[Review] Magick Brother & Mystic Sister – Magick Brother & Mystic Sister

Magick Brother & Mystic Sister are a Spanish band that offers a Prog/Psych sound with a strong Canterburyan contamination, in particular the early Caravan and Gong, not surprisingly the group is called just like their debut album. Eva Muntada (Keyboardist and Vocals) and Xavi Sandoval (Bass and Guitar), have in fact made public an anecdote involving them and Daevid Allen, mind and leading artist of the historic band Gong, at the Canterbury Festival in 2000. During this event live, in fact a friendship was born that was in the following years also a source of inspiration for the duo, who with the addition of Marc Tena (Drums and Vocals) and Maya Fernández (Flute), gave life to the project. After several live appearances, in which they immediately showed their artistic talent, on June 12, 2020 they release the eponymous debut album. Released in Spain by The John Colby Sect, while in the rest of the world by Sound Effect Records, it contains 10 medium length songs, characterized by quality ideas and cues, composed and performed with excellent technique. The opener “Utopia” begins with a Psychedelic atmosphere on which the excellent flute of Maya is inserted, a choral voice with effects, and then in the middle of the song it changes rhythm and turns into Progressive, with the sound dominated by the intertwining of keyboards and guitar. Between tempo changes that develop the theme well, mixing Prog and Psych characters with skill, immediately recalling the musical atmospheres of the past, revisited with a personal style. “Waterforms” was the first single from the album, featuring a killer bass line, on which guitar and keyboard melodies intertwine. The rhythmic session is characterized by the valuable addition of percussion, while the instrument that predominates the melodies is the flute. The voice adapts perfectly to the music, creating an atmosphere of mystical tones, a very well structured and flowing piece, where all the artists involved express themselves at high levels. “The First Light” is a short 2:24 min track with darker melodies with a carpet of keyboards, a slow rhythm and an effected male vocal. Pleasant guitar inserts and the development of the song that takes us back in time to the end of the 60s, a short but intense passage. “Yogi Tea” is more rhythmic with solid and supporting bass lines, tempo changes that enrich the structure, sounds and melodies with excellent guitar and keyboard interweaving. The flute, as always, is inserted with delicacy and an exquisite technique, offering some high-level solo cues. A song that, due to its structure and development of the theme, fits fully into the Progressive vein, one of the best on the album. “Arroyo del búho” begins with ambient noises in the background and a sweet intertwining of piano and flute that leads us to the middle of the piece. With the entry of all the instruments it becomes a more elaborate and constantly changing track both in rhythm and melodies, also increasing the intensity with the passing of the minutes. “Echoes from the clouds” presents another duet between piano and flute in the intro, which unlike the previous one, however, immediately leaves room for the development of the piece. The pleasant female voice returns, which gives a retro touch, like the music that seems to have come out of a late 60s record, with acoustic and electric guitar that overlap. The flute, however, is a great protagonist and guides the melodies and also offers a pleasant solo, taking the scene with credit. “Movement 2” starts immediately strong with a very rhythmic rhythmic session with the addition of percussion, penetrating bass lines and melodies of keyboards and flute that duet, with the second always the protagonist with a long solo in the second part that guides us up to the the final. “Love Scene” is a Jazzy track, showing the band’s Canterbury influences, with layers of keyboards that overlap creating a nice melodic carpet and giving us a nice solo. Another well-developed structure with flute solo melodies and “Instructions for judgment visions” kicks off. The percussions enrich the rhythm, while the drum is at times intricate, the melodic part is very elaborate and with mystical and Psychedelic melodies that alternate with openings typical of the Canterbury scene, with that touch of Gong that makes this piece really high leveled . Closes the disc “Les Vampires” is an excellent combination of Progressive, Psychedelia and Canterbury, where all the instruments are expressed at the highest level. You change tempo, the sweet female voice, their characteristic retro vein, the deadly bass lines and the inevitable flute, all well blended, ending this great album with a crescendo. A great debut for the Spanish band that shows clear ideas and a sound that is a winning mix of multiple styles and genres strongly influenced by the music of the late 60’s and early 70’s. Starting from a Prog/Psych base, often encroaching on the sounds of the Canterbury scene, with the sounds of the past interpreted with a personal and modern touch. The presence of the flute is marked, carving out an important space, without being intrusive and communicating better with the other instruments. A high level album, recommended to all lovers of Progressive sounds with a Jazzy touch, as the Canterbury tradition dictates. A high-level debut album, which suggests a career as protagonists, also given their good quality during live performances.

Tracklist

  1. Utopia (04:56)
  2. Waterforms (04:06)
  3. The First Light (02:24)
  4. Yogi Tea (05:16)
  5. Arroyo del búho (04:49)
  6. Echoes from the clouds (04:07)
  7. Movement 2 (02:39)
  8. Love Scene (03:32)
  9. Instructions for judgment visions (04:33)
  10. Les Vampires (06:40)

Lineup

Eva Muntada / Piano, Synthesizers, Organ, Mellotron & Vocals 
Xavi Sandoval / Bass & Guitars 
Marc Tena / Drums & Vocals 
Maya Fernández / Flute

Magick Brother & Mystic Sister Bandcamp|Facebook Page|Spotify|YouTube Channel|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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