Band Website: http://www.chrismusic.nl
Label: Progress Records
Label Website: www.progressrec.com
Release Date: 2010
It’s amazing to me how far we’ve come in the “one-man-band” approach to making music. Technology has made significant leaps in terms of making everything sound so much better. But then, in truth it has always really been about the level of musicianship and on that score listening to the new release from Chris, his second entitled Making Sense I’m struck with how one person can make such a fulfilling piece of music. It’s not the gear so much as it’s the person running it and Chris who is actually Christiaan Bruin the full time drummer for the Dutch prog band Sky Architect, seems to have all the musical chops.
The ten tracks on Making Sense give off a little more of a classic symphonic prog influence than the music created by Sky Architect and I like where he’s going. There is a nice mix of shorter and longer songs with some of them sliding into one another seamlessly. That’s what happens as we go from track one “Resemblance” [3:01] which starts off with a keyboard sounding like a bell tolling, vocals creeping in softly over soft piano chords which themselves take on a haunting melody overtop of the sounds of kids playing which then slides into track two “Waking from a Dream” [10:26] which is more up-tempo and features some great guitar work as well as Mellotron choir sounds. At the two-minute mark the tune changes gear and the first of many Beatle influences come through. It’s surprising how well those musical references fit into a symphonic approach; a great melody line here and orchestra or choir stabs there. At times I was even reminded of some of Klaatu’s more symphonic – art rock moments; warm and lovely harmonies, beautiful Mellotron strings which morph into quirky melodies. It makes for some very catchy tunes that are richly orchestrated in a classic seventies style. And yet it hardly sounds retro, instead to my ears it’s a mixture that fresh and unique.
The music made by Chris on Making Sense will unquestionably appeal to fans of symphonic prog. I’m trying to think of some sonic touch-points, but really the influences are so well incorporated there aren’t any the come to mind. That said if you enjoy the music created by bands such as IQ, Cross or Sky Architect, then this is a disc that will find a welcome home in your musical collection. This is a style of prog that I really enjoy so it gets an unqualified recommendation from me.