Melting Euphoria
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
Through The Strands Of Time , 6.5/10
Upon The Solar Winds , 6/10
Beyond The Maybe Machine , 5/10

Melting Euphoria were formed in San Francisco by keyboardist Don Falcone (already active in the Thessalonians) and by bassist Anthony "Forti" Budziszewski and drummer Mychael Merrill. They debuted with Through The Strands Of Time (Stratospheric, 1994), a work characterized by spacey synthesizer sounds and tribal drumming. In many ways, the format (futuristic electronic vignettes with a subliminal psychological underpinning) evoked Brian Eno's Before And After Science, but the first track unmistakably identified Melting Euphoria's main influence: Inner Vastness of Space echoes the trance and the suspense of Pink Floyd's Set The controls for the Heart of the Sun, amid galactic sound effects that hark back ro Gong's Radio Gnome Invisible trilogy. The Gong influence extends to Pondering Ravenscourt, that couples effervescent jazz-rock jamming and symphonic drones a` la Klaus Schulze; while the Pink Floyd obsession transpires from the soaring raga of Area 51, its middle-eastern psalm-like beginning and its insistent, delirious beat. Additionally, Of Misting Eyes and Lavender borrows the demonic rhythmic progression of Popol Vuh's Phallus Dei. The best display of the trio's instrumental skills is Azimuth Beyond, a cohesive, viscous, breathless stream of melodic grandeur that beats the Ozric Tentacles at their own game. The nine-minute Disappearance of a Friend stands out as something radically different, a form of electronic minimalism filtered through the eyes of Walter Carlos that fades away in an orbit of dub-like clouds of reverbs and lazy beats. The jubilant and pounding anthem of Venusian Skylight was even more unique, electronic rock'n'roll a` la Hawkwind, Heldon and Be Bop Deluxe. The synthesis offered by this album was truly a synthesis of two worlds, the world of 1960s drug-addicted hippies and the world of 1990s high-tech addicted cyberpunks, one a self-centered spiritual world and the other a visionary but angst-ridden world. The only drawback is the spoken words that introduce and accompany the songs, that somehow reduce the impact of the band's vision.
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Falcone later formed Spirits Burning and Spaceship Eyes.
Forse i massimi discepoli americani degli Ozric Tentacles sono i Melting Euphoria, fondati a San Francisco dal tastierista Don Falcone dei Thessalonians e dal tastierista Anthony "Forti" Budziszewski. I Melting Euphoria registrarono Through The Strands Of Time (Stratospheric, 1994), lavoro dominato dai sintetizzatori e da un piglio alla Hawkwind. Piece strumentali come Azimuth Beyond e Pondering Ravenscourt fanno ricorso a jazz e folk etnico puntando sulla trance piu` che sulla spettacolarita`. Le liriche recitate in mezzo ai brani distolgono un po' dal proposito.

Upon The Solar Winds (Cleopatra, 1995), con la formazione stabilizzata in un quintetto (e priva di Falcone), ha messo meglio a fuoco la materia, rinunciando alle velleita` sperimentali e concentrandosi su un jamming di piccolo bordo. Il sintetizzatore (affidato in gran parte a Zero Devlin) affresca scenari interstellari (Astral Nemesis, nove minuti di tiepido cantilenare esotico), emette gorgheggi new age (Leylines From Azimuth e Crystalline Wind), intona cantici religiosi (Scarab Sands, su un sottofondo di percussioni indiane). Il ritmo prende raramente il sopravvento. Il basso di Anthony intavola indiavolate danze folk (Of Misting Eyes And Lavender, Turkish Delight) e lancia le cariche piu` travolgenti (Venusian Skyline). In effetti l'ispirazione deriva spesso dal patrimonio popolare. In gran parte l'album sembra una raccolta di spunti piu` o meno casuali, che soltanto un complesso di ben altra caratura avrebbe potuto concretizzare (e probabilmente su distanze ben piu` lunghe dei quattro/cinque minuti a cui si fermano i Melting Euphoria).

I nove pezzi di Beyond The Maybe Machine (Cleopatra, 1996) ripetono lo stesso schema senza introdurre nuovi elementi.

Don Falcone avrebbe poi continuato con altri progetti.

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