way this is just what Chris Fournier (bass, guitars, keyboards, electronic percussion) and Tobe London (drums, acoustic and electronic percussion, keyboards) wanted to achieve with their music. These musicians met in 2007 and they discovered to share the same musical goal. They both wanted to create songs to break through musical boundaries without feeling an emotional connection with their audience.
They could reap the fruits of this musical partnership two years later with the release of their debut album Foreign Tea. On this strong album Centric Jones showed to have the talents to attract many prog heads despite the complexity of their music both in rhythm and melody. However, it's for the listener to decide whether their new album The Antikythera Method is a step forward or not. I think on this second effort the same high level of music is present, but unlike the debut album you have to try a bit harder to see through the beauty of it all. For me their debut was easier to swallow, because I could enjoy more 'common' progressive rock music. This time the music that Chris Fournier recorded with his previous band Fonya seems to be more involved in the compositions.
Fonya's albums were focused on long and solid instrumental musical parts as well. The Antikythera Method mainly contains strong instrumental parts with leading roles for the keyboards and the electric guitars. Sometimes you just glide away on those beautiful musical parts that appeared to be improvised in the recording studios. However, the strong drum parts make sure that the songs contain enough drive and groove. The participation of the additional female singer Laurie Larson brings the music down to earth from time to time. It provides the songs with a kind of structure. It's not easy to compare this kind of music to other acts in the genre, but I guess that bands as Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Hawkwind, Yes and Porcupine Tree might be a good starting point.
Since Centric Jones called their album The Antikythera Method. I wondered if there's a concept behind this new album. Well, in the booklet Tobe London says the following: 'I've always had a fascination with mechanical devices and gizmos. Of particular interest to me is the Antikythera mechanism, the ancient Greek mechanical computer designed to calculate astronomical positions. I'd like to go on and on about the thing, given the fact that it predates anything like it by about a thousand years. The most fascinating aspect of it for me would be its inherent rhythm. I picture all those handmade gears turning and churning in an amazing visual if not audible display of polyrhythmic wonder. Centric Jones loves to apply this as much as we can to our music. We call it The Antikythera Method.'
People who like to be pleasantly surprised should try The Antikythera Method. The album certainly deserves to be listened to by many lovers of progressive rock. I had a very good time while taking this musical trip. So step on board and make this trip as well!
***+ Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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