Crystalized Movements

(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
Mind Disaster, 6.5/10
Damaged Lights, 6/10
Dog Tree Satellite Seers , 6/10
This Wideness Comes , 7/10
Revelations From Pandemonium , 6/10
Wayne Rogers:
Ego River , 6/10
Wayne Rogers: The Seven Arms of The Sun , 5/10
Wayne Rogers: Absent Sounds , 5/10
Wayne Rogers: All Good Works , 5/10
Vermonster: Spirit Of Yma , 6/10
Vermonster: Instinctively Inhuman , 5/10
Vermonster: The Holy Sound Of American Pipe , 6.5/10
BORB: Trailer Full Of Smoke , 5/10
BORB: Blast Off , 6/10
BORB: In Orbit , 5/10
Magic Hour: No Excess Is Absurd , 6.5/10
Magic Hour: Will They Turn You On , 7/10
Magic Hour: Secession '96 , 7/10
Major Stars: The Rock Revival , 6/10
Major Stars: Space/Time , 5/10
Major Stars: Distant Effects , 5.5/10
Major Stars: 4 , 6/10
Major Stars: Syntoptikon (2006), 5.5/10
Major Stars: Mirror Messenger (2008), 5/10
Major Stars: Return To Form (2010), 4/10

Connecticut's Wayne Rogers is self-made psychedelic genius who has been working on parallel tracks to fullfil his transcendental musical mission. The records made under the moniker Crystalized Movements are simply pretexts for shimmering guitar shows. Rogers is a little Hendrix of the American small-town milieu. He can tap into the guitar's wildest effects to paint his simple songs all sorts of colors.

Mind Disaster (Twisted Village, 1983) is basically a set of improvised lysergic jams with drummer Ed Boyden.

The intensity of the unreleased Damaged Lights (Twisted Village, 1991) is such that one would agree with the song I Am The Only Guitarist In The World And I'm Bleeding. While Rogers doesn't know the meaning of the world "focus", his sincerity and dexterity accomplish something that goes beyond Bevin Frond's holeographic reenactments.

Rogers put a real band together to record Dog Tree Satellite Seers (Twisted Village, 1987), and the result is a mixed bag: on one hand the partners force Rogers to think, not just hallucinate, but on the other one the Crystalized Movements tend to sound too often as yet another New York revival combo.

This Wideness Comes (No 6, 1990) came to dispel any doubts. Third Half (nine minuts) is virtually a parade of extreme sounds of the guitar over a martial beat, not unlike Hendrix' live jams with the Experience. The noisy and tense ballads The Second A Siren and Rearranged paint Rogers as an alienated folksinger, a Syd Barrett of the garage-punk generation. The lengthy title-track is reminiscent of maudit rockers such as Steve Wynn and Jeffrey Lee Pierce, but its extended jamming sounds like a cross between Sonic Youth and Velvet Underground. Unlike his masters, Rogers continuously derails his stories to masturbate his guitar.

By perfecting that idea, the dissonant power-ballads on Revelations From Pandemonium (Twisted Village, 1993) approach Sonic Youth form. The new tour de force, Good Evening Silence, showcases a mystical quality (and lets guitarist Kate Biggar take a leading role).

Eric Arn, who had played guitar next to Rogers, later formed Primordial Undermind.

I dischi dei Crystalized Movements (del Connecticut) sono semplicemente dei pretesti per le folgoranti esibizioni chitarristiche del leader Wayne Rogers, un piccolo Hendrix del luogo, specializzato negli effetti piu` brutali di fuzz e di feedback.

Dog Tree Satellite Seers (Forced Exposure, 1987) aveva fatto pensare a un ennesimo gruppo del revival psichedelico, ma invece su This Wideness Comes (No 6, 1990) la suite Third Half (nove minuti), che e` virtualmente un campionario di suoni estremi della chitarra, chiariva l'equivoco. Ma il Rogers delle ballate The Second A Siren e Rearranged e della lunga title-track veste soprattutto i panni del cantore alienato, ispirato dagli eroi "maledetti" del punk, come Steve Wynn e Jeffrey Lee Pierce. A differenza dei suoi maestri, Rogers deve sempre interrompere le sue storie per masturbare la chitarra in maniera genialmente maniacale.

Nel 1993 e` uscito Revelations From Pandemonium (Twisted Village), con la nuova suite Good Evening Silence, piu` o meno sulla stessa falsariga, forse appena piu` misticheggiante e con l'altra chitarrista Kate Biggar in maggiore evidenza.

Eric Arn, che era stato chitarrista a fianco di Rogers, formera` poi i Primordial Undermind.

