Hypnos 69 - The Intrigue Of Perception

Year of Release: 2004
Label: Elektrohasch
Catalog Number: EH 103
Format: CD
Total Time: 69:03:00

I was pleasantly surprised to hear that Hypnos 69 is actually a Belgian band. Mainly active in the stoner rock circuit, their sound is very professional and international with the originality being that they include some fierce saxophone playing. It's this unique hook that sets them apart from most bands in that sepecific domain. Also the inclusion of a fair amount of analogue keyboards as well as the unusual theremin delivers an original sound. Swaying between improvisation and jazz freedom whilst being spiced up with psychedelica, Hypnos 69 very much is a band for the 21st century, a breath of fresh air delivering a fair amount of energy with this album whether it's physical energy or food for the brain.

Composition is a very strong element throughout the band's output whether it's energetic parts or laidback fragments. The soft babbling jazzy "Good Sinner" sounds like a mix between dEUS and The Same, two Belgian bands who both created some wonderful and daring arrangements during their respective careers. Here Hypnos 69 really benefits from the lush saxophone playing as well as the brushes which gently touch the drumskins. When some studio trickery is applied towards the end of the song the endresult gets frightfully close to some vintage Pink Floyd. With "Twisting The Knife" the band attacks with an impressive rhythmic track which holds the middle between pure seventies hardrock and jazzy Krautrock with the mighty Hammond organ battling it out next to a mean guitar. This is the kind of stuff that brought huge success for bands like Deep Purple and Uriah Heep when they started out as young bands.

The album's title track is in fact the result of four individual tracks which are segued together. The middle section has a rather experimental nature with low bass synth sounds in the background and the saxophone scattering weird sounds on top of it. Then the song builds and builds on a repetitive pattern before introducing the reprise of the first acoustic theme. The final track is the 25:00 long epic "Absent Friends" which kicks off with Barrett-era Floyd-like soundscapes backed by dreamy vocals, tame saxophone and eery guitar sounds. However once this song has been three minutes on its way there suddenly is absolute silence! And it remains silent for the next 22 minutes! So this is a rip off because the album does not last for 69:00 as indicated, but you only get 47:00 minutes of music. This is something way too many bands explain as being a joke but the only reason why they do it is to mask the fact that you don't get your money's worth of music. But there was no need for all this here as we would have been more than happy with a 47:00 long album of this quality. Apparently this is Hypnos 69's third full album and strangely enough this is my very first encounter with the band but it surely will not be my last. Looking like a bunch of youngsters from the seventies this band sounds like they have been neatly deep-frozen more than three decades ago and have now been defrosted in order to lead the way for young music lovers to find good honest music. Give these guys a bigger budget and an international renowned producer as they truly deserve a step up the international ladder of success!

The Endless Void / Good Sinner - Bad Saint / Third Nature / Twisting The Knife / Islands On The Sun / A Castle In The Sky / Absent Friends

Steve Houtmeyers - electric & acoustic guitars, vocals, theremin, mellotron
Tom Vanlaer - bass, bariton guitar, Hammond, Fender Rhodes, Moog Taurus
Dave Houtmeyers - drums, percussion, Fender Rhodes, synths
Steven Marx - saxophones, clarinet

Forrest Of Illusion: 'When Fire Makes You Dance / 'Skating On Thin Ice' (split ep w/Colour Haze) (2004)
Promise Of A New Moon (2003)
Timeline Traveler (2002)
Whenever Time Has Shared It's Trust (ep) (2000)
The Intrigue Of Perception (2005)

Genre: Jam Band

Origin BE

Added: February 20th 2006
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website: www.hypnos69.tk
Hits: 936
Language: english


[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]