Rogers then started a prolific solo career to expand on Crystalized Movements' wildest sonic excursions. Ego River (Twisted Village, 1992), The Seven Arms of The Sun (Twisted Village, 1993), Absent Sounds (Twisted Village, 1993), All Good Works (Twisted Village, 1995) and Constant Displacement (Twisted Village, 1997), which basically offers the same space jams of the Crystalized Movements, except that the production is more amateurish: collections of oblique and dissonant ballads in the vein of Syd Barrett, Robyn Hitchcock, Julian Cope and other neurotic troubadours. More than anything else, they display his mastery of the guitar, a diligent pupil of Helios Creed.

At the same time Rogers was active in two bands: Vermonster and Bongloads Of Righteous Boo (BORB). Vermonster's Spirit Of Yma (Twisted Village, 1990) and Instinctively Inhuman (Twisted Village, 1991) are all-guitar assaults that leave very little room for melody. The double album The Holy Sound Of American Pipe (Twisted Village, 1992) experiments with drones and eastern meditation.

BORB is Rogers and Biggar doing their extended mind-warping space-rock jamming with no constraints on Trailer Full Of Smoke (Twisted Village, 1992), Blast Off (Twisted Village, 1993), that is almost entirely taken by I Was A Beautiful Swan, and In Orbit (Twisted Village, 1993).

Rogers found his true voice with Magic Hour. The band is half Crystalized Movements and half Galaxie 500. Rogers and Biggar are joined by the deluxe rhythm section of Naomi Yang and Damon Krukowski. The single Heads Down (Twisted Village, 1994) hinted at a personal revision of slo-core cliches, but the following single After Tomorrow (Che, 1994), a ten-minute suite reminiscent of Pink Floyd and Hawkwind, upped the ante.

No Excess Is Absurd (Twisted Village, 1994) picks up from there, and achives nirvana with the eight-minute noise raga Isn't A Way. (The longest piece is actually a version of British folksinger Cyril Tawney's Sally Free And Easy). Always Leaving Never is a tender melody, halfway between early Pink Floyd and early Velvet Underground, but still drenched in guitar noise. That is the pattern repeated in the other tracks, with mixed results, till the closing Heads Down #2.

As impressive as it was, the debut album looks pathetically shy compared with Will They Turn You On (Twisted Village, 1995). Something Else and Chance Was are slow-motion Velvet Underground-ian litanies, but the 20-minute jam Passing Word is an epic tour de force of schizoid psychedelia, drenched in Hendrix's delirium tremens, in raga-like crescendos, in mind-expanding distorted drones and in hammering space-rock riffs.

The live Secession '96 (Twisted Village, 1996) contains four instrumental jams that rank among Rogers' most conceptual works. Sunset One opens the proceedings with drones, rattles, bells and abstract guitar strumming. The mammoth (20 minutes) guitar poem of Rosebud falls prey to a delirious, spiritual frenzy. The first six minutes are frantic, dervish-like, the guitar quoting from Terry Riley, Mahavishnu Orchestra and Hawkwind (a virtually impossible task). The "quiet" movement that follows is even more melodramatic and emphatic, except that rhythm is replaced by colossal distortions. The last seven minutes recover the spiritual premises, first from the vantage point of zen meditation and then, again, indulging in sufi fervor. Sunrise (thirteen minutes) open a calmer, gentler psalm to the universe, but, again, Rogers' guitar cannot resist launching an all-out attack that is meant to reproduce the brightness of the sun but more carefully reproduces the inferno burning inside Rogers' soul. Sunset Two closes the album with seven minutes of delicate notes and solemn mantras.

Magic Hour's guitarists Wayne Rogers and Kate "Village" Biggars started a psychedelic hard-rock project called Major Stars (Tom Leonard on bass, Dave Lynch on drums), that released The Rock Revival (Twisted Village, 1997), containing just four extended jams reminiscent of Blue Cheer and Jimi Hendrix, and Space/Time (Twisted Village, 1999), containing the 14-minute Apples To Grapes. Distant Effects (Squealer, 2002) offers a mature mixture of stoner-rock (Higher Meaning, Are We) and acid-rock freakouts (Hardly Mention). Like the previous albums, 4 (Twisted Village, 2005) contains a couple of melodic ditties and two instrumental space jams, Phantom #1 and Song For Turner. Better production and tighter playing account for an overall grander listening experience. While not original by any stretch of the imagination, Rogers' excursions into mind expansion are getting more effective and less redundant, almost surgical. Syntoptikon (2006), featuring a third guitarist next to the two founding guitarists, was less impressive.

Wayne Rogers' solo album Blues-Ul Alb TW (2006) was an American version of Bevis Frond.

The Major Stars hired rowdy vocalist Sandra Barrett for Mirror Messenger (2008), that contains the lengthy My People and especially Mirror Messenger, in which the three-guitar workouts have time to solidify. The shorter songs are rather trivial though, a problem that got worse on Return To Form (2010).

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